In 1963, Pepperdine University began its study abroad program in Heidelberg, Germany. Moore Haus has served as a "home away from home" for countless Pepperdine students for more than 50 years. Moore Haus, built by Professor Endemann in 1906, made architectural history because of its eclectic German country villa style. After World War I, the wealthy Schmitthelm family, manufacturers of down comforters, purchased the mansion. During World War II, Moore Haus became home to Mannheim families displaced by the war. In 1945, the U.S. occupational army confiscated the house and it became headquarters for the C.I.C., forerunner of the C.I.A. The house was used to interrogate former Nazis and monitor communist activities, and you can still see evidence that the current office was used as a prison cell. When West Germany received limited sovereignty from the Allies in 1953, the house was returned to the Schmitthelm family. Having moved to a more modern home, the Schmitthelms rented the house to the newly established Federal German army, which used it for its regional headquarters offices. In 1965, Pepperdine University was able to purchase the house and made extensive renovations, converting the mansion into a dormitory building. Great care was taken to preserve its turn-of-the-century character.
Moore Haus overlooks romantic Old Town Heidelberg, a university town rich in culture and history. The University of Heidelberg was founded in 1386 and is the oldest University in Germany. The house provides easy access to the bustling main street (Hauptstraße) of Old Town Heidelberg, but is located in the peaceful setting of a quiet, wooded neighborhood, three hundred yards from the entrance to Heidelberg's famous castle (Schloss). The four-story mansion houses a library, reception room, computer lab, administrative offices, student rooms, a student kitchen, student center, laundry facility, and an apartment for the Faculty in Residence. The bedrooms are comfortable and full of character, and those on the upper floors afford through-the-trees views of the beautiful Neckar Valley. A grand piano dominates the large reception room, which is open for student use most of the time. The student center provides access to a stereo equipment and a large flat screen television. Moore Haus is a strictly non-smoking environment.
The Program Office is situated on the ground floor of Moore Haus. Normal student opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm and Friday morning from 9:30am to 12:30pm.
Living in Heidelberg
Moore Haus stands prominently as the highest house on the castle hill and is visible from the famous Philosopher's Way and the Old Town of Heidelberg. The house was christened "Moore Haus" after J.C. Moore, Jr., Pepperdine Controller and spiritual father of the Heidelberg Program, along with Dr. Norvel Young and Dr. Howard White. In 1980, a new wing was added ("the tower annex") and in the summers of 2014/2015, a complete renovation of the building increased the student capacity to its present level. Great care was exercised during the renovation process to maintain the traditional look and feel of the house turning Moore Haus into a gem that countless Pepperdine students will continue to enjoy in years to come. This grand old house, now a historic monument, has served as a "home away from home" for countless Pepperdine students since 1965/66. International Programs is happy to help you join these "Heidelbergers" as part of the ongoing history of the Moore Haus.
Arriving in Germany
Heidelberg program participants on the group flight will fly to Frankfurt Airport. Flight exempt students should follow the instructions below at their point of entry into Germany: When students arrive in Germany, they pass through Immigration or Passport Control before leaving the airport, where they will be asked to show passports.
Non-U.S. passport holders may be required to have visas to enter some countries. It is the responsibility of International Program participants to make sure that they have all the necessary visas for the program country and the country for the Educational Field Trip BEFORE DEPARTING the U.S. Consult local consulates and/or embassies to obtain information about which countries require visas.
Pepperdine students will be carrying a letter identifying program participants as students on a Pepperdine University travel-study program overseas. This will be provided to group flight students at the airport prior to departure and will be mailed to flight exemption students. Don't volunteer this letter – or any other paper or document – unless asked.
It is important for Pepperdine students to identify themselves as visitors and students in an American university program because German laws restrict visitation periods and immigration that take jobs and/or positions in German universities.
The next step in entering Germany is passing through Customs. Pepperdine students should pass through the gate posted "Nothing to Declare" (Green) since, as visitors they can expect to consume or carry out whatever they bring in.
All students studying in Germany are recommended to bring a certified copy of their birth certificate with them overseas. This document may be requested from the County Clerk's Office in the county in which the student was born, and is helpful in the Visa process as well as in the case a passport is lost. Please note that there is a fee of approximately €10 for biometric pictures and €100 for visas; these fees are posted to the Student WaveNet account. These fees do not apply to summer programs, as students are in the country less than 90 days.
