German Language and Culture
What does the average Dutch person know of Germany? Disappointingly little! Many of Dutch speakers' ideas about their neighbours are little more than prejudices, and very few Dutch people speak German with any degree of fluency. This is strange if you consider that Germany is the Netherlands' most important trade partner. Fortunately, the cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Germany is lively: Dutch literature is popular in Germany, and the Germans play an active part in the Dutch modern opera and theater. Moreover, many Dutch people find Berlin, the German capital fascinating, and rightly so! But there is so much more to Germany!
Students following the German Language and Culture programme in Leiden are immediately introduced to modern German culture and literature. In addition to language proficiency, linguistic analysis and modern literature, much attention is paid to the media, arts and socio-political subjects. Moreover, the programme focuses on the rich culture and literature of earlier periods in German history (e.g., Medieval Times). Students are partly free to choose their own reading assignments, which makes the programme very flexible. In the third year, students choose one particular field of study to specialize in.
Although it is not compulsory, our students are given the chance to spend some time at one of the larger German or Austrian universities, which brings them in direct contact with the country and the people. Such a study period in a German-speaking area is a unique feature of the Leiden programme.
See for more information the department website (in Dutch) or the timetables (partly in English)
Following the basic programme, the German Language and Culture programme can be combined with one of the 'practical studies' or PraktijkStudies (International Management & Culture, European Union Studies, Journalism and the New Media, Book and Publishing or the Educational minor) or with other options and, possibly, an internship.