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MASNEWS 2/2012:
"Shuttle Diplomacy" – Berlin and China

The MAS Class of 2013 in Berlin
Life after the MAS – Oksana Yeshyorkina & Ergün Baylan
Summer Barbecue
New: HCA Alumni Group
Call for Statements
The HCA in China
Studying in Heidelberg
Upcoming Events at the HCA

Dear All,

Detlef JunkerWelcome to the Heidelberg Center for American Studies’ MAS newsletter!

In this edition you will find a report about the trip to Germany’s capital Berlin of our MAS class of 2013. Also, we report on life after the MAS: two former students recently married.

As a special treat, Anne Lübbers and Katia Rostetter offer some reflections on our two-week visit to China where we met up with several Chinese scholars at their universities – and a couple of MAS alumni!

Please feel free to forward our newsletter to anyone interested in American Studies. Of course, we appreciate any feedback you would like to share with us.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Detlef Junker
HCA Founding Director

The MAS Class of 2013 in Berlin

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Tony Rush

Already a MAS tradition, the class of 2013 visited Berlin for a week in June. Tony Rush tells us about their trip and new experiences.

For one week this past June, my classmates and I traveled to Germany’s capital city, Berlin. What an opportunity it was! Educationally, recreationally, and culturally, the Berlin excursion is an exceptional component of our MAS program at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies. Not only did the trip afford our class the chance to visit several museums and to tour the city, but it also gave us the chance to further bond, not only as classmates, but as friends.

After a five hour train ride, we arrived in Berlin on a Monday afternoon, ready to explore the city. Fortunately, soon after our arrival, we had a 2-3 hour private bus tour through the city and saw several of the sites: the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, the Victory Column and much more. In seeing many of the city landmarks, we were able to get a detailed oration of Berlin’s remarkable history. Throughout the rest of the week, we had several educational opportunities to take advantage of. For instance, we went to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, where we learned about many of the successful escapes from East Germany. Additionally, we went to the Reichstag, which houses the German Bundestag. There we were given a tour of the building and a chance to sit in the Bundestag chambers while listening to an in-depth explanation of how the German Parliament operates. To end the visit of the Reichstag, we went to the dome atop the building which provides for a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Also, we went to the German Foreign Office, where we met with Ambassador Kreft and listened to him speak about driving issues regarding the Middle East. Lastly, the class also went to the Ethnological Museum as well as the American Academy, both of which were interesting to visit. Clearly, the excursion to Berlin was indeed an excellent educational opportunity!

2012-2-berlinOf course, the Berlin trip was also a cultural immersion program, as we were able to visit many of the city’s sites, such as the Brandenburg Gate. Another highlight of the week was dinner at The Bird on Tuesday night. As an American, it is hard to admit, but I had perhaps the best hamburger of my life there (and two American classmates agreed). One redeeming thing about it is that the restaurant was founded and is owned by two New Yorkers (I’m a New Yorker myself). Nevertheless, if you are ever in Berlin, make sure you go to The Bird for a hamburger.

Another highlight of the week was my visit to the Pergamon Museum. The reason I enjoyed it so much was because this past March I had traveled to Turkey, where I visited the site of the Temple of Zeus at Pergamon. However, after excavation of the site at Pergamon, archeologists uncovered the Temple of Zeus, brought it to Berlin and restored it there. Now I have a picture of the original site of the Temple of Zeus and a picture of where it is today. It is neat to see the two pictures next to each other- my plan is to enlarge and frame them someday! Lastly, the Euro Cup was occurring when we were there, so our class watched the games together throughout the week. Given that the trip to Berlin was meant to be an educational and cultural endeavor, it was a fun and excellent opportunity to watch the Euro Cup together as a class. 

Unfortunately, I had to leave Berlin early and it was tough to say goodbye to everyone because we were having a great week bonding. That shows how valuable this trip was, also for building camaraderie amongst our class. Throughout the week, we had many laughs, such as when one of my classmates was left behind at a tram stop one day; as the tram was pulling away the group saw her jumping and waving trying to get the tram to stop (luckily, she was able to get on the next tram and meet up with the group with no issues). Whether it was simply walking around the city, having lunch at a restaurant, or socializing at a bar in the evening, the Berlin trip allowed our class to grow closer together in a non-academic setting, giving us many memories and stories to share and remember. And that is a true value of the trip: allowing us to continue strengthening our friendships, friendships that will last a lifetime.

Life after the MAS – Oksana Yeshyorkina & Ergün Baylan

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Bryan Banker

MAS graduate Bryan Banker tells us that the HCA is not only responsible for great education but sometimes also for romances with a very happy ending. Congratulations to the couple!

Oksana Yeshyorkina (MAS 2011) and Ergün Baylan (MAS 2012) first met at one of the many events put on by the HCA. At a TGIF occasion in 2010, on a long walk on the Philosophenweg, Ergün and Oksana saw stars in each other’s eyes. After a courtship consisting of long trips on the number 5 tram to Mannheim, delicious dinners at Istanbul restaurant, and spending time with friends and colleagues in Heidelberg Ergün and Oksana decided to stay together after Oksana’s graduation in April 2011 and her subsequent move to Turkey. Later in the year, in September, on the coast of the Aegean sea in Assos, Turkey, where Aristotle founded his School of Philosophy, Ergün finally proposed to Oksana.

