An international business school means international languages! WHU is home to a number of different languages spoken on campus, but students are able to learn out of eight languages taught on-campus. Taught by native speakers, these include English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese and Japanese.

Welcome to English!

The English courses are aimed at C1/C2 level in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

The majority of students choose English as their mandatory language. English is, after all, the number one business language in the world. WHU English courses focus first and foremost on business English, a field which is not always covered in any way at school or other learning institutions prior to university. Groups mainly consist of 12 participants and students are encouraged to participate as actively as possible in order to maximise the opportunity to use the language.

Course content is not restricted to language skills but also encompasses business content and business communication skills such as presentations and negotiations.

Areas covered in the English course include:

  • an introduction to corporate/business-related terminology
  • corporate structure/organization
  • legal forms of companies
  • digitalization
  • sources of finance
  • financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet)
  • human resources management
  • recruitment (applications, CV/resume, cover letters)
  • employee motivation
  • basics of marketing (marketing mix, promotion mix, branding)
  • presentation skills
  • business ethics
  • essay writing
  • academic writing (paragraphing, sentence structure variety, vocabulary development, integration of citations)
  • cultural awareness
  • negotiation skills

Ni Hao

你好!我在WHU学习中文。学习中文有助于建立私人和商业关系,并将在我未来的职业生涯中为我开拓更多的发展机会。(Hello! I’m learning Chinese at WHU. This helps me to build up private and business relationships and will open up opportunities for me in my future career.)

Why Chinese?

China is the largest State in East Asia and the most populated country in the world. With 1.3 billion inhabitants it has more than the EU and Africa together and has a large share of the world’s production of goods and services. Since 2016 China has been Germany’s most important trading partner. More than 5,000 German companies are active in the Chinese market.

For students who aspire to reach leading positions in the economy China can be of great importance. Getting to know the Chinese language and its script as well as the Chinese culture with its traditional values and its network of relationships can open up new horizons.  Knowledge of the Chinese language and culture are important additional qualifications. You can improve your professional opportunities and enrich your personal life.

Chinese is different for three particular reasons: 

  1. the characters,
  2. the pronunciation of the language at different pitches
  3. a grammatical system which has completely different rules and construction principles compared to European languages.

Therefore, learning Chinese is a complete contrast to learning other more common languages.  And then we have the cultural differences between European and Chinese ways of thinking and traditions. When focussing on today’s China these differences can still be experienced intensively.

Easy Start

Chinese courses at WHU are offered for 3 semesters and consist of 4 teaching hours per week, two of which focus on “grammar and characters” and two on “listening and speaking practice”. In the first few weeks, you will be pleasantly surprised how easy the start is in terms of grammar, the melodic sound of the Chinese language and the interesting structure of the characters. At the end of the first semester, you will be able to write a little, but first and foremost speak about yourself, your family, your studies, as well as your likes and dislikes; you will also be able to comment on things and make suggestions. You will also be taught the day-to-day formalities concerning politeness.

Phonetic Transcription in Latin Letters

An important supporting method when learning Chinese is the use of a type of phonetic transcription of the Chinese characters, which is known as “Pinyin” and is also taught in China. In the listening and speaking parts of the course, we use this method almost exclusively

Relevant Topics in Three Semesters

  1. First meetings
  2. Giving gifts to hosts in the case of an official or private invitation
  3. Expressing congratulations on different occasions
  4. Greetings in different situations
  5. Different formalities for different occasions
  6. Shopping, going out to eat
  7. Telephoning (invitations, arrangements, calling in sick)
  8. Describing what someone is wearing or what someone looks like
  9. Travelling by taxi or public transport 

Language Levels

Beginners Level: After three semesters course participants will have reached level A2 in accordance with CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Advanced level: Students who have previous knowledge of the Chinese language can take part in a placement test and then arrange individual lessons and content with the lecturers responsible.

Bienvenue en cours de français!

“J’apprends le français à la WHU, ce qui me permet d’établir des contacts privés et professionnels, m’ouvre également des possibilités dans ma carrière à venir.”(Welcome to French course! I’m learning French at WHU. This helps me to build up private and business relationships and will open up opportunities for me in my future career.)

Why French?

  • It’s an important language, the language of diplomacy and politics (EU, UNESCO, NATO…).
  • After the Élysée Treaty of 1963, there are a variety of cooperation possibilities.
  • It opens up the possibility of internships in Africa, France, Canada, and La Réunion, among others.
  • 200 million people all over the world speak French!

Skills Development

  1. Oral skills: learn to speak about a variety of topics from everyday life and the business world.
  2. Reading and writing skills: read and produce texts on different topics.
  3. Intercultural competence: learn about customs and traditions in francophone countries (North Africa, Canada, France...).
  4. Communication skills: improve your competence with the help of clear learning strategies.

3 Semesters at WHU

  • Different courses, depending on level: Complete beginners, A1-A2, B1, B2-C1 (in accordance with CEFR).
  • Communicative language skills are at the forefront.
  • A variety of up-to-date and relevant topics from the areas of culture and business.
  • Vocabulary and grammar as required.

Herzlich Willkommen im Deutschkurs!

"Hallo! Ich lerne Deutsch an der WHU. Das bereichert meine Deutschlanderfahrungen und erleichtert mir private und berufliche Beziehungen zu knüpfen. Und nicht zuletzt macht das gemeinsame Lernen einfach Spaß.​"(Hello! I’m learning German at WHU. That enriches my experience of Germany considerably and helps me to build up private and business relationships. Not only that, learning German with the other international students is a lot of fun.)

