How our German and Nordic programs are getting ready for the future

Starting in Winter 2023-2024, students in the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENES) will have a more streamlined and intuitive path toward completing a Minor in Nordic Studies and a Major or Minor in German Studies.

Our Major, Honours and Minor programs in CENES are designed to be a student experience to look forward to: something exciting, challenging, important, fun and relevant for students’ futures, with as few unnecessary obstacles as possible. Thus, we have made some simple but important improvements.

German Studies

  • Changing the course code for German to GERN (taught in German+) and GMST (German Studies, taught in English+), so that students know from the code what the language of instruction is.
  • Redesigning our German language foundations courses to reflect the social and cultural diversity of Germanophone countries, while getting rid of high-stakes, timed, in-person exams in all of our classes.
  • Introducing a portfolio format for learning assessment, so that students in German courses can see how far they’ve come in their learning and focus on their own personal goals and horizons.
  • Making the German Studies Major and Minors easier to navigate, understand, and complete.

Nordic Studies

  • Changing the program and course names from Scandinavian Studies (SCAN) to Nordic Studies (NORD) to reflect the diverse and Indigenous world of Europe’s north — which connects through the Arctic to Indigenous Canada and Indigenous Siberia. The Arctic will increase in importance over the coming century, and CENES Minors and Majors will play a part.
  • Changing the course code for Nordic Studies from SCAN to NORD.

Additionally, we have worked to make the Nordic Studies and German Studies programs much easier to understand and navigate, with fewer hard-to-schedule required courses at the 300 and 400 levels. Both NORD, GERN and GMST course titles and descriptions are also clearer and more succinct, making access to course-related information (syllabi, books, etc.) easier to find.

In CENES, we prepare UBC students for their multilingual, multicultural futures. Come join us!