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Students

Kelsey Becker

USA

Kelsey grew up in a small town in northern Illinois. She moved to Chicago to pursue a B.A in Philosophy at DePaul University. She focused closely on 20th century French philosophy. Her research areas included phenomenology and ethics. After graduating in 2015, Kelsey spent some time traveling and working while applying to graduate school. Her goal is to earn a PhD in political science, conduct research and teach.

Why Germany?

Having studied philosophy during my undergraduate, I couldn’t help but become intrigued by the German project. From the German idealists to the romantics, Germany is rich in academic history that has shaped the canon of philosophy. Though I’ve had the pleasure of reading many German thinkers, I have regrettably only done so in English. My desire to study in Germany is thus derived in part from a desire to learn German. Also, having traveled to Germany a couple of times in the past few years I never felt I had enough time there.

Why Heidelberg?

The opportunity to study in the beautiful and historic Heidelberg at one of the more prestigious universities in the world is a dream come true. When it was time to decide on where to apply to school, Heidelberg seemed like the only choice.

Why American Studies?

In considering contemporary American political discourse, the question of values often comes into play. Questions regarding where and how these values have come to arise is of interest for me. I plan to research the different philosophical systems that have shaped the American project and observe the evolution of some values that are understood to be uniquely American.

 

Katie Blakey

New Zealand

Katie is originally from Oamaru, a rural town in the South Island of New Zealand. In 2015 she completed her BA(Hons) in History at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

Why Germany?

I learnt German throughout high school and university, and at the end of 2010 I took part in a two-month exchange to Bavaria. Since this exchange I’ve returned to Germany twice, once for a language course and once for a holiday. These experiences reinforced my decision to return to Germany on a more long-term basis.

Why Heidelberg?

After deciding to aim for a Masters in Germany, I began researching institutions and programs that aligned with my academic interests and goals. Visiting Heidelberg topped it all off as the city’s historic setting is beautiful and the thriving international community is an added bonus.

Why American Studies?

Throughout undergrad the history of the United States fascinated me. In particular, studying a range of social and political issues through cultural texts in my final year. While in many cases these issues were unique to the United States, it was interesting to make comparisons with my home country, which also has a colonial past. American Studies enables me to research and make these comparisons from a broader perspective, incorporating multiple disciplines.

 

Tamàs Deák-Bárdos

Hungary

Tamás was born in Budapest, Hungary. He gained his MA degree in Political Science at Corvinus University of Budapest where he chose Political Theory as his field of specialization. He is interested in the Anglo-Saxon theories of Liberalism and their contemporary critiques. During his studies, he was working at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the research group on Political Realism. His long term aspiration is to pursue a PhD and to become an academic.

Why Germany?

I remember the six months that I spent as an Erasmus exchange student in Bonn as a uniquely outstanding experience. The open-minded mentality of the people, as well as the beauty and atmosphere of the cities simply made it impossible not to fall in love with the country.

Why Heidelberg?

As a person whose goal is to be engaged in academics, I cannot think of a better preparation for this path than the MAS program. I believe that the educational goals of the program align well with my interdisciplinary orientation. Particularly appealing are the HCA’s courses on religion, political theory, and the full semester devoted to thesis writing.

Why American Studies?

I have been in awe of US politics since I embarked on my university studies, and now I feel extremely happy to have the opportunity of expanding my knowledge, as well as my horizons by gaining admission to the program. I am devoted to gain a better and deeper understanding about the role of religion and history in contemporary US political discourses.

 

Nina El Menschawi

Germany

Nina was born in Heidelberg. However, at the age of 3, her father’s career required her family to leave Germany and move to Belgium. Ever since then, she has had the opportunity to live in 7 different countries around the world. This influenced her decision to pursue a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Why Germany?

The opportunity to grow-up in multiple countries around the world was a blessing, which has influenced my outlook on life. Nevertheless, my parents ensured that our German culture was kept alive through speaking the language, eating traditional food, and celebrating key holidays. Therefore, I have always wanted to return to Germany to discover the German culture first hand.

Why Heidelberg?

Being born in a town like Heidelberg, with such strong historical, cultural and philosophical roots and not having had the opportunity to live there has played on my mind for the past couple of years. Heidelberg is such an iconic town with history that is admirable, culture that is visible and philosophy that is treasured internationally. It is overall a fascinating city.

Why American Studies?

Having lived in the USA for 4 years has influenced me enormously. Taking part in historical events such as the first inauguration of President Obama increased my interest in politics as well as in international relations. Furthermore, American politics has been one of my favorite modules throughout my B.A. Having specialized in American politics for my Bachelor thesis has further validated my decision to pursue my M.A. in American Studies in order to increase my contemporary knowledge on such an influential yet controversial nation.

 

Ilkin Huseynli

Azerbaijan

Ilkin was born in Baku. He received a B.A. in American Studies from Baku State University and a M.A. in Political Science from Central European University, Budapest.

Why Germany?

I was mainly interested in the academic standards of Heidelberg University, therefore, the country that the university was located in had the secondary importance for me. However, I would like to use this great opportunity and learn German during my study as well.

Why Heidelberg?

When I did research about the best universities on American Studies, I found the American Center of Heidelberg University. I believe that the role of religion in U.S. politics is underestimated by scholars, and by studying this topic one can better understand the dynamics of modern American politics. Moreover, I believe that my study at Heidelberg University Master’s program in American Studies will enhance my knowledge of American politics and the role of religion in it.

Why American Studies?

