German students learn from the source

Course of first resort

(April 22, 1999, Gazette)

By Gina Pecore

Things are going to be quieter than usual around Memorial's Department of German and Russian this summer. At least 24 of the department's students will be off learning to speak German and absorbing German culture in - where better? - Germany.

Sending students to Germany is nothing new for Memorial but, most years, just one or two students go. The creation of a Summer in Germany Program changed that. Eighteen students are already registered to participate in the 16-week course, which is intended to become a regular spring session program. The course includes 12 weeks of study time at Memorial followed by four weeks of field school at the Heidelberg Language Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. The department is also sending students to Germany through work placement and teacher exchange programs. Marcella Rollman, who teaches in the Department of German and Russian and designed the Summer in Germany Program, said student interest in travelling overseas has been high.

"We are having a bumper crop of students going to Germany," said Ms. Rollman. "Instead of the one or two that we usually have, this year we have at least five work-term students plus one teacher-exchange plus 18 field school students going. Interest seems to be running at fever pitch."

Ms. Rollman said the students are enthusiastic about going to Germany because of the practical value it offers.

"The students want to gain confidence in their German speaking ability and they want to experience the German culture. It's the same for the students going on the work program. They realize that they can best hone their language skills and experience the culture by an extended stay in Germany."

The Summer in Germany Program begins May 10.