Students immerse themselves in German culture, language

Sprechen sie Deutsch? Brauchen sie sommerpl퀌_ne? Still reading? Then consider enrolling in Portland State University’s Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, or German Summer School on the Pacific, which bills itself as the Northwest’s Deutsche Sommerschule is part of PSU’s Summer Session and will run June 25 to July 31 at Lewis and Clark College. Tuition is $1,150, or $2,480 including room and board.

According to program manager Kathy Godfrey, space is still available in this year’s program, and students have used financial aid to pay for their tuition in the past. Scholarships were available.

Godfrey said that typically 50 people participate in the program. Of those 50, one third are typically from Portland State. Others come from all corners of the United States.

Deutsche Sommerschule, which is in its 46th year, is open to students of all ages who have the equivalent of two years of college-level German and an interest in German language and culture. Summer school participants learn through immersion, vowing to speak nothing but German for the duration of the five-week program.

Of course, Godfrey said, students do go out. When that happens, “they manage the best they can.”

Mostly, she said, students stay on campus, where they get to know each other, “play ball” and watch German films.

Deutsche Sommerschule offers undergraduate and graduate courses in German language, culture, current events, history, literature, performing arts and politics.

Undergraduate students can earn up to 12 credits in the session, and graduate students can earn up to 10 credits. Credit is granted through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and can be transferred to another institution of higher learning.

In addition, the German Summer School features a two-week teacher training seminar, which runs July 15-31, and a special program in German business and economics.

The cost of the training seminar is $576, $1,186 with room and board.

The business and economics program is included in the cost of tuition, and is open to all interested students.

Two Portland State professors are affiliated with Deutsche Sommerschule. Steven Fuller, co-director of the program, is a professor of German, and Lou Elteto is a professor of German and Hungarian.

Other program instructors come from around the world.

Applications for Deutsche Sommerschule are available in the department of foreign languages and literatures, and on the program’s Web site at

For more information, contact Kathy Godfrey at 503-725-5294.

Fast Facts

What: The 46th Annual Deutche Sommerschule am Pazifik, the Northwest’s premiere summer program for German studies

When: Part of PSU’s Summer Session, June 25-July 31

Where: Lewis and Clark College

Cost: $1,150, $2,480 including room and board

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