Language Institute in Holzkirchen, Germany

Image of Holzkirchen
KU’s program in Holzkirchen was established in 1961 and offers students the opportunity to study German language and culture in a small Bavarian town south of Munich.
Location: Holzkirchen, Germany
Language of Instruction: German
Term: Summer
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

**For Summer 2022 only, this program will be based in Berlin and Munich, Germany due to COVID-related housing constraints in Holzkirchen.  The information below is updated for the 2022 program.**

  • Earn 9 credit hours for advanced German language and culture study.
  • Live in an apartment-style hotel in central Berlin.
  • Program includes group excursions, cultural activities, day trips to Potsdam, Weimar, Oranienburg, Wolfsburg, and five days in Munich.
  • KU students are eligible for a $5,000 scholarship with the Krehbiel German Language Summer Institute Scholarship. See Further Reading below for more information.
  • Review our coronavirus information page for details on how we're planning for study abroad this summer.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin is the vibrant capital city of Germany.  The city of 3.7 million inhabitants is known for its diversity, youthful vibe, urban green space, nightlife, and tangible history.  Berlin is home to several of Europe’s most prominent universities and a large student population, lending the city a youthful atmosphere and many student-friendly amenities.  The beautiful Spree River runs through the city center and there are numerous architectural, historic, cultural, and outdoor features to explore.  With an expansive system of public transportation it is very easy to get around.  Students will enjoy the relaxed feel and tangible history of this dynamic European capital.

Munich, Germany

Munich (pop. 1.5 million) is the capital city of the German state of Bavaria. It is the largest city in the region and a regional transportation and cultural hub. Situated near the Bavarian Alps and the border with Austria, there are numerous opportunities for exploration of the city and nearby recreational activities in the surrounding mountains and lakes.

Join us in Berlin this summer to deepen your German language skills and explore new facets of German culture while experiencing life in Germany's most exciting city.  This year's program includes six weeks in Berlin, plus five days in Munich and a visit to Holzkirchen.

Courses are a combination of classroom time with instruction by KU professor Dr. Andrea Meyertholen and a variety of group cultural activities, museum visits, day trips, site visits, and local excursions. The program activities are intended to highlight a variety of organizations, businesses, and institutions to give participants a broad view of German society and take advantage of the rich culture of Berlin.  Some of the planned activities include walking tours of Berlin, Potsdam, Weimar, and Munich, visits to Berlin's most famous museums, tour of the Reichstag, visits to the U.S. Embassy, Neuschwanstein Castle, the Volkswagen Museum, and day trips to Potsdam, Weimar, Oranienburg, Wolfsburg, plus five days in Munich. See the "Life Abroad" section for a preliminary program itinerary.

A transportation pass is included for unlimited use of public transportation in Berlin and Munich.

Credit & Courses Offered

Each student enrolls in three 3-credit hour courses for a total of 9 KU credits. All students take GERM 333, GERM 350, and GERM 400. The language of instruction in all classes is German. Outside of classes students are expected to use German for all everyday purposes including group activities, meals, and excursions.

Please consult with Dr. Meyertholen if you have any questions concerning your courses.

Course Descriptions

  • GERM 333: German Conversation and Idioms / Review of German Grammar (3 credit hours): Intensive practice in conversational German with instruction in proper pronunciation as well as an introduction to idiomatic usage. Combined with intensive review and practice of selected grammar topics. Only for students in the KU Summer Language Institute in Holzkirchen, Germany. Prerequisite: GERM 202 or equivalent fourth-semester German course.
  • GERM 350: Special Studies in German Language, History and Culture (3 credit hours): Students will discuss and write reports in German on aspects of German language, culture and history with a focus on the 20th century.  Course content will be integrated with excursions to museums and cultural sites in Berlin, Potsdam, Weimar, Wolfsburg, Munich and other locations during the summer institute. Prerequisite: GERM 202 or fourth semester German course.
  • GERM 400: Introduction to German Literary Masterpieces (3 credit hours): Writings by exemplary storytellers of the German tradition with a focus on Berlin. Students will become familiar with certain intellectual and artistic concepts and the different cultural and historical contexts of the texts on the syllabus. The course will also teach students how to approach, read, and analyze German literary fiction while learning important vocabulary and concepts to speak and write in German about literature. Readings from short stories, novellas, poems, plays, and novels. Prerequisite: GERM 202 or equivalent fourth-semester German course.

Classes generally meet Monday through Thursday mornings, with afternoon cultural activities. Fridays are reserved for excursions and day trips.

Students will live in double-occupancy rooms in the apartment-style hotel Citadines Kurfürstendamm Berlin. This hotel specializes in long-term stays and offers studios with two single beds and private bathrooms, free internet, weekly cleaning, and a fully equipped kitchen. The hotel also offers on-site laundry facilities, a fitness corner, and 24/7 on-call wellness and security.

While in Munich, the group will stay in double-occupancy standard hotel rooms at the Arthotel Munich, a highly-rated hotel in Munich's city center.

The program includes several group meals and students will also receive a weekly meal stipend. 

