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MAS Newsletter 1/2014

This edition surveys some of the highlights of the new academic year 2013/2014 at the HCA.

In October, the HCA welcomed the MAS class of 2015. Two students share their experiences with the buddy program, established by Heidelberg University to help international students getting settled in Heidelberg. One of the new MAS students as well as our visiting professor, Dr. Mark Wilson, tell us about their first weeks in Germany and at the HCA. A former MAS student shares how the MAS has influenced his future academic and professional career.

Furthermore, the MAS team reports on their experiences at education fairs in Chile. Additionally, we take a look back at the festivities during the fall semester.

 
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Students

Class of 2013

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

Ilgin Aktener (Turkey)


2013 - Aktener Ilgin FotoIlgin was born in Izmir, Turkey, in 1988. In 2005, she started to study Translation and Interpretation at the Izmir University of Economics. She received her B.A. in Translation and Interpretation, and Public Relations and Advertisement in 2009. She also worked as a research assistant at Izmir University of Economics.

Why Germany?

I believe Germany is very fulfilling in terms of the education offered. I had the opportunity to experience life in Germany two short times and I was amazed by the order and living conditions. I really wish to live and further experience life in Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

From what I know and what I heard, Heidelberg is a great university. However, it was the interdisciplinary and rich curriculum of the HCA what attracts me most. Heidelberg is the best place for me since my initial academic aim is to absorb everything about American Culture and Literature.

Why American Studies?

My aim is to pursue an academic path in translation studies. I am interested in literary translation, subtitling and dubbing. During my B.A. studies, I have found out that I tend to choose an American subject matter. As I studied American culture and literarature, I became more and more fascinated by it and craved for more.

Bahaa AlDahoudi (Palestine)


2013 - Aldahoudi Bahaa FotoBahaa was born in Saudi Arabia to a Palestinian family in 1987. When he was 11 years old his parents moved back to Palestine where he lived until his second year of high school. In 2004, he attended the United World College of the Adriatic, Italy, where he received his International Baccalaureate. After his IB, he was offered a scholarship to attend Westminster College, MO, USA, where he received his B.A. double majoring in International Relations & Diplomacy and Business Administration. He loves languages and speaks Arabic, some Spanish and Italian and hopes to add German.

Why Germany?

Having my Education from the USA and Germany would be the best that I have ever wanted. Based on the great reputation of German Education and the fact that I love travelling, I decided that Germany is the finest choice to continue my education. Germany is full of rich culture and beautiful people and I am looking forward to moving there.

Why Heidelberg?

My uncle lived in Stuttgart for four years and he always talked about a city next to it, called Heidelberg. The city is beautiful and it hosts one of the oldest and finest Universities in Germany, if not in whole Europe. I have heard nothing but awesome things about Heidelberg and I can‘t wait to be part of it.

Why American Studies?

I have always wanted to focus my studies in Conflict Resolution so that I can find, learn and implement the means of solving a conflict, which in my case would be the Arab-Israeli conflict. The United States has always been involved in working with the Arabs and the Israelis to find a solution. The big influence that the United States has on this issue is the reason behind my interest in learning more about American culture, history and politics. American studies will allow me to learn more about how and for what purposes, does the biggest mediator (United States), implement its foreign policies in our world.

Natalia Bayduraeva (Russia)


2013 - Bayduraeva Natalia FotoNatalia was born on May 24, 1988, in Ulyanovsk, Russia. In 2010 she graduated from Ulyanovsk State University, where she obtained two Magister‘s Degrees with honour in Linguistics and International Relations. In addition to participating in science conferences and social events, she worked as a personal tutor in English with primary school children. After graduation she decided that she had to change her life and experience something new. This was the reason why she moved to Germany for one year to work and study the language.

Why Germany?

I spent in Germany one year and I really fell in love with this country. Except for its long and rich history, I appreciate the loyalty, punctuality, diligence, and persistence as well as the cultural opportunities in Germany. This is the country which has one of the world‘s highest levels of education, technological development, and economic productivity.

Why Heidelberg?

Home to the oldest university in Germany, Heidelberg is said to be the jewel among German travel destinations and has sometimes been called a secret intellectual capital of Germany. With 28,000 students, the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität is one of Germany‘s larger academic institutions. Heidelberg is truly an internationally and culturally diverse city, where, I believe, one can enjoy the atmosphere and amazing landscapes.

Why American Studies?

