JoJo Buckley, who graduated in 2019 with a German studies minor, sees the benefits of her German education in her interactions with patients.
I graduated from SLU in 2019 with a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics and a minor in German studies.
I have a few favorite memories from studying German at SLU. The first was getting the opportunity to study abroad through the University of Heidelberg in the summer of 2018. Getting to explore the country and the language as an adult was really instrumental in my development as a citizen of the world. My other favorite memory was the night we explored German Expressionist Art at the St. Louis Art Museum entirely in German for German 3250.
I would recommend taking German at SLU not only because learning a language is beneficial in the way it changes how you think, but because it can totally shape how you see the world and understand art and history. Learning German history, culture, and art through the German language changed how I understand not only German history, but U.S. and world history as well. It changed how I understand culture and its changes. It’s shaped my view of the world. It helped me learn to take a step back and think about how events happen and their impact in the long run, not just immediate consequences. Learning about a different culture, especially one that has had a complicated relationship with your country, forces you to see the world from a different perspective and think more critically about the world. Learning a language through this, as well, reinforces this concept.
I am in my last semester of my dietetic internship and M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics with an emphasis in nutrition and physical performance. I am preparing to take the Registered Dietitian’s exam this summer. I hope to work as a dietitian with athletes, dancers, or musicians.
My German minor helped me learn to empathize with those who are not like me and come from another culture. German helped me have a synthetic view of history and culture, as interconnected events and traditions that impact each other. This is important in any healthcare field, but especially in nutrition, where everyone’s nutrition behaviors are based on their culture and their own personal history. It also helped me understand that just because someone doesn’t speak the same language as you does not mean you are smarter than them. This is really important when dealing with patients who come from different cultures and speak different languages. It helps me empathize with them better, especially if this cultural difference impacts their health beliefs. Additionally, my German education helped to shape my critical thinking. This is extremely imperative when dealing with complicated patient situations or coming up with nutrition solutions to complicated problems.
I am very grateful for my German education. As I said above, it truly shaped who I am and I do not know where I’d be without it.