International Studies & Programs

Time in Germany was valuable for language acquisition

I believe it takes immersion in the culture, and experience talking with and living among native speakers of the language you want to learn.

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Published: Monday, 09 Dec 2019 Author: Jared Liebscher

My name is Jared Liebscher, I am a hospitality major with a minor in German, and I am from Las Vegas, Nevada. Jared looking over German cityscape from high rise restarauntThis fall I will be a senior, and this past summer I participated in the German Language and Culture trip to Mayen, Germany. A truly transformative experience, I would say, because not only did I improve my understanding of the German language, I was able to do so in a new and exciting environment. I have always said that you can’t learn a language from worksheets, textbooks, or even all the classroom instruction in the world. I believe it takes immersion in the culture, and experience talking with and living among native speakers of the language you want to learn. Such is the reason I enjoyed my time abroad as much as I did. 

It was always very important to me to learn German. As anyone that knows me knows, I mention quite frequently, I am German, and I felt a little ashamed for the longest time that I didn’t speak a word. That isn’t to say I’m fluent at this point, but I do believe my time in Mayen and elsewhere around Germany this summer helped tremendously with that. I have grown both on an academic and personal level, and I may even have decided to move to Germany for a period of time to work once I graduate as well. I promise not everyone decides to follow such a path, but I can attest to the fact that time abroad really changes your perspective on not only the country you are visiting, but your own life as well. I am a bit of a special case I would say; I have family in Germany and have spent a good deal of time there. In fact, I attended kindergarten in Germany and find myself travelling back at least once or twice a year. It was maybe not the most shocking thing to me to live there for a month, nor did I have much trouble getting used to life in a foreign country. That being said, I know everyone else on the program also got used to Germany really quickly, and it was not as hard as one might think or fear. Communication was a never a huge problem either; of course, we were there to better our German, but many people speak English if you ever found yourself in a pinch.

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, the only part of the program that I did struggle with was the money. (I should also clear up that I fly free because my mom works for Delta, and that I definitely do not pay to fly to Germany ‘once or twice a year’.) The scholarship provided to me by the study abroad office was a massive aid in my taking this trip this year, and I am extremely grateful for that. This experience was one I will never forget!Group shot in Germany

Name: Jared Liebscher
Status: Senior
Major: Hospitality Business
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada
Program: German Language and Culture in Mayen, Germany