What does the German Language and Literature Study Programme offer?
The German Language and Literature Study Programme is one of the oldest study programmes offered by the Faculty of Philology, University of Banja Luka. The curriculum is designed to enable students to acquire a theoretical knowledge and practical skills related to the German language, literature and culture, translation, and German didactics. It also includes courses in Serbian, theory of literature, linguistics, and another foreign language, which is studied for two years (four terms). A total of 41 obligatory courses and 7 electives are taught over a span of eight terms, i.e. four academic years. The bachelor programme ends with the writing and defence of a thesis. The German Language and Literature Study Programme helps students to advance their spoken and written communicative competence in German to a very high level. Since 2016, senior students have taken part in a language teaching practicum, during which they give free German lessons at the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka, which is a chance for them to put into practice the knowledge acquired previously.
Enrolment in the German Language and Literature Study Programme
Before a candidate can enrol in the German Language and Literature Study Programme, she/he is required to take an entrance examination. The entrance examination consists of two parts, a German test and a Serbian test. The German test is weighted 40 points, and the Serbian test 10 points. Preceding the entrance examination, the Faculty of Philology holds preparatory classes over a period of two days, in which the teaching assistants cover all the topics to be tested in the exam by doing exercises with candidates.
What are the employment opportunities for German Language and Literature graduates?
Students who complete this bachelor study programme are awarded the academic title of German Language and Literature Teacher. The four-year degree programme qualifies them to work as German language and literature teachers in primary and secondary schools, independent translators and/or certified court interpreters, translators or administrative workers in German, Austrian and Swiss companies, and to find employment with culture institutions (embassies and consulates, cultural centres, libraries, publishing houses, government agencies and non-governmental organisations, travel agencies, etc.). Also, graduates can teach German in private language schools and work for Swiss magazines and newspapers as copyeditors and proofreaders.
More options are open to German graduates, such as entering our second-cycle study programme (master degree programme), which lasts one year (two terms) and ends with students writing and defending a master thesis. Upon completing the programme, candidates are awarded the academic title of Master of German Language and Literature. After completing the master programme, they have the option of enrolling in the third cycle (doctoral programme). They can choose between Language Sciences and Literary Sciences, both offered in the field of Philology. This programme takes three academic years to complete (six terms), and ends with the writing and defence of a doctoral dissertation.
What are the pros of studying German language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka?
All forms of educational activity by the faculty of the German Department – lectures, exercises/small-group discussion sessions, office hours and extracurricular activities – are carried out with the aim of transmitting to students knowledge and skills in a clear and comprehensible way, while motivating them to meet their pre-exam requirements, pass exams with flying colours, and take an active part in all educational activities. The Department has several native speakers of German; jointly with their local colleagues, they strive, through interactive, multimedia and interdisciplinary teaching, to stimulate students to improve their reading, listening, writing and verbal communication skills in German, acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills related to translation, culture and didactics, and learn about the works of writers coming from German-speaking countries. Crucial work is done on the development of critical thinking and intercultural competence.
German philology studies are an excellent opportunity for students to acquire a world language, read some of the world’s greatest works of literature in the original version, and learn more about the characteristics of German culture.
Are study grants available and what is the procedure for obtaining one?
A very important aspect of studying at the German Department is the chance to win a scholarship and spend a period of time in a German-speaking country, which puts one in direct contact with German native speakers. Every year, students have the opportunity to compete for scholarships offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for study visits to Germany (2-4-week summer courses, or master studies), and the Austrian Exchange Service (ÖAD) for study visits to Austria. Also, students are eligible for scholarships under the Erasmus+ programme, which permit them to go on exchanges and study visits to EU universities. They can also improve their German by attending subsidised intensive courses in German language and culture at a host of institutes in German-speaking countries. In addition, the Faculty of Philology has signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Graz, which makes students eligible for grants provided through the Erasmus scheme. These grants enable them to spend a term at the University of Graz and enhance their knowledge and language competencies in a German-speaking environment.
Students of the Faculty of Philology are eligible for several types of grants awarded by the Government of the Republic of Srpska. Every year, at the end of October, the Ministry of Education and Culture runs five different scholarship programmes, namely:
- A scholarship programme for successful bachelor, master and doctoral students enrolled in the Republic of Srpska;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor students in the category of other students;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor, master and doctoral students studying abroad;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor, master and doctoral students with disabilities, who are also beneficiaries of the Disability Allowance;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor students domiciled in one of the Republic of Srpska’s underdeveloped municipalities.
The scholarship competitions are advertised in the Independent Newspaper daily and on the web portal of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, more specifically, on the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture, www.vladars.net.
Exceptionally successful students are eligible for the Dr Milan Jelić Foundation grants, which are offered annually. The Foundation awards grants to especially gifted undergraduate and postgraduate students, enrolled in a first, second or third-cycle study programme at a local or foreign university. The competition opens at the end of October. For more information, please visit the official web page of the Foundation, www.fondmilanjelic.org.
In addition to these scholarships, students are eligible for so-called city or municipal grants, awarded by their local city or municipal administrations.