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About Us

The German Institute for the Southwest (GIS) brings all things German to the Southwest of the United States. Our main mission is to promote and advance the German culture and language in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. We strive to bring programs to the community that develop an appreciation of German language and literature, to awaken an interest in German culture and the present-day German way of life, and to cultivate mutual understanding between the people of German-speaking countries and those of the United States.   Some of our goals are to shape and revise the traditional image of Germany, to present contemporary German culture, and to foster the German language and culture within the American educational system. Our students learn more than a language, they learn to love and appreciate a culture.

Currently we teach German language classes for adults and teenagers on a beginning, intermediate, and advanced level, as well as conversational and business German.   As the need arises, we will expand our language program.  Our teaching schedule begins on January 18, 2016. Learn more about our classes and contact us for additional information and registration at angelika@germansouthwest.org.

A partnership with the Goethe-Institut, Germany’s official cultural institute, allows us to conduct their highly-rated, worldwide language examinations at all proficiency levels, from A1 to C2. For test dates, please check our Calendar page; all conditions of the Goethe-Institut apply.  If you have any questions, please contact us at info@germansouthwest.org.

We will also offer courses on business German and legal and medical German terminology. Learn more about these courses and inquire at info@germansouthwest.org.

We invite individuals, families, organizations and corporations to join us in fostering German culture and language – GIS is your gateway to all things German. Learn more about membership by writing to angelika@germansouthwest.org.

The founders of GIS are at home in Houston. Baerbel Olbricht, M.Ed., has been teaching “German as a Foreign Language” for over 20 years in various countries around the world. She is a certified examiner for the Goethe-Institut on all levels, and has worked in Goethe-Instituts in Germany (Berlin), Poland and Croatia.  Angelika Schmidt-Lange, J.D., is an attorney and business executive. She has represented clientele from German-speaking countries doing business in the U.S. for over twenty years, and has been an active leader in various German organizations since the 1970s.