Transportation to Your Facility
When you arrive at the Heidelberg Hauptbahnhof (main train station), the most efficient way to get to Moore Haus is by taxi. Tell the driver, "Graimbergweg 10, bitte" (pronounced "Grime-berg-vague Tsane, Bit-a"). The taxi driver will drop you off at the front gate.
If you fly into the Frankfurt airport, you have a choice of three ways to get to Heidelberg. The simplest, but most expensive, is to take a taxi. However, this may not be an unreasonable choice if the fare can be shared between three or four of you. A less expensive option is to travel to Heidelberg by train. A railway runs through the lower level of the airport. Trains to Mannheim are more frequent than those to Heidelberg and a shared taxi fare from Mannheim to Heidelberg is not out of the question. However, should you choose to continue to Heidelberg by train, there are also frequent connections from Mannheim directly to the Heidelberg main station.
By Shuttle Bus
The most economical way to travel from the Frankfurt airport to Heidelberg is via Lufthansa shuttle. These shuttles leave the Frankfurt airport on the hour in the daytime. Shuttle buses depart outside the arrival area for Lufthansa flights from Terminal 1, section B (meeting point). Tickets must be purchased online to guarantee a seat on the bus. The bus will take you to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Heidelberg, from which you can take a taxi to Moore Haus.
What are your smartphone options?
- We require students to secure a smartphone with an international calling and data plan or an in-country call and data plan in order to take advantage of all International SOS applications (our travel assistance provider) and to be able to be reached in cases of emergency. Please consider one of the following options:
- Use your existing smartphone. This may be possible depending on your carrier and smartphone. Contact your cellular provider to understand how your phone would work abroad and about any international calling and data plans available.
- Purchase a new U.S. smartphone with global service (e.g. google phone plan, select T-Mobile, and select Sprint offerings).
- Purchase an international sim card similar to one found at Cellular Abroad. Please visit this page to learn about unlocking your smartphone and contact your current provider to know if your phone can/should be unlocked and how to do so.
- Bring your existing unlocked smartphone or another unlocked smartphone phone that you can put a local sim card into.
- What is usually the most common option is that students without an international plan would buy a prepaid German sim card and replace it with their current sim card. This allows you an allotted number of minutes and data per month of service. It is easy to track, and the services are good as well.
- Tchibo coffee stores
- 02 network, €10/month* limited to 500 MB, €20/month* for 5 GB
- A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15* and another €15* buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month.
- Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25* which includes €22.5* of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15* and be left with €7.5* of credit.
*Please Note: These prices are as of November 2018, and are subject to fluctuation.
Telephone service is available for student use, but there is no one on duty to accept incoming calls. Please give friends and relatives the numbers for the pay phones (0049 6221-60 00 66) as the official University business phone must be kept open for official calls. Local calls may be made from the pay phone for € 0.30 per unit. Please read the instructions by the pay phone before using it.
Many students prefer to use Skype as an inexpensive and efficient method for communicating with friends and family.
Student mail is distributed by room number into the mailboxes next to the Program Office on a daily basis. Students may send packages, letters, and postcards at the local post office, conveniently located 5 minutes away from the classrooms.
The Central Heidelberg Post Office is situated at Bismarckplatz (Bismarck Square) between the Pepperdine Classrooms and the Heidelberg Train Station. The closest Post Office is situated in a copy shop not far from the Pepperdine Classroom (Grabengasse) .
The Classrooms are located on the second and third floor of Hauptstraße 92, which is a very prestigious address, approximately a fifteen-minute walk from Moore Haus, in the heart of the busy Altstadt (Old Town). Although the walk is pleasant, be certain to bring comfortable shoes and be prepared for rainy days! Our facilities include four classrooms, two faculty offices, a student center, restrooms and a balcony. The balcony overlooks the lovely gardens of Heidelberg's most elegant café, Café Schafheutle. The Hauptstraße is filled with restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops where students often spend time during the day in between classes. It is also only a short walk to the Pfitzenmeier gym where gym memberships are available for Pepperdine students enrolled in PE 196.