The greatest value of the program in American Studies is diverse thinking. It can give one a solid academic foundation as it is rooted in traditional disciplines and focuses on developing a core set of skills. You are really given the bricks to build whatever career you want because you are covering so much. By understanding the forces that have moulded and continue to shape America, one can understand our contemporary world. I am deeply convinced that the interdisciplinary Master degree that this program offers is the best way of concretizing my future because of its international orientation, well structured and worked out system. I believe that a completion of this course will be an excellent springboard for my future career and will provide me the knowledge and confidence to realize my dreams.

Akua Bobson (Germany)


2013 - Bobson Akua FotoAkua was born in Germany, but spent most of her life in Accra, Ghana. She studied at the University of Ghana, graduating with a major in English and a minor in Psychology. She worked as a teaching assistant with the Department of English, University of Ghana.

Why Germany?

I spent some of childhood years in Germany and I have wonderful memories of those years. It has always been my wish to come back. Also, I wanted to experience a system of education different from what I am used to. Thus, since Germany‘s educational system is regarded as one of the best in Europe; I decided that I wanted it as part of my experience. Finally, it also gives me the opportunity to work on my German language skills.

Why Heidelberg?

My father did part of his studying in Heidelberg and he talks about the school all the time. He describes the beautiful scenery and the idyllic setting with such passion that I became curious about the school. I started researching and reading about it. I was impressed by everything I read and heard about Heidelberg, including the fact that it is one of the oldest and best universities in Europe.

Why American Studies?

I studied English in school and took some American Literature courses. I fell in love with the diversity of America‘s literature. The more I studied it, the more I found out about America itself; its history, its culture, etc. I want to specialize in American Literature, and I know that I would have to learn more than just the literature aspect to be well-versed in it. Thus, an all-round interdisciplinary study on America is just what I need to finally specialize in and teach American Literature. Besides, a vast knowledge of America (its history, culture, art, law and economy) makes one an invaluable asset to any international institution.

Stefanie Drews (Germany)


2013 - Drews Stefanie Foto WebStefanie was born in Northern Germany in 1984. She holds a B.A. in French and Spanish from Humboldt University of Berlin as well as an M.A. in Language, Culture and Translation from Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. Her international experience includes study programs in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Belgium. In addition to her job as a staff writer for an aviation news website, she currently also works as a tutor and foreign language teacher.

Why Germany?

Germany has a very special relationship with the U.S. and by studying American Studies here in my home country I hope to gain a deeper understanding of this relationship along the way. Besides, studying in the country where I live allows me to carry out my other professional responsibilities as well as stay close to my friends and family.

Why Heidelberg?

The combination of the excellent reputation of its university, the charming, picturesque city center as well as its international flair make Heidelberg a very attractice city to live and study in. But in the end, it was the MAS program that made me want to come to Heidelberg.

Why American Studies?

The historical and contemporary developments in America have been of great influence in Europe and the rest of the world. The MAS program with its interdisciplinary approach will give me the opportunity to pursue my interests in the political and economic developments as well as the culture of the United States. Besides, the program attracts students from all over the world, whose different points of view will make the debates in class all the more interesting.

John Andrew Elsik (USA)


2013 - Elsik Andrew Photo WebDrew was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1984. He earned his BA from Westminster College in Missouri where he double majored in Political Science and Philosophy with a concentration in History. Following his undergraduate studies, Drew worked in two Missouri state political campaigns. He worked as a campaign manager and as a field director. In 2008, Drew served as a legislative aide for Missouri House Minority Caucus Secretary Sara Lampe. He enjoys reading, spending time with friends, and maintaining his knowledge of current events.

Why Germany?

Germany is an influential European power, and a critical United States ally with an old and rich history, and an even more remarkable culture. Studying in Germany will provide a unique opportunity to reflect and study my country from alternative perspectives otherwise not available to me in the United States. Furthermore, as I am half Czech and a quarter German in descent, the location provides an exceptional chance to continue exploring my roots.

Why Heidelberg?

Apart from being the oldest in Germany, the University carries a most prestigious academic reputation, and the city makes for a phenomenal place to study and live. Moreover, with such a high number of international students, the University provides an impressive opportunity to engage a plethora of intellectuals from different backgrounds.

Why American Studies?

Heidelberg‘s MAS program offers a pristine opportunity to further my education in international relations and US foreign policy. I‘ve had a passionate interest in foreign policy and the United States‘ political evolution for nearly my entire life, and the MAS program provides an ideal platform to explore my interests on a graduate level.

