by Heike Fahrenberg
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!
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 –