My Goals

Before studying abroad, students are asked to set three goals for themselves – a language goal, a cultural goal, and a professional goal. My goals are listed below, and I really want to force myself to follow them and achieve each one to the best of my ability. Putting them out there is (hopefully) going to force me to hold myself accountable for my goals and actually reach them.

1. Language Goal: I want to continue gaining confidence in my language skills and be able to hold spontaneous conversations with people I meet about topics that I may not have as much experience in. I want to be able to have conversations without really thinking about the words I’m saying. I’m aiming to speak as little English as possible (only with American friends/family who cannot speak German) while in Germany.

My reason for studying abroad is mostly to fine-tune my language skills (and because I am required to do so in order to graduate), so my language goal is pretty much covered with that. I’ll be aiming to speak as little English as possible for the duration of my stay, except for when talking to friends and loved ones who don’t speak German. Since I’m only able to do a summer program and not be in Germany for a semester or year,  I really want and need to make the most of the time I have there, and that means using as much German as possible. The only way to improve is to practice!

2. Cultural Goal: I want to learn more about the immigrant populations in Germany, specifically in such a big city as Berlin. The recent immigrant influx has had significant influence over local culture, as well as German culture as a whole, and I want to learn more about it and the impact it has had.

One of my favorite German foods is Döner (similar to a gyro), and for the longest time, I thought it was a German food. I eventually learned that it is actually a Turkish food that was introduced by Turkish immigrants who came to Germany. Some years later, my family hosted a German exchange student, Nina, who was German and Turkish, and I learned more about the mix of the two cultures. Since then, I’ve been more and more interested in the way immigrants have brought their cultures into Germany and blended it with German culture. I want to continue learning about this during my time in Germany, and Berlin is a great city to do it in. 

3. Professional Goal: I want to bring back artifacts that are interesting, and be able to show my future classrooms that knowing and speaking German is not a useless skill. I want to gather various books, puzzles, games, movies, etc., that I can use in my classroom to make learning German more interesting and engaging.

As a future teacher, I want to find anything and everything that would make language learning more interesting and engaging for my future students. From children’s books to soap operas, I want my students to enjoy learning the language and the culture of Germany. From my own experience, I know that when students choose to take German in school, it’s generally because of a real connection with the language and not because their parents told them to. I want to be able to foster a passion for the language with authentic items that students would be interested in.

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