I am interested in the culture and history of the United States, and try to see how this country became so powerful. In my bachelor degree the curriculum mainly focused on the history, culture, foreign and domestic policy of the United States, and we did not study extensively the democratic foundations of America, democratic theory, and political philosophy; as a result, with only my B.A. degree I was not able to analyze and understand the dynamics of American politics. Therefore, I decided to do my M.A. in political science in order to enhance my knowledge in this field and be able to fully understand and analyze American politics. Now I believe that my academic degrees enable me to make the connection between American culture and history on the one hand, and political philosophy, and democratic theory, on the other. Finally, I believe that the second master in American Studies will help me to strengthen this connection, and develop it further.

 

Libin Li

China

Libin was born in Hubei, China. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dalian University of Foreign Languages in 2010. After graduation, he had been engaged in doing international trade for two years. In 2012, he started to work in Ghana on the post of administration and HR officer. During the four years’ business practices with local counterparts and companies, he became interested in the Western culture and wanted to figure out the problems he encountered which mostly originated from culture misunderstanding.

Why Germany?

Germany is famous for its high-quality public education system which has a good reputation in the world. It has been playing a significant role in the European history progress. Studying in Germany will broaden my horizon and deepen my understanding towards Western culture.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg has met all my requirements for an excellent university. It has a beautiful campus, fantastic history and renowned teaching staff. It will provide me a great opportunity to get in touch with more knowledge in different disciplines.

Why American Studies?

The United States of America is the world super power due to its great achievements in economy and politics. To study America will help me get better adapted into the Western social system which will reduce the misunderstandings when interact with foreigners. The interdisciplinary study features of this Master of American Studies Program will also provide me more study options.

 

Hien-Le Pham

Vietnam

Le was born in Da Nang, a beautiful city in central Vietnam. She graduated from Foreign Trade University, Ho Chi Minh City Campus with a major in International Economics. Le worked for HSBC Bank Vietnam for over one year after graduation and started to collaborate with some publishing companies as a freelance book translator. Before moving to Germany for her graduate study, she had been a fulltime corporate trainer at a US software company for over three years.

Why Germany?

Calling myself a “daydreamer” I have always dreamed of visiting magnificent yet beautiful and romantic castles all over Germany such as Schloss Neuschwanstein, Schloss Lichtenstein, Schloss Schwerin and of course Schloss Heidelberg included. I am now lucky enough to be residing near the Black Forest, where many of the world’s most famous fairytales are set.

Why Heidelberg?

My first visit to Heidelberg, albeit brief, left me with really good feelings for the city. It felt like home, indeed. That’s why when learning about the HCA and its MAS program while browsing American Studies programs in Germany, it immediately became my first choice. Besides, the university’s outstanding academic reputation and super supportive staff also pulled me closer to Heidelberg.

Why American Studies?

At LogiGear, my latest company, I was not merely an English instructor, a soft skill trainer, but also an inspiration to promote American work style, enhancing mutual understanding between American and Vietnamese business cultures. Despite all the notable success I had achieved there, as my career advanced and required higher level of knowledge, I was aware that a profound and rigorous study into the subject is essential for my professional development. Moreover, being a Vietnamese whose homeland shares an intertwined history with the USA, I feel an urge to explore this country and its people from various perspectives in order to gain deeper and more thorough understanding of the past, the present and the future of the two countries.

 

Lèa Pitschmann

France

Léa was born in Charpenton-Le-Pont, France, in 1994. After completing a 3-year long CPGE course in Versailles, she received a French master’s degree in English from the Sorbonne University with a specialization in research and American studies.

Why Germany?

Germany has always been an influential actor on the international scene, especially when talking about the USA. Its rich culture makes it a perfect place for an interdisciplinary approach in studying and researching from an international standpoint.

Why Heidelberg?

Having grown up near Heidelberg and being aware of the elite master program in American studies its university is offering, it seemed a perfect match to me. I have always been fond of the city in itself, but living there for the first time in more than a decade will definitely be an interesting experience.

Why American Studies?

American studies have always fascinated me, from the variety of subjects to their intensity. It allows me - especially in their interdisciplinary aspect at the MAS program - to broaden my political and social awareness, as well as my approach to research in general, which is something I strive to pursue in the future.

 

Natascha Schiel

Germany

Natascha was born in Baden-Baden, Germany and completed her B.A. in American Studies at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in spring 2016. She spent her academic year 2014/15 at Smith College in Massachusetts, where she earned a Diploma in American Studies with the support of a scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (Jahresstipendium des DAAD). In addition, she has been studying German law at Heidelberg University since 2012.

Why Germany?

Being German I think it is great that German universities like Heidelberg University offer comprehensive programs in American Studies. Therefore continuing my studies in Germany was the obvious choice for me.

Why Heidelberg?

During my previous studies I had the opportunity to experience firsthand what a stimulating learning environment and supportive teaching staff the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) has to offer. Besides being a beautiful university town Heidelberg is an interesting and fun place to live. Furthermore staying in Heidelberg allows me to continue to pursue my interest in German law as well as in American Studies. For all these reasons, the M.A. program in American Studies in Heidelberg is a great fit for me.

Why American Studies?

American Studies as an academic field appeals to me because it continuously challenges you to switch between different perspectives, not only as a foreigner analyzing American society and culture, but also between the variety of approaches used in subfields like American history or politics. The M.A. program in American Studies at the HCA with its interdisciplinary focus is a good way for me to expand my methodological skills, deepen my knowledge, and learn from experts in different fields.

