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Studieren im Ausland: WHS grad studies abroad in Germany

Emily Anderson poses in front of the Berlin Wall during her travels in Germany. Submitted photo1 / 2
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POTSDAM, Germany — Emily Anderson, 21, of Worthington has spent nearly four weeks of a three-and-a-half month study program in Potsdam, Germany. The Augustana College junior is studying at the University of Potsdam, a sister school of the college while completing an internship at the Markische Allgemine, a local daily newspaper. 

Anderson is an English, journalism and German major. While at Augustana, Anderson has worked as an editor for the EDDA, the school’s yearbook, participates in volunteer clubs that work with organizations such as Children’s Miracle Network. Anderson said she lives in a school-owned house that requires developing a volunteer program. She and her housemates work with a multicultural church in Sioux Falls, S.D., cooking meals or helping out with the church’s youth group.

A 2012 graduate, Anderson first became interested in German at Worthington High School.

“I really enjoyed my English and German classes with Mrs. Deanna Rowe,” Anderson said, “I feel as though my whole life has been a case of serendipity. I don’t consciously plan for things; they just kind of happen. I went to Augustana because I found out that I didn’t actually like the other school I was accepted to. I continued to study German because Mrs. Rowe was a great influence. It ended up being my major because my college professor, Dr. Stephan Lhotzky, was really cool. And I decided to study abroad because my professor thought it would be a good idea, and Potsdam is our sister school.”

While in Germany, Anderson will complete a semester of courses to finish her English degree while completing an internship toward her journalism degree.

“My semester started on April 13 and goes until July 31. I’m taking a couple of English classes to complete my English degree, and a German as a second language course.”

I’ve learned that the workload for courses, apart from reading, is very light. There are no papers, no assignments, and no grades. If I want to receive a grade for the course I’m taking, I only need to write a five page paper on a topic of my choosing. They really put the responsibility of learning on the student,” Anderson explained.

“As far as the internship goes, I need to do a journalism internship to complete my degree, and Dr. Lhotzky just happens to know everyone in Potsdam. So he set me up with Märkische Allgemeine — the local newspaper here in Potsdam. As provided from my journalism professor, Dr. Janet Blank-Libra, I will be writing stories, editing, photography, working on layout designs, and figuring out how things work in the business,” Anderson said.

In the time she has spent overseas, Anderson has noted many differences between Germany and the United States.

“I also love the infrastructure and how easy it is to get around the city. The public transportation is very punctual, clean, and super easy to use. It’s also extremely easy and cheap to travel to different cities for the day.

“Not to mention the country itself is so beautiful, from the countryside to the old architecture. There are still drab and lifeless remnants of the DDR (East Germany) around the country. I actually live in one of these buildings, but at least they use the space,” Anderson reflected.

“Clubs, pubs, concerts (and) festivals are abundant and very well advertised so there is always something to do. Also, everything is much cheaper here. What I normally spend $35 on groceries in the States, I only spend 15 Euros on here,” Anderson added.

In addition to her academic studies, Anderson plans on studying other cultures and traveling while she is in Germany.

“I also love learning about other cultures. I find it extremely fascinating to compare and contrast the differences in our countries. I arrived early to take a two-week intensive language course, so I met about 30 other international students, who I still remain close with,” Anderson said.

“I plan to travel … since it is very affordable. I have been to several cities in Germany already. I am headed … to Leipzig and Prague, and in a couple weeks I will travel to the Netherlands. I am also planning to explore Rome, southern Germany, and hopefully France and Greece,” Anderson concluded.

Robin Baumgarn

Robin Baumgarn is a new reporter for the Daily Globe covering the Education and Northwest Iowa beats. Prior to coming to the Globe, she worked for the Ocheyedan Press-Melvin News, a weekly Iowa paper for three years. She is a 2012 graduate of Iowa Lakes Community College and lives in Northwest Iowa with her husband Ryan and three pets, Fidget, Missy and Samwise.

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