German Summer Language Institutes

Image of Historic building in Germany known as Schloss Neuschwanstein

We offer two summer programs in Germany that are directed by faculty in the department: the summer language institutes (SLI) in Eutin and Holzkirchen. Combining language instruction with cultural excursions and one-of-a-kind encounters, these programs are ideal for our German majors/minors and students looking to maximize their study-abroad experience with one of the best-value options available at KU. Students earn KU credit while living with host families, participating in local traditions, and traveling to diverse sites and cities. Thanks to the generous contribution of KU alum Carl Krehbiel all SLI participants receive financial support of up to $4000 through the Krehbiel German Summer Language Institute Scholarship. Additional financial support is available for German majors and minors.

Students in both programs complete 6-9 credits of coursework from our undergraduate German curriculum: in Eutin at the 200 level and in Holzkirchen at the 300 and 400 level.

Summer Language Institutes

SLI Eutin (Intermediate-Level)

Where: Situated midway between Kiel and Lübeck in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, Eutin is a picturesque town with beautiful natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and special ties to KU and its sister city of Lawrence. With a population of 17,000, Eutin provides our students with a safe and well-rounded environment which is easily navigable by foot, bike, or bus, while still offering numerous cultural, historical, and entertainment venues. Each summer, the town’s open-air stage hosts both a Blues fest as well as an opera festival that includes students from KU’s School of Music. The lakes and forests surrounding Eutin are home to many outdoor activities such as boating, canoeing, swimming, and hiking. Within the city itself, students will find many stores, markets, and sports facilities, in addition to the Eutin Castle and gardens.

Official Website of Eutin

Who: Open to students from any accredited U.S. college or university who have completed two (2) semesters of college-level German or the equivalent. Minimum 2.5 GPA required.

What: Since its founding over fifty years ago, the Summer Language Institute in Eutin has been welcoming students of German into Lawrence’s sister city to experience life in Germany from an insider’s perspective. For six weeks students immerse themselves in the language and culture by living with host families in Eutin while receiving KU credit for classes taught on-site by KU faculty. What is learned in the classroom is experienced first-hand as students participate in cultural activities, attend social events, and explore the highlights of Northern Germany through multiple excursions including Hamburg, Kiel, Lübeck, and the Baltic Sea. Helping to organize the program’s activities and excursions are the Friends of Lawrence in Eutin, who also welcome with a reception at city hall and a boat ride in one of the many surrounding lakes.  Overnight excursions to Berlin and the Rhine River valley are also included.

Coursework: You will enroll in two 3-credit hour classes (GERM 201 and GERM 202) for a total of 6 KU credits. GERM 201 and GERM 202 are the third and fourth courses in the sequence of KU German courses aimed at developing your knowledge of German language and culture and enhancing your speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills.

Faculty Director:Ljudmila Bilkić ( language coordinator and assistant professor of teaching in the KU German Studies department.  She spent several years living in Berlin and is excited to travel with students to Germany as she leads the Eutin program for the first time.

SLI Holzkirchen (Advanced-Level)

Where: Holzkirchen is located in the pre-Alpine plain about 20 miles south of Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Officially designated a Marktgemeinde (market community), the community of nearly 16,000 inhabitants is comprised of the town of Holzkirchen together with thirty-five villages and 200 farmsteads near the town. Commuter trains provide rapid transportation throughout the metropolitan area and access to the many cultural offerings of Munich as well as the nearby Bavarian Alps, whose foothills begin immediately to the south of town. In fact, one can see the higher mountains along the Austrian border in the distance. There are numerous opportunities for recreational activities in the mountains and lakes of the Bavarian Alps and nearby Austria. Salzburg, Austria, is on a direct rail line from Holzkirchen.

Official website of Holzkirchen

Who: Open to students from any accredited U.S. college or university who have completed four (4) semesters of college-level German or the equivalent. Minimum 2.50 GPA and strong record of performance in German courses required.

What: Also founded over fifty years ago, the Summer Language Institute in Holzkirchen offers students the opportunity to study German language and culture in a small Bavarian town south of Munich. The program begins with multi-day overnight stays in Berlin and Cologne while enjoying side trips to Potsdam, Bonn, and the Ahr valley. Following the travel portion, students immerse themselves in the local culture of Holzkirchen by studying German at the Volkshochschule (adult education center) and living with German host families as made possible by the Friends of the University of Kansas in Holzkirchen. The Friends also organize a program of social and cultural events, including visits to the local Folklore Club, the Sharpshooters’ Club, an overnight in an Alpine cabin with mountain hiking, an orientation scavenger hunt to the town of Holzkirchen as well as a welcome and farewell event for all students and host families. The stay in Holzkirchen is enhanced with weekly excursions to nearby sites such as the three castles of King Ludwig II, Chiemsee, and Berchtesgaden. The group also visits Munich on several occasions, with one tour focusing on the student protests during the Nazi dictatorship.

Coursework: Each student enrolls in three 3-credit hour courses for a total of 9 KU credits. All students take GERM 350 plus two additional courses based on preparation. Course instruction is provided by the KU faculty advisor and faculty of the Volkshochschule with training in Deutsch als Fremdsprache and German studies.

  • Students currently completing their fourth semester of college German (GERM 202) should enroll in GERM 333, GERM 334, and GERM 350.
  • More advanced students (two or more courses beyond fourth-semester college German) should enroll in GERM 350, GERM 375, and GERM 400.

Faculty Advisor:Andrea Meyertholen ( is Assistant Professor of German at KU. She has lived abroad in Würzburg and Berlin, interned in Munich, traveled extensively throughout German-speaking Europe, and has served as director of study abroad programs in Krefeld and Eutin, Germany and in Graz, Austria. She is excited to travel with students to Holzkirchen and share with them why Munich and Bavaria are (in her humble opinion) the best places to be!

Get in Touch!

Andrea Meyertholen
  • Associate Professor
  • German and European visual culture and literature since 1700 | Intermedial encounters of literature and art | Representation and narrative in museums, monuments, and tourist spaces | Discourses of body, gender, and fashion from Romanticism