Location of Study: Munich, Germany
Program of Study: Carl Duisberg
Sponsors: Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures
A brief personal bio:
I am a sophomore philosophy and theology major hailing from Sacramento, CA. My family history traces back to Germany on both sides, and until two generations ago, German was my family’s native language. I began studying German midway through my freshman year because of my desire to reconnect with my family history, and because of a recognition that much important philosophy and theology from the past 500 years or so has been written in German.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
As a philosophy and theology major I am interested in a lot of work produced from German writers. This past semester I took a course in phenomenology, many of whose most important contributors wrote in German. I would like to be able to read their works in the original language, and am considering writing a thesis by a comparative analysis of the hermeneutical circle. I also have an interest in the works of writer Konrad Weiss, who was a major source of inspiration for philosopher Josef Pieper. Finally, I am interested in Biblical interpretation and translation, and would like to research this more in German, where the tradition of translation is central to intellectual culture. All of these points of interest could culminate in further study in Germany for me, so I would like to improve my skills with both the written and spoken word.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
I hope to be prepared to study German literature in class upon my return in the fall, and excel in independent study. I would also like to have a more intimate connection with German culture and geography, so that I can consider Germany a second place where I feel comfortable sojourning. This means that my language study will include exploring the cities around me, taking part in the local holidays, and getting to know the people around me. Finally, as mentioned above, I would like to put myself in a position where I could potentially continue study in Germany at a university level after graduation.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read and interpret German works of literature as well as I can in English.
2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to maintain conversations with native speakers on any non-specialized topic.
3. At the end of the summer, I will have strong comprehension of Bavarian history, culture, and contemporary events.
4. At the end of the summer, I will be familiar with standards in German universities, and I will have attended open lectures to better acclimate myself to academic style in German.
5. At the end of the summer I will be able to pray in German.