Saint Louis University

Testimonials from Our Students

Testimonials from Our Students

Daniel Greg, B.A. German Studies 2017

"I took German in high school in the hopes of one day becoming an international business superstar. Little did I know that during my first week as a college freshman, I would declare German, English, and Theology as majors! During my studies at SLU I took many German courses including "German Culture Studies II (1850 to present)" and "The German Press." As a summer intern at a movie review company in Los Angeles, I was able to put my acquired German skills to the test. I spoke daily with representatives of the Berlinale Film Festival in Germany as well as with colleagues from the German branch of the movie review company. Because of my studies in the SLU German program, I was an indispensable asset to the company. My colleagues would wave a tiny German flag in front of my office window whenever a call came in from Germany. It was sort of like the Bat-Signal for whenever my skills were needed. It's mind-boggling to think that following my passion for German would lead me to true international business situations. I hope to continue to use these skills throughout my life!"

Eric Cooney, B.A. German Studies 2013

I went into my first advising appointment as a freshman at SLU as a Biology major and I left it a German major. Why did I change? What would I do with this degree? How will I convince my parents this is a good idea? Looking back as an alumnus, my decision to change majors was one of the best decisions I made in my four years at SLU. I am currently a medical student at SLU, and I can confidently say that my German major was a large positive on my application. Even though I do not plan to ever use my German professionally, the skills taught and opportunities offered by the German program will make me a better doctor. In learning a second language, I understand the difficulties some of my patients will have expressing themselves. In learning about and immersing myself in another culture through my semester in Heidelberg, I have gained an understanding of differences that cannot be easily described and can certainly not be taught in a classroom. The German department is wonderful, and the professors actually know their students and care deeply for them. I would recommend anyone to be a part of the German department, whether for foreign language core, a minor, or as a major. Studying abroad in Heidelberg, Germany is an incredible experience, providing an opportunity for immersion that many other programs are unable to do, and the cultural opportunities back here in St. Louis keep the spirit of Germany alive and well. From eating at the Gasthaus, to viewing German Expressionist artwork at the St. Louis Museum of Art, taking a course in German provides more than vocabulary practice and adjective declination.

Ben Weixlmann, German Minor 2012

After spending significant time in Germany during high school, I knew that the language and the culture were something I was interested in learning more about.  When I came to SLU, I was able to choose from a variety of different subject areas (Berlin, Film, Pre-and-Post 1945), which provided me with a wide breath of knowledge about the country. First and foremost, the German faculty members are not only experts in their respective fields, but they're also extremely willing to help you learn the language - and make you comfortable doing so.  The ability to effectively communicate in another language makes one unique, and with Germany firmly in the Top 5 economies in the world, it gives one an exceptional resource with which to pursue a noteworthy career after graduating from SLU."When I think back on my time at Saint Louis University, I can honestly say that taking German lead to my best and most adventurous memories. Not only were my German professors extremely intelligent and dedicated to their positions as leaders in their field, but they consistently exhibited a knowledge and passion for all things German that allowed me to get even more excited for learning a new culture and language. Our learning consisted of more than merely reading from a German textbook and conjugating verbs aloud. By encompassing unique and out of the classroom experiences and projects, our German professors at SLU expanded our limits of thought on what German culture is, what this culture's influences mean to the world past and present, and what concepts define it. Some of these unique experiences included learning to cook German foods, visiting art museums to find out firsthand what emotions are represented in German art, and traveling outdoors for a full weekend of German language activities, German singing, and German movie watching. One can find that being surrounded by all of these exhilarating and different forms of experiencing a new culture expands the desire to be completely encompassed by it.

Sarah Sandheinrich, B.A. German Studies, 2011

"It was this desire invoked by the German program at SLU that caused me to look into studying abroad in Germany. Although I had originally planned on going to a country that allowed me to take courses in English to fulfill my obligation to the International Studies major program, the focus with which my German professors at SLU prepared me for taking college level courses in German ultimately pushed me to explore Germany. While at first I may have been fearful of becoming completely immersed in an entirely new culture and environment, in reality, I had the best experiences of my college career while studying abroad in Germany. I formed lifelong friendships with people from all over the world. I hiked through beautiful landscape in the Black Forest to reach breathtaking ruins and waterfalls. I reconnected with my German roots and relatives and explored my ancestors' hometown of Delbrück. I celebrated German holidays, birthdays, and World Cup soccer victories alongside my new German friends and companions at the university cafeteria, local pubs, and in intimate home settings. I traveled throughout the region, in neighboring cities, across the country, and even to other countries to get a taste of the individuality for each area and appreciate the differences. I ate, drank, and studied with friends alongside gorgeous riverbanks, outside castle ruins, and atop mountains, and although I could go on for ages, I think I've given a pretty vivid picture. :)

"I would never have been able to say I did all of those things without the support of all of the German professors that I had in the German program at SLU. Their encouragement of my desire to explore new areas and learn all the nuances of a different culture have pushed me to become a better version of myself and a more dynamic individual as a whole. This is why I would encourage anyone to join the German program at SLU!"

Shannon Sweeney, German & Art History Major 2010

I spent a semester in Heidelberg, and it honestly was the most memorable time of my life thus far. But no matter the experience of studying abroad, it was the German Program at SLU that fostered my love for the language.  The faculty of this program cares deeply for each of their students.  As for me, I was a double major, Art History and German.  The faculty allowed me to mix both of my interests and it has developed into the job I have today.  Currently, I work at the Saint Louis Art Museum and almost on a daily basis, I utilize my German skills.  As the Art Museum has a very strong German art collection, I work with and travel to many clients in Germany.  I continue to practice my skills by conversing with them in German. If I could describe the SLU German program in a simple sentence it would be this: If you want to become passionate about language and have it work for you, this is the program for you.

Ariana Jahja, German Studies 2008

In 2005, I got a chance to study abroad in Heidelberg. To say the least it was the best experience I've had in my life so far. Although, I spoke German since I was six years old, I did not start appreciating it until I took classes at SLU and at the Ruprecht-Karls Universität in Heidelberg. I believe that the professors and the experience gave me a clear view on the culture and the language and therefore inspired me to pursue not only a degree in German Studies but also a career in the international field. I currently work for a company called IMPACT Group here in St. Louis and I'm part of their International Department dealing with the German side of business.  At this time I'm also working on a Masters Degree in Human Resources Development at Webster University and I'm hoping to land a position in a German company in the near future. I would have to say that the overall experience, studying German at SLU and the opportunity to study abroad, has helped me move a step further to achieving my goals in life.

Dmitriy Voznyuk, German Studies '08

I studied German at SLU because I enjoy learning foreign languages. I didn't really think much of it at the time - German was a class that I didn't mind going to and, at the same time, fulfilled requirements. However, studying German at SLU has turned out to be a life-changing experience (no, that is not an overstatement). It is because of my German studies that I spent some of the best months of my life in Heidelberg, Germany, made life-long friends, and, it is also the reason that I am gaining my first practical experience after graduation as an intern in Frankfurt. 

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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