| Read the stories of selected alumni,
who have studied German at Aquinas as they share their
impressions about studying, working and living in Germany.
Their testimonials reveal how participating in the German
program has made a difference in their life's -- personally,
as well as professionally.
|Amber Metro ('01):
|Dual Major Degree:
German and International Business
in Marketing and Consulting, Part-time English Trainer
for foreign speakers
| Directly after graduating from AQ in May 2001, I headed
right off to Munich, Germany in order to gather some
work experience in Germany. I worked as an intern at
Siemens AG and was able to work directly with International
Business and German, the two degrees I completed. I
was with Siemens for 11 months and worked in the department
"Information and Communication Corporate Key Accounts."
It was a very multicultural environment and I learned
a lot about politics in general, working with other
cultures, the structure of a big German company, German
systems and much more theoretically and in the practice.
After my internship was up I
decided to stay in Germany but not continue my career
in this direction. Because of the temporary situation
of uncertainty and change, I decided to teach English
in order to stay in Germany easily. I then started my
own business and am still working in a team with successful
German business people. We are expanding and my team consists
of a diverse mix of people.
Now, instead of working with only Germans, I am pleased
to be working with people from Greece, Iran, Croatia,
Serbia, Switzerland, Sweden and Poland. This is very interesting
for me and is the main reason for my staying in Germany
. Nevertheless, I still teach English part-time at the
German American Institute. By teaching at the institute
I stay in contact with some nice Americans and we can
celebrate our traditions together, yet at the same time,
I have the opportunity meet many new people from all over
the world, speak English and then get paid for it! At
the moment I am enjoying life here in Germany and plan
to stay at least for the next few years or so.
Thank goodness I participated in Kati Gross' German program,
otherwise this way of life would have been significantly
(Kwiatkowski) Baldwin ('02)
Director of International Programs, Aquinas College
|Of all the
wonderful experiences offered to me as an Aquinas student,
the opportunity to study abroad in Tübingen , Germany
tops the list. Spending a semester at the University
of Tübingen offered the chance to build upon my
German language skills in the perfect environment to
do so-surrounded by the amazing German culture and people.
Not only did the academics of the program challenge
me to improve my German fluency, but the challenges
associated with being immersed in a different culture
thousands of miles away from all that was familiar truly
expanded my horizons and opened a whole new world to
And now I am
very honored to be the Director of International Programs
at Aquinas College , where I work with students as they
prepare for their own experiences abroad. Drawing from
my personal experiences with the Germany Program, I
know how powerful their time abroad will be in impacting
their world views and their futures.
I am so grateful
for Professor Gross's guidance within the German Department
and for her encouragement to study in Tübingen.
I would not trade my memories of Germany for the world-after
all, studying in Tübingen gave me the chance to
see the world!
|Dual Major Degree:
German and International Business
Assistant Teacher in Vienna/Austria
| Who ever thought that knowing a foreign language like
German would open so many doors to amazing, live-changing
experiences? I started learning German in high school,
but I never felt any sort of confidence in the language
until I had spent some time in Kati Gross' German classes.
Only then did I realize what sort of incredible things
I could now do because I knew German. The summer after
my sophomore year of college at AQ, I was hired at a
catalog clothing company in Bavaria as a marketing intern.
My German languages skills enabled me to live and work
in another country and among another culture, and not
only did my German improve during this time, but my
eyes were opened to an entirely new way of doing things.
These are lessons that cannot be learned in any book,
only by witnessing and experiencing them for oneself.
ability to speak, read, write and understand the German
language also led me to obtaining a Fulbright Teaching
Assistantship in Austria after I had graduated in 'O4.
I taught Austrian high school students English and about
American culture during my eight months there. Even
though my work was in English, the ability to speak
German, I believe, was essential to my ability to effectively
communicate with the students and help them understand
a native English-speaker (myself) who didn't have any
background in the methods of teaching ESL. Speaking
German also provided me with a way "in" to the hearts
and minds of the Austrian people, and I know that I
left there with significantly more friends than I would
have, had I relied only on the Austrians' ability to
scares me to think about where and who I might be right
now had I never learned German, since my experiences
living in German-speaking countries have truly shaped
who I am today, both personally and professionally.
I think that in knowing German, one is able to experience
the very essence of the people who speak it, and that,
for me, has perhaps been the most remarkable experience
of them all.
|Dual Major Degree: German
and International Business
ESL Teacher, Wasatch Academy, Mt. Pleasant, Utah
program at Aquinas has helped to lead my path in its
current direction. I teach English as a Second Language
in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. My first experience with teaching
was at Aquinas tutoring students in German 101. It was
a rewarding experience for me and for the first time
I realized that it could be a career option for me.
My second experience with teaching is directly related
to where I am now. I taught a small ESL group in Germany
while on my study abroad. That was the best job I'd
had up until that point. This job led to the job I got
in France after I had graduated.
I am at my
current job because I got experience in France. I got
the job in France because of my experience in Germany.
I got the job in Germany because of my tutoring at Aquinas.
My future goal is to restart the German program here
at Wasatch Academy where I work, and I believe there
is enough interest in the student body.
There is no
real way that I can ever fully repay Dr. Kati Gross
for the excellent advice and direction that she gave
me through her courses at Aquinas.
Major Degree: German and Business Administration
Foremost Insurance Company - Grand Rapids, Mich.
| I first started
learning the German language in high school to learn
more about my family's background and culture heritage,
and the history of Germany. I went on a week-long trip
with my German class to Germany and loved it!
I continued with German at Aquinas to fulfill my general
education requirements and realized that I didn't want
to stop furthering my knowledge of Germany, its culture,
and its language.
After one semester with Dr. Kati Gross, I knew that
I wanted to major in German. I spent one semester at
the University in Tübingen on the study abroad
program through Aquinas where I was able to expand my
knowledge of Germany, the language, and its culture.
Without Aquinas and Kati, my German knowledge would
not be where it is today!
Colleen (Cone) Gish ('98)
Teacher, Indiana and Michigan
| Deutsch ist wunderbar! German is great! Who would not
want to learn the language of a people whose culture
has global reputation? The German influence is seen
in almost aspect of the global society. From recycling
to cars to beer and wine, the Germans positively pervade
the world at large.
At first I had
no intentions of majoring in German at Aquinas. However,
after one semester with Jane Fortier, the German Professor
back in 1994, my intentions changed. The story unfolds
further like this: In order to fulfill some General
Ed requirements, I chose to take German 102, knowing
that I would get an A and be done with another requirement.
Well, Jane's teaching style clicked with me so well
that I wanted to continue with German. Over the next
three years, I delved into the German language and culture,
learning to expand my horizons and discovering a passion
for grammar, memorizing new vocabulary, and challenging
myself to express myself in a different language. Jane
nurtured my love of German and inspired me to study
abroad in Salzburg, Austria.
When I returned
from Austria, I continued my studies, but this time
with Professor Gross. It certainly was an honor to work
with a native speaker and someone as dynamic as her.
Under her supervision and patience, I continued to become
more knowledgeable and motivated to become more proficient
in my abilities as a German speaker.
I continued my
studies at Wayne State University, earning a Master's
in German, and then teaching German in Michigan and
Ich danke Jane
und Professor Gross! I thank Jane and Professor Gross
for their encouragement and guidance as a student of
German at Aquinas. And as stated at the beginning, Deutsch