Classes are conducted during various times from Monday through Thursday. When classes are in session, please refrain from making noise outside the classrooms. Eating, drinking, and use of cell phones are not permitted during class. Equipment may only be used by faculty or staff. Any items left unattended in the classrooms may be thrown away during cleaning periods. Classroom furniture and equipment must not be moved out of the classrooms without receiving prior permission from the Program Director.
Smoking is not permitted in the classroom facilities. The facility's contract states that the balcony cannot be used if noise disturbs the customers below.
Furniture is not to be moved from room to room or within rooms without permission from the Director. Furniture must not block fire exits. Students have the responsibility of caring for their room. Cleaning service is provided every Tuesday. Students should make sure that rooms are straightened on Monday night so that the cleaning team can work thoroughly. Between these times, students should keep rooms orderly and clean (including emptying waste basket). Routine room checks will take place throughout the semester and will be carried out by the RAs. Fresh linen will be distributed biweekly at announced times.
Students are not allowed to prepare food, eat or to wash their dirty dishes in the rooms. Food or supplies from the kitchen or dining room may not be taken to the bedrooms.
The Moore Haus Library is to be used for quiet study only. The Library is open at all times. Food and beverages are not allowed in the Library.
In the Moore Haus Computer Lab, working assignments have top priority over computer games or personal use of e-mail and of the Internet. Students using computers for non- academic reasons must give up the computers when a conflict arises.
The Reception Room is open for studying, socializing, gatherings of a more quiet nature and devotionals. Students are asked not to gather in the Reception Room after 10:00 p.m. due to the fact that this room is adjacent to the faculty apartment, but rather to use the room quietly for individual study or relaxation. The piano also should not be used after 10:00 p.m.
The Student Center is for gathering, socializing, and general indoor recreation. It is not a gym! The hours are 7:00am to 1:00am on weekdays and 7:00am to 2:00am on weekends. The student representatives are responsible for seeing that the room is left in orderly condition at night so that breakfast can be served promptly in the morning. Breakfast is served 7:30 - 8:30 and 8:30 - 9:30 on weekdays and 8:30 - 10:00 on weekends.
If personal belongings are left lying around in the Student Center too long and the owner cannot be identified, they will be thrown away. Students are requested to take care of the audio and stereo equipment, television, and the assorted games in the Student Center as they are privileges and should be treated accordingly.
The washers and dryers are located in the laundry room on the ground floor of Moore Haus. European washers have several different cycles. Please read the instructions carefully before use, and USE AT YOUR OWN RISK as the University cannot take responsibility for damage to clothing if washers and dryers are not used properly. Students may wash clothing only in the bathrooms or the laundry room.
A security service for Moore Haus is "on-call" 24 hours a day. In case of any emergency, make use of the ALARM box beside the door to the student center (break the glass and push the button). Within less than 15 minutes, an armed guard will arrive at Moore Haus and deal with any emergency situation that has arisen.
A German-style breakfast is served daily in the house. This includes an assortment of breads, pastries, meat and cheese platters, cereal, fruit and yogurt. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, students eat at Essighaus, an authentic German restaurant near the University. On Sundays, dinner will be served at Burgfreiheit once a month, a restaurant close to Moore Haus which serves a variety of dishes, including Italian/Mediterranean food. On the remaining Sundays, dinner is catered to Moore Haus. On Wednesdays, students will enjoy a "special dinner" at different local restaurants. Each student receives a cash allowance digitally distributed to a debit account of their choosing for lunches approximately five days a week. All meals will be prepared and served in accordance with local customs, and provisions cannot always be made for special diets. Vegetarian options are available by request prior to the group meal.
The Student Center kitchen must be cleaned after every use. The kitchen privilege will be lost if the kitchen is not cleaned up. Be sure to clearly label anything that you put in the refrigerator. Spoiled food will be thrown away by the cleaning staff. Please preserve the kitchen privilege by keeping the kitchen and the Student Center clean. Also please refrain from using breakfast dishes for private purposes taking dishes up to your room. Hotplates or heating coils are fire hazards; for this reason, they are not permitted in the rooms.
What do you need? What should you leave behind? How will you ever get all of your things into the suitcases the airline will let you check in? The answer to all three of these very valid questions is "Less is definitely more!" Do not take too much, and choose carefully what you do take.
