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New Dartmouth Foreign Study Program Combines German and Engineering

Jan 28, 2021   |   by Julie Bonette

Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering and Department of German Studies have partnered together to offer undergraduates a new multidisciplinary foreign study program (FSP) in Berlin, Germany, launching in Spring of 2022.

Applications are now being accepted for "Green City: Sustainable Engineering in Berlin," the first joint study-abroad program at Dartmouth between German and engineering sciences.

Berlin Skyline
Aerial view of Berlin skyline with the TV tower and Spree river in Germany. Photo by bluejayphoto.

Participating students will combine coursework in sustainable engineering, taught in English, with fast-track German language and culture studies, and can choose to put more emphasis on either engineering or German by selecting three of four offered courses. Either way, students will be lodged in homestays with local German families in order to experience full language immersion.

"Our program takes interdisciplinary learning to a new level, as it gives students the opportunity to explore a central engineering concept through the medium of the German language and culture," said Petra McGillen, Associate Professor of German Studies. "We'll be in a setting where sustainability is a lived practice, not a chapter in a textbook, and I look forward to seeing engineering and language learning come together in this setting in meaningful and exciting ways."

The FSP was co-designed and will be co-led by McGillen and Professor of Engineering Petra Bonfert-Taylor.

"Anyone who cares about the environment will get something out of the engineering courses," said Bonfert-Taylor. "We're going to specifically study Berlin as a green city and their sustainability practices, which are so far ahead of what we do in the United States. Berlin is a bustling, amazing city where people are much more conscientious of their environment."

The professors credit Mary Tobin '20 Th'20 for driving early interest for the program, including conducting a student need-finding survey.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021. Students are encouraged to learn more, review the prerequisites, and apply through the Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education.

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