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  • Binghamton University - Alexander Russell

    • Alexander Russell
      Home University: Binghamton University
      Major: German Studies; Political Science
      Program/University in Germany: Universität Leipzig
      E-Mail: russell.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hallo! My name is Alex Russell and I’m entering my fourth year at Binghamton University. I’m double majoring in German Studies and Political Science and minoring in Global Studies. I started learning German in middle school and took it throughout high school and ultimately decided to declare a major in it. In my senior year of high school, I took part in a DAAD high school exchange program that lasted about two weeks, where I hosted a student from Germany in the fall and then went and stayed with them the following spring. This exchange caused me to truly fall in love with the German culture and I decided that I wanted to study abroad there and learn more about the nation, language, and culture. Binghamton University has an exchange program with Universität Leipzig, where I applied to study political science (in German) for an academic year, although this was cut short by the pandemic. I truly enjoyed my time in Leipzig, as I was able to live a university student’s lifestyle and further enhance my German skills by studying in the language. I was able to interact with other students and locals around the city, which allowed me to get a better understanding of the East/West divide that still exists. I met many Erasmus students and made some great long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world. I was also able to travel and explore some beautiful and historic cities (and of course eat some great food!). Being able to study in all German in a university city like Leipzig allowed me to immerse myself in the language and culture and gain a much better understanding of Germany, which will help me in my future endeavors of studying international relations. My experience helped me to grow personally and professionally, and I would love to help other students explore opportunities, as I believe Germany is a great place to study.

  • Concordia University - Cédric Alston

    • Cédric Alston
      Home University: Concordia University
      Major: International Business
      Program/University in Germany: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
      E-Mail: alston.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hi, I’m Cédric, an undergraduate studying international business at Montréal’s John Molson School of Business. In the Fall of 2020, despite a recent global shut down due to COVID-19, I had the chance to take off and experience Frankfurt, the heart of Europe’s finances, for a few months. After many weeks of uncertainty and indecision, I’m so happy I decided to go abroad. As soon as I arrived, I instantly bonded with the city and the other exchange students at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

      The main take-aways for me in Frankfurt were the ease of adapting, the warm welcome and the support system my host institution had in place to ensure my experience was unforgettable. From talking with the ERASMUS community of students from different institutions, all schools provide help for their international visitors. Not knowing German posed no problem to me; Frankfurt is an important European hub where most things happen in English as well as in German making it extremely easy to do anything. The city is safe, welcoming and full of students willing to meet up and enjoy their short stay.

      Some of the memorable moments are my orientation day, the multiple late summer night outings with my new friends within the first few, the day trips I did around the area and the short vacation I was able to take in nearby Spain.

      I’m happy to share my experience and I welcome any questions about my stay in Germany.

  • McGill University - Zachary Nanji

    • Zachary Nanji
      Home University: McGill University
      Major: International Development Studies
      Program/University in Germany: Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München
      E-Mail: nanji.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hallo! My name is Zachary and I am a third-year student at McGill University, Montréal. I study Honours International Development Studies with a Minor in Management, and am originally from Bristol, United Kingdom. During high-school, I studied German for six years, and so I already had a good command of German before I visited the country on exchange. I chose to study in Germany because I wanted to improve my German language ability: learning German in the classroom is one thing; however, using it in everyday conversation in Germany is quite different. Having visited Munich before on a high-school exchange, I chose to study at Ludwig-Maximilian Universitat (LMU) in Munich for my exchange. I was attracted once again to Munich by its interesting Bavarian dialect, the area’s beautiful scenery including mountains and lakes, and the delicious cuisine of Southern Germany. One of the things about my exchange semester which was not quite what I expected was the format of the classes at LMU. Classes were small, with around 15-20 students in each one. In addition, participation during lectures and presentations formed a large portion of lectures, which gave me an opportunity to participate more actively during classes than I am used to. Forming connections with my fellow students – both native Germans as well as other exchange students – was incredibly rewarding, and I was pleased to leave Germany with several new contacts. In addition, I enjoyed being able to expand my cultural horizons by taking part in new activities, visiting different cultural places of interest, and getting a taste for German day-to-day life. I would highly recommend Germany as a place to study for any student with an interest in foreign culture and an appetite for experiencing something new.

