Location of Study: Munich, Germany
Program of Study: Carl Duisberg Centrum
Sponsors: The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures
A brief personal bio:
My name is Jake Theriot. I am a freshman from New Orleans, LA. I am working towards an English major, a theology supplementary major, and a German minor. I serve both in my dorm and at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart as a lector and a Eucharistic minister, and I am also a member of Notre Dame’s Right to Life Club and a first-degree knight in Notre Dame’s chapter of the Knights of Columbus. I am excited about my studies at Notre Dame, and, as of now, I plan to attend graduate school for a degree in comparative literature.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
In learning German, I feel a bit like a child who would run before he could walk, for I am eager to begin reading German theology and other German literature in their original texts as soon as possible. Thus, my SLA Grant is important to me because it will help me to take a rather large step in the direction of proficiency in German, more quickly allowing me to access the world of German thought which I seek to understand. Additionally, in the long run I hope to pursue a doctoral degree in comparative literature which requires near-native fluency in more than one foreign language. For me, speed is a necessity, and I am grateful that the award and my experience in Germany will enrich my time as an undergraduate at Notre Dame and my future graduate studies.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
Generally speaking, I hope to have a memorable and enjoyable experience learning German from native speakers and spending time in the country where it is obviously most widely spoken. More specifically though, through the program I would like to make some friends who speak good German with whom I can maintain correspondence and regularly practice my conversational German. Additionally, I hope that I can access the rich Christian culture that exists in Germany through my travels and my learning the language so that I may better understand the thoughts of the writers for whom I decided to learn German. Overall, I hope that I can become a little bit more German through my summer study-abroad experience!
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. By the end of the summer, I will feel very comfortable holding casual conversations with other German speakers.
2. By the end of the summer, I will more frequently consult only German dictionaries rather than German-to-English dictionaries.
3. By the end of the summer, I will find myself able to read some German theology and other literature without excessive reference to a dictionary and able to express simple theological and interpretive thoughts in coherent German.
4. By the end of the summer, I will feel much more confident in practicing my German with others even if I can’t help but make good mistakes.