Category Archives: German

German Classic Prize & Conference

The Oxford German Network (OGN) are delighted to make two exciting announcements: firstly, the 2022 German Classic Prize is now open for entries! Secondly, the OGN will also be running a new Classic Conference for Year 12 students this year – see below for further details!

‘A German Classic’ Prize 2022

1st Prize: £500     2nd Prize: £300     3rd Prize: £100

Deadline: Wednesday 14 September 2022, 12 noon

2022 marks the sixth round of ‘A German Classic’ – our essay competition for sixth-form students! This year we would like to invite you to read with us Annette von Droste-Hülshoff’s captivating story Die Judenbuche published in 1842.

Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, often called Droste by friends and family, was one of the most influential German-speaking female authors of the 19th century. Her work Die Judenbuche is sometimes considered to be the first murder mystery, containing elements of a crime thriller and gothic novel. Filled with plot twists, Doppelgänger, grisly murders, and red herrings, Die Judenbuche explores how human nature is shaped and (de)formed, confronting us with existential questions of good and evil and all the greyscales in between.

Over the coming weeks, we will release further resources and provide insights into the text and its author on our webpage (where you can find more information and resources) and via Twitter. Together we will explore the text, discussing topics ranging from uncanny Doppelgängers, deadly curses, and 18th-century slavery, showing you the enduring relevance of this 19th-century text.

For all details about eligibility, study packs, essay questions, submission, judging criteria, and more, see here.

We encourage all students interested in entering the competition to email their UK correspondence address to the Prize Coordinator (Natascha Domeisen: germanclassic@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) by 12 noon on 25 June to receive a free study pack. 

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German Classic Conference 2022

Tuesday 21 June 2022 | Jesus College, Oxford, Ship Street Centre

Jesus College, photo by John Cairns, taken from the Jesus College website

We are delighted to announce the launch of the first German Classic Conference for Year 12 students on the topic of Die Judenbuche by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff. This half-day conference will provide insights into the text, its key themes and translations in brief lectures and undergraduate-led discussions. There will also be a tour of Jesus College and the Fellows’ Library with the opportunity to enjoy some German treasures of the Jesus College collection. We are looking forward to exploring this German Classic with you!

Programme
11.45 – 12.25    Registration and Lunch
12.30 – 13.10    Introduction to Die Judenbuche (short lectures and Q&A)
13.15 – 14.00    Lost in Translation? Die Judenbuche in German and English
14.05 – 14.40    Tour of Jesus College and Fellows’ Library
14.45 – 15.15    Group Discussion of key themes with undergraduates
15.15 – 15.45    ‘More than a Whodunnit?’ Undergraduate Panel Discussion with Q&A
15.45 – 16.15    Tea and Departure

To download the programme as a PDF, please click here.

To register, please fill out this registration form and email it to the German Classic Prize Coordinator, Natascha Domeisen (germanclassic@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) by noon on 10 June 2022.

Please note: Attendance at the conference is not a condition of entering the German Classic Prize competition 2022. More details about the Conference (including specifics about entry requirements, travel costs and accommodation) can be found here.

Modern Languages Summer School

Calling all Year 12 French, German and Spanish students from UK state schools – an exciting opportunity awaits!

Wadham College are running their annual Modern Languages Summer School in Oxford from Monday 15th August to Friday 19th August 2022. This is a wonderful opportunity for Year 12 students who are interested in pursuing a degree in Languages to get a feel for life at university and at Oxford more specifically.

Throughout the week, pupils will take part in an academic programme, live in College, meet student ambassadors studying at Oxford, and receive information, advice and guidance on applying to university. 

This Summer School is completely free and Wadham will provide financial support to pupils to cover any travel costs.

Students on Wadham’s Modern Languages Summer School, taken from Wadham College’s website

In terms of the academic programme, pupils will engage in a seminar series led by Wadham’s language tutors, including language classes in their selected language of study (French, German or Spanish) with opportunities to try other languages as beginners (including German, Portuguese and Russian).  They will also complete an assignment on a main topic with feedback from tutors.  Pupils will also be able to receive support from current undergraduates and from the College on making successful applications to top universities.

Students talking to a Wadham Student Ambassador, taken from Wadham College’s website

Wadham are delighted to be able to run this Summer School event in-person, allowing participants the best experience of life at the university. The feedback from last year’s Summer Schools was hugely positive with a third of participants subsequently securing offers to study at the university.

You can find out more information and the application form here. Applications are currently open and the deadline to submit is Friday 3rd June at 5pm.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be an Oxford student for a week!

Opportunities Galore!

It’s a busy time here at Oxford, particularly for Modern Languages! As there are so many fantastic events and activities for young linguistics taking place across the University over the next few weeks, we thought we’d give you a run down of these exciting opportunities and how to get involved. All here in one place, just for you!