Rachel Goss (USA)


2013 - Goss Rachel PicRachel was born and raised in Indiana, USA. Rachel attended Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where she was presented with several opportunities to volunteer, including in Hurricane Katrina recovery in New Orleans and water projects in Haiti. She graduated in 2010 from Indiana University with Highest Honors and a B.A. in Political Science along with minors in Spanish and Religious Studies. After graduation, Rachel moved to Germany to work as an intern in the Global Services and Parts department at Daimler AG in Stuttgart.

Why Germany?

Speaking in terms of international economics and politics, Germany is a key European country both historically and today. Studying in the country will give me new perspectives, enhance my learning experiences, and will allow me to continue learning more about Germany, its language and to become part of its culture. In addition, the time I spent in Stuttgart during my internship has made Germany feel like my second home.

Why Heidelberg?

I had several friends who studied in Heidelberg, and they could not stop raving about how their time spent there was the best of their lives. Heidelberg is a beautiful city, rich in history and culture. I especially like the diversity I saw just from being a tourist there. In addition, Heidelberg University is one of the most prestigious universities in Europe - and who would not want to study there?!

Why American Studies?

I have always been interested in the social sciences and learning about cultures, religious, political systems, and ways of life in general. The opportunity to study American Studies in a different country will expose me to a wider scope of information, opinions and topics than what I might learn in the US from an American viewpoint. In the future, I would like to work for an international organization supporting human rights, so I know that an American Studies degree will help me to acquire a unique perspective on the United States. I will have more informed and well-rounded knowledge on a country that is currently one of the major players in our increasingly globalized society.

Naijun Liu (China)


2013 - Liu Naijun Foto WebNaijun was born in 1986 in Tianjin, a coastal city in northern China. She grew up there and went to Nankai University where she received a Bachelor Degree in World History and a Master‘s Degree in American History. During her school years, she volunteered as an interpreter at an international communication program of Nankai University, working together with students from Germany, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. In the summer of 2010, she taught English and American History in the summer camp of Tianjin New Oriental School.

Why Germany?

Germany is the birthplace of numerous great poets, philosophers, musicians, etc. I‘m convinced that the German high education system is one of the best in the world. As I intend to explore more in the field of American Culture, I figured that I need a perspective different from American‘s, a more objective one. I believe that Germany is my best choice.

Why Heidelberg?

As one of the most prestigious universities in the world and the oldest one in Germany, the University of Heidelberg was the first one that came cross my mind when I was applying. Apart from its long history and world-wide reputation, I was also attracted to its renowned faculty and diverse students. I‘m really looking forward to have a wonderful and life-changing experience in Heidelberg

Why American Studies?

With less than 300 years of history, US has become the super power of the world and exert great influence on China. After 3 years study of American History, I‘m eager to learn more about different aspects of America, including its religion, literature and politics. I‘m particular fascinated by the characteristics of American culture and the reason why it has enjoyed such popularity around the world. I‘m hoping to discuss the subject with students from different countries and backgrounds.

Anthony Rush (USA)


2013 - Rush Anthony FotoTony was born in Peekskill, New York in 1989, and lived in Putnam Valley, NY. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 2011, with a B.S. in Political Science Honors and a minor in Arabic. As an undergraduate student, Tony participated in a semester exchange program with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and in a summer foreign exchange cruise with the Spanish Navy. With his acceptance into the HCA, this is Tony‘s first opportunity to study abroad.

Why Germany?

With German being my fourth language, and after studying German at the Naval Academy, I have a great interest in the language and culture of Germany. Living in Germany will allow me to immerse myself in the culture, which is a critical part in learning a language. Additionally, after writing my honors thesis on the EU and Turkey, my interest in Germany only increased.

Why Heidelberg?

I have only heard good things about Heidelberg. From the River Neckar to the castle to the picturesque oldcity landscape, Heidelberg is an aesthetically beautiful city that provides a great atmosphere to experience German culture. That, added with the history and excellence in education associated with the university, makes Heidelberg the perfect city to pursue my education while experiencing the German heritage.

Why American Studies?

As an officer in the US Navy, and even just as a citizen of the US, it is important to recognize the international community‘s perception of America. At the same time, it is just as important to study and understand America‘s identity, in particular her history, her culture and her values. The American Studies program provides me an excellent opportunity to develop that understanding while interacting with people from around the world.

