About Germany

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Deutsche Bundesländer

Germany is a federation of 16 Länder or states, each of which has limited sovereignty of its own. Germany is the most populous country in the European Union with 82.3 million inhabitants. The capital is Berlin, which has a population of 3.4 million.

German Länder
Click image to enlarge from: http://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de

Legislation

Bicameral system: In addition to the Bundestag the Bundesrat, consisting of delegates of the state governments to uphold the interests of the states, participates in legislation.

State structure

Germany is a federation consisting of 16 federal states, each with its own constitution, parliament and government. The highest state authority is exercised by the federal government. Through the agency of the Bundesrat, the states are represented at the federal level and participate in federal legislation.

Suffrage

Universal, equal and secret suffrage as of 18 years of age (in the case of municipal elections in part as of 16), elections to the Bundestag are held every four years.

Party system

Multi-party system, parties have a special constitutional status, receive state financial support, can only be prohibited by the Federal Constitutional Court. Parties represented in the Bundestag: Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Christian Social Union (CSU), Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (The Greens), Die Linke (The Left)

Legal system

Germany is a social constitutional state. It is based on the principle of a division of powers and the lawful administration. All organs of state are subject to the constitutional order. The Basic Law guarantees every individual citizen basic and human rights. The Federal Constitutional Court watches over adherence to the Basic Law. All the other organs of state are bound to uphold its rulings.

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Studying in Germany

Freie Universität Berlin invites applications for its undergraduate FU-BEST (Berlin European Studies) program for Fall 2015 and beyond. Based on the U.S. academic calendar, the affordable FU-BEST program offers a strong intensive German language program as well as an exciting menu of content courses taught mostly in English but also in part in German. There is no language prerequisite for participation in this program, but all participants are obligated to enroll on-site in German language training at their particular level.

The content courses cover topics from a variety of disciplines, ranging from political science, history, philosophy, and sociology to music history, architecture, film studies, marketing/management, and art history.
The program has hosted participants from a wide range of mostly U.S. colleges and universities, featuring a growing number of formal institutional partnerships. Student feedback has been very positive.

Starting with the Spring 2009 semester, new courses on transatlantic relations, classical music history, and European business cultures have been added. Every semester features a week-long off-site excursion, as well as local field-trips and cultural events. Participants are housed in homestays or single-occupancy apartments. The application deadline for participation in the Fall semester is May 1, and October 15 for the Spring semester. For full details on courses as well as other features of the program and updated application materials, please visit www.fubest.org and click on links to all the information and documents (including schedules and course syllabi).”


Studying in Germany
These resources are for general information only. For further information visit www.deutschland.de

    • Research in Germany general portal on German research with a wealth of information on Germany as a land of scholarship
    • DAAD wide range of information from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) on studying in Germany
    • Freie Universität Berlin The content courses cover topics from a variety of disciplines, ranging from political science, history, philosophy, and sociology to music history, architecture, film studies, marketing/management, and art history. The program has hosted participants from a wide range of mostly U.S. colleges and universities, featuring a growing number of formal institutional partnerships. Student feedback has been very positive.
    • Higher Education information on German higher education, data-base query service on study opportunities
 
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German TV

  • Deutsche Welle DW-TV
    Deutsche Welleis Germany’s international broadcaster. DW-TV is ideally suited to bilingual US-households, alternating between English and German language programs. You do not need German language skills to watch German television.
  • ProSiebenSat.1 Welt
    Launched in 2005, ProSiebenSat.1 Welt is the first commercial German-language TV channel available in the United States and in Canada. The channel is operated by Germany’s leading television corporation, ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, and shows programming highlights from Sat.1, ProSieben, kabel eins and N24.
  • German Kino Plus
    German Kino Plus is also a German language Television channel in the United States. German Kino PlusThese channels can be ordered through Dish Network.

German Radio

  • Dank: streaming live from Germany
  • DEUTSCHE WELLE: Deutsche Welle is Germany’s international public broadcaster.Comprehensive coverage on Germany, Europe, and international topics.
  • RADIO GOETHE: Radio Goethe promotes the music of modern German bands. It is aired by numerous college radio stations across the US and Canada. You can listen or download the latest show, read interviews and find links to German bands on the website. In English and German.
  • EXCELSIOR GERMAN RADIO SHOW: New radio show: 90 minutes of a mix of German songs and language. Anthony Schaller and Marie Hoffmann are the hosts. Tune in for the new refresh of modern, Schlager and classical music from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday. Also on www.ustream.tv/channel/excelsiorradio
  • via tunein.com:
    • NDR Aktuell, Hamburg / News / Plattdtsch Nahrichten
    • NDR Regional, Hannover
    • NDR 1-Nacht, Hamburg
    • Echo des Tages
    • ARD Tagesschau
    • Weltzeit, Dortmnd / News
    • NDR 2, Alfeld/Leine / Comedy
    • radioWelt, Ismaning / News
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Deutsche Bundesländer \ German States

INSTRUCTIONS: Type in the NUMBER of the correct Bundesland for each one shown on the map (1-16). Download this quiz.

Bundesland Num
Baden-Württemberg
 
Bayern  
Berlin  
Brandenburg  
Bremen  
Hamburg  
Hessen  
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern  
Niedersachsen  
Nordrhein-Westfalen  
Rheinland-Pfalz  
Saarland  
Sachsen  
Sachsen-Anhalt  
Schleswig-Holstein  
Thüringen  
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Small Talk or why Germans won't tell you how they Feel
How to avoid awkward situations with Germans | About Education, by Michael Schmitz

One of the many clichés about Germany and the Germans says that they act in a not very friendly or even rude manner towards strangers. You might get that impression when you first come to Germany and try to get to know somebody else on a train, a bar or at work. Especially as an American, you might be used to get in contact with strangers really quickly. In Germany you probably won't. And it is  a scientifically proven fact that German people simply don't chat in public places when they don't know each other.

But what is often interpreted as rude manners, is more like a basic inability of Germans to small talk - they simply are not used to it.

FOR MOST GERMANS, SMALL TALK IS A WASTE OF TIME 

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Hartz4Hartz 4 - Making a Living at the Existenzminimum in Germany
Well meant sometimes is the opposite of good | About Education, by Michael Schmitz

…Germany is like most other European countries a welfare state. This isn't just another term. It is an element of the German constitution, the “Grundgesetz” (Lit.:Ground Law). It is written down in article number twenty, that "Germany is a democratic and social federal state". This means that the government must prove that every German citizen can make a living even without a job so nobody has to live below the subsistence level. Therefore, some level of social protection was created when the Federal Republic of Germany was founded after the war. Germans used to be very proud of this, especially in comparison with other countries where this kind of social welfare doesn't exist, such as in the US. Conservative US-politicians sometimes compare the European welfare system with socialism or even communism.

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