Language Learning opens doors. As the famous linguist and philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein would have it, "The boundaries of my language determine the boundaries of my world" [Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt].
Learning German can connect students with 120 million native speakers around the globe. As the official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein as well as Germany, the world's largest exporter, German is the language with the largest number of native speakers in the European Union. It is the native language of a significant portion of the population in northern Italy, eastern Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, eastern France, and parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia and Romania. It is the second-most commonly used scientific language and the most widely spoken language in Europe. Germany lies at the center of a European population of 300 million people, taking a decisive role in the political, economic, and educational dynamics of the continent.
Over the centuries, German art, literature, music, philosophy, religion and research in the sciences have profoundly influenced the cultural traditions of other countries. The political events of Germany's past frequently affected the entire world. The increasingly dominant role in international affairs and the global economic environment played by a unified Germany will be of critical importance to all of us. The study of German culture enables students to understand the spirit of Germany, to trace its roots in the past and to comprehend the crosscurrents in its thinking.