So, without further ado…

German Open Day – MS Teams, Saturday 19th February

It’s the last chance to sign up to our German Open Day this Saturday, 11am-3pm! This event offers a unique opportunity to gain greater insight into the German degree course here at Oxford, listen to some fascinating taster sessions on topics such as German Film and Reading a Medieval Manuscript, and speak directly to our wonderful academics and current students.

Take a look at the programme and reserve your place here!

Somerville Year 12 Study Days – MS Teams, 22nd-25th February

Somerville’s virtual Study Days will feature taster lectures or workshops run by Oxford University academics, which offer a challenging and entertaining introduction to university-level study of various subjects.

Click here for more info!

The sessions are open to all Year 12 students at a UK state school who are taking a related subject, and/or are thinking about going on to study a related subject at university. Students will also have the opportunity to hear advice from admissions and outreach staff about applying to Oxford and Cambridge, and to ask the college tutors and current undergraduates questions about their subject of interest.

The Modern Languages session is taking place on Thursday 24th February, 4-6:30pm, on the topic of ‘German Poetry Without Words – The Creative Magic of Language’.

Please note: There is no need for any knowledge of German (although helpful); the session is open for everyone interested in a degree in Modern Languages, including joint degrees and/or Modern Languages with a beginner’s language.

More information about all of the subject sessions and how to apply for a place can be found here, under the heading ‘Year 12 Study Days’.

Spanish & Portuguese Open Day – St Anne’s College, Friday 25th February

Our Spanish & Portuguese Open Day is taking place in person at St Anne’s College this year, between 10am and 3pm. Just as for German, this event is a great opportunity to learn more about our Spanish and Portuguese degree courses, experience taster sessions, and talk to academics and undergraduates from those subject areas.

Take a look at the programme and reserve your place here!

Modern Languages Study Day – St John’s College, Wednesday 9th March

Click here for more info!

The Modern Languages Study Day at St John’s is open to all pupils currently studying at non-selective state schools and sixth-form colleges in the UK, in Year 12 (Lower Sixth) or equivalent, studying a Modern Language at A-level (or equivalent) as well as pupils studying History and English who are interested in starting German from scratch.

This day-long event offers pupils the opportunity to find out about studying Modern Languages at the University of Oxford. Pupils will attend academic taster sessions, receive a tour of St John’s College, and find out about the Modern Languages undergraduate degree and application process from tutors and current students.

Further information about eligibility and how to apply can be found here.
The deadline for applications is Monday 21st February at 4pm.

Oxford German Olympiad – Round 2 is now open for entries!

For those who don’t know, the Olympiad is a large competition for learners of German from Year 5 upwards. Not only does 2022 mark our 10th Oxford German Olympiad, but this year, the Oxford German Network is also celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Oxford-Bonn Town Twinning and the 80th anniversary of the first four White Rose resistance leaflets.

Therefore, we have two Round 2 tasks to choose from this year: Celebrating 75 Years of British-German Town Twinnings and The White Rose Project: Resistance Leaflets.

Thanks to our generous sponsors White Rose Project, Oxford-Bonn Link and British German Association, there are exciting cash prizes for the winners of each task.

Further details about the tasks can be found here. The deadline for all entries is 10th March 2022.

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Hopefully that’s enough to keep everyone busy for a while! Do check out the links we’ve highlighted in this post for more information. See you next week!

THE UNIQ EXPERIENCE

by Simon Kemp, Associate Professor of French and Co-Director of Outreach

What are your plans for July this year? Might you have four days to spare, say from July 10-13 or July 17-20? Might you consider spending them with us in Oxford, getting a taste of our modern language courses in the daytime and a feel for what student life is like in an Oxford college in the evenings?

Once the exams are over and the students have gone home for the summer, for many of us Oxford academics the next thing on the horizon is the UNIQ summer school. I’ve been teaching on it for several years now, and it’s always one of the most rewarding parts of my year. In modern languages we invite between sixty and eighty sixth-formers from state schools across the UK to join us for a four-day course of language and cultural study and an experience of student life. It’s aimed at people who are just finishing Year 12 in England and Wales (Year 13 in Northern Ireland and S5 in Scotland), who are interested in studying modern languages at university and curious to check out what Oxford is like. We run courses for students of French, Spanish and German, all of which include some language work and broader cultural studies designed to give you a taste of the university course as well as helping with your sixth-form studies. Plus, every course also offers a dip into some of the other languages and cultures you might choose to pick up from scratch in a degree course here, such as Portuguese, Russian, Italian, or Beginners’ German. Our undergraduate ambassadors look after you through your stay, and can tell you anything you want to know about being a student here. Plus, for those who are interested, there’s information and guidance about applying to study at Oxford as an undergraduate both during the summer school and in the run-up to the admissions process in the following autumn.