They married in July of 2012 in Ergün’s hometown of Karabük. At the wedding, Elif Huntürk (MAS 2011) and Bryan Banker (MAS 2012) were thrilled to serve as Oksana’s Maid of Honor and Ergün’s Best Man, respectively. Currently, both Ergün and Oksana are doctoral students at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin.

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Summer Barbecue

We celebrated the arrival of the well-earned summer break in good American tradition: With a barbecue.

Barbecue 1Barbecue 2Barbecue 3

This garden party brought HCA students - M.A., B.A., and Ph.D. – as well as staff and faculty together for a mid-July jamboree. And even though the sun refused to show itself that day, the mood was joyful and relaxed. The HCA backyard and atrium offered an ideal atmosphere for this occasion. Students showed their skills as barbecue chefs, and with everyone bringing delicious food and dishes to a huge buffet, no one remained hungry for long. The party lasted long into the summer night.

New: HCA Alumni Group

With over 8000 members and still counting, the Heidelberg Alumni International (HAI) offers a rich program for Heidelberg alumni with get-togethers, regional groups, national groups, and groups arranged by discipline.

2012-2-haiSince 1386, Heidelberg University is not just shaped by its current students and scholars but also by the people who came before, on whose shoulders we stand and on whose research we build. Being able to connect to that vast knowledge, to build bridges with the students, researchers, fellows, employees and friends and guest scholars of the past and present is the goal of HAI.

If you would like to maintain ties with other Heidelberg alumni around the world, we heartily invite you to join our alumni network. So join the HCA group on HAI and help create a vibrant network to share past memories and discuss future plans.

Free registration is available here

Call for Statements

Your opportunity to tell the world about your personal experiences at the HCA

We would like to create a ”statement box” on the HCA website with statements by students – current and alumni – about the BAS, MAS and PhD programs at the HCA.


  • would appear with your name, the program you were in (BAS, MAS, PhD), and the year of your graduation
  • should be about your personal experience with the BAS, MAS, PhD, or the HCA
  • should be no longer than 62 characters
  • should be sent to: skoenig@hca.uni-heidelberg.de

Example statement:
"Studying at the HCA is a fantastic experience. I am having the time of my life!" (Fiona Würthner, MAS 2012)

Thank you!

The HCA in China

From October 17-30, an HCA delegation toured China to promote the MAS program.

Professor Junker and the MAS coordinators, Katia Rostetter and Anne Lübbers, were accompanied by two colleagues from Heidelberg University’s international office, Ulrike Riedling and Chun-Mei Chan, to a tour of China. They participated in the China Education Expo (CEE) which took place in Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Shanghai. At the CEE 2012, Germany was the country of honor on occasion of the 40th anniversary of Chinese-German diplomatic relations. In the German Pavilion more than 100 representatives of German universities answered the questions of the Chinese students. Out of the 30 German universities present, Heidelberg was the best known school and therefore attracted a lot of students.

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In Beijing, Professor Junker gave lectures at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU). Afterwards he met with students and faculty to exchange ideas about the discipline of American Studies. A meeting with the vice-president of the CFAU was organized by two MAS alumni, Fei Ye (MAS 2009) and Harry Zhang (MAS 2011). In addition, they actively supported the HCA team at the fair in Beijing.

In Shanghai, the German delegation was invited by Tongji and Fudan University respectively to present their programs. At the fair, two other former students, Cassie Zhang (MAS 2008) and Cen Jiang (MAS 2011), stopped by the HCA’s booth.

The promotion tour was a great opportunity to venture into a new market and to make the MAS program known to promising young students. Professor Junker, Katia and Anne were delighted and moved to reunite with our alumni who were fabulous hosts and made us feel at home in China.

Studying in Heidelberg

The HCA invites applications for the MAS class of 2015. From October 2012 until March 31, 2013, interested students can apply by using our online application forms.

We wish you happy holidays and the best possible start to the New Year 2013!


Upcoming Events at the HCA

December 6, 2012

"Non-Proliferation and Disarmament during Obama's Second Term"
Ambassador Christoph Eichhorn, Deputy Federal Government Commissioner for Disarmament and Arms Control

December 13-15, 2012

ERP-Conference: "Lessons from the North Atlantic Financial and Economic Crisis"

January 10, 2013

"Metaphorical Aspects of American Culture"
Zoltán Kövecses, Professor of American Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

January 17, 2013

"'As firmly linked to ‘Africanus’ as was that of the celebrated Scipio': Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation, and the U.S. Colored Troops"
John David Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

January 31, 2013

"Privatizing Overseas Aid: USAID and the Rise of Contractors"
Susan M. Roberts, Professor of Geography, University of Kentucky, and Fulbright Scholar, University of Turku, Finland




Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA)
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69117 Heidelberg

Tel.: + 49 6221 543710 
E-Mail: hca@uni-hd.de 

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Latest Revision: 2012-12-06
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