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Why learn German?

German for students and tour guides in Bhutan

Learning a foreign language is one key way to understanding and relating to people from different cultures and societies. Even basic-level knowledge of another language can widen your horizons and open up new opportunities. Bhutanese already grow up multilingual in their own country where many languages and dialects exist.

German, meanwhile, is a sought-after language in the tourism industry, and knowledge of it offers additional chances to students who want to study in Europe.

Studying abroad

Many Bhutanese students aspire to study abroad. However, the overall costs for higher education in English-speaking countries like the UK and USA have skyrocketed in the past decades.

Studying in Germany or Austria offers the highest standard of education in Europe, yet at lower costs. This is mainly due to the absence of student fees or at least lower student fees, depending on the specific program of study.

There are two options for students to continue studies in a German-speaking country:

  • Students can enroll in international study programs where English is the main language of instruction.
  • Students can enroll in German study programs where German is the main language of instruction.

In either case it will be of great advantage to any prospective student for them to have mastered the beginners’ level A (A1+A2) in the relevant language prior to arrival in Europe.

International Study Programs

Some universities in Austria and Germany offer international study programs, where English is the language of instruction. Students will need German only for administrative purposes and for the everyday life situations that accompany living in a German-speaking environment. Therefore, even a basic command of the German language will be of great advantage for immersion in local culture.

German study programs

Most German study programs demand evidence of a solid level of language proficiency, usually not lower than B2+ level. To achieve this level of competence in German at home in Bhutan would be difficult since advanced language proficiency levels tend to require attendance at intensive preparatory courses in German-speaking Europe.


The tourism industry offers great opportunities for young people who are interested in different cultures and languages and want to broaden their outlook and future opportunities. Furthermore, the demand for German-speaking tour guides in Bhutan is not insignificant – and growing. To reach a satisfactory level in spoken German requires a well-tailored language course in Bhutan and subsequent exposure in a German-speaking country. This latter experience would also offer some immersion for tour guides in the culture and daily lives of possible future clients.

Objectives and Strategies

  • Bridging between Bhutanese and Austrian educational institutions for the purpose of learning German language and culture
  • Support with organizing German language courses for Bhutanese
  • Support with resources such as qualified German language teachers and teaching materials
  • Offering perspectives and chances to young Bhutanese who are interested in German language for tourism and/or higher education purposes

Ulla Wegenkittl-Neumayer (MA)

Project management in Salzburg & German language in tourism



Elisabeth Berger (PhD)

Project advisor; expert, longstanding ‘German as a foreign language’ tutor to university-level students



Ulrike Čokl (PhD)

Program management Bhutan Network




Qualified German language teachers

François-Xavier SAHUC, LL.M.

Trilingual Language instructor (French, German, English)




Institutional Cooperation

Language Centre of the Paris-Lodron-University of Salzburg

Professional advice

Guide Association of Bhutan



De-Suung  (Guardian of Peace)



Support our Let’sGerman!

  • Areas: Education and vocational training
  • Project Code: LeG007
  • Start: 2021
  • Type: Long-term