All of SLU’s German degree options involve learning the language in a highly communicative atmosphere and entail a multidisciplinary approach to the history, politics, society and culture of the German-speaking world.
Our program in German also offers summer, semester and yearlong internship and study abroad options to help students gain valuable experience and become even more competitive in the workplace.
Director: Evelyn Meyer, Ph.D.
Student Profile: Tristan Druelinger
I am Tristan Druelinger and I am a senior studying German and education. German has always been a part of my life. I grew up in a German-speaking family learning basic little words here and there. I was always fascinated by the fact that my grandfather could speak other languages. In sixth grade, I started taking German in school and asked that he and I speak in German when possible. In high school, under the guidance of Kelly Ercoli and Roy Nees, I came to have a great appreciation for language and for linguistics. It was they—and their impact on my life—who really made me want to be a teacher.
Firstly, I have had several opportunities to learn experientially with internships. Two of these internships were completed in St. Louis and were under the guidance of Sydney Norton, Ph.D., the first being a teaching internship at the German School Association (where I took on a position after completing my internship) and the second being an intern working as a translator at a local museum. The third internship I completed in Germany as part of the study abroad experience which SLU offers. There I was teaching English in a German secondary school. These experiences allowed me to use and develop my German as well as other skills in directions that I did not know I could, and they allowed me build up a great system of contacts as well as some very formative friendships.
Secondly, my academic experiences at SLU have been extremely formative and all of the instruction which I received was expertly delivered by a highly experienced faculty. I am reminded of a class (Fluency in German) taught by Evelyn Meyer, Ph.D. After taking that course, I was able to assist my host brother with his German grammar homework. SLU’s German program has a very heavy focus on literature and grammar. Because of this, I have come to have a confident understanding of German literature and a command of the language. In addition to this literature and grammar though, we learned other things which I would never have dreamed I would learn. I am reminded of one of my favorite German courses at SLU, the first half of German Culture Studies. In that class, Meyer taught us to identify different architecture styles in German history and taught us about medieval manuscripts.
These are just some examples of things which make the German program at SLU so wonderful. The German program at SLU has shaped me into a different person from who I was several years ago. My experiences within the German department at SLU have made me someone who communicates in German competently and confidently on several levels: in terms of understanding of the language, but also in understanding of the culture, the literature, and the history.