Name: Kevin Lentz
Location of Study: Berlin, Germany
Program of Study: Carl Duisburg Centrum
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Nanovic Institute for European Studies
A brief personal bio:
Hello all who stumble upon this travel blog! My name is Kevin Lentz, and I come from the sunny Atlanta suburb of Milton GA. I am currently a junior studying Political Science, German, and Business Economics. I will be staying in both Berlin and Munich for a total of 8 weeks, and plan to spend another week or so traveling in Austria afterwards. I have taken German for 4 semesters at Notre Dame, and am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to study in Europe!
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
This SLA Grant is important because it will allow me to increase the cultural and linguistic knowledge required for my desired career path. Over the summer I plan to apply for the research Fulbright Scholarship in Germany which necessitates a high level of German fluency. Additionally, I would like to complete a master’s degree in Germany. This education would be instrumental in my long term goal of working for the U.S. Foreign Service in Europe.
I believe that, being totally immersed in the language and culture will provide the tools needed to increase my language comprehension and speaking abilities significantly. Then I will be able to both take full advantage of higher level German classes, and conduct better research for my senior thesis regarding European Politics. Ultimately, this grant makes it possible for me to become competent in a language necessary for my desired career path.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
With this grant I hope to both broaden my perspective, and become conversationally competent by the end of my trip. I would like to be able to maintain semi-complex conversations without asking the other person to repeat themselves or slow down. on my side of the conversation, I hope to be able to fully vocalize my ideas without extensive grammatical errors or mispronunciations.
I also hope to gain a deeper understanding of German culture, and in doing so, broaden my perspective of how things can be done and how people interact. I intend to utilize the cultural trips which the Carl Duisberg program hosts so that I may obtain a better understanding of German culture.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to use the German grammar system (Noun genders, adjective endings, and conjugations) without taking much time to think about it.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to read more advanced German texts without stumbling over grammar or using a dictionary often.
- At the end of the summer, I will be able to conduct interviews in German with native speakers on academic and political topics such as foreign policy and comparative politics.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
I intend to map out cultural points of interest in each city I stay in. This includes museums, concerts, and theater productions. I will combine these along with the Carl Duisberg cultural events to obtain a greater understanding of German culture. I also plan to talk to my German professors and ask their advice for must do things in the cities. outside of class, I will regularly participate in the Carl Duisberg intramural sports program, in which you are only allowed to speak German. As far as classes go, I cannot wait to take advantage of the individual tutoring system offered at Carl Duisberg, for I pick things up much quicker in One-on-one learning enviroments.