Studying a language is always valuable. Knowledge of German society and culture and the ability to speak German can definitely boost your career prospects.
Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest economy in the world. Did you know that German companies and their subsidiaries provide around 90,000 Australians with jobs? You could be one of them!
German Studies provides you with generic skills that are useful in any work sphere (the ability to communicate, process and evaluate information, use technology, meet deadlines etc.). It also gives you the skills and understanding you need to have to be able to operate successfully in a German-speaking environment.
Our graduates find employment in many different spheres. Whether you chose to work as a teacher, a translator, in politics or law, in industry or business. German will increase the range of options available to you – it’s up to you to decide.
I took up a diploma of languages at the University of Adelaide in 2010 to complement my studies in engineering. Initially, I found it very rewarding as subject that used a very different part of the brain to engineering, and grew to love the language. It became the highlight of my week, attending a course with interesting and friendly people, learning to speak a foreign language.
In 2011/12 I was then lucky enough to participate in an international exchange program to Munich in the south of Germany, where I studied a mixture of German language and mechanical engineering. The Technical University of Munich is a fantastic uni for engineering studies, because of its close links with BMW, Siemens, and the European aerospace industry. A highlight was without a doubt Astronautics, taught by a former German astronaut! During this stay I made some great friends, with whom I spoke mostly German. We enjoyed riding bikes around Munich, relaxing in the public parks, and especially chatting to the locals in one of the many Munich beer halls. There’s nothing like a tasty German beer to help you lose your inhibition to speak a foreign language! Towards the end of my stay in Germany I had 6 weeks of work experience with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), for which my German language classes proved to be invaluable. My colleagues were very impressed that I was able to hold conversations with them over lunch.
After my undergraduate studies, I was keen to continue research at the university. I began a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, working on a project which involved collaboration with a university in Switzerland, ETH Zurich. As part of my research I spent 3 months in Zurich working in the lab with the Swiss researchers. Although the Swiss German was pretty tricky to understand, I still found my German language skills incredibly useful to take part in the lunch time conversations and everyday life in Zurich.
I have loved studying German during my time at the The University of Adelaide. Other than learning great language skills, I have made some wonderful lifelong friends through classes and various trips away. It has also enabled me to pursue research overseas and make some very important connections.