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What recent graduates say about studying German at USF!

Kathryn Ashemore
Class of 2016

The whole department is made up of wonderful people who enjoy teaching and seeing students succeed. I just wish I had joined the department earlier in my studies.

I began my studies at USF as a Biomedical Sciences student and added a German Studies minor during my sophomore year. Two study abroad trips to Germany, strong new friendships, and the encouragement of Dr. Grieb and Dr. Huber helped me decide to change my major to German Studies. The coursework includes everything one needs to be a well-rounded German Studies student, from language to history to culture, both historical and modern. One of my favorite courses, which has been surprisingly useful in Germany, was a history of German music course with Dr. Schindler.

During my senior year, I became the president of the USF German Culture Club and enjoyed working more closely with the German Department and Drs. Grieb, Schindler, and Huber. Dr. Grieb was especially encouraging as I changed my major and led the German Culture Club. I graduated in May 2016 with my B.A. after 3 years with the department. Thanks to their continued support and wonderful letter of recommendation, I applied for and received a Fulbright Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year as an English Teaching Assistant in Niedersachsen, Germany. My varied coursework at USF served me well in my work in Germany. I gained the strong foundation I needed to improve my language skills and immerse myself in German life!
I look forward to beginning my MA studies in German at the University of Georgia. My acceptance there is, again, thanks to the support from Dr. Huber at USF!

Vielen Dank!

Rachael MacLaughlin
Class of 2014

I studied at USF from 2010 to 2014, and during my studies I decided to study the German language. Little did I know that the German language would captivate me so much and that the courses offered at the university along with the staff would incur in me a love not only of the language, but also the culture. I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities offered by the German language department because by taking part in the courses I gained a profound knowledge of the language and culture, which I am able to use today as I pursue a dual master’s degree in European studies, at the University of Flensburg and the University of Southern Denmark. I was inspired to pursue my higher education in Germany, through the various classes that I took as part of my German minor, in particular however the experiences that I attained while participating in the study abroad conducted in Stuttgart during the summer of 2013. I still remember the initial culture shock that I felt when I first arrived in Germany, but thankfully I had professor Margit Grieb to show me a side of Germany I could not have understood through a textbook or even a course, and together with my classmates I had an experience of a lifetime. That is why when I arrived to Flensburg in October 2015, I felt at ease knowing that I knew how things functioned in Germany and that I could communicate effectively, which is a huge relief when you move to a different country away from your family and friends for a long period of time. 

Mark McCarthy
Current PhD Student

My experience in the German program has helped me well beyond just learning another language. The change in perspective and insight that a foreign language provides is invaluable in an increasingly diverse cultural landscape. Not to mention that this program offers a collegial atmosphere that really made me feel like part of a family.

Margaaux Chavez
Current MA Student

I studied German at USF from 2003-2007 as part of a small, collegial cohort of students and faculty. I feel that as a German student, I received the equivalent of a classical education. Language studies are not just grammar and vocabulary, but include cultural studies. Language students must learn about the history, art, music, science, and politics of their region of focus. As German students, we received a well-rounded education and were encouraged by the staff to develop research and study skills that we could use in future professional and scholarly pursuits.

After graduating, I received a Fulbright Fellowship which gave me the opportunity to live and work in Berlin. Directly motivated by my experiences in Berlin, I decided to begin graduate studies in Anthropology and Public Health. Even after graduating, the department faculty kept in touch and offered support by helping me finance my graduate studies with a graduate assistantship as a beginning German instructor. I am still in contact with many of my former German classmates and friends I met studying abroad as an undergraduate and post-graduate. These life-long friendships and skill sets are just two of many reasons to study German!

I currently work as an education policy researcher and German instructor while getting my M.A. degree.

Laura Badertscher
Class of 2011

Note: Laura Badertscher has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) grant to Germany. The Fulbright ETA program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. An Honors College student, Badertscher graduated from USF in May 2011 with a BA in German Language and Literature, a BA in International Studies and a minor in Economics. She will spend nine months teaching English in Germany. Badertscher has always been fascinated with German society and has devoted much of her studies to learning the language, history and culture.

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quotesErin Essig Matula, Class of 2008

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Matthew Minor
Class of 2008

The German program at USF played such a vital role in the development of who I am today. Through the encouragement of the professors, I studied abroad at the University of Osnabrück my Junior year and had one of the most incredible experiences of my life! Upon returning from Germany, I spent the next 2 years fine tuning my speaking, reading and writing in German. My professors in the German program at USF were some of the most influential people in my life, with a genuine passion for what they teach and an authentic concern for the success of their students. After graduation, I moved to Berlin, Germany and completed my Master’s degree, as well as fulfilled the responsibilities of a full time job at a research institute – in German! During my almost 3 years in Berlin, I was constantly complemented not only on my German speaking abilities, but also my knowledge of German culture. I only had the German program at USF to thank!

