Home - Academics - Departments and Programs - German - German Department
German Department

Latest Posts

Steven Nave ’17: Independent Study

By Contributing Writer on November 19, 2015

Steven NaveWith my German department study grant, I boosted my language skills by exploring New German Cinema over the summer. Starting in 1962, a revolutionary wave of talented filmmakers broke generic and cultural norms with their intense, artistic vision. By the time Abscheid von Gestern (Yesterday Girl) won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, this generation of post-war auteurs was being called the New German Cinema.

Over the summer, I explored the history and personalities of the generation that produced the zenith of German film. I used my funding to watch some of the most notable and extreme works of the period, such as the maddening, unforgettable 16-hour-long Berlin Alexanderplatz and the oft-banned satirical classic The Tin Drum. For each film I wrote a brief discussion in German to improve my skills and worked with my adviser to improve it grammatically and stylistically.

Colin Ren ’17: Summer Language Immersion in the U.S.

By Contributing Writer on November 19, 2015

Colin RenDuring the summer of 2015, I attended Middlebury College Language School with the generous financial help from the Department of German at Colgate. Middlebury currently operates 11 language schools and the year of 2015 is the centennial of the legendary Middlebury method, with the start of the German School in 1915.

The schools implement an immersion method called “The Language Pledge”: students are not allowed to use any languages other than the target language. My German skills were very elementary when I began the program. When I finished the seventh week, though not at fluent level, I had developed a mentality and skill set to speak German without fear.

From brushing in the morning to dancing on Saturday nights, we used German all the time. This not only helped me to learn countless vocabularies and expressions, but also to increase my confidence and comfort level with the language. I also participated in a few extracurricular activities such as theater and radio. The theater club especially helped me in memorizing expressions and putting them into context. All the faculty members were incredibly approachable and we built a close-knit community by the end of the summer.

I highly recommend Middlebury to anyone who wishes to boost their German skills in a short amount of time. And I could not be more grateful for the support that Colgate provided.

Will Andrews ’16: Internship in Freiburg

By Contributing Writer on November 19, 2015

German major Will Andrews '16Before beginning my semester with the Freiburg Study Group, I spent the month of January and February 2015 working as an intern in the Carl Schurz Haus Deutsch Amerikanisches Institut Freiburg e.V. My tasks included helping to set up and run events pertaining to American culture, helping to teach workshops on English language and literature, and advertising our program with posters and social media. Our events ranged from American movie nights to comparing parenting techniques between the United States, Germany and China.

It was very interesting working in an environment where I had to represent my country in a foreign country, and I believe I learned just as much as those attending our events and workshops. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Carl Schurz Haus and especially encourage students to spread their horizons and get involved with the many German institutions in the United States and American institutions in Germany.

Audrey Ortiz ’16: Private Tutoring

By Contributing Writer on November 19, 2015

Audrey OrtizThis 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.

Cara Skelly ’16: Internship in Berlin

By Contributing Writer on November 19, 2015

Cara SkellyI used the German Study grant to support my position as an unpaid intern in Berlin from January to March 2015. My internship was with an organization called Entrepreneur’s Organization, which is a global organization of entrepreneurs focused on building successful businesses.

I used the money to pay for transportation within the city and food for myself during work hours. I spoke German with my boss at work and learned about everyday life in the city of Berlin with my host family.

Living with a family of four children, I learned many aspects of German school life from elementary school to university. The study grant allowed me an exciting opportunity to live in a German city and practice my German outside of the classroom before arriving in Freiburg!

Jackson Ang’ong’a ’15: Studying Physics in German

By Contributing Writer on November 18, 2014

Colgate Physics major Jackson Ang'ong'aMeine HiWi-Stelle ging darum, den Informationsverlust bei verschränkten Lichtteilchen (Photonen) zu erforschen. Man hat (theoretisch) Informationen auf Lichtteilchen gespeichert und die Teilchen in der ‘Atmosphäre’ von einem Punkt zum Andern geschossen.

“My work as a research assistant involved researching the loss of information in photons. Theoretically, we stored information in photons and then shot them from one point in the ‘atmosphere’ to another.”

Angelica Babei ’14: Honors Research Abroad

By Contributing Writer on November 18, 2014

Colgate German major Angelica BabeiAs a part of my honors thesis in German, which focused on the implications of ambiguity in poetry in the transmission of multidimensional political messages in the GDR, I studied the works of Carlfriedrich Claus, a German artist experimenting with visual and concrete poetry.

The study grant the Department of German awarded me made it possible for me to travel to Chemnitz, Germany, and visit Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Stiftung Carlfriedrich Claus-Archiv, which are the archives with the collected works of Carlfriedrich Claus. There I could research his visual poetry thoroughly, decipher some of the text he used in his works, study some of the correspondence of the artist — in which he described his work — and ask questions about and discuss his art with the workers at the archives.

In addition to this, the visit at the archives has improved my personal and intellectual development, as it has raised my interest in East German literature and art, and has improved my understanding of the political context from which they emerged. This subject area has also become the defining focus of my German Studies, and the study grant has given me the opportunity to get a more complex and personal experience with it.

Sarah Gorayeb ’15: Multinational Experiences

By Contributing Writer on November 18, 2014

Colgate International Relations Major Sarah GorayebI used my study grant to spend a month working in Germany and Switzerland, first doing homestays in central Germany before working in a German-speaking preschool in Switzerland.

During my two homestays, I first stayed in a mid-sized town and next worked on a rural farm.  I spent the second half of my time living with a Swiss family in Zürich, where I worked as a teacher in a preschool and was able to observe differences between Swiss and German culture, as well as between Swiss and American culture.

Throughout my experience, I communicated primarily in German and significantly improved my language skills while learning about life in both Germany and Switzerland!

Kory Beach ’15: Combining Science and Language Study

By Contributing Writer on November 18, 2014

Colgate German major Kory BeachFrom January 13 to March 21, 2014 I worked as a research intern at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. My work involved setting up a laser system for Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) for use on testing the consistency of Lithium-Ion Battery material, as well as creating the battery materials in question by using a specialized procedure developed at KIT.

In the time that I spent in Karlsruhe, my German greatly improved, especially my listening comprehension. This head start was very noticeable to me in the time that I spent on the Freiburg Study Group and it has provided me with the confidence and foundation to my German studies to new heights.

Will Andrews ’16: Language Immersion Abroad

By Contributing Writer on November 18, 2014

German major Will Andrews '16Grüß Gott!

With the Colgate German Department’s help, I spent time this past summer studying in Vienna, Austria. Not only did my German get much stronger through the course and the immersion, I had my first real experience living in a German-speaking city, and a beautiful one at that.

Due to Vienna’s central location, I was able to travel around Europe and see some amazing cities, such as Salzburg, Prague and Bratislava. I made many friends from across the world who I still keep up with, and one of them is even coming to visit me over winter break this year to see America for the first time.

I am very grateful to everyone who was a part of helping me have this amazing experience!