As to choice, that should be determined by two factors: climate and cultural differences. As to quantity, that will be determined by airline luggage restrictions. Airlines have strict luggage allowances, and they will charge you a costly excess baggage fee for exceeding the maximum weight or size allowed. In some cases they may refuse to allow luggage on the airplane.
Typical Luggage Allowance
Policies on maximum number of checked luggage, dimension and weight restrictions, and checked luggage fees vary from airline to airline. It is the student's responsibility to check with his or her airline for these luggage restrictions. Most airline carriers charge a fee for each piece of checked luggage. Fees vary by airline, and it is the student's responsibility to be prepared to pay these fees at the airport.
What to Take
During the week, students have a schedule much like in Malibu. Classes and meals will take up most of the day, but evening activities may vary. The most common student dress is casual – jeans or khakis, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters and sweatshirts. It is much colder and damper in Europe in the fall and winter than it is in Malibu. (But there will be enough warm days to justify taking a few short-sleeved t-shirts and shorts.) Even in the fall, however, think rain! Beginning in early November, night temperatures are often below freezing and daytime highs are in the 40's and 50's. In the winter it snows, and temperatures drop below zero and stay there for weeks at a time. Heating varies greatly in public places, especially on trains.
Take clothing that layers. Start with jeans or pants and a long-sleeved shirt. For really cold weather, add an under layer of thermals (one bottom and one top should be sufficient) and a top layer that is lightweight and warm (a hoodie or fleece pullover), which you can add or remove, depending on the temperature. The outer layer (coat) needs to be waterproof and warm. A winter coat, or ski-type jacket, is ideal for very cold weather and travel. But it might also be desirable to have a long, dark-colored raincoat or pea coat for city wear. Three pairs of shoes should cover it: waterproof comfortable walking shoes are absolutely necessary (think miles and miles of walking and uneven rocky surfaces), athletic shoes for daily wear, and nice shoes for dressy occasions. A separate pair of clean athletic shoes is required for participation in PE classes or at the Pfitzenmeier gym. Waterproof sandals or flip flops are a good idea for getting to showers and bathrooms both in the house and when traveling.
There are a few events each semester where a dress, skirt, or nice pants would be appropriate. Something dressier is appropriate for the classical concert, the theatre, or banquet. Dress to blend in with your country's culture. Europeans are seldom seen on the street wearing shorts and tank tops, even in summer, except at beach resorts. If you must wear a pair of shorts and a tank top, please save it for the beach or inside the house – especially women for safety reasons!
Suggestions from Program Alumni
- Practical clothes that are dark-colored, machine-washable, wrinkle-resistant, and colorfast will last longer and be more comfortable. Keep in mind that storage space is more limited in the Moore Haus bedrooms than it is in the Malibu dorms.
- Don't take too many shoes. You'll be much happier with a few pair of versatile, comfortable shoes than a suitcase of shoes to match every outfit.
- You can find personal products like toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. overseas – often even the same brands. However, bring your favorite product if you can't live without it. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to take along a supply of lens solution. Women's deodorant is only available in liquid roll-on. The brands overseas may differ slightly from those in the U.S. If you plan to travel frequently by rail, it is helpful to bring a couple travel-sized bottles of antibacterial gel to wash your hands with.
- Cathedrals and other religious sites often require modest attire, which is defined both for men and women as covered shoulders and long pants (or skirts). Women may wish to carry a large, lightweight scarf during warm weather so they can quickly cover their shoulders.
- If you are on medication, bring a supply from home. U.S. prescriptions will not be filled overseas. Generic brands of aspirin, cough syrup, etc., may be found locally, but not always the brands you prefer. When traveling with a medication, keep it in its regular prescription container and keep a copy of your doctor's prescription with you. If you must take medication by injection (i.e. insulin) please carry your doctor's letter describing your condition and inform Pepperdine's staff overseas immediately upon arrival. Medications cannot be sent to Germany by mail or courier as it will be destroyed by German customs on arrival. Beyond this, please understand that any package sent to Germany valued at more than $40 will be heavily taxed on the receiving end.
- BED LINENS ARE PROVIDED in the houses, but you need to take your own towels and washcloths. When you travel, you will find that many hotels do not provide washcloths. (If space is an issue, you can always get towels overseas. Just take one and purchase more if you need them.)