 

Sarah Shammaa

Syria

Sarah was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria. She received a B.A. in English and American Studies from Aleppo University. She was interested in learning languages as an access to new cultures. Therefore she learned Japanese and attained a certificate of completing seven levels from Japan Center for Academic Cooperation, Aleppo University. After graduation, she worked as an English Teacher for four years before the war in Syria. Especially the terrible circumstances in her city Aleppo forced her to leave her country for Germany.

Why Germany?

Due to the unpredictable life and terrifying circumstances that were getting worse day by day in my city, Aleppo, I had to find a way out of the madness and I was lucky to obtain the visa after I applied for a permit of a stay for family reunion with my sister who is living in Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

After moving to Germany, I applied for a DAAD scholarship that helped me attend a German course at the “Internationales Studienzentrum” which is part of the University of Heidelberg. I was and I am still fascinated by this beautiful city with its rich history and I am excited and motivated to be a student at a university that has such a great academic reputation.

Why American Studies?

While I was working as an English teacher at an American curriculum school in Aleppo, I was fascinated by the method of teaching that is applied in the USA. This really helped me to think and work in creative ways. And when I was surfing the internet looking for a master’s program, I was surprised to read about a master that will provide me with in-depth cultural knowledge about this country.

 

Sena Sipahioglu

Turkey

Sena received her BA in American Culture and Literature from Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. She is very interested in her BA subject which is why she wants to continue in Germany. Since her graduation, she has been teaching English in various language institutions.

Why Germany?

I chose Germany because it is one of the most developed countries in the world. It is known for its universities and student life. There are many students in Germany from all around the world. Thus, it becomes a country that supports academic development.

Why Heidelberg?

I have completed my BA in American Studies and I would like to know more about the history, culture and literature of this country and how it affects the rest of the world. Moreover, I’m also interested in economics, art and politics. I plan to continue with my studies after this master program.

Why American Studies?

I chose this university because it is one of the best universities in Germany. The quality of education in this school is very well known. There are many students from all over the world which creates a diverse and international environment for the students.

 

Supawadee Sriputorn

Thailand

Supawadee is from Thailand. She studied mass communications as her undergraduate degree and received her first Master’s in English. She has worked as a translator and a university lecturer in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Her academic interests include popular culture and media.

Why Germany?

What’s best about Germany is that access to its high quality education is open to people from other countries as well as its own citizens, with programs offered in English with no tuition fees or rate difference for international students.

Why Heidelberg?

As Germany’s oldest university, Heidelberg University has a prestigious history. On top of that its reputation is strengthened by its modern outlook. Heidelberg itself is rich with history and filled with stunning beauty. It is a perfect city for students.

Why American Studies?

American Studies is a significant field of study in the current globalizing world. It invites academic exploration into America’s role and influence in other countries, including Thailand.

 

Calum Andrew Thomson

United Kingdom

Calum was born and raised in Northumberland, United Kingdom. He studied for his Bachelor of Arts in European Studies at Maastricht University from 2013 to 2016. He spent the fifth semester of his degree studying abroad at Ludwig Maximilian’s University in Munich.

Why Germany?

I am a British student. During my Bachelor’s degree from Maastricht University I was given the opportunity to partake in an Erasmus semester abroad, which I did at Ludwig-Maximillians Universität in Munich. During this time, I made significant progress with my German language skills, enjoyed Oktoberfest and thoroughly embraced the academic environment. I knew then that I wanted to study in Germany after graduation.

Why Heidelberg?

Having researched about Heidelberg, I understood it to be a prestigious University in a beautiful part of Germany. When I visited the University and the town I fell in love with it. I concur with the author Mark Twain, who said about Heidelberg: “The town lay, stretched along the river, its intricate cobweb of streets jeweled with twinkling lights. Behind the castle swells a dome-shaped hill, forest-clad, and beyond that a nobler and loftier one. The Castle looks down upon the compact brown-roofed town; and from the town two picturesque old bridges span the river. I have never enjoyed a view which had such a satisfying charm about it as this one gives.”

Why American Studies?

Having visited the US on numerous occasion, I have always been interested in all things American, particularly their literature, politics and history. This course allows me to pursue an interdisciplinary approach, which I believe is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn and develop my academic interests.

 

Sirui Wang

China

Sirui was born in Sichuan, China in 1991. She majored in English in Sichuan Agricultural University and graduated with honors in 2014. After graduation, she has been an English teacher in her hometown.

Why Germany?

My university held regular academic communication activities with students’ representatives from several German applied science universities and I used to be the volunteer interpreter for them. They left a very good impression because of their lovely personality and strong thirst for knowledge. Therefore, when I made the decision to study abroad, Germany is my first and only choice.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg University is renowned worldwide and many candidates name her as their dream school. It will be a pleasure to study there. The HCA has been running the MAS program for years, so the abundant experience on American Studies they gained as well as quantities of internationally prestigious scholars and outstanding fellow classmates will provide me with a multi-perspective studying experience.

Why American Studies?

A compulsory course British and American Culture that I have taken in college equipped me with a general knowledge of America and stimulated my interest in this country in every aspect. However, I noticed, I still had my limitations when working on the final dissertation of my first degree which made me compelled to apply for a second degree for a better and deeper understanding.

 

Yanping Wei

China

Yanping was born in 1993 in Hangzhou, a southeast city in China. She earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature from Hangzhou Normal University. During her studies, she worked as a part time Chinese teacher to non-Chinese speakers. She spent her second year of university as an exchange student in Shanghai International Studies University. She is interested in many American films and television series which reflect contemporary American society and values.

Why Germany?

