This grant allowed me to pursue tutoring before embarking to Germany to participate in the Freiburg Study Group program. I was already a year behind in my German studies when I decided to participate in this program, but having the opportunity to work with a tutor at home allowed me to catch up on pronunciation and overall comprehension before leaving for Germany.
Jacqueline Listemaa, a graduate student and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, was my tutor, and she was incredibly friendly and caring. During our tutoring sessions, we would read from the textbook meant for university-level German second year students, paying particular attention to my pronunciation and words that were unfamiliar to me. Jacqueline, who had spent a year in Austria, discussed with me as well about what to expect from living abroad in a German speaking country, and how to prepare beforehand. I also asked for her help with some of the assignments that were due before leaving for Germany, and she proved to be a great help with my overall writing and reading skills.
Once again, I am incredibly grateful to everyone who generously made this grant possible, as it was a huge help in allowing me to prepare for my study abroad experience. Working with a tutor definitely took the pressure off and eased my anxiety about going to Germany for 4 ½ months and speaking primarily German. Without this grant money, I would have had a much more difficult transition into German-speaking once I got to Freiburg. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have had through the German department, as studying German has given me an incredible sense of community with people I might not normally have crossed paths with. Leaving Freiburg, I came back to the U.S. with friendships I hadn’t had before, and I am so glad I decided to throw myself into the study of German.