I am currently back in the US and work in a job where I use my German almost every single day. In fact, one of the reasons I was hired at my organization was because I would easily be able to communicate with our German offices and colleagues working on projects in Germany.

I owe much of who I am today to the quality of the curriculum in the German program at USF, as well as the inspiration that I received from my former professors. I would encourage anyone remotely interested in German or Germany to explore the possibilities within this program. I promise you won’t regret it!


quotesDolores Presutto, Class of 2008

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Robin O'Dell
Class of 2007

My name is Robin O’Dell. I graduated in 2007 and now live in St. Petersburg, Florida. I loved studying German at USF and would recommend it to other USF students because of the knowledgeable, attentive teachers and the one-on-one attention you receive as a student. The subject matter is interesting, the language is fun to learn, and the teachers are excellent. I was fortunate enough to take part in the study abroad program in Osnabrück, Germany, during the summer of 2007 and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. We were immersed in the local culture of Osnabrück (a beautiful city) and also were able to travel to Berlin and Hamburg. It was unforgettable. After graduating, I started my own business, The Proofreading Boutique, as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. My knowledge of German comes in very handy when I’m editing academic works and philosophy projects, and my German comprehension has helped me obtain projects I otherwise would not have. I feel it gives me a definite edge in my field. Overall, I would recommend the German program at USF to any student. And if you find yourself in the position to take part in the study abroad program, go for it. You will make memories that will last a lifetime and learn a lot along the way.

Eric Adrien
Class of 2006

Studying German at USF was one of the most formative experiences during my university studies. The coursework not only exposed me to the language, but also to the rich history, literature and films of German speaking peoples. It supplemented my major in International Studies by allowing me to attain a greater understanding of the politics and culture of Western Europe. With the full support of the faculty I applied for and received a Fulbright Scholarship to work as a teacher in Germany. After completing my year as a Fulbrighter, I moved to Brussels and began working as a political monitor covering the European Parliament. Working in a multilingual atmosphere, my knowledge of German has proved invaluable as German is fast becoming the second language of choice for many in the European Union. I strongly recommend the German program at USF for anyone interested in purely language studies as well as for those wanting to supplement their majors with specialized training. I will always be indebted to Dr. Margit Grieb for her guidance and support. Vielen Dank für alles!

Linann McDonald
Class of 2006

Studying German at USF was a really enjoyable experience for me. Although the German program was small at the time, there was a wide variety of classes offered that were not only interesting, but also very informative. A huge advantage was that it was always possible to get personal attention from the professors, who were knowledgeable and consistently helpful and concerned with the success of the students. As I spoke virtually no German before I started studying at USF, I decided to study a year abroad in Osnabrueck, Germany, and not only vastly improved my German, but also gained an in-depth look into the realities of a country I could only ever read about before.

I graduated from USF in December 2006 and have since been able to put both my German and International Studies degrees to good use. After completing the German program I was able to move to Germany and had the necessary skills to pursue my professional interests. In Oldenburg, Germany, I taught Business English and did a 10-month internship working with asylum seekers. Afterwards I decided to continue my education in Berlin and was accepted into a joint Master’s program at the Freie University, Humboldt University and University of Potsdam. Since I now study International Relations, it was advantageous for me to be able to do my degree in a foreign country and because I had already studied abroad in Germany, I was better prepared to take on a degree program in Berlin. I am currently writing my Master’s thesis and once I am done, I am comforted in the fact that in this tough global economic environment, I will be able to apply for work in any job market in which English and/or German is spoken.

Tyrone Afrasan Adamawan Adams
Class of 2006

I studied German at USF 2004-2006. Studying German, in particular with Prof. Margit Grieb, is loads of excitement. Not only do you learn a language, you study German culture, history and politics - much of it through studying German films. Prof. Margit Grieb makes class fun, interesting and educational. And she will support you wherever she can. You will most certainly enjoy your experience and get a rigorous liberal arts education at the same time. If you can manage to combine this with a stay in Germany to immerse yourself in language and culture learning, all the better. Learning about other cultures, especially if immersed in other cultures for more than a long vacation, is one of the most important experiences one can have in life. I highly recommend the USF German program.

I since worked as a German teacher in Germany and as an ESOL and math teacher in Florida. I also used my skills to work as a translator. My journey has now brought me to study law. After receiving offers from Howard, UC Irvine, George Washington, I ultimately decided to study at Penn State Law as they offered the best scholarship package. Maybe I will even combine this with a semester in Germany to study German Law...