Why Germany?

Gain invaluable experience in understanding and adjusting to new cultures and situations.

View breathtaking landscapes and explore important historical sites.

Exposure to another culture provides better leadership and management skills.

Experience new and different food, language, and culture.

Gain a greater sense of independence.

Experience a new culture and explore history; don’t just read about it.

For those desiring to conduct research or to intern in a lab, science and research in Germany are characterized by an excellent infrastructure, a wide variety of disciplines, well-equipped research facilities, and competent staff. Germany offers various forms of research locations: universities, non-university institutes, companies, and institutions run by federal or state (Länder) authorities.

Germany is the economic engine of the European Union, the U.S.’s largest trading partner. Together, they account for over 50 percent of world GDP in terms of value and 40 percent in terms of purchasing power (Transatlantic Economy 2014)

Germany is the biggest national economy in Europe, fourth-largest economy in the world, and second-largest exporter of goods in the world. Germany produces one-fifth of the GDP of European Union. The country enjoys very high standard of living, low corruption, qualified work force, and a lot of capital. Main exports for Germany are in machinery and automobiles, chemicals and metals, and in the field of energy, such as wind and solar power.

For the 2024-2025 year, a total of $7,000 is available exclusively from external donors.  Because these funds are limited, an application is required and will be awarded on a competitive basis.  Applications for the full amount of available funds will at this time most likely not be supported in full.  Applications are due March 29, 2024.  Awards will be announced no later than April 12, 2024.

Application Instructions 

An application should address the following and be limited to 1-2 pages (please be as specific as possible): 

  • For what do you want the financial support? 
  • Why you want the amount requested? 
  • How does this support enrich students’ experiences, your program, and/or the institution? 
  • How does it meet the goal of the German Institute?

Applications and inquiries should be directed to Daniel Walther, Institute Director ( 

After the funds have been used, the applicant will submit electronically a detailed report to the Executive Committee via its director, Daniel Walther (, describing how the funds were used and the difference they made for the intended project/purpose through individual, in particular student testimonials.

Previously Funded Projects

Partially subsidized GM 303 Historical Roots of Mathematics and Physics trip to Germany (May 2015)

Covered reading materials for faculty/staff heritage retreat to Wittenberg, Eisenach, and Neuendettelsau (Summer 2015)

Partially subsidize airfare for student studying at the Free University of Berlin–Berlin European Studies Program in Winter Term 2016

Provided funds for activities not covered by trip fee for GER 260/261 German Culture and Intensive Conversation. Funded activities include excursions to Heidelberg, Cologne, and Munich, as well as a performance in the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin. (May 2016)

Provided funds for the German department to host a German film festival for the campus and community (Fall 2015)

Programs of study

Study abroad

  • May Term opportunities        
  • GER 260/261 German Culture and Intensive Conversation
  • GM 223 Tour with the Arts          
  • ID 303 Historical Roots of Mathematics and Physics
  • GM 106 Eisenach Immersion
  • RE 277 Reformation Then and Now
  • PSY 395 History of Psychology
  • Semester-long programs in Berlin and Lüneberg

Faculty resources




  • Dr. Daniel Walther, institute director, Gerald R. Kleinfeld Endowed Chair in German History
  • Dr. Allan Bernard, assistant professor of business administration
  • Dr. Ethan Blass, assistant professor of German
  • Dr. Christine Devries, associate professor of chemistry
  • Scott Leisinger, vice president for advancement
  • Dr. Brian Pfaltzgraff, associate professor of music
  • Dr. Penni Pier, Grant L. Price Endowed Department Chair of Journalism & Communication
  • Kathleen Sihler, study away coordinator
  • Dr. Rick Snyder, associate professor of education


