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Sommerakademie © Geza Schenk

Goethe-Institut Summer Academy

German teachers in the US shape the image of Germany in the US and facilitate the transatlantic dialogue between the US and Germany. Unfortunately, the number of German programs at all levels is currently decreasing, in large part due to the lack of qualified German teachers. In order to address this critical teacher shortage, the project Goethe-Institut Summer Academy: Global Teaching and Learning will recruit 75 students between 2023 and 2025 who are interested in becoming German teachers. The project will offer comprehensive professional development in order to facilitate the transition from German student to German teacher.

Want to know what the 2023 and 2024 cohorts did and saw in Germany? Click here for tour recaps!

The Summer Academy has been developed for students who study German and who are planning to join the teaching profession. Participants will travel to Germany in the summer, where they will spend time with a group of 25 students from across the US and participate in a multifaceted program – auf Deutsch! Participants can expect to spend the days in Germany exploring, engaging in facilitated conversations and site visits, and benefiting from professional development opportunities. A team from the Goethe-Institut from both sides of the Atlantic will foster and encourage this transatlantic exchange.

In August 2023, the Summer Academy was held in Bremen, where participants spent 11 days exploring the area, engaging in lively conversations about sustainability and migration, and preparing materials to integrate these topics into the German classroom at US schools and universities. In June 2024, the Summer Academy took take place in Dresden. 

The project includes the following components:

  • German courses and training in the teaching of German
  • Participation in the Summer Academy: Global Teaching and Learning in Germany
  • Virtual workshops to create a network of future leaders in the German teaching profession to facilitate the dialog between Germany and the US in innovative and sustainable ways.

Participants can expect to:
  • experience contemporary Germany
  • meet students and teachers in Germany
  • learn more about key issues in Germany through the lens of the 17 UN Sustainability Goals and how these issues shape content-based language learning and teaching.

Who can apply?
  • Students at all levels (undergraduate and graduate) enrolled at universities and colleges in the US who study German and plan to become German teachers
  • Student teachers and recent graduates who are looking for a teaching position or who are in their first two years of service
  • Students who have studied German for at least year or who have reached at least A2 proficiency level
  • Students have to be at least 18 years old
  • Preference given to students who have clearly indicated interest in pursuing teacher training

The project is supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany, funded by the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Goethe-Institut. The program covers the following costs:
  • A stipend to help defray the cost of travel from the US to Germany
  • Lodging in Dresden during the time of the program
  • Most meals
  • Program fees
  • Health insurance for the duration of the program

Applicants are expected to cover costs of up to approximately $500 including airfare and ground transportation to Germany, some meal costs, and personal spending. Applicants are welcome to explore additional funding options through their universities.
Participants will be responsible for their own airline baggage fees when incurred; ground transportation to the departure airport and from the arrival airport in Germany to Dresden; incidental hotel costs, including but not limited to long-distance telephone service, laundry service, mini bar, etc.; and any passport/visa renewal fees that may be required for the participant to travel to Germany.

Summer Academy 2023-2024

Want to see what the 2023 and 2024 Summer Academy cohorts experienced in Germany? Read a summary of their experiences on our review page and click through the photo galleries. 

Application Details

Application Materials

  1. Application form with participant information (see link above)
  2. Letter of application (you will upload a file in the application form)
  3. Transcript (unofficial transcript is fine-you will upload a file in the form)
  4. Contact information from a professor to provide reference
Please prepare a statement of purpose, addressing the questions below (1000-word limit, in German or English). You will upload this document when submitting the application form.
  • What is your motivation for applying to participate in the GI Sommerakademie Globales Lehren und Lernen?
  • Which aspects of contemporary Germany would you like to learn about?
  • Which strategies will you use to advance your German?
  • Some of the best learning opportunities will result from dialogue with each other. Tell us how your participation will enhance the diversity of ideas, experiences, and backgrounds within the Sommerakademie.
  • How will you share your experience with your (future) students, colleagues, and/or community? 


Do you have questions? Contact the Summer Academy Team at us-summeracademy@goethe.de.

Project lead: Dr. Susanne Rinner
c/o Goethe-Institut Washington
1377 R Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009

Bundesministerium Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz © Bundesministerium Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz