Montana State University
Simon Fraser University
The University of the South
University of Alberta
University of Arizona
University of Calgary
University of California, Berkeley
University of Cincinnati
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Memorial University Newfoundland
University of Rhode Island
University of Winnipeg
Washington and Lee University
West Virginia University
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.
Servus! My name is Georgia Beatty (she/her) and I study English, German, and History at West Virginia University. I began learning German upon entering university, and my first-time visiting Germany was in May of 2018, when I’d been studying European legal systems and institutions. I fell in love with the country and its culture, and upon return I flung myself into learning the German language. I was very determined to make a return, which I did this past academic year. I studied Deutsch als Fremdsprache at Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg in Bayern (or Franken, depending on who you ask). While there I was introduced to some of my closest friends and had the most incredible experiences. I joined the university’s first English literary magazine and a theater troupe for international students, I visited places like Nürnberg, Berlin, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and countless UNESCO world heritage sites. Through Model UN Germany I also had the chance to visit important historical sites like Wartburg Castle, Buchenwald, and Point Alpha. Throughout all of this, I truly learned so much about the world and myself, and I can’t wait to go back. In the meantime, though, I’m excited to engage with prospective student travelers as a DAAD Young Ambassador and to help them fall in love with Germany as I have. I hope to provide as much insight and help as I can!
Hallo! My name is Ryan Garnsey and I am a senior at the University of Montana in Missoula, MT. I am pursuing a double major in European History and Philosophy and will graduate in the spring of 2021. I am a Jazz pianist, climber, trail builder, reader, thinker and a lover of rouladen and knödel! My interest in German language and culture grew out of a penchant for German philosophy and literature. This prompted me to apply to the Parlimentarisches Patentschafts Programm, which I received in spring 2019. The scholarship enabled me to begin my study of the German language and immerse myself in the culture. I spent the first months of the program in Saarbrücken attending an intensive language course and the remainder of the program in Leipzig, taking classes at Uni Leipzig and working as a research assistant for Dr. Andrea Kern. During both phases, I lived with host families. Although it was immensely challenging, living with hosts was the richest part of my 9 months in Germany. The opportunity to both observe the subtleties of German family life and build deep, longstanding relationships was precious. The innumerable conversations had over Abendbrot and strolls around Leipzig will never be forgotten. In sum, what started as an interest in literature and philosophy quickly morphed into a love of the dispositions and sensibilities of the Germans I came to know, a comfort in the confounding structure of the German language and a love of the food, too. I am eager to share my experience with German culture with others and eager to get back to Germany my self!
Hello! My name is Eamon and I am a rising senior at Hamilton College. I am from Scranton, Pennsylvania, and I study biology. I always knew I wanted to study abroad, and I chose to study German at Hamilton College because I had studied Spanish for many years and wanted to become proficient in a non-romance language. I went abroad in the fall of my junior year to Dresden as part of Boston University’s German program, and it was a uniquely incredible experience. Going to a city of half a million people after attending my small liberal arts college in upstate New York was a welcome change of scenery. Dresden itself has a tragic and fascinating history, and it was especially immersive since, as a relatively less well-known city, there are few tourists and I was able to practice German frequently. I traveled often inside and outside Germany, and one of my favorite experiences was volunteering as a bartender at a local bar. I also became close with German and other international students, and created friendships I hope to maintain for a long time to come. Studying and immersing oneself in new cultural dynamics and a different pace of life lends a new perspective on the world that is otherwise difficult to develop, and for this reason I wish to help students to study abroad in Germany.
Home University: University of California Berkeley
Major: Political Economy and German
Program/University in Germany: Congress-Bundestag Young Exchange Program, Freiburg im Breisgau
Hallo! My name is Evan and I am a senior studying Political Economy and German at UC Berkeley. I’ve long had a passion for traveling and exploring new cultures, so after graduating high school I participated in a gap-year exchange to Germany with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program. This was my first encounter with the German language and culture, and I was placed in Freiburg im Breisgau, a picturesque city located in the Black Forest. I was particularly fond of the city’s plethora of outdoor activities, its eco-friendly flair, and its laid-back, university atmosphere.