- Bring snacks such as protein/granola bars, trail mix, crackers (snacks you are familiar with) that you can grab and eat on the go.
Clothing to Pack
- Slacks or jeans
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Warm sweaters/fleece pullover/sweatshirt
- Warm coat (which you may need to wear over dress clothes) and/or jacket
- Warm, water-proof shoes or boots
- Walking shoes
- Underwear, warm socks
- Cold-weather gear: thermal underwear or heavy knit tights, gloves/mittens, warm hat or scarf
- Warm pajamas and a lightweight robe
- Slippers or sandals – bare feet aren't allowed in our houses or in hotel lobbies
- Some special occasion wear (theatre, concert, banquet, a date!?!)
Other Essential Items to Pack
- Emergency envelope
- Telephone calling card
- Travel alarm clock/watch
- Lightweight towel and washcloth (at least one of each; more can be purchased locally)
- Backpack for weekend travel
- Money belt or passport pouch (to store valuables under your clothes)
- Umbrella (as collapsible as possible)
- USB flash drives; extra camera memory cards
- Spare contacts or glasses
- Supply of prescription medication
- Ladies, you may want to bring your own feminine products, as they are made differently in Europe!
A Few Tips on How to Pack
- If you're feeling nostalgic, remember, don't put film in your checked baggage; the screening equipment will damage it.
- Avoid over-packing your bag so that the airport security screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection.
- Place identification tags with your name and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
- Pack one change of clothing and necessary toiletries in your carryon luggage. Suitcases do not always arrive when you do.
- Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This saves space and leaves room for overseas purchases. Many students use vacuum sealer bags. They sell them at stores like Target and they really help conserve space by sucking all the air out of the bag and compressing jackets and things that take up a lot of space.
- Wear your bulkiest, heaviest shoes and your coat or jacket on the plane so you won't have to pack them.
- Use the space inside your shoes for small items (socks, toiletries, etc.)
- Don't forget to save space for your books!
- DO NOT pack money, travelers' checks, credit cards or other valuables such as cameras and computers in your checked luggage.
- Save space for your return trip – luggage restrictions can be even more strict flying from Europe to the United States.
Do Not Bring
- Expensive jewelry or other valuables
- Too many shoes
- Sophisticated electronic equipment
- Things on the list above that you'd rather buy overseas
- Anything you don't absolutely need
Voltage and plugs differ in Europe. Essentially, using an American appliance (110 volts) on European electricity "fries" the appliance. Voltage converters that are sold widely with plug converters do not work very well – in spite of manufacturers' claims. Using them for such things as radios and stereos may mean damage to the unit. Do not bring sophisticated electronic equipment that might be damaged by even the slighted voltage change, unless they are battery operated (and bring a good supply of batteries!).
The following electricity standards apply:
Central/Southern Europe 220v/50hz (round, 2-pronged plug)
United Kingdom 220/50hz (plug shape differs from rest of Europe)
Definitely DO NOT take American hair dryers, straighteners, or curling irons, since converters are not sufficient for their high watt requirements. European versions are readily available and reasonably inexpensive. (Besides, the house often has a few available since former students usually leave these behind.)
One male and one female RA are hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. RAs are expected to work together with the Program Director, the Faculty in Residence, and IP Office to create a strong learning community, maintain Pepperdine standards, and promote the IP mission statement within the group. Through planning events, acting as a leader and working as a liaison between the students and the Program Staff, RAs are essential for the development of camraderie within the house.
One IP Media Coordinator (IPMC) is hired and trained by the IP Office prior to departure. The IPMC acts as a liaison to the IP Office for collecting photos and video footage from the program and then creating videos from that footage. The IPMC creates two end-of-the-semester videos, an Orientation House Tour video, a service-oriented video, and a 5-minute video to be shown at The Return the following Fall semester. Additionally, they are responsible for creating two "check in" videos per month while abroad. These videos are posted onto both the IP and program-specific Vimeo sites: http://vimeopro.com/pepperdine/ip and http://vimeopro.com/pepperdine/heidelberg
The library worker is hired on the Malibu campus before departure for the program. This position serves as a resource for managing and organizing the library resources at the facility, and helping students to more effectively use online library resources provided by the Pepperdine University Libraries.
