Four students, myself included, in the German Department at the University of the Witwatersrand had the privilege and pleasure of taking part in the International Summer Course hosted by Tübingen University in Germany this past August.


The students who received funding from DAAD for the Summer Course are Monray Louw and Luca in first-year German, Anwyll de Leeuw in second-year German and yours truly, Jaco Herbst. I finished my Bachelor's in German Studies last year and currently work for DAAD South Africa.

The Summer Course offers intensive German language and culture courses over the month of August at Tübingen University in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Upon arrival we registered and were assigned our rooms. On the second day we wrote a test in order to access our German language skills. We were then divided into classes with those who more or less share our knowledge of German.

Throughout the month, we attended intensive German language classes in the morning and took part in exciting cultural events in the evening. These included theater groups, salsa dancing, film seminars, swabian cooking courses, parties and much more. We had the weekend free to spend time or travel over Europe with our new international friends.

Also included in the course were excursions to towns and interesting landmarks and museums around Tübingen. The best day of the Summer Course by far was the excursion to Constance on the Bodensee. It was rainy and wet but one makes friends so easily with others in the Summer Course that not even bad weather can spoil your collective fun.

I would recommend a Summer or Winter Course to any student in South Africa who has an interest in Germany and the German language. It offers one the opportunity to learn about other cultures, languages and ways of life. One makes new friends and experiences Germany and its people with them. The memories I have made this August will stay with me forever.

From left to right: Philina Wittke, Luca Pontiggia, Anwyll de Leeuw, Jaco Herbst, Monray Louw

A special thanks must go to my director and former German teacher, Philina Wittke, who, shall we say, lightly coerced us into seeing her beautiful country for the first time. I must also thank Tübingen University for awarding us with these scholarships. This Summer Course has changed the way I see the world and there DAAD once again delivers on its mission: Change by Exchange 🙂

More information on the International Summer Course in Tübingen

Written by Jaco Herbst