Dresden Summer Program

The Program  

Dresden, capital city of the state of Saxony, affectionately known as “Florence on the Elbe”, offers a myriad of opportunities for exploration - from its world-famous art collections to open air cinema and concerts on the river Elbe, from flea markets to opera, from the nightlife of the distinctly alternative Neustadt area to the baroque splendor of the Zwinger and Pillnitz Palace. Administered by GLL and Ohio State's Office of International Affairs (OIA), the Dresden Summer Language Program in Germany has taken place since 1995, which is to say, it started three years after Columbus and Dresden became sister-cities. Much has been achieved in the 25 years that the Program's has been running but there is no better indicator of its success than the number of participants who return to campus and continue their studies of German language and culture beyond the fulfillment of a language requirement and carry on for a minor or a major in German.

This eight-week, intensive language and culture course is offered at the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), providing up to 25 beginning and intermediate German language students with the opportunity to increase their language abilities, study the recent history of Dresden and Saxony in general, and experience contemporary German life and culture. In addition to classroom instruction offered by OSU German instructors and guest lecturers, students participate in weekly group field trips and have ample opportunity to explore on their own.

The program is open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students of all majors. Applicants must be in good academic standing and have at least a 'B' average in German classes taken prior to the program. Two levels of language instruction are offered in Dresden: Students who have completed German 1103 prior to departure are enrolled in German 2101, while those who have already completed 2101 are enrolled in 2102. All students are also enrolled in German 3352 (The Development of Contemporary Dresden), a Themes: Lived Environments GEN which also meets the Global Studies requirement. The class places special emphasis on Dresden and is taught in English by the faculty member. Additionally, all students are enrolled in three credits of German 5797, Study at a Foreign Institution, the requirements for which include writing two weekly blog entries in German. Thus all students who successfully complete the program return home with nine hours of OSU credit, all of which count towards a major or minor. But they also return with much more...

Office of Global Education Program Page

You will find descriptions of past summers on these student-produced blogs: 

The 2023 Blog!

Dresden Study Abroad University

The 2019 Blog
The 2018 Blog
The 2017 Blog
The 2016 Blog!
The 2015 Blog
The 2014 Blog!

Description of the Dresden Summer Language Program

Sadly, the program had to be cancelled in 2020, 2021 and 2022 owing to the Covid crisis, but we are back up and running in 2023. Given all that has happened in the last two years, the Program may look a little different in 2023, but should still be substantially the same as it was in 2019, the last time that it could take place before Covid-related bans on international travel and variant waves.

Living in dorms located very close to the university, our students come into immediate contact with students from the TU and, thanks to the efforts of the staff of the International Office there, one of the first events organized for the group is a meet and greet with “conversation partners” from among the TU’s student body. Lasting friendships have ensued and we have even seen some of these volunteers come visit us in Columbus and some of our own students return to Dresden to catch up.

Classroom instruction takes place four days a week with Thursdays reserved for field trips, an integral part of the 2352 class. Two trips include overnight stays: we spend two days in Weimar, the second of which includes a visit to Buchenwald concentration camp, and four action-packed days in Berlin. Closer to home, we also visit the medieval town of Meissen, just along the Elbe from Dresden, and then we follow that up a week later by going to the walled city of Freiberg, a trip which includes a visit to a silver mine. We ride a steam train to the baroque hunting palace in Moritzburg, and the week after that take in the largest fortification in Europe in Königstein, in the heart of the spectacular countryside known as Saxon Switzerland, which we reach by steamer along the Elbe. Our final trip is to the fascinating town of Görlitz/Zgorzelec, which straddles the German-Polish border and gives us opportunity to see, (if only for a couple of hours!), another country.

The program is well positioned to bounce back after the upheavals of the last three years, not least because of the support of the Max Kade Foundation, which has provided generous financial assistance to students for every year that the Program has been operating. There are also numerous grants and stipends available to students participating in the Program, information about which is made available at the orientation sessions which we hold during fall semester. The application deadline for the Program is February 1.

Dr. Andy Spencer
Resident Director 1998 - 2017, 2019, 2023

Program Coordinator
Michael Volk
Office of International Affairs


Some links that may be of interest to you if you wish to study in Dresden this summer!