Deutsche Sommerschule

The regular program of the summer 2020 Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Currently, we have scheduled two courses to be taught online from June 22-July 19, 2020. We also have a teacher-training seminar, to be taught online from June 22-July 3. Stay tuned for more information about our lecture series.

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The Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, located in Portland, Oregon, is a German summer school offered through Portland State University. It is one of the nation's premier German immersion programs and offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, a German MA program, and a one-week German teacher training seminar. We encourage you to explore this unique opportunity to learn German in a relaxed and enjoyable immersion setting!

2020 Remote Program — 8 credits
June 22 – July 19

Two-week Remote Teacher Training — 2 credits
June 22 - July 3

Summerschule Logo


Contact: Dr. Carrie Collenberg-Gonzalez,


The Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, now in its 62nd 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:

  • 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 24 - July 30)
  • One-week Teacher Training Seminar: Open to all German teachers seeking advanced credits, increased oral proficiency, and practical methods for the classroom. (July 22 - July 30)
  • 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.

Teacher Training

Courses are open to students of all ages and from all institutions.

Ger 408/508 Das virtuelle Klassenzimmer (The Hybrid, Online, and Virtual German Classroom)

June 22-July 3, MTWR from 9:15-11:35am (Pacific Time)

Taught in German by Susanne Rinner, Western Washington University and Program Director of SPARK for German

This workshop prepares teachers to create engaging, challenging, and safe learning spaces for students of German, whether these spaces are in brick-and-mortar buildings, online, or virtual classrooms. Framed by ACTFL guidelines and standards, participants explore how to create engaging, authentic, and age-appropriate tasks and activities for technology-based learning and teaching spaces. Guest speakers share their expertise and experience with teaching in online, hybrid and virtual classrooms. Participants have ample opportunity to collaborate and redesign existing materials and develop new materials in order to prepare their classes and courses for the fall. The course is intended for German instructors at all levels who are either new to teaching virtually/online or who would like to enhance their skills. 

Scholarships available through the Goethe-Institut and SPARK.

2-credit Course Cost = $359 (Graduate credits are also available.)

Contact Professor Carrie Collenberg-González with any questions at

See below for registration details.

2020 Courses

Course Fees

  • $718 Undergraduate tuition (4 credits)
  • $1736 Graduate tuition (4 credits)     


If you are a regularly registered Portland State University student or have attended previous sessions of the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik, go to to register. You will need:

  • Your PSU ID number
  • The course registration number (CRN): 81705      

Non-PSU Students: If you are not a student at Portland State University, you must apply to Portland State University as a Non-Degree Applicant then follow the instructions above.

Students will receive their summer tuition bill via their PSU email account on June 16. Tuition is payable at under the Student Finances tab. Review PSU's Academic Calendar for add/drop/financial deadlines.

Contact Professor Collenberg-González with any questions at

GER 407/507 Filmseminar: Babylon Berlin

The award-winning and critically acclaimed German television series Babylon Berlin has become one of the most popular non-English shows on Netflix. Its sumptuous style, historical accuracy, and compelling story provide an excellent opportunity for students of German to learn about the Weimar Republic and German film history while improving their language skills. In this course, students will have the opportunity to watch all three seasons of Babylon Berlin at watch parties that allow for guided chats followed by synchronous online discussions. Regular reading assignments and vocabulary will prepare students to watch the episode, discuss the content, and analyze its cultural and film historical context together. All discussions and readings will be in German. Students must have a Netflix subscription, access to a computer (or mobile device) and the Internet, and be at a B1 proficiency level or above. Please email Professor Carrie Collenberg-González with any questions:

Course Meeting Time: June 22 - July 19th on MTWR from 9:15 am to 11:35 am.

Taught by: Carrie Collenberg-González, Ph.D.

CRN: Undergraduates: CRN 81608, Graduates: CRN 81609

GER 410 Reading the Grammar of Poetry: From the Weimar Republic to Babylon Berlin

B1-B2-level German students face distinct challenges in the transition from acquiring conversational proficiency to decoding German song lyrics and poetry. In this language course, students will refine their understanding of German through the targeted analysis of how grammar and syntax create the form and content of poetry, leading to discussions of important works of poetry by major literary and musical artists of the actual Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and its fictional representation in the German television series Babylon Berlin. Readings will cover poetry from Early Modernism to Expressionism to New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), including the works of Stefan George (1868-1933), Else Lasker-Schüler (1869-1945), Lion Feuchtwanger (1884-1958), Gottfried Benn (1886-1956), Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935), Franz Werfel (1890-1945), Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956), and Erich Kästner (1899-1974), with a parallel emphasis on the lyrics of one significant opera libretto—Oskar Kokoschka’s “Murderer, Hope of Women” (1919; music by Paul Hindemith), and musical films such as The Blue Angel (1930; lyrics by Robert Liebmann), Bertolt Brecht’s The Three-Penny Opera (1931; music by Kurt Weill), and Henk Handloegden’s Babylon Berlin (2017-2020). The course will also feature Weimar singalongs and musical performances.

The course is intended to complement the parallel PSU film course Babylon Berlin.

All discussions and readings will be in German. Students must have access to a computer (or mobile device) and the Internet, and be at a B1 proficiency level or above. This upper-division undergraduate content course meets from June 22 - July 19th on MTWR from 13:00-15:20. Please email Professor Jeffrey L. High with any questions:

Course Meeting Time: June 22 - July 19th on MTWR from 9:15 am to 11:35 am.

Taught by: Jeffrey L. High, Ph.D.

CRN: Undergraduate: 81699

Study Abroad in Germany or Austria

Study abroad programs offer rich, cultural experiences students will remember and appreciate for the rest of their lives. The IE3 Global Programs Office at Oregon State University in Corvallis sponsors and administers an academic exchange system in conjunction with member institutions.

Germany’s Schwabenland is as picturesque as travel posters boast: heavily forested mountains capped by castles, towns with narrow streets and gabled rooftops, and valleys cut by the Neckar River and its tributaries.

The program offers two options for study in Baden-Württemberg:

  1. you may study German language for one term on the Spring Language Intensive program at the University of Tübingen; or
  2. you may take German language courses as well as regular university courses in almost any field of study at one of thirteen different German universities for a full academic year or semester.

The IE3Global Germany program in Baden-Württemberg has been in existence for over 45 years. Join the over 1,300 Oregon students who have come to call this part of Germany their second home.

For more information, visit Baden-Württemberg Exchange Program


The alumni pictures above, from the 1960 and 1967 Sommerschule sessions, were made available by PSU's University Archives.

Bleiben Sie in der Familie! 
For over sixty years, the Deutsche Sommerschule am Pazifik has imparted the gifts of German language and culture to over 2,000 students in a setting of total language immersion. If you are one of those 2,000 alumni, we would love to hear from you. Please let us know your name, address, and the year(s) you attended, and we will send you notification of all events planned for the 2020 session of the Sommerschule.

We appreciate donations of any amount. Donations are used to fund scholarships to deserving Sommerschule students. Make checks payable to the PSU Foundation and mail to:

Carrie Collenberg-Gonzalez
Portland State University
World Languages and Literature
P.O. Box 751Portland, OR 97207-0751


To see a tape of the final production of the Theater Workshop 2012, go to: Alltagsmasken 

To read more about life at the Sommerschule, go to: