Computer geeks learn to flirt

BERLIN Fri Jan 9, 2009 1:24pm EST

People use computers at an Internet cafe in Changzhi, north China's Shanxi province June 20, 2007. REUTERS/Stringer

People use computers at an Internet cafe in Changzhi, north China's Shanxi province June 20, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Even the most quirky of computer nerds can learn to flirt with finesse thanks to a new "flirting course" being offered to budding IT engineers at Potsdam University south of Berlin.

The 440 students enrolled in the master's degree course will learn how to write flirtatious text messages and emails, impress people at parties and cope with rejection.

Philip von Senftleben, an author and radio presenter who will teach the course, summed up his job as teaching how to "get someone else's heart beating fast while yours stays calm."

The course, which starts next Monday, is part of the social skills section of the IT course and is designed to ease entry into the world of work. Students also learn body language, public-speaking, stress management and presentation skills.

"We want to prepare our students with the social skills needed to succeed both in their private life and their work life," said Hans-Joachim Allgaier, a spokesman for the institute at Potsdam University where the course is being offered.

(Writing by Anna Brooke; Editing by Nick Vinocur)

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