Record nine Swansea students win prestigious German scholarships

Nine Swansea University languages students have secured scholarships from the German government to allow them to follow summer courses at German universities, with the aim of improving their language skills and their knowledge of the country.

The scholarships are offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD), which is funded by the German government.

Competition for the scholarships is fierce as they attract applications from many countries. Whilst Swansea has a good track record of success with its students, to have nine students win scholarships in one year is unprecedented.

The students are have just completed their first year of study in the Department of Languages, Translation and Interpreting.

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Picture:  eight of the nine winning students, pictured in the German department with lecturer and scholarships co-ordinator Christiane Günther (third from right)

Unlike in other countries, in the UK the programme also welcomes applications from first-year students as participating in a summer language course is regarded as an effective way of preparing them for their intercalary experience during the third year of study.

Christiane Günther, lecturer for German Language in the Department of Languages, Translation and Interpreting, who has been co-ordinating the applications for the scholarships since 2011, said:

“I am very happy that nine students will be studying in German this summer. This prestigious scholarships offer a unique opportunity for the students to become familiar with the German university system before they go on their year abroad.

We can really see the difference in our students when they come back from their summer course in Germany. Not only can they further develop their language skills and cultural knowledge, but this stay can boost their confidence and can equip them with intercultural competences so essential for their career plans.”

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Picture: Deutschland 83/Berlin 16: Swansea students get insiders' view of German capital in 2016 visit

What the winning students said:

Matthew Burnham, French and German

"I am very grateful for the opportunity to study abroad, as I can now immerse myself in the German language through culture and learning. I became aware of this opportunity through Christiane Guenther of the German Department at Swansea University and I must say that without her support and dedication to us students none of this would have been possible.'

Yurleivis Garcia Mongui, Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting; (native speaker of Spanish and Portuguese)

"I am very honoured to have received this scholarship. As a second year student with my year abroad coming up, I feel that this is a great opportunity to improve my German skills and confidence in speaking the language before starting university in a German-speaking country."

Katharine Evans, International Relations with German

"I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded a scholarship to study on a 4-week intensive language course at the Institute for International Communication in Düsseldorf this coming July. I can’t wait, not only to improve my knowledge of the language, but also to visit such a wonderful city and experience German culture over a much longer period than I have ever been able to before."

German taster day - cakesSophie Williams, BA German and English Language, from Plymouth

"I feel so lucky to have been offered a scholarship to study at the University of Kassel this summer. An experience like this to learn the language in the country where it is spoken is truly priceless and I am sure it will be a great help towards my degree."

Madeline Durman, BA Modern Languages (three languages), from Wokingham

"I have been granted a scholarship by the DAAD to study at the University of Tübingen over the summer doing a 4-week intensive language course. This is an amazing opportunity to improve my knowledge of German by living and studying in the country for a month as well as experiencing German culture and meeting new people".

Caitlin Glover, BA Modern Languages (three languages), from Helensburgh

"I’m absolutely delighted to have been chosen by the DAAD to study at Kiel University for one month during the summer vacation. I’m excited to visit Germany for the first time and I look forward to improving my language skills as well as learning more about German culture and meeting other people from around the world on this intensive language course."

Lauren Hill, BA Modern Languages, Translation and Interpreting, from Stafford

"The DAAD scholarship will allow me to study German whilst being immersed in the language and the culture of the country. I am looking forward to this experience and I am very grateful for Christiane’s support throughout the entire process."

Peter Morgan, Joint Honours German and French, from Newport, Wales

"I'm looking forward to spending time in Germany to really improve my competency in the language to put me in good stead for the rest of my degree. It's a chance for me to meet new people, make friends and really experience German culture.  It's a great opportunity that I would otherwise be un‌able to experience, but thanks to Christiane and the University making me aware of the scheme and helping me through the process I've been able to put through a good application."

Patrick Woods, Geography and German, also obtained a scholarship

Learning German could be worth up to $128,000 - The Economist

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