Welcome to German Studies at USC!

In today’s world of global interconnectivity you have to be able and willing to look beyond your own community and step outside your comfort zone to be successful.

No matter whether you find yourself working in business, politics, humanitarian work, education, the arts, science, technology or any other field, it is impossible to be a “citizen” of one culture while ignoring the rest of the world. Part and parcel of the new paradigm of the 21- century work environment are not only skills such as multitasking and adaptability to constantly changing technologies or personality trades such as flexibility. One of the key elements of a successful life and career is also the ability to navigate in a multicultural society, in a global economy and in a world in which all countries and its citizens are growing increasingly dependent on each other.

Germany has long been a tremendously influential "player" in cultural history, economics and sciences.

You may think:"Why should I study German? Most Germans speak English . . ."

English may be the "lingua franca" and you may be able to function on a superficial level in German speaking countries by speaking English only. 

However studying the German language is key to truly becoming culturally proficient, 

and of course, English is a Germanic language, so you already know some German as a native speaker of English. 

There are a multitude of reasons why you will not regret your choice of German as a foreign language and German Studies as a window into the culture of German speaking countries.

Click on any of the pictures below to find out more about how German can be useful in your future. Also, click the About the Program tab to get more detailed information about German Studies at USC:

He who does not know foreign languages does not know anything about his own.
Every revolutionary movement also liberates language.
Nothing exists except through language.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Christa Wolf
Hans Georg Gadamer
German language speaks Being, while all the others merely speak of Being.
History does not merely touch on language, but takes place in it.
The limits of language mean the limit of my world. 
Martin Heidegger
Theodor Adorno
 Ludwig Wittgenstein

us on

Bulletin Board - Recent Events and Program News:

For the latest info and an archive of events/news since April 2014, please visit our Facbook page by clicking on above Facebook icon. You will have acces to the timeline there to follow events and USC German Studies programs news.

Teaching Internship at German Immersion School

April 2014

German Studies minor Katie Kelsh completed her 6-week teaching internship at the Goethe International Charter School.

In Memoriam Cornelius Schnauber 1939-2014

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of our colleague Emeritus Associate Professor Cornelius Schnauber. He died on February 21, 2014, two weeks after he suffered a heart attack.

Dr. Schnauber taught at the USC German department from 1968-2006 and was department chair from 1975-1984.  He was a dedicated teacher who served as a Ph.D. advisor to many students and took delight in his role as an educator. Dr. Schnauber was also the director of the Max Kade Institute for Austrian-German-Swiss Studies, which he founded at USC in 1975 as the Max Kade German Center and which was expanded/renamed in 1984. At the Max Kade Institute, Dr. Schnauber organized  "German Semesters“ and invited prominent authors from German-speaking countries, such as Peter Handke, Heiner Müller and Jurek Becker, who held seminars, lectures and workshops. In addition, Dr. Schnauber created a Swiss-writer in Residence program in the 1980’s, where for one semester each year a Swiss author worked with students. Among the writers were such well-known authors as Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Eugen Gomringer.

Dr. Cornelius Schnauber was an eminent scholar of the German exile community in Los Angeles and an advocate devoted to German-Jewish reconciliation, which prompted him to cofound the German Jewish Dialogue, a regular meeting place for conversations between members of the German and Jewish communities in Los Angeles.

He will be missed as a colleague and advocate for German Studies in Los Angeles.

Our thoughts are with Dr. Schnauber’s family and all those who knew and loved him.

Jack Arensmeyer, Britta Bothe, Gerhard Clausing, Eve Lee, Helga Schwarz


German Studies X-mas Party at the Max Kade Institute

December 2013

Scholarship Info Session

October 2013

The scholarship info session this year was a huge success. The room was too small to accomodate all the  students who were interested in the information that the CBYX representative Anne Kaufman and the director of the DAAD office in San Francisco, Hannie Geist were disseminating.


German Currents Film Festival

October 4th, 2013

For the past 7 years, the American Cinematheque and the Goethe Institute, Los Angeles have co-presented a film festival with movies form German speaking countries. This year the opening night featured "Measuring the World" an adaptation of the successful novel by Daniel Kehlmann. USC German Club members were able to attend for free.


Teaching Internship at Goethe Charter School

May 2013

Congratulations!!! German Studies minor Ella Yan completed her 6-week internship at the German Immersion school in Marina del Rey.

German Club Spätzle Night

May 2013

German Club members got together for the last event of the spring semester and cooked Spätzle.

Check out the Facebook album for more pictures!!

German Club at Wurstküche

April 2013

The German Club organized an evening at a German restaurant in downtown L.A.

Max Kade Open House

April 2013

The Max Kade Institute for German, Austrian and Swiss Studies officially re-opened after it was renovated last year. German Studes organisations from the L.A. area and USC participated in a fair at the institute and speakers from the German and Austrian consulate, campus community and music students were part of the program. Please read the following three online articles on the website of the German consulate, the Dornsife College and the Shoah Foundation.

You can find more pictures on our German Studies Facebook page.


Involvement Fair

January 2013

Members of the German Studies Club participated in the Spring Involvement Fair advertising the activities of the club.

German Studies X-Mas Party

December 2012














First USC student successfully finished teaching internship at dual-language immersion school

November 2012

M.E. Purnell completed her six-week internship at the Goethe-Charter School on November 30th. During the last week of her internship, she had a first-hand experience in front of a first-grade class based on a lesson plan she helped to design.

The collaboration of the USC German Studies Program and the Goethe Charter School is featured on the website of the German consulate.

German Studies minor selected as delegate to healthcare conference

November 2012


German minor Terrence Liu is one of 12 selected delegation members of the Transatlantic Program - Young Technology Leaders, which is organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago. The delegation will participate in a 8-day trip to Germany in November. This year's focus is on Healthcare Delivery & Medical Technology.

More info about the program.

Addendum: Upon his return, Terrence' trip to Germany as a member of the delegation was featured in the Daily Trojan.

Internship at German Immersion School

October 2012                                                                                                 

The German Studies Program has started an internship collaboration with the Goethe International Charter school in Culver City. German Studies minors have the opportunity to experience a "taste of teaching" during a six week internship at the immersion school. Margaret (M.E.)Purnell is the pioneer at the Culver City frontier. Congratulations M.E.!!!


German Studies Scholarship Info Session

October 2012

This year's scholarship info session started with opening remarks by German deputy consul general Stefan Biedermann and proceeded with presenations by the representative of the CBYX program, Anne Kaufman and the director of the DAAD office in San Francisco Leslie Harlson.

http://www.cbyx.info       http://www.daad.org/

If you have any questions about scholarships, please contact Dr. Bothe: bothe@usc.edu

German Stammtisch visits the Feuchtwanger Archive

October 2012

The Stammtisch held its weekly meeting at the Feuchtwanger Archive in Doheny Library. Michaela Ullmann, the Feuchtwanger curator, introduced German Studies Club members to the collection and afterwards everybody was invited to take part in a Kaffeeklatsch.


German Studies Facebook Page

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German Stammtisch at USC



Contact Us

Taper Hall 255

3501 Trousdale Parkway #255

Los Angeles, CA 90089-4353

Phone: (213) 740-2735

Fax: (213) 740-8550

  • Britta Bothe
  • University of Southern California
  • Taper Hall 353
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway #255
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-4353