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Bethanie Stauffer, BA ’22, about studying German

Posted by on Monday, February 21, 2022 in Uncategorized.

Question: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Bethanie: I grew up in Salisbury, a relatively small town in the middle of North Carolina. At Vanderbilt, I study Chemistry and MHS with a minor in German and I’m a member of APO and VSVS. I love dogs, art, and the beautiful game (⚽). This winter, I travelled to Vienna with some friends to ring in the new year (Frohes Neues!)

Q: What made you want to minor in German?

Bethanie: I knew my family had German heritage, but I always felt a bit disconnected from it. Besides my name and a few enduring family traditions, I didn’t think that anything about me seemed distinctly German. The last relatives that had lived in Germany had immigrated into the US in the early 20th century and had passed before I was born. I chose to study German to reintegrate this heritage into my life and to make traveling easier.

Q: Are you planning on doing anything with the German minor after graduation?

Bethanie: I’m not sure what I have in store for me after graduation, but whatever I do, I want to make sure I preserve my knowledge of the language. It was extremely useful to be able to speak and understand while I was traveling over winter break. Having been to Austria both before and after studying German, everything went much more smoothly this time around. Currently, I’m considering both gap year and graduate programs in German speaking countries, so we’ll see!

[The interview with Bethanie was conducted by Simone Stirner, Assistant Professor of German Studies]

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