As an English major student, I am always fascinated by German, which is closely connected to the English language. I made up my mind to advance myself in American studies in Germany rather than in the States, because I desire to have a neutral stand point towards the United States. Meanwhile, Germany is known for its high academic standards, together with its rich history, philosophy and culture. I believe that Germany is a great place to further my studies.

Why Heidelberg?

I was first attracted by Heidelberg for its beautiful scenery and long history. When I explored more information about Heidelberg, I gradually took it as my primary choice of study in Germany, as it has a strong academic background and faculty. I believe that my training in Heidelberg will provide me with a professional start of the subject I am about to learn. In addition, I believe that the experiences I will be able to make during my time on the Heidelberg University’s campus will be invaluable to my studies.

Why American Studies?

During my B.A studies, I have undertaken extensive courses such as Introduction to English Speaking Countries, American Literature, and Anglo-American Poems. These courses have helped me form an overall picture of American history and culture. And I want to know more about American history, culture, economy, politics etc., and learn to draw the connection among these factors.

 

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Hacer Bahar

Turkey

Hacer was born in Istanbul,Turkey. She received a B.A. in American culture and literature from Bilkent University, Ankara.

Why Germany?

Due to its high academic standards, as well as its rich history, philosophy, culture, and strong ties with the USA, Germany is a great place in which to study for my chosen field.

Why Heidelberg?

Prior to applying to Heidelberg, I did intensive online research into master’s programs all over Europe. I decided on Heidelberg as I find the level of scholarly research produced by its American Studies program extremely attractive, and am frankly excited about learning from such a dazzling array of scholars.

Why American Studies?

Specializing in American Studies is significant as the USA is one of the most influential countries in the world, and I believe that enriching my vision of America will enable me to perceive contemporary political, social, and cultural developments from a much broader perspective. The interdisciplinary nature of the program fascinates me as it allows me to explore America in a multi-dimensional fashion.

 

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Louis Butcher

UK/USA

Louis was born and raised in London to an American mother and English father. He spent most of his childhood holidays with family in Detroit & LA. Having worked in a variety of fields and travelled extensively across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, he recently graduated with a B.A. in (modern European) history from the University of Bradford, which included a year abroad at Clarkson University in upstate NY.

Why Germany?

I’ve visited Germany many times in the past and loved every trip, so the decision to move and study there was easy. I’m also keen to develop my language skills, and since Germany is such a major player within the EU, learning German is one of my key priorities.

Why Heidelberg?

I’m very much opposed to the increasingly prohibitive cost of higher education in both the U.S. and U.K., and this in part was why I turned my sights to studying in continental Europe. Overall, I wanted to attend a university in a beautiful, historic place, but one that was also progressive and modern. Likewise, I was searching for an institution with a stellar reputation and world class research facilities. Heidelberg ticks every one of those boxes.

Why American Studies?

My upbringing has undoubtedly played a role in my interest in American affairs. With my previous degree in history, American Studies will give me greater scope to focus on contemporary American issues and analyze topics from the perspectives of different disciplines.

 

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Jessica Hagen

USA

Jessica Hagen is from Linden, Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University in 2009 with a B.A. in German and was also active in German-language outreach activities. From 2010-2011, she was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Ludwigshafen, and in 2015, she completed a B.Ed. in English and German at the University of Mainz. She currently works as a freelance English teacher in Mannheim and Mainz and lives in Sandhausen.

Why Germany?

A six-week summer program in Mayen as part of her degree at MSU cemented her love for German culture and language, and it was this trip that inspired her to come back for her Fulbright year.

Why Heidelberg?

Jessica visited Heidelberg on a field trip with her students and was instantly taken by the city’s beauty, culture, and history. It became her goal to study at Heidelberg University.

Why American Studies?

Jessica became interested in American Studies through her coursework at the University of Mainz, specifically those focused on American literature. Although it might seem backwards to study American Studies in Germany as an American, Jessica is excited to experience her home country from a different perspective through the American Studies program in Heidelberg.

 

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Zachary Holler

USA

Zachary Holler was born in 1991 and lives in Boerne, Texas. He earned his B.A. in History from Hillsdale College. During his studies, he volunteered to teach Latin with the local grade school. After college, he tutored local grade school students while choosing a university to continue his own education.

Why Germany?

Germany is fairly familiar to me, as half of my extended family lives throughout the country. Germany holds a different perspective on education and culture that I admire. It is a land with deep roots in music, religion, history, literature, and invention. I intend to learn as much as I can about Germany outside as well as inside the classroom.

Why Heidelberg?

The variety of subjects within the M.A. program and its reputation as one of the leading universities in the world will lead to a rigorous education. The university is very accessible to foreign students, such as me, and the professors have already proved to be both understanding and helpful. I am humbled to be accepted into their program.

Why American Studies?

A Japanese immigrant once told me that “if you stay home, then you will never know home because you have blind spots. When you are far away you can see.” This wisdom prompted my search for a good university abroad where I may learn and view my “home” from a distance. I intend to return to America and teach what I have learned.

 

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Frederick Janzen

Germany

Frederick Maximilian Janzen, born and raised in Heidelberg, received his B.A. in International Business with Spanish from the European Business School London in 2014. Having studied and worked in South America, the Middle East, and Europe he decided to move back to his hometown to undertake his Master’s degree in American Studies.

Why Germany?

Being a German citizen I know what I can expect from education in Germany - a well-structured degree which provides excellent knowledge in the undertaken course. After having had the chance to get to know so many different cultures and countries around the world, I had the urge to come back to my roots and further educate myself in Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

I believe that Heidelberg is the perfect location outside of Northern America to study this degree. As Heidelberg is strongly influenced by the American culturem, I am certain that this degree provides a better fundament than other institutions, such as in Berlin, Munich, or Aachen. I am looking forward to being in a class with international students that contribute to the diverse character of student body in Heidelberg and who I can support with my local knowledge.

