Bonn Mayor Reinhard Limbach welcomed participants in the university’s summer courses at the Old Town Hall on Monday: 85 students from 32 nations.
Bonn’s international profile as a United Nations city, as the former capital of Germany, as a city with a more than 2000 year history, as Beethoven’s birthplace and above all as a city with one of Germany’s major universities are cited by many of the 85 students from 32 nations as the reason for their participation in Bonn University’s international summer course in the German language and cultural studies.
On Monday they were welcomed at the Old Town Hall by Mayor Reinhard Limbach. During the around three and a half weeks to 31 August that most of the students, mainly aged between 20 and 30, will spend in Bonn, mornings are reserved for learning German at different language levels, while in the afternoon there are many optional modules to choose from. Students can choose from theatre courses, seminars on the political system in Germany, writers and thinkers to excursions to museums and research institutes, depending on what best suits their interests or their field of study.
“Bonn University has organised a summer course in the German language, literature and cultural studies since 1947,” Limbach told the participants in the course gathered in the Gobelin room of the Old Town Hall. The aim 71 years ago was to use the event to re-integrate Germany into the international community.
Network at an international level
The high number of participants today is an indication of the good academic and cultural reputation that the federal city of Bonn enjoys worldwide, Limbach said. The International Office of Bonn University, which organises the summer courses, sees its function as the creation and maintenance of networks at a European and international level as well as linking Bonn University with European and international players. The many short statements from the participants show that it is succeeding in doing so.
Yuta Ishihan (21) from Tokyo is in Germany for the second time. After visiting Erfurt a year ago, he applied for a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to participate in the summer course in Bonn. As a law student, it is particularly important for him to learn about Germany since Japanese criminal law is based on the German system.
Sirengül Ayan (23), who is studying German in Antalya, Turkey, is also enjoying her stay in Bonn because “everything is really nice and not so expensive for students.” Alice Horowicz (20) is struck by “how colourful and friendly” everything is in Bonn compared to Geneva, Switzerland. The German and history student is in her mother’s birthplace for the first time and is surprised how international Bonn is.
(Original text: Stefan Hermes / Translation: kc)