ModuleCourse (Taught in English)
Culture & SocietyWas ist Deutschland? German Culture in an Intercultural Context
SustainabilityMigration, Development, and Sustainability
Intercultural CompetenceIntercultural Competence

You can set your priority either for the module "German Culture & Society", "Intercultural Competence" or "Sustainability". The courses  take place at the same time!  You have to choose one course.

Each module is automatically complemented by the German Language Course. Here you can find a detailed programme overview for theIWU: 2024.

Culture and Society - Was ist Deutschland?

Cynthia Chalupa
Associate Professor of German
Director, Basic German Language Program
Department of World Languages, Literatures, & Linguistics
West Virginia University

Language of instruction

Detailed syllabus

Course Description and Objectives

This seminar is designed to introduce students at all levels of German proficiency to German history and culture (1871- present) and to the concepts of intercultural communication and competence. The course is built around questions of German identity as they are addressed in historical and contemporary contexts. Students will examine issues of prejudice, stereotypes, and the challenges of intercultural communication and work creatively through discussions about art, literature, culture, and politics. Students will also examine culture firsthand through academic excursions locally, regionally, and in Berlin.

Students will read texts in translation that explore the meaning of German identity and the history of Germany as a nation. The content of the course is designed to examine the question "Was ist Deutschland?" Through readings and written assignments, students will attempt to formulate an answer that has both public and personal relevance. Class time will be devoted primarily to the discussion of reading assignments to which students will respond individually, in small groups, and together as a class. In order to maximize work on reading comprehension, all readings should be done outside of class prior to the session during which they are discussed. Assignments will include readings and discussion questions, web research, and a culminating oral presentation. Most homework assignments and work outside of class will take the form of written responses.

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • engage in complex conversations about the question of German identity since the establishment of Germany as a nation;
  • understand and interpret complex written language on a variety of topics by analyzing, summarizing, and discussing authentic texts;
  • present information, concepts, and ideas by participating in group discussions and debates, conducting interviews, and presenting information in a formal format;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the perspectives of Germany by identifying and describing important aspects and challenges of Germany and the German experience;
  • reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines and gain insights into German-speaking culture by reading and interpreting authentic texts and examining other cultural products (films, songs, art, media, etc.);
  • demonstrate an understanding of German-speaking culture by comparing it with their native cultures through the analysis and summarization of authentic texts, films, and cultural practices.

Course Material

Reading texts as well as PowerPoint slides and other materials will be available on the course Moodle site. Always check the Moodle site for homework assignments.



Dr. Sascha Krannich
Elvis Ngandwe

Detailed syllabus

Migration, Development, and Sustainability

Dr. Sascha Krannich (Gießen University, Germany) and Elvis Ngandwe (Tanzania) offer a course on the topics of migration, development, and sustainability. Seminar participants will get an introduction into basic terms, theories, and empirical findings in the frame of the interconnections of migration, devel-opment, and sustainability. Here, we will discuss and analyze current trends of global migration, trans-national forms of migrant activities as well as central indicators of human development and its sustain-ability in countries of origin, and how these movements fit into the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For this purpose, we will look at different international actors above and below the state level. These include international organizations and institutions (IOM, ILO, UNHCR etc.) as well as economic and civic actors, such as migrant organizations. The course also includes a three-day simulation game from the field of international development cooperation, and several field trips to relevant institutions and cities in Germany, including Berlin and Weimar.

If you already want to inform yourself about relevant issues of the course, feel free to have a look at these links:


Intercultural Competence

Collette Wanjugu Döppner

Detailed syllabus

Course description & objectives:
At the end of the course the students will be able to talk about and critically discuss topics like:

  • What is culture? Your Culture and the German Culture then and now
  • What is intercultural communication and competence and why do we need it?
  • Look at the main concepts of culture, stereotypes, prejudices, values. Stereotypes of own country and also Germany will be discussed
  • Cultural dimensions and differences - focus on German and participants’ cultures. E.g. Direct and indirect (high and low context) communication and how it influences our environment and the people we interact with.
  • Our cultural values and how they influence us and those we interact with
  • International/global business etiquette
  • Business and social customs
  • Work in a team with team members from different cultures
  • Promote and regard cultural diversity as an opportunity

Course material:
Course reader comprised of a variety of authentic texts, works of art, literary selections, and homework assignments.