If you’d like to find out more, all the information about Oxford’s UNIQ summer school programme is here:

UNIQ website

Applications close in less than two weeks on Monday 7th February at 11pm, so act now if you think this could be for you, and please tell others who you think might be interested. I hope to meet many of you this summer.

Come and Explore Languages at Oxford!

Here at the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, we organise and run a range of open days for prospective students and their parents and guardians. Open days are one of the best ways to get a real feel for a University, helping students to make informed decisions about their futures.

Over the course of February and March, we will be holding our language-specific open days, designed to provide greater insight into our undergraduate degree programmes. In comparison to our wider open day in May, language-specific open days are smaller and more focused in their scope, allowing more time to explore a subject in depth.

For example, the German open day offers an introduction to German film, linguistics, and different types of literature. On the Spanish and Portuguese open day, you can explore medieval Iberian literature and learn Portuguese in 15 minutes. The Italian open day will introduce you to Italian literature’s biggest names from the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.

So, if you’re thinking about applying to study languages at Oxford, or want to find out more about a particular course, these open days offer a wonderful opportunity to meet some of our tutors and current students, come along to academic taster sessions which will give you a flavour of what it’s like to study languages, and ask lots of questions.

Below are the details of our 2022 language specific open days. You will need to book a place at these events, which you can do via our open day website, where you will also find the event programmes.

  • German: Saturday 19th February, 11am – 3pm, Microsoft Teams
  • Spanish & Portuguese: Friday 25th February, 10am-3pm, St Anne’s College
  • Italian: Saturday 5th March, 11am-1.30pm, Microsoft Teams
  • Russian and Slavonic Languages: Saturday 5th March, further details to be published soon.

You may have noticed that there is no specific open day for French: students interested in French should attend the Faculty’s main open day in May or one of the University open days in July or September. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about those events in future blog posts.

We look forward to having you along to our language-specific open days – don’t forget to book your place!

While you’re here: a reminder that applications to our 2022 UNIQ programme are still open! You can read more about this fantastic opportunity for UK state school students in last week’s blog post, or head to the website for further information.

Apply now!

UNIQ 2022 – Applications now open!

After two years of online delivery, UNIQ 2022 is delighted to be able to welcome Year 12 students back to Oxford! UNIQ 2022 will combine the best aspects of our residential summer school and sustained online programme to offer a hybrid UNIQ programme to 1600 students across the UK. 

UNIQ logo

What is UNIQ?

UNIQ is Oxford University’s flagship outreach programme for Year 12 students at UK state schools/colleges. It is completely free and prioritises places for students with good grades from backgrounds that are under-represented at Oxford and other universities. The UNIQ programme offers a fantastic opportunity for these students to immerse themselves in the Oxford environment, sample some of our teaching, and try out life as an Oxford student.

What does the programme entail?

UNIQ 2022 offers both an in-person residential in Oxford and an online support programme. Taking place over several months, UNIQ starts in April, with academic courses in the summer, followed by university admissions support.

During the summer residential, students have the opportunity to experience life as an Oxford undergraduate by staying in an Oxford college and exploring the city for themselves. They will also get to know some of our Oxford undergraduates and work with our academics in face to face lectures, labs and tutorials.

What does this look like for Modern Languages?

For Modern Languages, there will be courses available for Spanish, French, and German. All three courses enable students to explore the language, literature, theatre, film, and linguistics of each discipline, while also providing the opportunity to have a taster of four other European languages at a beginners’ level.

Our aim is to give students a taste of what it is really like to study Modern Languages at Oxford, and to provide a sense of the breadth of our courses – including several of the languages you can study here as a beginner.

UNIQ student testimony

What are the benefits?

Throughout the UNIQ programme, students will explore subjects they love and gain a real insight into Oxford life, helping them to prepare for university, and decide what is right for them. UNIQ also enables students with similar interests in local regions and across the UK to connect with each other through social and academic activities.

Most UNIQ students go on to apply to the University of Oxford and they also get help to prepare for our admissions tests and interviews. In general, UNIQ students who apply to Oxford have a higher rate of success than other applicants.

How do I apply?

We welcome applications from:

  • Year 12 students from England and Wales, in the first year of A level studies or equivalent
  • Year 13 students from Northern Ireland, in the first year of A level studies or equivalent
  • S5 students from Scotland, studying Highers or equivalent

The online application process is quick and easy – it only takes 15 minutes! – and can be completed via the UNIQ website. Applications close on Monday 7th February at 11pm.

You will need:

  • the name of the school where you did your GCSEs (or equivalent) or your Nationals if you are a Scottish student.
  • the name of your current school.
  • your first and second choice UNIQ courses.
  • your teacher’s surname and email address.
  • a list of your qualifications.

As UNIQ is an access programme, admission to UNIQ 2022 will be based on a range of criteria that relate to students’ academic potential and socio-economic background. You can read more about this here.

UNIQ student testimony

Good luck to all applicants!