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German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch

Recent Stories

Photo of Chelsea Spencer

An Experience for Everyone

Chelsea Spencer is a senior majoring in German, Scandinavian, Dutch (with an emphasis in German) and global studies and minoring in biology. During her time abroad, Spencer maximized her time by traveling, volunteering, and living with a native German family. Spencer reflects that studying abroad can work for anyone, regardless of their schedule or budget, and adds that “it’s an experience unlike any other.”
Photo of Molly Tynjala

Finding Authenticity Abroad

Molly Tynjala recently graduated with a major in English and a minor in political science. Driven to learn more about her heritage, she began taking Finnish classes as a sophomore and discovered a deep appreciation for Finnish language and culture. The Finnish Connection Scholarship she received allowed her to explore the country firsthand. “The support of donors means the world to me,” she says. “It illustrates to me that other people still have hope for the future and have faith that young people will achieve remarkable things.”
Photo of Anna Keltner

A Changed Perspective

Anna Keltner is working toward a double-major in German, Scandinavian, Dutch (with an emphasis in Finnish) and strategic communications, with a minor in political science. She shares how learning abroad in Finland advanced her personal and professional plans and inspired new goals, adding that she “gained so much confidence, became a lot more independent, and got a much clearer picture of how [she wants her] life to go.”
Photo of Abby Bauer

Living Your Coursework

Abigail Bauer is pursuing a German, Scandinavian, Dutch major and a minor in Swedish. Reflecting on a previous trip to Europe, she explains that “learning abroad makes real the history you learn in the classroom” because it creates a personal, tangible connection. She adds that learning abroad aids in personal development by helping you gain “new confidence to explore other places and their cultures,” and looks forward to returning to Germany this summer.
Portrait of Lily Obeda.

Choose Your Own Adventure

“Once you find your passion and the piece of you that clicks, everything else falls into place.” That’s the advice of 2018 graduate Lily Obeda, whose double major in GSD with a Scandinavian & Finnish emphasis and speech-language-hearing sciences has prepared her for an exciting career in academia.
Professor James Parente in his office

Mining the Gap: James Parente on Studying the Unstudied

Going where few scholars have gone before, Professor James Parente has made a career of studying what others have missed. He recently began examining how premodern texts changed as they migrated through various cultures and time periods, and how that journey has shaped the way we know them today. Multilingualism and comfort with complexity are critical to this approach, making Parente the perfect candidate to develop a transnational perspective on literary history.
Helena Ruf sitting at her desk

Reaching Out

Director of Language Instruction Helena Ruf is described as the “linchpin” that connects everything going on in GSD. “This job gives me the opportunity to affect change and make things happen,” she says. “It’s a very exciting and rewarding experience, and I wish I could do even more.” One of the many ways she does that work is by serving as co-chair of the department’s Outreach Committee. The committee works hard to develop the best strategies for spreading the word about studying the German, Scandinavian, and Dutch languages.
Graffiti in Berlin, Germany

Germany: A Home Away from Home

Sisters Elaine and Amanda Benke share a passion for the German language and culture, leading each of them to minor in German alongside their majors in science and design. They spent last summer in Berlin enrolled in a language immersion program and their time there has changed how they connect to the world around them.