Europe is a big word and an even bigger concept. Europe is a shape on the map, a place, and an idea. Europe is an experience waiting to be discovered. The new joint master’s program in ‘Transnational German Studies’ offers students a journey through Europe’s cultural and literary history, in which the development of Europe – from its past through to its present and on to its future – can be experienced.
Experiencing and Understanding Europe
“Transnational German Studies” is a course for those keen to understand Europe anew – as an idea, the past of which can be explored; for those with interest in literary studies and cultural history who would like to trace the lines connecting the humanities in the European community; a course for those who want to broaden their horizons. The Transnational German Studies’ study trajectory, which connects four European universities, the intellectual history of Europe is explored in both theoretical and concrete ways. A small group of international students will, by following the common thread of German Studies back from its common European roots in the Middle Ages to the present day, have new academic experiences together in four different countries.
Four Semesters – Four Countries – one Master Degree
In each of the four semesters leading to the Master of Arts, students live in and experience a different European country and a different European university: a coordinated study program awaits them at the universities of Porto, Luxembourg, Mainz, and Palermo. In this course, previous knowledge and interest in German Studies are expanded and made tangible by the study of the medieval, modern, and contemporary fields in German as well as in the culture and languages of Europe as a multinational, intercultural horizon of expectation. The students are registered as regular students at all four universities for all four semesters (application, enrollment, and feedback are handled by the University of Porto). After successfully completing the program, each student receives a joint MA diploma from all four universities – and thus receives four European master's degrees in one.
The Past as part of your own Future
In each semester, this course in the humanities also provides the students with guidance about their future careers. In this way, by looking into the history and the present of literature and culture, students can also look forward: the study program creates diverse opportunities on how to get to know the expectations of the job market and to acquire specific skills while studying. Representatives of various professional fields offer insights into future work areas. Subject-related practical projects supported by partners from outside the university provide an opportunity to gain experience which will be useful for later professional life. The acquisition of specialist knowledge and skills helps to shape career paths during the course of studies.
Discovering, Deepening and Developing Skills
What the course participants bring with them provides them with the basis for the new knowledge they will acquire. Theoretical training in the history of culture and literature is gradually expanded; the understanding of medieval, modern, and contemporary literature is deepened and at the same time expanded within an intercultural framework. In addition to the core content of the program, there are opportunities to attend language courses, actively develop academic writing skills, and much more.
Independently but in Accompaniment
The students in each cohort change the university every semester. In addition to networking with their fellow students, all participants are accompanied individually by a mentor from the professional world. In regular conversations, personal goals can be considered which point beyond the degree course. The coordinators at the four universities, each of whom work specifically for this course, directly help to organise places in student residences or in private homes and are available for individual support and advice on all questions of everyday life.