Although I initially spoke little German, I was able to quickly learn the language thanks to the help of my host family in Freiburg, the new friends that I made, and the time I spent at a gymnasium in Freiburg. I also arrived in Germany during a historic time as Europe was in the midst of a refugee crisis. I got to know classmates who were immigrants and refugees from war-torn places such as Syria, Afghanistan, and parts of Africa. I admired their courage not only in integrating in the country, but also for their desire to build a productive new life in Germany. After starting college, I decided to continue studying German literature and history and spent a summer improving my German in Hamburg with DAAD support.
The time I spent in Germany changed my life not only because I learned and grew so much personally, but also because it has pivoted my career interests towards Central and Eastern European political and economic policy. I am delighted to serve as an ambassador for DAAD-funded programs so that other students will have the chance to benefit from the many study and research opportunities in Germany.
The interesting twist was that studying abroad and living in Germany was nothing like I thought it would be, however what I was left with was a tremendous learning experience and an exciting adventure with an unmeasurable effect on my life.
I spent my first 6 months living in the city of Braunschweig taking a variety of German language classes as well as a material science class and taking part in research at TU Braunschweig’s IFAS. I then moved to Munich to begin an internship with MTU Aero Engines. After about a month of settling into my new life in Munich, I was required to return home to the US due to Coronavirus and did so on March 15th. Although I was required to leave early, I still learned a tremendous amount during my 7 months in Germany. I saw a new culture and was able to adopt it into my personal life of interacting with others. I learned to be flexible and observant wherever I went, whether it be to the grocery store or to an entirely new country to visit. The language barrier provided an additional challenge, and it helped improve my listening skills. Searching for key words when listening and constructing sentences using the limited words in my vocabulary allowed my social skills to grow not only in German, but also in English.
One of the other huge benefits of studying abroad, especially Germany, is the ability to hop on a train and be able to easily explore the entire continent of Europe. Exploration is a favorite activity of mine and I strongly believe that humans have a built-in hunger to see new places and go through new experiences.
Home University: University of Arizona
Major: Biological Anthropology and German
Program/University in Germany: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Hallo! My name is Alexandra Johnson and I am an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. I am majoring in Biological Anthropology and German Studies with minors in Primatology, Spanish, and Music. My relationship with the German language and studying abroad in Germany is not as traditional as many other American students. I was raised in Bonn, Germany for a couple of years as a young child, and so Germany has always been like home to me. Having learned the language relatively passively at the age of six, I knew that when I went to university that I wanted to pursue a degree in German in order to learn the language formally and to reconnect with my childhood. I have been fortunate enough to have studied abroad in Germany twice throughout my undergraduate career, once for a brief month-long session in Leipzig during the summer of 2018, and then again for a full year in Heidelberg, attending Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Verband der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Clubs (VDAC). I moved to Heidelberg in August of 2019 and finished my first semester, but unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic I had to return to the United States in mid-March at the request of my home university. However, through the amazing support of the VDAC and the local German-American Women’s Club here in Heidelberg, I was able to return in mid-May to finish up my year and to end my exchange on a high note. I find it truly impossible to express into words how pivotal this year has been for me and how much I have grown as an individual. The friendships I have formed and the amount of personal growth I have made, not only in terms of my German language skills, but in my own outlook and sense of self are truly remarkable. I hope to further my education and continue to strive towards fluency, and I hope to return to Germany soon, potentially relocating to the country following my graduation in Arizona. I am more than happy to talk with you about my experiences, from learning the language, to integrating yourself in German culture, and to navigating extended study abroad and solo travel. Liebe Grüße aus Heidelberg!
Grüß Gott! My name is Megan, and I am studying German at the University of Calgary. I grew up in a bilingual household speaking French and English and have always loved learning bits and pieces of new languages. When deciding what I wanted to study at university, I knew I wanted a bit of a challenge, so I chose German. It has definitely lived up to the challenge, and studying in Germany was a highlight. I spent 7 months living in the city of Bamberg, in Bavaria (Franconia). My time in Germany was by far the most incredible adventure I’ve been on yet. Moving to a new country was amazing, difficult and life-changing. I didn’t expect much of a culture shock going from Canada to Germany, but life in Germany was very different; I biked everywhere or took the train, I got to speak German every single day, and it only snowed about 4 times over the winter. While in Germany I met some amazing people, students from all over Germany and all over the world. I learnt German culture, language and identity from first-hand experience. I was able to explore some of the most beautiful places I had never heard of before. I was also incredibly lucky to travel to many new countries and do amazing things (and eat some really great food). On top of learning in the classroom, I was able to learn through experience which was incredibly rewarding and has helped me so much academically. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to study abroad and as a DAAD Young Ambassador, I hope to share my experience from study abroad while connecting with others who studied in Germany.
Hey! My name is Maya Lach-Aidelbaum and I’m currently majoring in Journalism and minoring in Women’s Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. As you can probably tell from my last name, I have some German background. In fact, my maternal grandparents are of German origin and from a young age, I started learning the basics of German. In 2015, I had the opportunity to go on 5-week cultural exchange trip through PAD (Pedagogical Exchange Service). After this amazing experience, I was hooked on Germany. I had to go back. For me, studying in Germany was a great way of improving my language capabilities as well as an introduction to a completely new and different culture. I went on a one-year exchange in Munich, Germany at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität where I studied Communication Sciences. I thoroughly enjoyed studying in the Bavarian capital known for its excellent beer and accompanying traditions (think: Oktoberfest). During the exchange I not only made friends from all over the world, I also learned to navigate a completely different education system. I enjoyed numerous hikes in the nearby German Alps, home-made dinners with my German roommates and weekend trips to neighboring countries such as Austria, Croatia, Italy, France and Spain. However, I also had to overcome some pretty big challenges: keeping up with my classes taught in German, finding an affordable apartment, dealing with German bureaucracy. Overall, going on an exchange is a character-building experience that will make you more independent and open-minded. In my opinion, a country’s education system is a portal into its culture: it’s at times confusing and hard, but often refreshing and inspirational. I’d be happy to share my ups and downs with you, as well as tips and tricks and future opportunities.
Hello! My name is Satveer Ladhar and I am a Simon Fraser University student (Vancouver, B.C.) where I am working towards my Social Science degree with a major in Criminology, minor in Business as well a certificate in Legal Studies. In my final year of University, I felt as though I was missing an international experience to complement my studies, so I decided to complete a semester abroad in Berlin. Going to Germany with little exposure to the culture or even the language provided for an even more enriching experience. In stepping out of my comfort zone I could fully embrace this new environment. For my exchange, I studied at the Humboldt University of Berlin in the Law and Social Science faculties. In my social science courses I was connecting with other students from various backgrounds, allowing me to broaden my perspective on various social justice issues/ topics. In my law courses, I gained a breadth of knowledge in European law which was a contrast to the Canadian law I had been exposed to in Criminology. Another valuable feature of my exchange was my decision to learn German, which inspired me to continue to learn the language. Through this experience, I formed friendships and valuable connections to the academic community; I am fortunate to continue the work I started at Humbolt in becoming a researcher in a Power Sharing Project with my former professor. Academics aside, I sincerely appreciated the livelihood of the city. I was constantly meeting new people, visiting new places and learning more about the history of Berlin. My experience in Germany was truly the highlight of my university experience and I look forward to supporting other students as a DAAD ambassador!
Hi! My name is Savannah, and I am a senior at Transylvania University majoring in International Affairs and German and minoring in French. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to study in Germany twice, and each unique opportunity has had a significant impact on my sense of self, my ideas about the world, and the path that I envision for my life. I first stepped foot in Germany in 2016 as a youth ambassador with the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX). I lived with the most wonderful host family in North Rhine-Westphalia and spent a full academic year studying at a Gymnasium. I didn't speak a word of the language when I stepped off the plane, so needless to say, that year was full of challenges, but was more worthwhile than I could ever imagine. Two years later, I had the chance to return as a college student through the Kentucky Institute for International Studies and spent a semester studying at Universität Regensburg in Bavaria. Upon my return, I completed my German capstone thesis exploring the role of social media in recruiting youth for German political parties. I know how much my experiences abroad have shaped me, and I believe in helping to create and shape similar experiences for others, having served as a virtual intern with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, an intern in my university's Office of Intercultural and Global Engagement, an alumna volunteer with CBYX, and now as a DAAD Young Ambassador. I believe strongly in the value of global citizenship, and hope to pursue a career in public and cultural diplomacy.