Student Worker Positions
Student Workers are hired by the Program Director once students arrive at their program. These positions range in the amount of responsibilities and time commitment. If you are interested in acquiring a job overseas in the house, please make sure that you have an updated I-9 card with Student Employment. Students should bring this card with them overseas.
The student representative collects and delivers students' wishes and messages to the Heidelberg staff, acting as a liaison between the students and staff. The student representatives also are responsible for helping the RAs arrange many student events and activities. The student representatives also help the Heidelberg staff and the RAs plan for such events. One male and one female are selected to become student representatives by a student voting system.
The kitchen worker is responsible for keeping the kitchen in Moore Haus neat, clean, and organized. Please note that the kitchen worker is a very tedious job – one must be dedicated and motivated by his or her duty to take this position.
Other Positions/Number of positions available
- Arts + Crafts Person: 2
- Breakfast Workers: 6
- Classroom Worker: 2
- Grounds Keeper: 2
- Handyman/Handywoman: 2
- House Person: 1
- Kitchen Cleaners: 4
- Library: TBD
- Linens: 1
- Office Worker: 1
- Power Point: 1
The Heidelberg International Program would like to encourage all students to participate in an activity outside the academic environment in order to meet and build close relationships with Germans. If students are interested in meeting with a language partner, the Heidelberg Program will assist you in making the initial contact. The Heidelberg Program will also provide students with information on theaters, cinemas and museums in the cities of Heidelberg and Mannheim.
Students can buy any book they would like to purchase online. They can also order books at Thalia bookstore, situated on the Hauptstraße (Main Street), in the same street in which the Pepperdine Classrooms are located and only one minute away on foot.
The Heidelberg Program will provide students with information on restaurants and interesting places to eat in the cities of Heidelberg and Mannheim once you arrive to the program. As Heidelberg students go to special dinners in a different restaurant every week, they very quickly get acquainted with Heidelberg restaurants.
The Heidelberg Program will provide students with information on department stores and interesting shopping areas in the cities of Heidelberg and Mannheim once you arrive to the program. The Kaufhof department stores in the Hauptstraße (Main Street) and on Bismarckplatz (Bismarck Square) have always been very popular with students in Heidelberg. There are two grocery stores on the Hauptstraße located near the classrooms: Tegut and Pennymarkt are ideal stores for shopping before returning to Moore Haus.
Calvary Chapel: Vangerowstraße 51A (BILINGUAL)
English Church (Anglican): Plöck & Schießtorstraße Corner (ENGLISH)
Evangelisch-Freikirchliche Gemeinde (Baptisten/Baptist): Feuerbachstraße 4
Freie Evangelische Gemeinde: Haberstraße 19
Gemeinde Christi (Church of Christ): Steubenstraße 17
Heiliggeist Kirche (Evangelisch/Protestant): Marktplatz
Jesuiten Kirche (Katholisch/Catholic): Merianstraße 2
Life Church: Schelklystraße 102 (BILINGUAL)
Providenzkirche (Evangelisch/Protestant): Hauptstraße 90
Facts and Statistics
- Location: Central Europe, bordering Austria 784 km, Belgium 167 km, Czech Republic 646 km, Denmark 68 km, France 451 km, Luxembourg 138 km, Netherlands 577 km, Poland 456 km, Switzerland 334 km
- Capital: Berlin
- Climate: temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
- Population: 83 (2019 est.)
- Ethnic Make-up: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish)
- Religions: Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%
- Government: Federal Republic
Language in Germany
The official language of Germany is German, with over 95% of the population speaking German as their first language. Minority languages include Sorbian, spoken by 0.09% in the east of Germany; North and West Frisian, spoken around the Rhine estuary by around 10,000 people, or 0.01%, who also speak German. Danish is spoken by 0.06%, mainly in the area along the Danish border. Romani, an indigenous language is spoken by around 0.08%. Immigrant languages include Turkish, which is spoken by around 1.8%, and Kurdish, by 0.3%.
German Society and Culture
A Planning Culture
- In many respects, Germans can be considered the masters of planning.
- This is a culture that prizes forward thinking and knowing what they will be doing at a specific time on a specific day.