Why American Studies?

It was always an interest of mine to return to the United States of America in particular and seek a future career there. Dwelling in the consulting sector, I believe that it is not only important to have a profound knowledge of the influenced businesses but, almost more importantly, to understand the culture in which the business is operating. I am expecting that this know-ledge is being broadened and sharpened during my studies.

 

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Gayong Kwon

South Korea

Gayong was born in Seoul, South Korea. She attended Sogang University where she received her B.A. in American culture along with a minor in business. During her college years, she was an exchange student in Helsinki, Finland and spent time teaching students. She has a keen interest in American literature, film, media studies and how these provide the way to interpret American society.

Why Germany?

Germany has always been famous for its great education system throughout the world. I have always wanted to study abroad where I can enrich my academic acquirement in a well-structured system. I thought that continuing my master studies in Germany would be a great chance for me to achieve what I want to pursue.

Why Heidelberg?

To me, Heidelberg University always came first when I think about prestigious academic institution in the world. When I searched for programs in American Studies, the MAS in Heidelberg was definitely my first choice considering its wonderful faculty members and academic background. Plus, I heard so many times from my acquaintances that Heidelberg is such a scenic place to live and full of its history.

Why American Studies?

During my B.A studies, I majored in American culture and I learned so many aspects of the impacts of American culture throughout the world. The direct and indirect influences that I have been given from USA, considering that South Korea has always been deeply connected with the USA in both political and social ways, make me more interested toward American Studies.

 

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Xingyan Liu

China

Xingyan was born in China in 1992. She received her Bachelor of Law from South-Central University for Nationalities in 2015. During her studies she participated in an English speech contest and won the second place, did a lot of volunteer jobs, and also interned in a television station.

Why Germany?

I have been attracted by German culture since I was a freshman in the college. I started learning German two years ago, and I think living and studying in this country will help me a lot to improve it. Besides, Germany enjoys a really good reputation regarding the education which I pursue.

Why Heidelberg?

Just like all the other students, I’ve been admiring Heidelberg for a long time mainly because its long history and profound culture. It has always been my dream school ever since I’ve started college. The beautiful scenery as well as the first class faculty and students have made Heidelberg the world-class university.

Why American Studies?

Although China has the world’s oldest living civilization, the drawbacks are obvious. Chinese still have to improve so many things and learn from others. Studying American Studies can be a great experience, for America has a totally different background than China. China may use its modern civilization in scientific research, industrialization, and economic development as a reference. I believe that in today’s globalized world, this major means interchange and rapprochement between ideas and values at an unprecedented pace and density.

 

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Emily Lloyd

USA

Emily was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaina in 1990. In 2007, Emily was appointed as a page at the United States House of Representatives. She graduated from Suffolk University in 2013 with a B.S. in psychology. After graduation, Emily worked for the Democratic Congressional District and Congressman John F. Tierney. She also participated in volunteer, post-graduate study work with a professor at Suffolk University.

Why Germany?

Studying and living in Germany has always been most appealing to me. International study has been and remains one of the most significant and rewarding experiences of my undergraduate years at Suffolk University. Having spent my entire sophomore year at Suffolk University’s Madrid campus and a subsequent semester in Prague, I’ve acquired tremendous appreciation for the learning experience, both academic and personal, that long term immersion in a different culture and educational setting can offer. Long held views and opinions are frequently challenged and sometimes discarded; new insights and appreciations gained for how others differently situated experience and understand the complexity of issues facing the planet. There simply is no substitute for the academic and personal benefits to be gained, particularly for an American, by living, learning, and experiencing all that studying abroad offers.

Why Heidelberg?

The graduate American Studies program at Heidelberg offers all I have great interest in pursuing.

Why American Studies?

While in the Czech Republic, I chose two American Studies courses, “U.S. and Human Rights” and “The U.S. in the 60s and 70s.” My fellow classmates were from all quarters of the globe. And, as it turned out, I was the only American student in each. As a consequence of this most unique educational experience, I gained an entirely different perspective directly from other nationals about how American culture, politics, and American political leaders are viewed, respected, and sometimes despised, which would not otherwise have been possible without international study. This experience sparked my interest to pursue my M.A. in American Studies, specifically outside of the United States.

 

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AlJay Pascua

USA

Born in the Philippines, Jay moved to the U.S. when he was 12 years old. There he studied comparative literature and English language teaching. From July 2011 to December 2014, he lived and worked in Africa, teaching English for the Peace Corps in Cape Verde and in Mozambique.

Why Germany?

I simply prefer Europe over North America. This might seem elitist, but really it’s prosaic and natural, like one’s preference for rice over bread, or one’s sexual orientation. Germany might seem an odd choice, given my background in tropical countries. But my interest in American history and literature led me to the HCA. So, I chose Germany because of Heidelberg.

Why Heidelberg?

I visited Heidelberg right after my Peace Corps service to ascertain if the American Studies program fits my academic goals, and if the city was a place I could live in. I was certain of the MAS program. The faculty and students showed depth and diversity in their research interests and backgrounds. The city I found rather romantic. I was sure I wanted to try it.

Why American Studies?

As my place of birth was once a U.S. colony, I inherited “America” from the periphery. But this isn’t unique - it’s probably true of all of us, to a certain extent, or inasmuch as its media culture, military presence, and general hegemony has reached our lives. I want to gain a better understanding of this American heritage and to participate in the academic discourse on its influence.