My name is Katie Lawrence and I attend the University of King's College and Dalhousie University. I am currently entering the fourth year of my degree in European Studies, with minors in Contemporary Studies and German. In May of 2019 I visited Germany for the first time to complete the Canadian Summer School (CSSG) offered through Saint Mary's University. I spent six and a half weeks in Kassel attending German classes throughout the week and living with a host family. With the program I also visited Berlin and Leipzig, and watched a fußball match in Wolfsburg. Upon completion of the course I received six credits in Intermediate German, however the actual experience of living and studying in Germany was invaluable. I continue to keep in touch with my exceptional host family and many of the students from my program; further, my interest in German life, politics, history, and culture continues to deepen. After my time in Kassel I worked as an Au Pair in Aschau im. Chiemgau, Bavaria for five weeks tutoring children in English in exchange for room and board. The CSSG Program completely prepared me for living full-time in a German-speaking environment and I was thrilled to discover my confidence with the language (despite encountering the thick Bavarian accent!). Studying in Germany challenged me as an academic and forced me outside of my comfort zone. Further, being immersed in an entirely different culture was a thrilling adventure and a thoughtful exercise in empathy. I am eagerly anticipating my next visit to Deutschland and am very excited to share my experience with other students!
Hi there! My name is Kaitlin Macfarlane and I am in my fifth year at the University of Cincinnati. I study Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Astrophysics. My program requires students to complete 5 ‘rotations’ of co-op/internships. One of the great programs that stemmed off this idea is our International Co-op Program. With this program I had the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of the German language in an intensive language course. I also took a few additional German studies courses to prepare me for my time abroad. I then found an internship with a company called Lilium in Munich, Germany where I worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for their Final Assembly Line. My grandparents are both from Germany, so I have a lot of family I have kept in touch with there and visited once before. My program would allow me to work as an intern in Germany for about 6-7 months. I unfortunately was only able to complete 3 months of my experience due to Covid-19. During my time there working with Lilium, my company provided me with additional German courses. I also lived with 6 other girls, most of which only spoke German with me. This really allowed my German skills to grow. My company was very international so at work I mostly spoke English. The cool thing about my job though was that I could have lunch with people from many different cultures and I got to learn so much about many different countries. These conversations really grew my interest in traveling and learning about other cultures. I hope to return to Germany again after graduation because 3 months wasn’t enough for me. I fell in love with the culture, the people, and the city.
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-Maximilians 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.
Home University: Washington and Lee University
Major: German & Economics
Program/University in Germany: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; German-American Exchange Internship (formerly AmCham)
In the summer of 2017, as a soon-to-be freshman with only rudimentary German skills, I would have never guessed that in a year, I would be living in Munich’s Olympic Village during a summer course, and that in two years, I would be working in German, in Germany. My initial exposure to German came from many years of involvement with the equestrian sport in Europe and from countless Lufthansa flights, but I could only hope to someday study the language…until I finally did, at age 18, as a first-semester freshman. I have not only found myself deeply affected by the language, literature, and culture of the German world and its key figures; I, too, have been enriched by other aspects of my study thanks to opportunities granted to me by my study of German. As a rising sophomore, I enjoyed a summer course at LMU Munich focusing on European Studies across the three cities of Vienna, Prague, and Munich. Being able to compare, contrast, and understand these geographically-similar, yet fundamentally-different cultures alongside one another gave me an ultimate lens through which I could view Germany as a critical EU actor. I completed a final research project in which I examined the relationship between populism, religion, and EU support, using Germany as a subject for case study. These positive experiences led me to pursue an internship in strategy consulting at Deekeling-Arndt/AMO through the German-American Exchange program this summer. I have not only gained valuable professional experience in both Berlin and Düsseldorf, but I have also noticed drastic improvements in my linguistic abilities. I wish to help others reach and realize these opportunities, which I have greatly relished. As I now prepare to consider and contemplate further steps in my life and education, I am greatly drawn to Germany and its plentiful offerings.
