Monthly Archives: June 2024

Computer Science and German Studies double majors Jalena Austin and Dylan Mctigue intern in Germany

This summer, the CofC Cultural Vistas Summer internship to Germany has placed two Computer Science and German Studies double majors at fabulous internships in Germany! Jalena Austin ’24 is doing coding for the European Institute for Participatory Media in Berlin, while Dylan Mctigue ’25 was placed at the Baden Württemberg state office for sustainable mobility in Karlsruhe, where he is working with his team on rating the walkability and bikeability of micro-regions around the state.

Jalena (left) at her desk in the heart of Berlin, using both her coding skills and her German!

Dylan McTigue is excited to be applying his skill set as a computer scientist to sustainability initiatives in Karlsuhe in Southeast Germany!

Rhi Wilkinson ’25 (International Studies and German Studies) on her exchange year at the University of Tübingen

International Studies and German Studies major Rhi Wilkinson has been participating in a year-long exchange with the University of Tübingen during her junior year at CofC. Now in her final months, we asked her to look back on the year thus far and share a bit about the experience. Read on below the picture for her summary!

living the dream in the beautiful university city of Tübingen

“For my junior year, I chose to go abroad at the Universität Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg to reconnect with German culture and immerse myself in a way that would allow me to reach personal fluency goals with the German language. Upon arriving in September 2023, I had the opportunity to take part in a pre-semester German intensive language course, Deutsch Kompakt, where I met some of my closest friends and thoroughly improved my speaking, writing, and listening German skills. This course took place one month before the winter semester began in October, and thus we had ample time to become acquainted with the city and each other before adjusting to German university life. Once classes began, I realized very quickly that they were much different than the ones I had previously taken at CofC. For one, there was much less homework to do each week, and most classes only met once a week for group instruction. My classes were both in English and in German depending on the subject of the course; most international courses were taught in English and most everything else took place in German. Some of my favorite classes I took while at the Universität Tübingen included “Introductory seminar Das Monströse und das Andere in der mittelalterlichen Literatur Islands und Englands”, “The Beatles and America (post-1900)”, “Das politische Systems Deutschlands” and “Global Learning Abroad – Education in Exchange”. Whether intentionally in the syllabi or not, I thoroughly expanded my knowledge and perception of what it means to study and apply myself within German culture throughout all of my courses. What’s unique about my courses here was that at the end of the semester I could choose whether or not I wanted to sit for an exam or write a term paper to earn the right amount of ECTS. If I didn’t feel confident taking an exam or need the extra credit points for writing a term paper, I could simply opt out of either with no penalty to my grade or status as a student. Thus, I could also sit in on other courses (when there were enough open seats) that interested me even when they didn’t apply directly to my course of studies. I found this made my academic experience here at the university much more relaxed and allowed me to pursue anything that may have peaked my interest.”

Rhi presents on her research at the international workshop, “Der interaktive Blick:
Überwachungsbilder in digitalen Spielen und anderen Medien” in March at the University of Tübingen

“Outside of academics, the small town of Tübingen had much to offer. While most international students opt to room in the international student village at Waldhauser-Ost, I was lucky enough to live in the city center during my entire stay. Through my housing arrangement, I made good friends with my roommates and even took on a “Mini-Job” as a waitress at a local Swabish restaurant, Bären. My job was not time consuming at all, and I was able to work without a Visa since I was not making more than 500€ a month. This was another great opportunity to practice my German in a non-academic environment and make friends with my coworkers. Although Tübingen is quite a “hilly” city, I bought a bike for a reasonable price off Facebook marketplace which made getting around a bit easier. When the weather was nice, my friends and I enjoyed grabbing a döner and sitting along the Neckar river while watching people travel up and down the river in Stockerkahns, kayaks, or on paddleboards. While I was also afforded many travel opportunities around Europe during my year abroad, I found that it was most wonderful to get to know the city of Tübingen and the other students living there. Towards the end of my year abroad, I decided to stay mostly local and developed a true connection with Tübingen and the friends I made while here. I would recommend this experience to anyone, but also advise having an open mind before coming here. The environment and culture is much different than what I previously knew in the U.S., and took some time getting used to. However, if you really commit to the experience in its entirety, you will also leave Germany like I did, wishing it possible to stay a few more months.”