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DSaP Philosophy


The Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, now in its 60th year, is a German summer school that is recognized as one of the nation's premier immersion program for German Studies. The Sommerschule is open to students of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. The only prerequisite is two years of college-level German (or its equivalent) and an interest in German language and culture. Students learn German by living it, promising to speak only German both inside and outside of class for the duration of the Sommerschule. Students and faculty live and learn together on the idyllic campus of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

The goals of the five-week program are to help students improve their language proficiency in German at an accelerated rate and knowledge of German culture, as they pursue a rigorous German Studies program. The Deutsche Sommerschule accomplishes these goals through a careful balance of coursework and other activities that are finely tuned to give students a rich environment in which to learn German.

Studies comparing short-term study abroad programs of similar duration have demonstrated that participation in immersion programs consistently results in better language gains than study abroad. This is in large part due to the German-only requirement and the seasoned native-speaker faculty.

The Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik includes:

  • A five-week program - offering students a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate courses in German language, literature, culture, history, politics, performing arts, and current events. The curriculum ranges from third-year German to advanced seminars for graduate students. The immersion setting of the Sommerschule allows students to make extraordinary progress, often advancing an entire level during their five-week stay. (June 28 - August 3)
  • A one-week Teacher Training Seminar - open to all German teachers seeking advanced credits, increased oral proficiency, and practical methods for the classroom. (July 26 - August 3)
  • The Deutsche Sommerschule also offers a variety of extracurricular activities: music, sports, and excursions to Oregon's stunning Cascade Mountains and rugged coast. Visiting German writers, artists, and scholars complement the program with lectures and presentations. The Sommerschule offers a unique opportunity - combining stimulating intellectual and academic pursuits in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere of camaraderie.