Middlebury Newsletter School in Germany

Mainz and Berlin

by Heike Fahrenberg
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Faculty Visit June, 2014

This month, we were happy to welcome our faculty visitors at both sites, namely Prof. Bettina Matthias (German Dept.), who will become the Director of the German School next year, and Prof. Linus Owens (Sociology) who both came to meet with students enrolled in the program, but also to establish or strengthen personal connections with their colleagues at both host institutions. After a series of individual meetings with colleagues from different academic disciplines at both institutions, we got together for faculty receptions in Mainz and in Berlin meeting colleagues from almost all departments where our students either had taken courses last fall or are taking courses this term: German Philology, History, Political Science, Theater Studies, Film Studies, Sociology, Anthropology. Supported by delicious food, countless conversations resulted in new ideas to strengthen the bonds between Middlebury and its host institutions in Germany. We do hope that a couple of them will become a reality over the course of the next year.

by Heike Fahrenberg
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What happened in May?



Dear readers of the Newsletter -

first of all I want to thank everybody for their kind responses — I was happy about hearing from all of you who studied with Middlebury in the past — and yes – I was thrilled to receive emails from people who participated in the Mainz program as early as 1960!

Thank you so much – it was touching to hear from you — and it was good to see that the students who went through the program since 2000 have not yet forgotten and still cherish their experience. As I said – having coffee with you regularly would be more fun — but in the meantime I’ll make sure to keep you posted and would like to emphasize that I’d always welcome your input!

What happened in May?

Well — students completed their course-choices and registrations, while we started preparing the yearly faculty visit. Before our visitors arrived, we went on excursion to Weimar and picked the Long Night of the Museums.

As usual, we started from Mainz and Berlin on Friday afternoon and met up in Weimar. Needless to say, exploring culture means to explore local food, so we got together for dinner at what has become our favorite restaurant. Since we were a fairly large group, we had a room to ourselves:





On the next morning, we took a guided tour through the city, while everybody explored whatever they liked in the afternoon. And then of course there was the Long Night of the Museums, too.

Still we made the bus on 9.50 a.m on Sunday to go to Buchenwald. After having been at this memorial site for the concentration camp so close to Weimar, the city streets and buildings somehow look differently. Exchausted by diverse impressions, good food and conversation, we returned to Berlin and Mainz on late Sunday afternoon. And no – the Deutsche Bahn didn’t play us any tricks — the coach with seating reservations on the train to Berlin was missing, but the upgrade to 1st class made up for that little ‘problem.’ :o)




by Heike Fahrenberg
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Spring is Here!

Vielleicht, wenn man ganz nah dran ist....?

Welcome (back) to Spring Term at the School in Germany!

New students kicked off the new term by completing Orientation in both cities. While Orientation does serve the purpose to familiarize students with program requirements and to help them to navigate a different academic system, it’s also meant to provide an opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings and to find their way around in the city of their choice.

Therefore, all of our new students participated in a guided city tour and also engaged in self-directed and tutor-supported culture-projects.  Either picking from a large variety of topics or coming up with their personal interest, they explored specific questions by exploring their cities and by interviewing quite a large sample of native speakers in the process.

In Mainz, students explored local foods and their traditions, the significance of the local soccer team Mainz 05, and the traces of visible and audible French influence in the city of Mainz and the local dialect(s). In Berlin, one student wondered whether there should be an entrance fee for the Berlin Cathredral, another did a presentation on the ‘Kudamm-Karee’.

While ‘Berliners’ already finished their first week of class attendance, the Mainzers start this week — so welcome and welcome back!

The Team

I’d also like to welcome our new tutors Judith Perisic und Annika Vogt in Mainz, and Lena Teichler and Johanna Lang in Berlin – Lena had worked as a tutor previously and has just returned from studying and teaching in the U.S., so we are extremely happy to have the new folks on board as we are happy to have Lena back!!!

Last but not the least I’m welcoming back the continuing members of our team, Kathrin Dupré in Mainz, and Majella Hirschberg in Berlin — we’re glad you’re still with us!


In late October last year, some of our continuing students started to work on getting an internship in their second term, and while not all were able to find the internship due to a lack of offerings in specific fields, I’m happy to let you know that thanks to initiative of these students, and thanks to the untiring engagement of my assistant Barbara Wagner, who is in charge of our internship-program, we were able to secure internships for both Graduate and Undergraduate program participants at the Political Science Departments at both JGu Mainz and FU Berlin, one at the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, two internships at the Deutsche Bundestag, Berlin, one at the JFK Community School, Berlin, and one at the Gutenberg Printing Shop, Mainz. If you should be interested in a current list of previous internships, please go to http://www.middlebury.edu/sa/germany/programdesigngermany

All in all, we hope that everybody will have a great first or second term at the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in Germany!

Best of Spring Greetings to all of you, wherever you are –

Heike Fahrenberg




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