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University of Freiburg
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Abigail Slate

Liberal Arts Major(s): French and Francophone Studies, German, Global and International Studies
Minor: Linguistics
Hometown: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Fall 2019

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I am spending this academic year studying at the University of Freiburg through a direct enrollment program. I chose this opportunity rather than IES or similar programs designed for American students because I wanted to have a more authentic cultural experience of living and studying with German students.

The language and cultural competencies that I develop while living in Germany will be valuable assets as I pursue an internationally-focused career after graduation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Spending this year immersed in German in an academic setting has so far been challenging but rewarding; I am learning how to thrive in an university setting that is very different from the one I am accustomed to in the U.S., and of course, my language skills have reached new heights since I arrived a little over two months ago.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

The language and cultural competencies that I develop while living in Germany will be valuable assets as I pursue an internationally-focused career after graduation. Because Germany is one of the U.S.’s closest allies and a leader within the E.U., these skills will help me to stand out as a well-rounded and desirable candidate to any future employers, especially if I decide to engage in diplomacy work in Germany.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

My professors and advisors in the College of the Liberal Arts worked with me to ensure that spending three semesters abroad would be possible for my academic plan (I spent last spring semester studying in Senegal, and I am spending two semesters studying in Germany). Additionally, enrichment funding from the College helped to fund my travel expenses.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

As a Paterno Fellow, I have received plenty of financial and academic support for my extended time abroad, especially because my experiences abroad will contribute to the content of my honors thesis.

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