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Welcome to the German Program
at Virginia Tech



Welcome to the German Program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).

Please feel free to explore our website in order to learn more about the German major and minor, the faculty, activities and support services, opportunities abroad, and the accomplishments of our students and alumni.


Announcements and Upcoming Events in German


German Culture Club (GCC) Events

Join us for free brunch and conversation with Dr. Corinna Kahnke, assistant professor of German at Duke University who is an expert on German pop-culture, including the band Rammstein. She has also published on the after-effects of German unification. The event will take place on Wednesday October 14th at 10am in the Multipurpose Room on the first floor of Newman Library. Please preregister by emailing GCC President Logan Hyer at Seats are still available.

And mark your calendars for these upcoming GCC events!

November 5: Oktoberfest

December 10: St. Nikolaus Feier

For more information please contact the GCC president Logan Hyer.


25 Years of German Unity

    25 years German unity


A Series of Events Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of German Unification: October 13 to 30

The German Program at Virginia Tech is inviting everyone to remember the events and efforts that led to the unification of East and West Germany in 1990 and to explore where the unified Germany has gone from there.

25 Years of (Re)Unification - One Germany for Everyone?

Lecture by Dr. Corinna Kahnke, Duke University. October 13, 7 p.m., Newman Library, Multipurpose Room, 1st floor

25 Years of German Unity

Poster exhibit provided by the German Embassy, Washington, D.C.

The opening reception will follow the lecture by Dr. Kahnke. October 13 to 30, Newman Library, 2nd floor

Friendship! (2010)

Feature film (in German with English subtitles)

November 1989. The Berlin Wall has fallen. Two young East-Germans, Veit and Tom, heed the call of the West and set out for America with little more than 100 Deutsch-Marks in their pockets and a dream in their head: to make it to San Francisco. But with their knowledge of English limited to the words "friendship" and "Vee are Communists," they're in for a rough ride. October 19, 7 p.m., Hahn North 140

Vaterlandsverräter (Traitor to the Fatherland; 2011)

Documentary (in German with English subtitles)

Writer Paul Gratzik was an unofficial informer for the GDR State Security Service for twenty years, broke with them in the 80's and exposed his identity. Vaterlandsverräter is a portrait of an exceptional man whose tumultuous life was propelled to extremes. More than 20 years after the end of the GDR, this is a story that was never told before. October 22, 7 p.m., Hahn North 140

Westwind (2011)

Feature film (in German with English subtitles)

Summer 1988. During a vacation in Hungary, the East German twin sisters Isabel and Doreen meet Arne and Nico from Hamburg. Despite a strict curfew, the two sisters manage to sneak out of their Young Pioneers camp and secretly meet the two West Germans. Doreen and Arne fall for each other, and soon they have more than just a summer romance – it is true love. Arne sees only one way for a future together: the inseparable sisters must flee to West Germany. Doreen and Isabel have to make the most difficult decision of their lives… Based on a true story. October 29, 7 p.m.: Lyric Theatre, downtown Blacksburg

All events are free and open to the public.

Thanks to our sponsors: German Embassy, Washington, D.C.; VT Libraries; Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; Department of History; VT CLAHS Dean’s Advisory Committee on International Initiatives.

For questions contact Dr. Esther Bauer at



Come and join the German program for Kaffeeklatsch from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in Major Williams Atrium (2nd floor) on following Fridays: August 28, September 25, October 30, and December 4. Bring a beverage. Cookies will be provided. For more information, contact Dr. Hofer


VT Berlin 2015

    VT Berlin


The inaugural participants of VT Berlin 2015 had a blast in Berlin and beyond.  Nine VT students mixed intensive language study at the Goethe Institut with an extensive cultural program and a good deal of travel.  Favorites included developing a real sense of belonging in Berlin due to the homestays (“I liked being in a real home instead of a dorm or hostel”); developing our German ability in Germany (one assignment:  go outside and practice asking questions to passers-by); and kayaking on the Landwehr Canal.  We visited three castles (we slept in one), one fortress, hiked in the alps, went to the opera, visited BMW world,  learned how to use a quill in Schiller’s house, visited tons of museums, and had a lot of good food.  In addition to Berlin, we traveled to Dresden, Potsdam, Weimar, Nuremberg, Munich, and Salzburg. Does this sound like something you would be interested in?  Contact Dr. Layne at to find out how you can be part of VT Berlin 2016.

Double Honors for German Graduating Senior
    Kevin Hopkins
The German program is excited to announce this year’s outstanding German major, and we are particularly proud that he is also the Outstanding Major of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures – Kevin Hopkins. His intensive involvement outside of the classroom, especially as the President of the German Culture Club, together with outstanding performance in his classes, made Kevin an excellent candidate for both honors. While at VT, Kevin received several scholarships, including a Jamie Bishop Memorial Scholarship and a Hallie L. Hughes Scholarship. Recently, he was invited to join the prestigious national academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa. In 2013, Kevin Hopkins was the first student from our program to intern with an office of student services at a German university. This helped him polish his German to near-native fluency as he was fully immersed in German culture. Kevin will graduate with a dual degree – a B.A. in German and a B.A. in Economics, with minors in Statistics and International Studies. In the fall, he will join the M.A. Program in International Affairs at Texas A&M University. Congratulations, Kevin, for these well-deserved honors and all the best for the future!

Congratulations to Janani Ravi (B.A. International Studies and English 2014 with a Minor German)! Janani was awarded with a prestigious Fulbright grant in 2015. She  will serve as an English teaching assistant in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen state of Germany from 2015 to 2016. For more information on the program, please go to Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program

DAAD Young Ambassador: Samantha Vasquez is among the 30 undergraduates in North America selected for the honor of being a DAAD Young Ambassador for 2015-16. The main responsibility of a DAAD Young Ambassador is to promote study in Germany at their home universities and colleges and inspire their fellow students to study in Germany. Throughout the academic year, you will see Samantha at various campus events offering informational materials and personal advice to students interested in study abroad in Germany. Samantha is the fourth VT German student to participate in this prestigious program.  We in German are very proud of her accomplishments.  More information can be found here: German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Young Ambassadors