Summer 2022 Program Itinerary

  • Saturday, June 4 - Depart for Berlin, Germany.
  • Sunday, June 5 - Arrive in Berlin, on-site orientation, walking tour of the neighborhood, and welcome dinner at a Berlin restaurant.
  • Monday, June 6 - Guided walking tour of Berlin including Brandenburger Tor, Pariser Platz, Hotel Adlon, government institutions, and more. Visit to the Stasi Museum.
  • Tuesday, June 7 - Classes begin.
  • Wednesday, June 8 - Classes and tour of Charlottenburg Palace, the largest residence of the Hohenzollern in Berlin.
  • Thursday, June 9 – Classes and visit to the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE).
  • Friday, June 10 – Day trip to Potsdam including tour of Sanssouci Palace and Cecilienhof where Truman, Churchill, and Stalin met at the famous Potsdam Conference following World War II.
  • Sat./Sun., June 11-12 – Free weekend
  • Monday, June 13 – Classes and visit to a publishing house such as Rowohlt Verlag, Berlin Verlag, or Suhrkamp Verlag.
  • Tuesday, June 14 – Classes and visit to the GDR Museum.
  • Wednesday, June 15 – Classes and guided tour of the Reichstag, the seat of the German Parliament.
  • Thursday, June 16 – Classes and visit to the Institute for Ecological Economy Reserach, a leading scientific institute in the field of practice-oriented sustainability research.
  • Friday, June 17 – Visit to the Allied Museum.
  • Sat./Sun., June 18-19 – Free weekend
  • Monday, June 20 - Classes and visit to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.
  • Tuesday, June 21 – Classes and visit to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
  • Wednesday, June 22 – Classes and guided tour of the Hohenschöhausen Prison, used by the former East German Ministry of State Security (Stasi).
  • Thursday, June 23 – Classes and guided tour of the 10th-21st century collections of the Deutsches Technikmuseum (German Technology Museum).
  • Friday, June 24 – Day trip to Weimar, including guided walking tour and guided tour of Goethe's Home. Includes public transportation day pass for Wiemar.
  • Sat./Sun., June 25-26 – Free weekend
  • Monday, June 27 – Classes and visit tothe Institute for European Politics (IEP), a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of European integration.
  • Tuesday, June 28 – Classes and guided tour of the Sachsenhausen Memorial in Oranienburg.
  • Wednesday, June 29 – Classes and visit to NetPhaSol, a cooperative network launched in 2017 focusing on drug discovery and development.
  • Thursday, June 30 – Classes and visit to the German Historical Museum.
  • Friday, July 1 - Day trip to Wolfsburg and guided tour of the Autostadt Wolfsburg, a visitor center of the Volkswagen factory.
  • Sat./Sun., July 2-3 - Free weekend
  • Monday, July 4 - Classes and visit to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), an independent reserach institution which advises the Bundestag and federal government on foreign policy.
  • Tuesday, July 5 - Classes and guided tour of the Topography of Terror open-air exhbition.
  • Wednesday, July 6 - Classes and guided tour of the NS Memorial Center.
  • Thursday, July 7 - Classes and guided tour of the Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum.
  • Friday, July 8 - Free day
  • Sat./Sun., July 9-10 - Free weekend
  • Monday, July 11 - Classes and visit to the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the leading organization of German industry and industry-related service providers.
  • Tuesday, July 12 - Classes
  • Wednesday, July 13 - Classes and farewell to Berlin dinner.
  • Thursday, July 14 - Travel by train from Berlin to Munich.
  • Friday, July 15 - Walking tour of Munich and afternoon group activity TBD.
  • Saturday, July 16 - Day trip to Holzkirchen.
  • Sunday, July 17 - Visit to castles in Bavaria - Neuschwanstein and Linderhof.
  • Monday, July 18 - Farewell dinner.
  • Tuesday, July 19 - Program ends.

** Program itinerary, travel, excursions, and other arrangements are subject to change or modification. **

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Considerations for Germany

Germany has laws in place to protect ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, the differently abled, and other groups. Same-sex marriage is available in Germany and most large city governments officially encourage and host LGBTQIA+ pride events.

Germany’s cities and public transportation are generally accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Older sections of the cities and smaller towns may be less accessible due to centuries-old architecture, cobblestone streets, and small indoor spaces. Germany offers services for people who are mobility, sight, or hearing impaired.

Source: U.S. Department of State country information pages and Diversity Abroad.

Additional Resources

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to students from any accredited U.S. college or university who have completed four semesters of college-level German or the equivalent. Minimum 2.50 GPA and strong record of performance in German courses required. (Exceptions considered only after submission of a petition.)

Note: Students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days in advance of the program departure date to participate in this program due to the requirements of the CEPA, the organization KU works with to organize this program.

Program Director

Andrea Meyertholen, Assistant Professor of German Studies

Dr. Meyertholen is Assistant Professor of German at KU. She studied abroad in Würzburg and Berlin, interned in Munich, traveled extensively throughout German-speaking Europe, and has served as director of study abroad programs in Krefeld and Eutin, Germany and in Graz, Austria. Course instruction is provided by Dr. Meyertholen.

Krehbiel German Language Summer Institute Scholarship

Fund created with the generous contribution of Carl Krehbiel to provide support for KU students attending the German Summer Language Institute programs in Holzkirchen and Eutin, Germany. Amounts up to $5,000. The scholarship application deadline is March 1. 
Krehbiel German Language Summer Institute Scholarship Application

For More Information, Contact:

Andrea Meyertholen
Department of Germanic Studies
Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd, Room 2088

Jenna Hunter-Skidmore
KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement
108 Lippincott Hall
Phone: 785-864-3742