- Careful planning, in one's business and personal life, provides a sense of security.
- Rules and regulations allow people to know what is expected and plan their life accordingly.
- Germans believe that maintaining clear lines of demarcation between people, places, and things is the surest way to lead a structured and ordered life.
- Work and personal lives are rigidly divided.
- There is a proper time for every activity. When the business day ends, you are expected to leave the office. If you must remain after normal closing, it indicates that you did not plan your day properly.
The German House
- Germans take great pride in their homes.
- They are kept neat and tidy at all times, with everything in its appointed place.
- In a culture where most communication is rather formal, the home is the place where one can relax and allow your individualism to shine.
- Only close friends and relatives are invited into the sanctity of the house, so it is the one place where more informal communication may occur.
- There are many unwritten rules surrounding the outward maintenance of one's home.
- It is imperative that common areas such as sidewalks, pavements, corridors (in apartments), and steps be kept clean at all times.
Etiquette and Customs in Germany
- Greetings are formal.
- A quick, firm handshake is the traditional greeting.
- Titles are very important and denote respect. Use a person's title and their surname until invited to use their first name. You should say Herr or Frau and the person's title and their surname.
- In general, wait for your host or hostess to introduce you to a group.
- When entering a room, shake hands with everyone individually, including children.
Gift Giving Etiquette
- If you are invited to a German's house, bring a gift such as chocolates or flowers.
- Yellow roses or tea roses are always well received.
- Do not give red roses as they symbolize romantic intentions.
- Do not give carnations as they symbolize mourning.
- Do not give lilies or chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals.
- If you bring wine, it should be imported, French or Italian. Giving German wines is viewed as meaning you do not think the host will serve a good quality wine.
- Gifts are usually opened when received.
- If you are invited to a German's house:
- Arrive on time as punctuality indicates proper planning. Never arrive early.
- Never arrive more than 15 minutes later than invited without telephoning to explain you have been detained.
- Send a handwritten thank you note the following day to thank your hostess for her hospitality.
- Remain standing until invited to sit down. You may be shown to a particular seat.
- Table manners are Continental -- the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
- Do not begin eating until the hostess starts or someone says 'guten appetit' (good appetite).
- At a large dinner party, wait for the hostess to place her napkin in her lap before doing so yourself.
- Do not rest your elbows on the table.
- Do not cut lettuce in a salad. Fold it using your knife and fork.
- Cut as much of your food with your fork as possible, since this compliments the cook by indicating the food is tender.
- Finish everything on your plate.
- Rolls should be broken apart by hand.
- Indicate you have finished eating by laying your knife and fork parallel across the right side of your plate.
- The host gives the first toast.
- An honored guest should return the toast later in the meal.
- The most common toast with wine is 'Zum Wohl!' ('good health').
- The most common toast with beer is 'Prost!' ('good health').
Students can have guests at Moore Haus, but only on the following conditions:
- That they assume full responsibility for their guests' conduct within the framework of University Policies, including no smoking in the house and no alcoholic beverages on campus.
- Guests can only be received in the public areas from 9:00am to 11:00pm. Guests are not allowed on any of the floors that contain student bedrooms.
- No guests, except students currently enrolled in a residential Pepperdine International Program, can spend the night in Moore Haus.
- If unescorted guests are seen in the house, please ask them whose guest they are and promptly report strangers that seem to have no legitimate business to the Program Director, the Program Assistant, or the Faculty in Residence.
In accordance with International Programs policy, students enrolled in a residential Pepperdine IP can visit the other houses (i.e. London, Florence or Lausanne) over the weekend under the following conditions:
- A reservation must be made by the preceding Tuesday at 5:00pm at the latest. This reservation must be confirmed by the program to be visited.
- No students are permitted to stay during any night that precedes a school day (Sunday through Wednesday).
- No students are permitted to stay overnight in another Program during opening week, the two opening weekends, Long Weekend, the two weekends preceding Finals Week, Finals Week and any official University recess or Field Trip.
Though alumni are not permitted to stay in Pepperdine's International Program facilities, tours may be requested and are dependent upon the availability of the International Program staff. If you are interested in attending an alumni trip held at your International Program site, please contact the Seaver College Alumni Relations Office to find out about upcoming Pepperdine Alumni Travel trips.