Location of Study: Munich, Germany
Program of Study: Carl Duisberg Intensive Course Plus
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, College of Arts and Letters, Department of Russian and German (Flight Subsidy)
A brief personal bio:
Hello! My name is Mary Elsa and I am a rising junior at Notre Dame, studying English and German, with an interest in Education, Schooling and Society. I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and one of my academic interests is the works of Shakespeare and adaptations thereof. I am an enthusiastic company member of the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company on campus.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As a German major, being fluent in German is a necessity for my studies. If I am lacking fluency, as I do now, classes can only be trying to understand works of German literature on a basic level, but I hope to study German literature at a higher level. It is important to me that I feel I can examine German literature at as deep a level as I am able to consider English literature, and an SLA grant will allow me to deepen this understanding by increasing my fluency. Additionally, as I am considering the possibility of writing a thesis related to my German major, the language knowledge I would gain would be a valuable asset. Post-graduation, I am strongly considering applying for a Fulbright to teach or study in Germany, and with greater fluency, I would be a stronger candidate to continue my studies of German in the country itself.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
This summer I will be immersed in the German language and culture for 5 weeks. Although a brief amount of time, I believe that by spending so many hours in the classroom, I will be able to correct some of the incorrect grammar patterns that I have internalized. I should become a more confident speaker of the language, able to speak intelligently with fewer mistakes, and also improve my pronunciation so that I sound more like a native speaker. With the total immersion in the German language, I hope that when I return to Notre Dame to take more German classes in the fall, my writing will be substantially stronger and that my reading comprehension will come more naturally.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
By the end of the summer, I will be able to write academic German comfortably, with minimal errors and using a greater variety of the grammar structures available to me. By the end of the summer, I will be able to hold a complex conversation about literature with a native speaker comfortably, with minimal grammatical errors and without avoiding difficult grammar structures. By the end of the summer, I will be able to comprehend a greater percentage of the German that I hear spoken to me and in German media.