 

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Henry Prown

USA

Henry was born in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1992. He graduated from University College London (UCL) with a B.A. in European Studies in 2015. He spent the third year of his studies on an Erasmus program Italy studying at the Università per Stranieri di Siena. Writing his undergraduate dissertation on the varying responses of national governments to hostage crises, Henry has an interest in conflict resolution and hopes to continue his research in that area.

Why Germany?

While in university I became good friends with a few Germans and had the chance to visit them a couple of times over the last two years. Besides having a lot of fun, these visits made me realize that I’d like to spend a longer period of time in Germany. I’ve been lucky enough not just to travel to foreign countries but also to live abroad, and I’d like to continue doing so as long as I have the opportunity.

Why Heidelberg?

When I began looking around for graduate schools in Germany, Heidelberg University jumped out at me. It had a stellar reputation, of course, but maybe more importantly it had a program that appealed to me. In addition, after spending much of my recent life living in London, I look forward to living in a smaller city.

Why American Studies?

During my time at UCL, and particularly while writing my thesis, I found that much of my research became focused on the United States. For better or worse, the U.S. plays an important role in conflict resolution, and, considering that is my main area of interest, it made sense to go into an American Studies program.

 

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Tony Royle

USA

Tony recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed a B.A. in history with a concentration in United States history and a B.A. in Romance languages focusing on Italian. Throughout university he worked with prospective and current students as an admissions ambassador, orientation leader, and a resident advisor.

Why Germany?

I did not know much about Germany besides what my parents told me when they were stationed there with the military. A visiting professor from my previous university is from Germany, and I learned more about the culture. I want to further learn the language and experience Germany’s charm.

Why Heidelberg?

I chose Heidelberg because it is well known that the quality of education there is high. I was attracted to the rich history of the university itself and its research facilities.

Why American Studies?

As an American student, I believe that I present a bias with my country’s history. There are events that I learned about in the past four years of undergrad that I had never heard of growing up through primary education. I want to experience how the rest of the world interprets American history and culture. I want to be able to explain to other Americans ALL of the truths about our country and not just the ones that were told to us in primary schools.

 

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Johnathan Schlaefer

USA

Jonathan was born in Sacramento, California in 1990 and graduated this year from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in comparative literature. He was fortunate to spend a semester abroad at Åbo Akademi in Finland, an experience which provided ample opportunity for travel, including his first trip to Germany. His academic interests include literature, history, and anthropology.

Why Germany?

I am of partial German ancestry, and German seems to be one of the most-recommended languages for prospective doctoral students to learn. Germany’s cultural and economic influence on the world stage also make it an attractive option.

Why Heidelberg?

When I came to Germany, I landed in Bremen, and wanted to take a night train somewhere so I wouldn’t need to pay for a hostel. I chose Heidelberg and liked it so much that I stayed for four days! I realized I wanted to study in this beautiful intellectual environment.

Why American Studies?

American Studies was broad enough to capture my interest even though I had not initially planned to do graduate work in this field. Given my literature background, I feel most at home with the likes of Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, and Jack Kerouac, but I’m eager to branch out into the historical, sociological, and economic aspects of the field as well.

 

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Nao Tomabechi

Japan

Nao may have spent portions of her life in the U.S., but she is full-time Japanese. She recently graduated Sophia University in Tokyo with an M.A. in English literature. She will be pursuing her second M.A. in Heidelberg University. Superheroes are her passion, personally and academically.

Why Germany?

I am interested in popular culture and comics studies, but unfortunately, resources and study programs concerning them are extremely limited in Japan. Therefore, I decided to apply for a grad school outside my country, and I discovered that contemporary culture is a growing field within American Studies in Germany. Furthermore, studying in Germany will also give me international experiences and opportunities which will allow me to learn about a new culture, language, and also education systems.

Why Heidelberg?

Not only is Heidelberg beautiful, it has a rich history and also ranks high among many universities in the world. The variety of classes offered at Heidelberg is ideal for me to prepare for future specialized research projects. I will not have to limit my studies and hopefully will be able to apply what I learn into my fields of interests.

Why American Studies?

For the past few years, as an English literature major, I have been studying superhero comics as contemporary American literature. By broadening my knowledge on American culture, as well as research methods necessary to the fields, I will be able to understand further the influences reflected upon the colorful pages of comics.

 

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Nahia Uribe

Brazil

Nahia Uribe was born and raised in Brazil. She moved to the Basque Country in Spain in 2010 to attend the University of the Basque Country, from which she received her B.A. in history in 2015. Another interest of hers is learning new languages, and she currently speaks four (Portuguese, English, Spanish, and Basque).

Why Germany?

Germany is a country that values education, which I admire because I think it is so important. I also admire the German language and culture, which I’m looking forward to experiencing.

Why Heidelberg?

Being the oldest university in Germany, Heidelberg University has definitely an ancient quality which I as a historian am very interested in. Of course the fact that the university is internationally acclaimed as a great institution of higher education is a very important factor as to why anyone would choose Heidelberg. And finally, I also took into account the fact that the city receives students from all over the world, creating a culturally mixed and rich environment.

Why American Studies?

As a historian I have always been highly interested in contemporary history, specifically the 20th century, dubbed “the American century,” so my interest in American history, politics, and culture stemmed from there. Furthering my education focusing on American Studies seemed therefore like the logical next step after I graduated from college.

