Education Internship And Seminar

You are here

Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 

Varies according to demands of the internship


The objective of this course is to prepare American students for an internship in Germany. This is achieved by describing the broader context in which a student will operate before examining in more detail the sphere of personal, direct interaction in the working world. Starting briefly with general facts about Germany (geography, demography, etc), the German system of government and the social system is explained next. Moving into the economic area, the German Social Market Economy is analyzed in view of how it forms and affects the structure of business and industry in Germany. Finally, by taking a closer look at German society and culture, this course investigates the cultural issues that inevitably surround working within a foreign environment. Theories of cultural understanding and, in particular, central German cultural standards will be analyzed. Internship placements in the past have included the local offices of the three major parties: the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and die Grünen/Bündnis 90; Kepler Gymansium, Galli Theater, and the Eltern Initiative for Social Science and Pedagogy.

Learning outcomes: 

At the end of the course, students should not only have acquired intercultural competence skills, but should also be able to relate their 'real world' internship experience to this theoretical background.

Method of presentation: 

Tutorial and internship. Tutorial: lecture, discussion, presentation by students

Required work and form of assessment: 

Students are required to work 1.5 full days or three half days per week for the internship institution for a period of ten weeks; four-hour tutorial at the beginning of the internship plus bi-weekly two-hour tutorial during the internship; written weekly journal entries plus a ten-page written final report analyzing the internship institution and the student’s work experience; completion of required readings. The final grade is based 50% on internship performance and 50% on seminar participation and written work. Required work for tutorial: oral presentations, class participation. Term paper (30%), Oral presentation (20%), Mid-term exam (25%), Final exam (25%)


1. The German System of Government
2. The German Economic System and Economic Policy
3. Society and Culture in Germany: Understanding Cultural Diversity
4. Society and Culture in Germany: Business Organisation and Management
5. Society and Culture in Germany: Individual Interaction

Required readings: 

Auswärtiges Amt. Tatsachen über Deutschland. URL:

Gibson, Robert. Intercultural Business Communication. Berlin: Cornelson & Oxford University Press, 2000

Lewis, Richard D.. When Cultures Collide. Managing Successfully across Cultures. London: Nicholas Brealey
Publishing Ltd, 2003

Mole, John. Mind your Manners. Managing Business Cultures in Europe. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
Ltd, 1995

Schierenbeck, Henner. Grundzüge der Betriebswirtschaftslehre, München: Odlenbourg Verlag GmbH, 1989

Sontheimer, Kurt & Bleek, Wilhelm. Grundzüge des politischen Systems der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Munich: Piper Verlag GmbH, 1998

Schroll-Machi, Sylvia. Doing Business with the Germans. Their Perception. our Perception. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003

Stern, Susan. These Strange German Ways. Atlantik-Brucke e. V., 2000

In addition, current newspaper and magazine articles will be given out during class.