Ferdinand Sacksofsky (Germany)


2013 - Sacksofsky Ferdinand FotoFerdinand was born in 1985 in Heidelberg, Germany. This is where he lived most of his life, which is also due to him playing rugby for one of Heidelberg‘s teams in Germany‘s Bundesliga. He received his Bachelor‘s degree in 2011 from the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, where he majored in Political Science, with American Studies as his minor. He spent a semester abroad at The College of New Jersey in Trenton, NJ, USA. Before returning to Germany he interned at the North American Bureau of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Washington D.C.

Why Germany?

Studying American Studies in Germany might seem a bit strange at first. But considering the multicultural German society with its more and more divers citizens and its open-minded approach towards other cultures, it starts to make sense. It is the balance between traditions and future that makes Germany unique. It is a country with a great history, great responsibility and great expectations. Studying here makes me be a part of all this and gives me the opportunity to follow the long line of great minds, educated in Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

Growing up in this city, I have already experienced what many of my fellow students will within the next two years. Heidelberg makes you fall in love with it and it never lets you go again. Besides many social ties I have in the city, it was mainly the opportunity to study in one of Europe‘s most elite Universities. I saw the possibility of working in an environment, which has been a breeding ground for many of the world‘s best and brightest for over 600 years, as an once-in-a-lifetime chance.

Why American Studies?

Within the last years, the world has changed in a way no one would have predicted and the balance of power shifted dramatically. The United States, the superpower of the 20th century will have to redefine itself. This makes our time the most interesting to study the American culture, its economy, society and politics since the Cold War. The possibility of researching this development, combined with the experiences I‘ve made during my time abroad and my life-long fascination with this nation were the most prominent reasons for my choice.

Cody Smith (USA)


2013 - Smith Cody FotoCody was born in Loveland, Colorado, in 1988. He recently graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in International Studies and minors in German, History and Political Science. Over the past 4 years, he has traveled extensively to study at the University of San Diego, the Leibniz University Hannover, and DID Institute in Berlin. His interests are spending time with friends, traveling, and meeting new people.

Why Germany?

Germany is amazing. With its central location in Europe, countless social and cultural possibilities, and a reputation for academic excellence, Germany is the perfect place for students looking to broaden their view on the world. Besides, Germany became my home away from home after spending my junior year of high school as a Rotary youth exchange student in Wolfsburg.

Why Heidelberg?

Aside from being located in one of Germany‘s most beautiful cities, Heidelberg is consistently listed among the finest research universities in the world. Heidelberg‘s location is also perfect for the occasional weekend trip to visit friends or neighboring countries.

Why American Studies?

As someone interested in International Relations and Conflict, it is only natural to study the United States. Since the Cold War ended, America has found itself in the unique position as the world‘s only superpower. I have found the HCA to be a perfect fit because it will allow me to study America from a more objective perspective than one could find in the United States.

Bryce Taylor (USA)


2013 - Taylor Bryce FotoBryce was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA, in 1982. Before his university studies, he spent two years in Frankfurt, Koeln, Darmstadt, and Mannheim volunteering for a service based Christian outreach program where he fell in love with the German people. He earned his B.A. in History from Utah Valley University. For the past three years Bryce has been a teacher and basketball coach for both primary and secondary students at American Heritage School. When he is not reading, Bryce enjoys writing, music, and playing a variety of sports.

Why Germany?

My previous experience in Germany affirmed my desire to return as an international student. The scholarship, people, culture, and food were more than enough to excite my academic mind and keen palate. Germany‘s history represents one of the most dynamic of any country in the world. Through her ruin and rebirth Germany has once again become a thriving nation. Having the opportunity to study America through a German/European lense represents for me an academic adventure I could not pass up.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg University is considered among the top universities in the world. Being able to study America from an international and abstract perspective, in one of the oldest and most distinguished universities fits perfectly with my goals in academia. Goethe‘s words come to mind when I think about returning to the city I visited a number of times as a 20 year old. The university, renown faculty, international students, city, and culture will provide me with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Why American Studies?

The governmental philosophy on which America was founded has proven to generate the freest society the world has ever seen. The Declaration of Independence, Constitution and subsequent Bill of Rights turned the law against the government and into the hands of the populace. The literature, religions, economics, sociology, laws, culture and philosophies which have formed from this great experiment continue to generate successes and failures on a local and global scale. The MAS program will help consolidate what I have studied and what I want to study in my goal of becoming an arbiter in American Studies.