  • Gumperz, John (1982): Discourse Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hinnenkamp, Volker (1989): Interaktionale Soziolinguistik und Interkulturelle Kommunikation. Gesprächsmanagement zwischen Deutschen und Türken. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Holliday Adrian/ Hyde Martin/ Kullman John (2006): Intercultural Communication- An advanced Resource book. New York: Routledge
  • Nakayama Thomas K./Halualani Rona Tamiko (2013): The Handbook of Critical intercultural Communication. West Sussex: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
  • Kumbier Dagmar/Schulz von Thun Friedmann( 2013): Interkulturelle Kommunikation: Methoden, Modelle, Beispiele. 2006 Reinbek bei Hamburg:Rowohlt.
  • Scollon, Ronald. (2012): Intercultural communication : a discourse approach- 3. ed. - Malden [u.a.] : Wiley-Blackwell
  • Hofstede, Geert(2010): Cultures and organizations : software of the mind ; intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival . - Rev. and exp. 3. ed. - New York [u.a.] : McGraw-Hill
  • Storti,Craig (1994):Cross-Cultural Dialogues- 74 brief encounters with cultural difference. Intercultural Press, Inc.
  • Harzig. C and Hoerder.D with Gabaccia D.(2009):What is Migration History?.Polity Press, Cambridge and Malden
  • Chaney H. Chaney/Marin Jeanette S.(2004): Intercultural Business Communication. Pearson Education,Inc. Upper Saddle River,New Jersey 07456

The second part of the programme are the German language courses, offered on different levels.

German Language Courses

Learn German! German is a fascinating language and enables you to talk to people in Germany and Austria as well as in parts of Switzerland, Italy, France and Belgium. There are also many people in Eastern Europe who are speaking German as a foreign language.

German language courses accompany the seminar programme. IWU Fulda offers German language courses on five levels according to the Common European Frame of Reference (CEFR):

Basic Level 1 (A1 CEFR)Beginners with no knowledge of German
Basic Level 2 (A2 CEFR)Students with little knowledge of German
Intermediate Level 1 (B1 CEFR)Students with a basic knowledge of German
Intermediate Level 2 (B2 CEFR)Students with a good basic knowledge of German
Advanced Level (C1 CEFR)Students who can speak and write German fluently

The programme fee covers one language course at your level including all course materials.

In order to allocate you to the right course, there will be an assessment test at the beginning of our programme which all participants should take. This will help us to find the right level for you. You can be certain that you will be placed in a course which is neither too difficult nor too easy for you.

The duration of the language course is three weeks. You will be taught by highly qualified instructors of German as a foreign language who will pay special attention to your personal learning needs and interests.
We reserve the right to adjust German course levels according to the numbers and skills of participants.


Workshops meet once a week for approx. 2 hours. The course fee covers participation in up to four workshops of your choice. Some workshops require prior sign-up and the number of participants is limited.

Dance: Salsa
Beginner or advanced dancer – the fun factor is guaranteed!

Culture and Leisure
A diverse cultural programme with concert visits, festive events and movie nights rounds off the IWU program. The cultural program is to a large part included in the course fee. Enjoy!

Hike to the Kreuzberg
Kreuzberg is one of the most beautiful hills in the Rhön mountains. Get to know the beauty of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Rhön. Enjoy the short hike and the view!

Field Trips

On the weekends we invite you to learn more about German and European culture - past and present - while enjoying a day out with your friends. We will discover the German capital of Berlin.

Meals, except for breakfast at the hostels, are not included.

Some of the field trips are covered with the program, while others cost an extra fee.

Weimar (additional fee: 50€), January 13, 2024
Come visit with us the town where the poets Goethe and Schiller and the composers Bach and Liszt lived and worked. Weimar is the birth place of the architectural style “Bauhaus” as well as of the first German republic. The darkest years of German history, however, are also represented here: At the Memorial Site Buchenwald you will learn about the horrors of the National Socialist regime.

Würzburg (additional fee: 50€), January 12, 2024

Visit one of the most beautiful city of Bavaria! Enjoy and explore 18th century Residence Palace known for unique baroque and rococo architecture. 

Berlin (included in the programme fee), January 18-20, 2024
Visit the capital of Germany! Berlin is not only the political capital of Germany, but also the historical and cultural centre of Germany. We will have a city tour, see the famous remains of the Berlin wall, visit the German Bundestag (lower chamber) at the Reichstag building, the Holocaust Memorial… We will have plenty of time to go shopping or just enjoy day and night life in Berlin! Single rooms can be booked for an extra fee if reserved in advance.

Point Alpha (included in the programme fee), January 23, 2024
The Point Alpha Memorial is an authentic scene of the Cold War and a unique testimony to four decades of contemporary history.

Kreuzberg / Rhön mountains (included in the programme fee), January 25, 2024

Explore the beauty of Rhon Mountains, where you can experience tobogganing and have hiking tour in the mountains. 

Academic Director

Prof. Dr.

Uwe Hunger

Political Science with a Focus on Migration and Integration

Building P (22) , Room 118
Prof. Dr.Uwe Hunger+49 661 9640-476
Consultation hours
see moodle and on appointment by mail:

Programme Coordinator

Judith Tornier


International Summer University and International Winter University

Building 41 , Room 101a/b
Judith Tornier+49 661 9640-1740
Office hours
Monday - Friday
Programme Overview