skip to content

Ab initio trips

Going to Germany as an ab initio student

For a number of years the Department has sent its ab initio students for several weeks to Germany



At Christmas to Heidelberg

Cambridge's twin town, students attend a two week intensive course at a language school in Heidelberg. The school organises a social programme and excursions to make sure that the whole stay is not just to do with formal language learning! This is obviously THE experience of a romantic German university town, with its old city centre nestled on the banks of the river Neckar amongst wooded hills and all overlooked by a famous castle.


Cambridge ab initio students in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin


At Easter to Schönhausen

Near Wust, Schönhausen is a small place in the historic Brandenburg countryside between Berlin and Magdeburg, whose population has welcomed foreign students since the reunification of Germany. Our students stay with families. The head of the local secondary school organises the stay for us, which usually includes teaching experience at the school, social evenings, a trip to Berlin which is very near, and, if possible, excursions to other places of interest, such as Weimar and Jena.


International Summer school in Wust

The little village of Wust near Berlin is also the setting for an International Summer School held in the former home of the von Katte family which for centuries served the Prussian kings. A number of our ab initio students have gone on to teach English to German students as lecturers at this Summer School. There is a wide range of activities, entertainments and sports events, concerts, plays and operettas, lectures, creative writing courses and poetry readings. There are always write-ups in the local and national press, and the event is gaining in reputation every year. A good item to have on your CV!

Visit the Wust homepage:


Applying to Cambridge

Information for prospective applicants thinking of studying German at Cambridge.

Find out more

Cambridge Online German for Schools

Cambridge Online German for Schools (COGS) is a core element of the Cambridge German Network

Find out more

Let's be friends


Latest News

The Poetics of Personhood - Conference on 22 September

22 September 2017

Dr Michael Minden & Dr Annja Neumann from the Department of German & Dutch, together with Prof Leonard Olschner from QMUL are organising a one-day conference at Magdalene College.

Alfred Döblin Conference in Cambridge 18-20 September 2017

18 September 2017

Prof David Midgley, Dr Martin Ruehl from the Department of German and Dutch and Dr Steffan Davies from the University of Bristol are organising the 21. Alfred Döblin-Kolloquium here in Cambridge, at St John's college.

Prof Joachim Whaley opened exhibition in Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, Thüringen

11 August 2017

On 5 August 2017 Professor Joachim Whaley opened the latest exhibition in Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha, Thüringen with a lecture on the Duchess Luise Dorothea von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg.