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German @ PLU

Current students: click HERE for German-language podcasts, scholarship information, deadlines, and much more!

Warum sollte ich Deutsch lernen?

Why study German? Check out some of the many career benefits to learning German here. Consider also some of the following reasons for exploring German language and culture:

Whether you decide to work someday for a commercial, not-for-profit, or government enterprise, the chances are greater every day that your work will bring you into contact with native speakers of German. Consider this: around 100 million Europeans — one fifth of the European Union’s population — are native speakers of German.

In fact, German is one of the ten most commonly spoken languages worldwide. Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe: In 2017, this country (about the size of the state of Montana) claimed 8.2% of the world’s export market — only China (12.8%) and the United States (8.7%) exported more*. Proficiency in German can enhance your career opportunities in international business, foreign service, scholarship and teaching, publishing and journalism, and many other interesting and challenging careers.

*Data from the ‘Trade Profiles 2018’ statistics published by the World Trade Organization (

A crucial part of PLU’s mission is to prepare its students for life in an increasingly internationalized world, and an indispensable part of this life is the ability to speak and understand a foreign language.

“Through the diversity of languages grows the richness of the world, and with it, the diversity of that which we discover there.”
— Wilhelm von Humboldt

There are very few places left on earth in which it is still common for an educated person to speak only one language. This means that when you meet someone from another culture, that person is likely to know your language. Will you know hers?

Studying the German language and the cultures in which it is spoken fosters not only your intellectual growth, but your growth as a global citizen as well.

Many of the world’s greatest minds conceived their masterpieces in the German tongue. Only German gives you the invigorating chance to engage these philosophers, writers, politicians, musicians, and theologians one-on-one, in the living language that helped to shape their particular weltanschauung, or perspective on the world.

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein

See the Modern Language Association’s brochure Language Study in the Age of Globalization for more reasons to study a language in college!

For more information on studying German at PLU, contact Prof. Jennifer Jenkins (, 253-535-8227).

Did you know?

According to The Economist, learning German in college can increase your earning potential!

Economist German Graph - Accumulated language bonuses Forecasts
Study in German-speaking Europe

Study Away
Kirsten Christensen with students
Professor Christensen helping students in class

“Die Gewalt einer Sprache ist nicht, daß sie das Fremde abweist, sondern daß sie es verschlingt.”
“The power of a language lies not in spurning the unfamiliar, but in devouring it.”
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

German 101 Students
Why are Professor Jenkins' GERM 101 students smiling? Because they can conjugate German verbs!
Fall of the wall

PLU professor Kirsten M. Christensen shares her experiences about being in East Berlin during the fall of the wall.

PLU German Fulbright and DAAD scholarship recipients

The German Program at PLU has a pretty good track record of producing Fulbright and DAAD scholarship winners! Check out our list of recent recipients.

Course Curriculum

Find out what you’ll need to major or minor in German.

B.A. & Minor

PLU Life - auf Deutsch!

Would you like the opportunity to live in PLU’s Deutsches Haus? Check out these Hong German House promo videos!