Grüß Gott!! My name is Alondra Ramirez and I am a senior German Studies Major and an International Global Studies minor at The University of the South: Sewanee. I began my journey with Germany during my summer of 2016 when I was granted a scholarship called Faces of America with the American Field Service Program to study Environmental Sustainability for three and a half weeks in Hamburg, Germany. At the time, I was very interested in becoming an engineer, however, during my time in Germany I was able to witness that this country recognizes its rich history, helps the environment in many sustainable ways, and has been working on creating many welcoming spaces for diversity and people of many cultures, such as Angela Merkel’s gate opening for refugees. This experience persuaded me into learning more about the country itself during college, which led to me changing my major to German Studies. As a Latina student with such major, my friends and family find it hard to understand the correlation of German with my cultural identity. For me, Germany has been a clear example of what it is to fail, recognize, learn and move forward as a society and a government. Personally, I want to educate those around me on the importance of learning from history as Germany has proven to do and with these lessons move forward to help marginalized communities, such as immigrants, in the United States. This observation was later enhanced when I visited Germany with the Sewanee in Berlin Program during my summer of 2019 to practice the language and explore the city’s museums and history. It was because of this program that I chose to go abroad for my spring semester of 2020 with IES in the Language and Area Studies Program. Through this program, I realized that Berlin alone had so much to offer, imagine what lies behind the rest of the country. However, my time in Germany this semester was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but I had the fortune of still take my classes in German in the commodity of my house.
Hello! My name is Mari Robles and I am a rising senior at Vassar College majoring in International Studies and German. Being a first generation American, I recognized early on the usefulness of knowing a second language as well as how difficult the language learning process can be for migrants. After the 2015 refugee crisis, I was really interested in studying the European response and was particularly curious in the role that Germany would play in the future. As a result, I decided to embark on a journey that would take me all the way to Berlin. The summer of 2019, I obtained a Cultural Vistas Fellowship and interned at the Regionale Arbeitsstellen für Bildung, Integration und Demokratie (RAA). My experience at RAA Berlin was astounding as I gained a greater understanding of the German education system and interacted with the immigrant community in the city. After my internship ended, I started my study abroad program with the Berlin Consortium for Germanic Studies (BCGS) at the Freie Universität. During my time at BCGS, I had the ability to travel to different Bundesländer and take part in regional celebrations, such as the Cologne Carnival. At the FU, I took thought-provoking classes on German identity and defining the concept of Heimat. I did not only get the chance to interact with German students, but people from all over the world. Although my studies in Berlin were disrupted by the pandemic, I am incredibly thankful that I had the opportunity to intern and study abroad in Germany. As I return back to Vassar in the fall, I hope to encourage students to consider studying abroad in Germany. I know that many first-generation, low-income students do not get the chance to study abroad and my goal is to share resources available to make it possible for them to do so. My time in Germany has taught me so much about myself and what I hope to pursue in the future. I cannot wait to share my experiences with everyone and also cannot wait for the opportunity to go back.
Hallo! I am Anna Schaible-Schur, a student at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. I am working towards an honours degree in rhetoric and a three-year German degree. In the fall of 2019, I started an academic exchange at Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, which is north of München, before COVID-19 required my return to Canada. Living in a small university city (that is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site), I was able to walk and cycle to classes, while passing buildings that were hundreds of years old and still in use. Nürnberg, only an hour away by train, offers an international airport which made quick trips within Europe very accessible. While living in Germany I was able to learn a new language, discover rich histories from the impressive baroque architecture around me, and experience the culture first-hand, instead of reading about it in a textbook. I participated in an international theatre group, university field trips and other classic cultural events like Oktoberfest and Kristkindelmarkts. Germany is a multicultural hub where I was able to make connections with Germans and many other international students. My experience in Germany was a meaningful learning opportunity and I would study there again given the chance. It encompasses the true European experience with great food, interesting people, amazing travel opportunities, and a second country to call home. I believe that to make the most out of your post-secondary education you need to immerse yourself in your study and what better way to do so than to go on a study abroad program. Studying abroad challenges you to explore your values, surroundings and your chosen academic field. I am very grateful for my experience and therefore want to make the same possibilities available to others. Do not hesitate to ask me any questions about Germany or my time learning in Europe. Macht’s gut!