  • Heike Apel, honorary appointee, mayor’s office — Eisenach, Germany
  • Erik Bettermann, former director-general, Deutsche Welle — Berlin, Germany
  • Kay Ferris ’80, CPA, James Ferris Dentistry — Sterling, Illinois
  • Dr. Karl Fink ’64 (Chair), professor emeritus of German, St. Olaf College — Northfield, Minnesota
  • Dr. Gerald Kleinfeld, professor emeritus of history, Arizona State University/founding director, German Studies Association — Tucson, Arizona
  • Dr. John Kretzschmar — Cheyenne, Wyoming
  • Mark Kretzschmar, Ph.D. candidate in texts and technology, University of Central Florida — Oviedo, Florida
  • Nancy Magnall, former resource information specialist, Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association — Waverly, Iowa and McPherson, Kansas
  • Dr. Ardith Meier, professor of languages and literature, University of Northern Iowa – Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • Udo Michallik, secretary general, KMK – Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in Germany — Berlin, Germany
  • Laura Olson ’92, director of human rights program, The Carter Center — Atlanta, Georgia
  • The Rev. Larry Trachte ’66, professor emeritus of religion, retired campus pastor, Wartburg College — Waverly, Iowa
  • Kirk Vogel ’83, senior vice president, HSBC Bank USA — Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Dr. Daniel Walther, Gerald R. Kleinfeld Endowed Chair of German History, Wartburg College Waverly, Iowa
  • Janeen Stewart, assistant to the president for special projects, national advisory boards coordinator, Wartburg College — Waverly, Iowa

The purpose of the Friends of the German Institute is to support financially the activities of the Wartburg College German Institute on an annual basis. With the generous support of our friends, the Institute has directly funded enrichments to students’ experiences on May Term trips to Germany in language, mathematics, and journalism/communication; materials for the faculty/staff heritage trip to Germany; a German film festival; and travel expenses for students studying in Germany.In gratitude and recognition of the support received, all friends are recognized here according to the amount they contributed and receive an annual report on how their contributions have impacted students, faculty, and staff at Wartburg College.


Associate Level – Up to $999

  • Kyle Barton
  • Phyllis Biermann
  • Gunda Brost
  • Sarah J. den Harder
  • Daniel Hanson
  • Lori Koogler
  • Peter and Beth Martin
  • Ardith J. Meier
  • Troy and Janet Meinhard
  • Lance and Deborah Noe
  • Laura Olson
  • Edwin and Patricia Schmidt               
  • Bernd and Katherine M. Schoell       
  • Zachary Sommer
  • Larry Trachte
  • Daniel Walther


  • Karl Fink        
  • Kathlyn and Wilhelm Hofmann

Director Level – $2,500-4,999

  • Frederick Elder
  • HSBC – North America, Inc
  • Edwin and Lorraine Scharlau            
  • Curtis Schneider
  • Shelly Wright


Silver Level – $5,000 – 9,999 

  • Gerald Kleinfeld
  • Steven Miehe             
  • Kirk Vogel

Gold Level – $10,000 – $24,999

  • Charles Birnstiel

Platinum Level – $25,000 and above

Recent Events

  • Annual Kleinfeld Lecture in German History, Culture, and Politics, featuring Dr. Mark Cassell (March 2019)
  • German-U.S. Relations Symposium (March 2019)
  • Annual Kleinfeld Lecture in German History, Culture, and Politics, featuring Rev. Miriam Gross (November 2017)
  • Annual German film series: “Profiles in Courage” (2017)
  • Bach’s Lunch series, an organ concert series (ongoing)
  • Annual Kleinfeld Lecture in German History, Culture, and Politics, featuring Herbert Quelle (October 2017)
  • “500 Years of Reformation: Continuing the Lutheran Legacy” slate of events (2017)
  • Annual Kleinfeld Lecture in German History, Culture, and Politics, featuring Udo Michallik (October 2015)
  • Legacy of the Forty-Eighters: Transplanted Ideas and Values in America’s Past and Present (October 2013)
  • Do Deutsch Week, sponsored by German Embassy (2011)

The German Institute at Wartburg College provides organization and focus for the college’s wealth of Germany-related programs, knowledge, and relationships. Its founding in 2014 strengthened the college’s ties to its German heritage. Wartburg traces its roots to Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, and is named for the castle in Eisenach where Martin Luther took refuge during the Reformation.

The institute’s goal is to deepen and broaden cultural heritage and German connections among all institutional constituencies, including past, present, and future, by supporting existing programs and assisting in the development of new ones with informational, logistical, and, whenever possible, financial support, while respecting and abiding by the academic governance system. An executive committee leads the institute, acting on guidance from an international advisory board.

Faculty from across the academic spectrum have attended or presented at events such as the Global Media Forum in Bonn and the Third International Seminar within the Luther Decade in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, and are a part of the International Loehe Society and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.