My name is Helen, and I’m a student at UW Whitewater. A little about me – I’m studying German education and have a minor in ESL. I’m hoping to find a job teaching German after I graduate in a year (fingers crossed!). This summer, I’ll be spending a month in Berlin, living with a family and studying at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (also called HU Berlin). I’m excited to have this opportunity and be able to share it with y’all through this blog.
I’ve been studying German for 8+ years now, and I’ve loved every moment of it. My passion for the German language began when I was in 6th grade, and my family hosted an exchange student from Germany named Lizzy. Lizzy taught me my first German word, Luftmatratze (air mattress), and the rest is history. Over the years, I’ve had a few chances to go to Germany, once with my high school German program, and once by myself. With my high school, I was able to visit Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein during the two weeks we were in Europe. It was an amazing experience that left me hungry for more. After my freshman year of college, I spent a month backpacking across Europe. I traveled through Hungary, France, Germany, and Belgium. I was lucky enough to visit Lizzy while I was there and reconnect with her after all those years.
While in the states, I’ve had many opportunities to continue my growth in German. I was a camper and then a Betreuerin (counselor) at Waldsee, the German Village of Concordia Language Villages, where I got to meet other amazing German speakers, both from Germany and America (and one from Denmark). Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to meet up with some of them while I’m in Berlin. Although I’ll be missing out on the camp experience this summer, I know I’ll be enjoying my time in Germany.
I’m super excited for this chance to go back to Germany and be able to study at a university and live with a family. I want to soak up as much as I can from the experience, from learning more of the language and culture to meeting new people and making new friends.