Hello! My name is Salvatore Viola and I am entering my fourth year of undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where I am pursuing a dual degree in Economics and German. I began learning German during my senior year of high school and I have had the opportunity to study twice in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany through my university. I spent the Summer of 2018 in Stuttgart living with a host family while studying German and returned during the 2019 calendar year to study in Heidelberg where I studied Economics at Heidelberg University and German at the Max-Weber-Haus. My most valuable academic experience came from the exposure I had to alternative perspectives and insights within the Economics discipline in Heidelberg. This inspired the topic of one of my research papers which compared the effect of welfare on the middle class in Germany and the U.S. During my time in Heidelberg I enjoyed improving my German language ability thanks to the other students dedicated to learning new languages and the part-time job I had at the local holiday market. I feel so lucky to have studied in the beautiful and ancient city settled on the Neckar river. Even though Heidelberg is right in the middle of Germany and close to Frankfurt International Airport, I never wanted to leave. I am excited to introduce other students to the study abroad experience in Germany and to encourage them to get out of their comfort zone, engage with German culture and make an exciting decision they won't regret!
Moin! My name is Adrianna Warren, and I am entering my final year of a Cell and Molecular Biology major with a minor in Biochemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. My first experience in Germany was part of a three-month internship through the DAAD RISE program (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) where I stayed in northern Germany, working at the Carl Von Ossietzky Campus of the University of Oldenburg. As a student on a budget, I never saw travelling abroad as an accessible venture but with the help from the funding available it was a piece of cake. During my internship I got to experience the rigor of scientific research in Germany, network with other students and attend conferences and talks by prestigious researchers in my field. Since that time, it is clear how relevant research in Germany is, which is even notable while attending conferences here in Canada, therefore motivating me to return for my post graduate education. During my stay I immersed myself in the local arts community and got to appreciate Germany’s dedication to the arts, where I was inspired by so many lovely people, took part in local festivals, and hold my most exciting experiences. I arrived with almost no German language skills and with an honest effort managed to travel around Germany and get by, so I think it’s important to know that you don’t need to be a language whiz to have a fulfilling time. I’d love to talk more, share some stories, answer questions and help you get your experience started. My e-mail is open to you! Tschüss!
Hallo Alle! I am a mechanical engineering student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. From Fall 2019 to Spring 2020, I did a research internship at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresden (IFW Dresden). I had wanted to go abroad since taking a backpacking trip through Europe after first year, during which I grew particularly fond of Germany and Austria; this fit me quite well as an engineering student, violin player, soccer fan, and admirer of quality beer – all areas in which Germany typically excels.
During my time at the IFW Dresden, I gained research experience at a top-tier materials institute, which undoubtedly expanded my skillset as an engineer. Since my program was “self-directed,” I was essentially dropped into Germany on my own with very little assistance, resulting in a challenging but valuable opportunity to push myself to be more social, involved, and to learn from experience. For example, outside work, I joined social groups such as Eurasmus, making many friends from all over Europe and the world in the process; also, being a violinist, I joined the Universitätsorchester Dresden, which was my favourite activity abroad, because it allowed me to meet and genuinely integrate with locals, through music. Other highlights of my trip include Oktoberfest, many Christmas markets, trips to neighbouring countries, and of course, exploring the cultural gem that is Dresden.
Overall, this was a very enriching experience which helped me grow as a person tremendously, and has also led to my current internship with Siemens (fun fact: we make the ICE high-speed train). I had a memorable time in Germany and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great time abroad. Are you ready? Lass uns gehen!