 

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Özcan Altay

Turkey

Özcan was born in Kırıkkale, Turkey in 1982. He received his B.A. in Law from Ankara University, in 2005. Since then, he has been working in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey as a legislative expert. During that time, he took part in the meetings of the Committee on Conciliation on the Constitution. He is an amateur football blogger and likes reading politics, philosophy and political history. He also looks forward to be a writer and columnist.

Why Germany?

Germany is a place where I feel comfortable and at peace. If any more explanation is needed, I would say I want to get to know a lot more about a country which is so resilient and able to secure a harmony with its nature and industrial development. Serving as a good example for other parliamentary democracies, Germany is also worth observing for her colorful political spectrum.

Why Heidelberg?

First and foremost, I suppose that Heidelberg with its historical position and nature belongs much more to the common heritage of mankind than it does to Germany. Hosting one of the oldest education institutions in the world, I also put Heidelberg in a special place for being among cities that inspired German Romanticism.

Why American Studies?

In 2013, I was assigned by the Administration of the Parliament as the US Country Specialist. I am pretty sure that the M.A. in American Studies would make a great impact on my further studies in relation to my occupation. Apart from that, getting acquainted with a superpower in its entirety would be very interesting. I presume that observing America through the eyes of another potent power, Germany, will double the harvest.

 

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Iulia Caizer

Romania

Born in Romania, Iulia received her Bachelor of Law from West University of Timisoara in 2013. During her studies she participated in international debate competitions, moot court competitions and also interned at law firms. In her 3rd year she was elected to be National Vice President of the Seminar&Conferences Department of ELSA Romania. She also received an Erasmus scholarship and studied at the University of Genoa, Italy.

Why Germany?

Germany is definitely a country which highly values education and strong cooperation with other institutions, offering students a more practical insight into their chosen field of study. The country has produced Nobel Prize winners, international projects are promoted everyday and, most importantly, students from all over the world choose to further their education here, creating a cultural rich environment, which I look forward to taking advantage of.

Why Heidelberg?

I am sure that here I will receive a first-class education and experience from highly qualified professors and from using outstanding research facilities such as Max Planck Institute or Schurman Library.

Why American Studies?

During my studies I have developed a profound curiosity of the U.S. legal system. However, in order to fully understand the workings of this sophisticated judicial system, I consider it important to look closer at the essential elements that gave it the present shape, such as: the history, culture, economy, politics and law. Therefore, this interdisciplinary master program given by the HCA would definitely offer me a creative environment to learn more about the American legal system which cannot be fully understood if seen ut singuli but only as a part of a whole.

 

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Daniel Donohoe

Great Britain

Daniel grew up in Llandudno, North Wales. He then moved to Lampeter to attend the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. Daniel studied History in his first year and Modern Historical Studies for the rest of his degree. After his second year of studies, he visited Germany and Heidelberg for the first time. It was at this time that Daniel first saw the program for American Studies. Set on doing his masters at Heidelberg University, he started learning the German language.

Why Germany?

I first travelled to Germany for one reason in particular, and that would be my girlfriend. However, after spending a summer outside of the United Kingdom, my desire to see more of the world lead me to the decision to live and work in Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

After studying in such a small University for my Bachelors, I really wanted to see a larger University that is still stoked in history and tradition. I also fell head-over-heels in love with the town and the surrounding area. The advantages of living in a larger University town will also come to light very soon!

Why American Studies?

I already had a keen interest in America, and most of my degree was regarding American politics in history, which was great, and opened up my horizon for studying.

 

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Vincent Wai Shing Ha

Hong Kong

Vincent was born in Hong Kong and received his B.A. in English Literature along with a minor in History from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012. During his studies, he also worked as an English tutor at Wallstreet Institute. After graduation, he worked as a Native English teacher for a local school and a kindergarten for two years and also as a freelance writing assistant. In this program, he majored in both American Literature and History. He is specifically interested in how America positions itself as a global influence regarding soft power and also the seemingly vanishing American Dream. He enjoys traveling and learning about foreign cultures.

Why Germany?

Germany is internationally acclaimed for its challenging education system and also its culture and history. After meeting some German exchange students who attended my home university, I was fascinated by their language and I decided to learn German and studying in Germany seems to be the perfect choice.

Why Heidelberg?

I traveled to Europe as my graduation trip and went to Heidelberg to visit a friend, who was studying there. Frankly speaking, I was intrigued by the academic environment and fascinated by the landscape. Who does not want to be studying in a romantic city? Also, Heidelberg University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world and I am honored to be a part of it.

Why American Studies?

America has accomplished a lot given its short history, and has become one of the most influential countries around the world. I am very interested in knowing how it came into being. Aside from that, with the growing power of America, its negative image seems to be forming as well, unfortunately. Thus, I would love to get familiar with its politics and history.

 

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Xin Huang

China

Huang Xin was born on December 3rd, 1991, in China. She graduated from Civil Aviation University of China and got her Bachelor of Arts in English in July 2014. From an interest in language learning, I gradually became fascinated about the culture behind the language. I have read many American writers’ work, such as Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, T. S. Eliot, and I am deeply touched by the American spirit exemplified in their works.

Why Germany?

Germany, one of my favorite countries, not only has a beautiful scenrey but also famous schools. I love the German football team and am so proud of their performance in the World Cup this year.

Why Heidelberg?

As one of the oldest comprehensive European universities, Heidelberg University has been assessed as one of the nine elite institutions of higher learning in Germany. With a good international academic reputation, it attracts numerous students including me to study in its strong academic atmosphere. Besides, in your program I would have access to distinguished scholars from the departments of American Literature, Art History, Economics, Geography, History, Law, Musicology, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology. I really look forward to an interdisciplinary adventure there.

