Garcia, Brandon


Language: German

Location of Study: Berlin, Germany

Program of Study: Summer Language Abroad Grant

Sponsors: The Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures.

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A brief personal bio:

Hello! My name is Brandon Garcia and I am rising junior studying Neuroscience and Behavior, along with German, at the University of Notre Dame. I am from Phoenix, Arizona, but currently live in Stanford Hall on campus. I come from a Mexican-European background, and I have an older sister and younger brother. If I could do one thing for the rest of my life, it would be to spend time outside with my family cooking our favorite Mexican dishes. I play football for the Fighting Irish, but hope to pursue a career in medicine after graduation from Notre Dame. I live with five other roommates, and will continue to do so for my junior year.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

The Neuroscience and Behavior major in the College of Science creates a context for scholarly conversation about the nature of the mind, brain, and behavior. One day I hope to work with patients in the medical field, where I can work to understand their issues from a biological and social perspective. The medical field encompasses a diverse population, something I must be prepared to navigate. As a doctor, it is important to understand to understand how people behave and why they believe in certain things. These are critical to one’s culture. I am now ready to conquer a new language and culture in a foreign setting. After taking Beginning German I this semester, I found a new goal to fight for. I believe spending 10 weeks in Berlin, Germany will allow me to further develop my speaking skills and surround myself with people of a rich culture and history.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

The Carl-Duisberg program in Berlin offers many opportunities for me to surround myself in the German language and culture. Along with the culture of the German people, I will be surrounded with classmates from other parts of the world. This is an opportunity that will help me to broaden my perspective in terms of how people from other countries think, act, and behave. This is a fundamental concept in psychology and one of the main reasons I chose to study Neuroscience. It is important to understand how situational and personal factors influence a person’s thoughts and decisions. This program is one where I will be able to meet a student in the same program who could be from anywhere across the globe. This is significant to me because I yearn to understand others and develop deep relationships with them, evident in my passion for Neuroscience. These specific factors will help me to develop the skills I need to pursue my goal of conducting research in Germany during summer 2019. The Carl Duisberg Centren also has an extensive extracurricular program that provides students with excellent opportunities to integrate into the city through excursions and sports activities.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

1. By the end of the summer, I will be able to use the German language to communicate in a comfortable and natural manner, as if I am a native speaker.

2. After my 8 weeks at Carl-Duisberg, I will be able to explain the diversity and complexity that is the city of Berlin.

3. When I complete my time at Carl-Duisberg, I will be able to return to the city and know my way around without having to use a map.