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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

Congratulations to our 2016 German Graduates!

Double honor for German graduating senior: Travis Whaley

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:  Travis Whaley.  Travis is graduating with two degrees and three majors:  a B.A. in German and a B.A. in Music with majors in Music Performance and Music Composition.  A University Honors student and member of Delta Phi Alpha, the German honor society, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, he was the recipient of the Calhoun Liberal Arts Scholarship, the Alumni Presidential Scholarship, and the James B. West Scholarship, among others.  Travis began his study of German at Virginia Tech and spent a summer in the FUBiS program developing his fluency.  He returned to Germany in the summers of 2014 and 2015 to conduct research at the Beethoven Archive in Bonn.  In the summer of 2014 he also traveled to Leipzig, where he was one of 45 pianists selected from 28 countries to participate in the International Bach Competition.  Since the spring of 2015 Travis has given two presentations at conferences about his research on Beethoven’s Waldstein sonata, and this semester he is completing two Honors theses – one in German and one in English – on the topic.  In the fall, Travis will begin his graduate studies in musicology at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he has been given full tuition remission plus a stipend each semester to teach.  Congratulations, Travis, on these well-deserved honors and all the best for the future!

German Honors Society Initiates 2016
On April 28,  the German Program initiated six students and one faculty member into Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society. Our chapter Eta Nu is proud to welcome the following undergraduate members Tess Diffenbaugh, Marissa Gillwald, Julia Norton, Dominik Takenaka, Samantha Vasquez, Charles Walsh-LeRoy, Katharina Wilson as well as Dr. Stefanie Hofer, who became an honorary member. Congratulations!
100th German Student
In May 2016, the Virginia Tech German Program reached a milestone: 100 registered German majors and minors. To celebrate this important step, we presented our 100th student, Rachel Maurhoff (major: Business -- Hospitality and Tourism Management, minor: German) with a gift at Maifest, our end of year celebration.



VT Berlin

    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.


VT German program on public radio and German Embassy website

    25 years German unity
Please listen to the WVTF/NPR interview Dr. Esther Bauer gave pertaining the 25th anniversary of German unity and write the article on the German Embassy website.

Congratulations Maddie Yaskowski

Madeline Yaskowski, a current freshman at Virginia Tech, is double majoring in German and Public Relations with a minor in Psychology.  She will be interning with KIT Studierendenwerk Karlsruhe during the summer of 2016, and will be working as an English language resource.  While in Germany, she will be living in a dorm with other students, and will be totally immersed in German culture.  She looks forward to improving her German and gaining work experience.

Congratulations to Tony Consiglio (majoring in Mechanical Engineering and German). 


He was accepted to the UAS7 internship program. The UAS7 internship program is an option for students interested in hands-on research opportunities at a German university and allows students to work alongside teams in research laboratories and institutes. Tony Consiglio will be working with a professor in the Energy Engineering department of Hochschule Bremen. His project focuses on increasing the efficiency of heat and power systems by harvesting waste heat from applications such as industrial, geothermal, and biomass fired power plants. 

DAAD Young Ambassador: Samantha Vasquez is among the 30 undergraduates in North America selected for the honor of being a DAAD Young Ambassador for 2016-17. 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