Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Contrary to general opinion, German is not more difficult to learn than other languages. When you learn German, you not only learn the language of Goethe, Nietzsche, Kafka, Kant, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Freud and Einstein but you will also be able to understand Nena’s songs and Claudia Schiffer’s or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s musings. Learning German provides deeper insights into a region that plays a vital role in central Europe's intellectual and economic life and its cultural history. German is a key language in the European Union and in the rapidly growing markets of Central and Eastern Europe. Germany is America’s largest European trading partner with more than 750 major American firms doing business in Germany and 1100 German companies doing business in the US. At NIU we offer courses to give students a choice from the full range of topics in German studies, from language studies and Business German to linguistics, cultural studies, politics and film. Students are strongly encouraged either to combine their major with a major or minor in other fields or to pursue teacher certification. Most majors opt to study abroad for a summer, a semester or even a year. The department offers competitive scholarships to support study abroad. To help students with their language studies at home, the department offers a residential immersion program, the Foreign Language Residence Program (FLRP). In this program, students have a chance to improve their German speaking skills on a daily basis while living in an international atmosphere.