  • Montana State University - Franklin Alongi

    • Franklin Alongi
      Home University: Montana State University
      Major: Plant Biology
      Program/University in Germany: Tübingen; Freie Universität Berlin
      E-Mail: alongi.daadya [at ] gmail [dot] com

      Hallo! My name is Franklin Alongi and I am in my third year at Montana State University. I am currently pursuing a degree in Plant Science with minors in Data Science and German. My interest in German language and culture started with visits to my sister during her own study abroad experience, ultimately fueling my own summer abroad in Germany in 2019. During this time, I studied the law, economics, and institutions of the European Union in Tübingen, as well as intensive German language in Berlin. Although these two programs were highly different with one being in a quaint, southern German university city and the other in the German capital, both were uniquely remarkable experiences. This single summer has inspired me to pursue a career of academic research in Germany as well as to continue to develop my own language abilities. In 2020, I received a DAAD RISE scholarship to conduct a summer of research about landscape disturbance ecology in a laboratory at the University of Bayreuth. Although the RISE program was unable to occur in 2020, I look forward to my internship the following year. I believe that every student should have as many resources and access to study abroad as possible, as these experiences for me have proven to be truly life changing. As a Young Ambassador, I look forward to supporting students in these same endeavors and helping them achieve their goals.

  • Sewanee: The University of the South - Lakeisha Phillips

    • Lakeisha Phillips
      Home University: Sewanee: The University of the South
      Major: German and German Studies; Politics
      Program/University in Germany: DID Deutsch-Institut Berlin
      E-Mail: phillips.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hallo! My name is Lakeisha Phillips and I am a senior double majoring in Politics and German at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. My love for German and Germany comes not from my study abroad experience but from my own upbringing. I was born and raised in Lampertheim, Germany and spoke German before I learned English. My mother is German and my father is a retired American soldier, which is what I like to consider your typical military-German love story. Most of my German was conversational up until I came to college, where I fell in love with our small yet mighty German department. I have learned so much about myself as a Black German woman and the Black Germans that came before me while simultaneously developing my professional German speaking skills. I studied abroad in Berlin, Germany the summer after my freshman year and had the opportunity to engage with the rich history of Berlin and strengthen my language skills. While I was in Berlin, I fell in love with the German Bundestag and Reichstag building. This has led to my strong desire to continue to study German and its legal system upon graduation. I aspire to move back to Germany, work and be close to my family again! I love talking about my German heritage and just about the Black German culture in general simply because it is bigger than many may believe and there is so much history that is yet to be uncovered. I am so excited to serve as a DAAD Ambassador this year and share my love for this wonderful country that I have the pleasure of calling my home.

  • University of Calgary - Zarnab Zafar

    • Home University: University of Calgary
      Political Science; French
      Program/University in Germany: 
      Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München
      zafar.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      I am a Second Year Political Science, International Relations, and French Major. I was a part of the study abroad program before I even began my studies at my university and it was one of the best experiences I have had. Being given this opportunity prior to starting my first year officially allowed me to gain valuable insight into University life and prepare myself for this chapter in my life. I took EU studies and German and I learned lessons that I will take with me everywhere I go next. While the time difference was difficult to adjust to at the beginning and at the end of the course I truly felt as though I had experienced life as a German student fully. During my courses I learned a lot about the EU and practiced my German skills, but I also experienced life in Germany virtually and felt like I had gone on a trip. Despite being online, I was able to learn meaningful lessons about the course material, but also make lifelong friendships and connections with people. I think my favorite part of this program was the fact that I truly felt like a university student and even though I hadn’t officially started as a student I gained a lot of important experience that greatly helped me when I began my journey as a university student. I hope that by being an ambassador I can help others gain this experience and showcase how important international study is and the lifelong lessons that come with it.

  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst - Alexis Haring

    • Alexis Haring
      Home University: 
      University of Massachusetts-Amherst
      Biology and STEM; German
      Program/University in Germany: 
      Heinrich-Heine Universität
      haring.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hallo! My name is Alexis Haring and I will be entering my fourth year of studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. There I am completing a dual degree in Biology and STEM-German. I have been studying German since the 8th grade and have been able to continue learning the language in college. Despite having a course-heavy schedule with my major of Biology, through the UMASS-Amherst program called i-STEP, I was able to continue fostering my German language skills in German classes that are geared towards learning technical and scientific terms useful for an internship in the STEM field in Germany.

      In the summer of 2021, I was able to go to Germany to complete an internship with DAAD RISE. There I was matched at Heinrich-Heine Universität in Düsseldorf, Germany. I worked in the AG Stahl group studying the stem cell niche in Arabidopsis Thaliana. In Germany, working in an only German-speaking lab, my German language fluency exponentially grew. I predominantly spoke German in the lab and English outside of the lab since my friends abroad were American and Irish. While in Germany, I was also able to travel, in part due to the generous stipend that was awarded to me with DAAD RISE.