Robin Tim Weis (Luxembourg)


2013 - Weis Robin Tim FotoRobin Tim Weis was born in Zoetermeer, Netherlands in 1989. However he grew up in Vienna, Austria. He is a graduate of Vesalius College (Brussels, Belgium) and holds a B.A. Cum Laude in International Affairs. During his studies in Belgium, Robin worked at the American embassy in Brussels and for the global logistics firm UPS. In the meantime, Robin has taken on a freelance journalist position at FrumForum.com, where he reports on primarily European affairs helping David Frum and others on providing the conservative American reader with a commonsensical news source.

Why Germany?

Having grown up in Austria, Germany become somewhat of a familiar „face“ to me. Apart from the aspect of familiarity, Germany has always entertained strong transatlantic ties with the U.S.. Hence it is for the upholding and fostering of these transatlantic relations which I myself want to work for in the future. Therefore it makes perfect sense for me to position myself at the very source of American-German transatlantic dialogue.

Why Heidelberg?

Apart from Heidelberg being picturesque and tranquil it is the very history of the place, which makes the study of American studies in Heidelberg very appealing. With Heidelberg not being completely annihilated during WWII it became the headquarters of the Americans and Germans, which culminated in American cultural and religious events being hosted in Heidelberg. Apart from the city itself, the commitment of the Heidelberg University towards its humanities makes Heidelberg a prime research destination. In addition when regarding the multitude of research facilities be it the grand main library or specific institutes such as the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research it becomes clear that the foundation for fruitful research is to be found in Heidelberg without a doubt.

Why American Studies?

While it is the American culture with which we most interact with today it seems that less and less people seem to comprehend the U.S. and what it entails. Hence it is utterly vital to study the cultural beginnings and outset of the U.S. in order to comprehend why the U.S, is where it is today and what values, morals and ideals fuel the „City on the Hill“. Personally, I see American studies as a great way to gain cultural sensitivity towards the U.S., which I will look to project onto my envisioned career field namely government consultancy. Furthermore, having worked with primarily American individuals and corporations the idea of studying something related with the U.S. has manifested itself over the past years.

Oliwia Wolkowicz (Poland)


2013 - Wolkowicz Oliwia FotoOliwia was born in Warsaw, Poland, but spent her childhood and adolescence in the United States. She returned to Poland after graduating high school and enrolled in the Faculty of Philology where she graduated with an M.A. in American literature from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow.

Why Germany?

They say that history likes to repeat itself. When I was a very small child, my parents escaped from communist Poland first to Germany. We spent a year there and I attended German preschool. The Germans were very gracious and friendly and my parents recall our stay there quite warmly. It is only natural then that when thinking of a country to continue my academic journey, Germany was the clearest and best choice and a kind of return to my roots.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Germany and Europe, offering an excellent opportunity to expand my academic horizons and learn from the best. Why not study at Heidelberg?

Why American Studies?

American Studies have interested me ever since I can remember. The MAS program offers a chance to dive deeper into the history and culture of the U.S. The history of women in the United States during World War II and during the post-war era is still a field being uncovered today, especially in terms of the role women played in the Armed Services. I firmly believe that the MAS program will offer the perfect chance to explore this area more and perhaps shed new light on it.

Yi Xiao (China)


2013 - Xiao Yi FotoBorn in Suzhou, China, in Oct. 1987, Yi received a B.A. in English Education in 2010. During her studies, she volunteered to work for many international cultural events and participated in exchange programs in universities in HK, Macau (2007) and South Korea (2009). She has work experience as a translator, as a teacher of English, and as a staff member in Italy Pavilion Shanghai EXPO (2010).

Why Germany?

Besides experiencing the excellent education that Germany is famous for, I would like to take this opportunity to learn the German language, experience its rich culture and further expand my horizons.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg University is a prestigious university with the longest tradition of academic excellence in Germany. Along with the international environment provided by the HCA, it is a more than ideal (and idyllic) place for scholars to study, experience and prosper.

Why American Studies?

Majoring in English, I am profoundly interested in the cultural and social aspects of English-speaking countries. The USA, young but influential, plays an important role in the world, thus exploring its culture would be a fruitful experience. In addition, this programme provides participants with an excellent platform for cultural exchange. All fellow students will benefit from mutual learning and sharing.

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Latest Revision: 2013-01-08
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