Main reasons to study German:

  1. You are studying in Germany – the perfect opportunity to learn German! This will help you to enjoy Germany more and make full use of the time you spend here.
  2. Every international student is invited, and encouraged, to take part in a German course. German courses can be taken for credits or just for the fun of it – something that only applies to the German courses.
  3. In the beginners course A1.1 you learn above all to communicate in everyday situations – shopping, in a restaurant, travelling. This makes everyday life easier and helps to get to know Germany better.

German at WHU:

  • All of our German courses focus on the interactive, communicative aspects of learning a language. And as well as vocabulary and grammar you also learn a lot about everyday life, the culture and history of Germany. In the more advanced courses we also cover topical issues from politics and business.
  • WHU offers German courses at all levels in accordance with the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages): from absolute beginners A1.1 to intermediate level B1 and advanced C1.
  • Every participant can receive a certificate of participation at the end of the course.

Feedback from students:

“My time in the German class is one of my fondest memories from my semester at WHU. In a competitive environment like a business school, and in a totally foreign country, I felt incredibly lucky to have your support (and your patience)” (Exchange student from USA)

“One thing for sure is that all the German lessons were my big source of joy and helped me a lot in adapting to my new phase of life in Germany. I believe that all the international students share the same thought” (International Masters student at WHU)


"Benvenuti alla pagina d’italiano, la lingua della cultura. Congratulazioni!" (Welcome to Italian, a language with huge development potential!)

Why should you decide to learn Italian?

  1. Not only because the food culture and lifestyle of this country is among the best in the world, but because the importance of the Italian language is often underestimated and because it can open up possibilities for your future career.
  2. There has always been a very close connection between Germany and Italy and there is a far greater trade relationship than is generally believed.
  3. The Italian language paves the way to the culture and tradition of the “Bel Paese“ and at the same time gives you access to privileged opportunities of a future career in branches of industry where Italy is at the forefront: from luxury products in the field of fashion and design to the food and wine industry and tourism.
  4. In Italy, companies in business, banking, services and marketing are constantly looking for international management personalities.

Did you know that…

... the interest in Italian is growing all over the world?

  • The USA holds the record for the number of academic chairs for Italian.
  • In Canada, according to a survey conducted in 2011, Italian is in third place as native language. In cities such as Toronto and Montreal almost 44% of the inhabitants are Italian.  
  • This melodic language is after English, Spanish and French the fourth in the list of the most learned languages in the world.

… Italian is present in numerous areas of study?

  • The world of banking has its origins in Italy and the terminology is still very much influenced by the language.

… learning Italian helps to increase your vocabulary in English?

That concludes this short introduction and you are invited to delve into the colourful, creative and diverse world of the Italian language.

Dare to belong to the best!

Kon Nichiwa

こんにちは ようこそ WHUで日本語を勉強しています。将来的にプライベートでもビジネスでも役に立ちます (Hello! I’m learning Japanese at WHU. This helps me to build up private and business relationships and will open up opportunities for me in my future career.)

Japanese (Nihon Go) at WHU:

  • For participants with no previous knowledge
  • Learn in small groups (intensity / fun / direct response)
  • Focus on communication and lifestyle
  • Preparation for studying abroad and internships
  • Basic reading and writing skills

                    - Hiragana  ひらがな

                    - Katakana  カタカナ   

                    - Kanji    漢字

How do we learn Japanese?

4 teaching units a week (basic knowledge / consolidation)

  • Communicative strategies
  • Grammar / Vocabulary
  • Reading and writing skills
  • Applied and authentic examples of language situations
  • Rules of behaviour

Why Japanese?

Japanese is easybecause the pronunciation is very close to German phonetics, like a = a, i = i. In addition Japanese has no article system, no verb conjugation, no difference between singular and plural, among others. Which makes the basic grammar relatively easy to study. You can go a long way with basic knowledge!

More reasons to study Japanese:

  1. Small talk level can be reached with basic knowledge and only a few items of vocabulary.
  2. Japanese is an extremely unusual and desirable additional qualification.
  3. Learning Japanese shows great courage and a willingness to embrace different cultures and economic systems.
  4. The Japanese economy is once again on its way to becoming an innovation leader in Asia.
  5. Japanese companies are strongly represented in Europe.
  6. It’s fun to learn Japanese!!

    ¡Hola! ¡Bienvenidos a la WHU!

    “Aprender español me ayuda a construir relaciones privadas y de negocios, y abre así muchas oportunidades para mi carrera en el futuro.” (Hello! Learning Spanish helps me to build up private and business relationships and will open up opportunities for me in my future career.)

    Reasons to learn Spanish:

    WHU offers Spanish courses at all levels (A1 – C1) in small groups with native-speaker instructors from a variety of spanish-speaking countries.

    Spanish is.... 

    1. .... a world language: It is spoken in four continents and is the second most spoken language in the world.  
    2. .... easy to learn: Spanish grammar is not so difficult and the vocabulary is not so complex so that even at a lower level you can communicate well!
    3. .... useful when travelling: Wherever you go, there will certainly be someone who speaks Spanish. After all, in around 21 countries in the world it is the official language!
    4. .... growing in importance in the world’s markets: More and more foreign companies are deciding to expand into Spanish-speaking countries. The ability to speak Spanish is therefore becoming a cultural and professional necessity. It could be a huge bonus for your career if you can speak Spanish.
    5. .... becoming more important on a global level: In international organisations the language is growing in importance.
    6. .... the language of many well-known musicians, writers, poets and artists! 
    7. .... Rhythm!

    And don’t forget: If you want to apply for a Master’s place in the future, a foreign language such as Spanish is a huge advantage.

    ¿Español? ¡Sí, claro!