      I have learned so much during my time in Germany. My Ph.D. student mentor, whom I shadowed while abroad, helped me understand what to expect in German culture and how to thrive in Germany. I am forever grateful for the opportunity DAAD RISE gave me this past summer and can not wait to get back to Germany. My inbox is always open if you want to chat about the RISE process/application, how to get connected with people while in Germany, study abroad, and so much more. My email inbox is always open and I look forward to hearing from you. Tschüss!!

  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro - Anne Badgett

    • Anne Badgett
      Home University: 
      University of North Carolina at Greensboro
      Political Science; German
      Program/University in Germany: 
      University of Konstanz
      badgett.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hallo! My name is Anne Badgett. I am a student studying at the University of North Carolina Greensboro majoring in Political Science and minoring in German and Anthropology. International travel has always been a large part of my life. Although I am American, I grew up in South Africa and as a result have always had ambitions to live abroad. When I decided to take German in my sophomore year, I immediately fell in love with the language. I have my amazing professor to thank for that, as he used poetry, film, and other art to inspire our German studies. My study abroad took place at the University of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany in Spring of 2020. I decided to go to Konstanz as not many people from my home university, UNCG, had done their study abroad there, and it is well-known for its Political Science program. Having the opportunity to study political science from a German perspective was paramount to my personal and academic development. This turned out to be a good decision because I was able to not only meet people from other countries, but also from other American universities. Making connections with other Americans interested in Germany was enriching and encouraged me to continue learning about Germany despite my study abroad being cut short due to coronavirus. I am passionate about encouraging people to travel abroad for extended periods of time whether it be for research, career, or university. I am excited to use my personal experience to encourage others to travel to Germany and encounter the fullness it has to offer.

  • Virginia Tech - Sasha Mintz

    • Sasha Mintz
      Home University: Virginia Tech
      Major: Aerospace Engineering
      Program/University in Germany: Ruhr-Universität Bochum
      E-Mail: mintz.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Hello! My name is Sasha Mintz and I am a student at Virginia Tech studying aerospace engineering with minors in physics, astronomy and German. I intend on graduating in Spring 2024 and pursue a doctorate in astrophysics. I have always been surrounded by the German culture and language growing up; my mother’s side of the family was all born there. As I entered high school, I began learning the language in hopes of better communicating with my grandmother and her relatives. During my spring semester of my freshman year, I heard about the Tandem-MINT program. This program involves being paired with a partner who speaks the language you want to learn and vice versa. Then, you meet about 13 times during the semester, speaking 1 hour of English and 1 hour of German. This course was meant to broaden each person’s language skills in their major, in hopes of helping them be able to speak more eloquently about what they study in their non-native language. Because of COVID-19, I was unable to travel to Germany and meet my partner in person in Bochum, but nonetheless, the course was enriching and fulfilling in all the same ways. I hope to pursue more study abroad opportunities in the upcoming years and further my experiences with the German language and culture. Currently, I work as an aerospace engineering intern at a research corporation that actually has an employee who lives in Germany! I hope to speak with him before I return to campus and practice the new skills I learned through my study abroad experience.

  • Washington & Lee University - Anne Riter

    • Anne Riter
      Home University: Washington & Lee University
      Major: Economics and German; Arabic Minor
      Program/University in Germany: Goethe-Institut; American Field Service High School
      E-Mail: riter.daadya [at] gmail [dot] com

      Moin moin! My name is Anne and I am a senior majoring in Economics and German and minoring in Arabic at Washington & Lee University. I grew up in a half-Danish, half-American household, so learning foreign languages and studying abroad was always encouraged. I started taking German in middle school, but when I moved to a new state right before high school and I found out that my new school didn’t offer German, I decided to study abroad. As a junior in high school, I went to Hamburg for an entire year where I lived with a host family and attended the local Gymnasium. Only really knowing how to introduce myself and talk about my favorite colors, it was a challenge to navigate a new country, culture, and language. I made many missteps, but it was one of the most transformative years of my life and it set me on my path of majoring in German. I had the opportunity as a freshman in college to return to Germany where I studied social market economy in Berlin for four weeks with 15 of my fellow W&L German students. Many of my fellow classmates turned to me for advice, and I found myself settling in and enjoying my role as a resource for them, something I wish I had had when I studied abroad the first time. While the Covid-19 pandemic canceled my plans to study abroad during the winter semester of 2021, I knew I wanted to help other students achieve their study abroad goals. I am eagerly waiting for the next time I get to go to Germany, but until then I hope to share my love of the culture and the language with other students on my campus!