The UCLU German Society was founded in 2004 by Immanuel Wolf with the intent "to further integrate the department, as well as promote the numerous events relating to German culture taking place in London". The current president for 2016-17 is Adam Kousgaard.
The Society has since grown to be one of UCLU's largest and most active student societies on campus, boasting more than 350 members that take part in a variety of more than 100 highly popular events throughout the year.
As the largest university in London and one of the leading academic institutions worldwide, UCL attracts some of the best students from German-speaking countries; some of them are starting their university experience or visiting for their Erasmus year, others matriculating in Masters Degrees, continuing their studies with a PhD or researching with some of the best scholars in the world. For these students, the German Society offers the opportunity to keep in touch with their native country and provides a platform for academic and social exchange.
The German Society prides itself in being a cultural society with a varied and exciting programme of events across the year.
- Weekly Language Classes
The Society offers German language classes taught by students at no additional cost to membership. These are taught by native or near-native speakers at six different levels for those interested in learning German. These different levels are roughly aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, beginning at "Lower Beginners" for A1 learners, up to "Conversational" for C2 learners
- Social Events
A monthly Stammtisch at the nearby Herman ze German on Charlotte Street is organised to bring native speakers and learners of German together around some traditional German food and beer. There is also a monthly Sunday brunch at the German bakery, Brot Kultur, on Tottenham Court Road, bringing students together around some Brötchen and Kaffee und Kuchen.
Other social events include regular tasting events, such as Ritter Sport Chocolate, a Flammkuchen tasting and opportunities to sample the diverse range of German beer and German wine.
- Academic & Careers Events
The Society offers an annual cultural trip to Berlin for a small group of students from any department. Here in London, the Society also organises careers events and workshops, with a focus on companies that are either German or allow for potential posts in German-speaking countries. Together with the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), a German CV workshop has been running for the past five years, and the Society works with its sponsors to host networking events for German native- or near-native speakers, including women-only events.
- German Summit
Since 2014, the German Society has held its an annual forum for discussion and interaction amongst students, with a focus on the United Kingdom and Germany. The Summit attracts a wide variety of speakers in the fields of economics, politics and culture to discuss that year's topic. Keynote speakers include Angus Robertson (2017), Sir Peter Torry (2017), Holger Schmiedling (2016), Steffen Kampeter MdB (2015), Harald Schmidt (2015), and Peer Steinbrück MdB (2014).
2017: Anglo-German Relations in the Wake of the European Crisis
2016: Opportunities for Europe
2015: Germany and its Role in Europe, 25 Years After Reunification
2014: Challenges for and in Europe
- German Play
A German-language play has been organised and performed by students, with a wide range of productions being chosen over the past few years. This is an opportunity open to all German speakers at any level.
2017: Top Dogs (Urs Widmer)
2016: Lulu (adapation of Wedekind's Erdgeist and Die Büsche der Pandora).
2015: Reigen (Arthur Schnitzler) 2014: Tropfen auf heiße Steine (Rainer Werner Fassbinder) 2013: Der Besuch der alten Dame (Friedrich Dürrenmatt)
- Committee 2016-17
President: Adam Kousgaard
Vice-President: Chloë Meyronnet
Treasurer: Matthew Chew
General Secretary: Abigail Collier
Director of Social Events: Ravina Shah
Director of Academic Events: Christoph Ulshoefer
Language Classes Co-Ordinator: Martin Tan
German Summit Executive: Antonia Wunnerlich
Director of Marketing & Communications: Zhouyi Qian
Director of Sponsorship: Raphael Eder
First-Year Representatives: Anja Johnson and Jasmin Manetta
Link to website: germansociety.co.uk