Why American Studies?

From a refuge for puritans to a nation where diverse cultures and ethnicities integrate and fuse, it only took America two hundred years to transform from a wasteland into a superpower. I feel amazed about it and can’t help deriving a strong curiosity and interest in its history and culture. As an undergraduate who is facing the approaching of graduation, I truly wish to continue further study on American history, culture and society and I hope to systematically study it in M. A. Program on American Studies.

 

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Tingyu Liu

China

Tingyu was born in 1992, in Sichuan, China. In 2010 she started her college life at Sun-Yat sen University and received her B.A. in English language and literature there, specializing in translation and interpretation. Her reading interests focus on political philosophy, political economics and everything that can satisfy her longing for human wisdom. Music is another irreplaceable part of her life, especially jazz, folk, and movie soundtracks.

Why Germany?

Germans are known for their serious attitude towards almost everything, and that is what I admire; but it is hard to find where I come from. More importantly, Heidelberg University is here, in Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is a university of universities. I believe, if there is a place where students study merely out of their passion for wisdom, a place where young men are encouraged to speak out their opinions, a place where great minds gather to enrich each other’s lives, a place where one will not be asked “What’s the point of that?” when reading classics and poems - that would be nowhere but in Heidelberg.

Why American Studies?

My interest in American Studies was initially aroused by the problems I came across when doing interpreting practice, which ranged from economic forums to presidential debates in the U.S. I gradually realized that to know the United States, VOA and NPR is far from enough – what I need is an academic Master’s program in American Studies.

 

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Xing Liu

China

Born in a small city, Zhumadian, in Henan province, China, on 06. Sep. 1986, Xing Liu was given the opportunity to study in Chengdu University of Information Technology and finished his B.A in 2009. After graduation, he went back to his hometown and worked in a local chemical company. Business activities all over the world equip him with international perspectives and his background with B.A. in English has contributed a lot to his career.

Why Germany?

Not only the beautiful landscapes and places of interest attract me, but also the rigorous attitudes of Germans toward every aspects of daily life surprises me as well. Having been to Germany four times and dealing with Germans has been of great benefit to me. However, the most important reason is that learning about Germany can give me the chance to obtain a wider perspective and more objective views toward different aspects and angles of America.

Why Heidelberg?

Walking along the Neckar and drinking beer in the wind, I feel so comfortable. It was such an amazing trip when I went to Heidelberg last August and felt the city with its romance and charms. How wonderful it will be if I can get an opportunity to live and study here! Enjoying a high reputation with a long history, Heidelberg University is one of the most prestigious universities in Europe. Lectures, seminars, and tutorials by internationally renowned scholars are big attractions for me to form an idea on how to be a future leader in related fields. I am excited to continue my education in a different place.

Why American Studies?

Being in charge of the American market for more than five years, I have a special feeling for America. There are many similarities between China and America. My career goal is to establish an American branch of our company in the future. American studies will endow me with a wide range of subject knowledge and a deep understanding of American economy, policy, history, law and business culture. Doing research at the HCA, I can completely put myself in an atmosphere which is totally “American.”

 

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Michelle Maffucci

Peru/USA

Michelle was born in Lima, Peru, in 1993. She graduated from the University of Tampa, cum laude, in May 2014. She received her B.A. in International and Cultural Studies, minors in History and Latin American studies, and completed a certificate in the German language. Michelle participated in two study abroad courses. She volunteered at the United Services Organization and participated in the Republican National Convention during the U.S. Presidential election in 2012.

Why Germany?

Germany is a beautiful country that I have felt closely tied to since attending Patch American High School in Stuttgart. After living in Germany for several years, it has become my second home. Attending a university in Germany will also help me improve my German language skills and broaden my knowledge and understanding of the culture. I also chose to study in Germany in order to diversify my education with an international perspective.

Why Heidelberg?

I researched and visited other universities in Germany and determined that Heidelberg University offered a program best suited to me and I found the faculty and staff friendly and ready to help.

Why American Studies?

I believe Heidelberg University’s Master’s in American Studies will broaden my knowledge and build on my undergraduate education, ultimately preparing me for the diplomatic corps. Participating in the MAS program is fundamental for me to reach my career goal of working as a diplomat and Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Department of State.

 

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Matthew Niebes

USA

A native of Atlanta (GA), Matthew recently graduated from Emory University, where he completed a B.A. in English and History as well as an honor’s thesis analyzing the literature of William S. Burroughs within 1960s countercultural philosophy. After spending the last two summers interning with a non-profit farm that caters to refugees living in Clarkston (GA), Matthew developed a passion for social justice and good food.

Why Germany?

After studying German for seven years and having taken multiple trips to Germany, including two exchange programs prior to my university studies, the opportunity to study my home country while living in a country I already feel close to makes perfect sense. Moreover, I excitedly anticipate the opportunity to study outside the American educational system because I am interested in the different educational styles German Universities have to offer.

Why Heidelberg?

My experiences in Heidelberg are limited. I have visited there only a few times, but between the world-class research university, the atmosphere of intersection between nations and scholarly disciplines, and the location on the Neckar River, what’s not to love? I’m so excited to get to know the town and to explore the neighboring environments.

Why American Studies?

Since being accepted into the program, I have been bombarded by the question, “Why are you going to Germany to study America?” The question says it all. In America, we often take ourselves, our values, and our communities for granted; we imagine that we can and do completely understand ourselves. On my own journey of self-discovery, I plan to tackle my own biases in the hopes of becoming a better, more conscientious member of the American community.

 

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Lijie Ruan

China

Lijie Ruan, born on 9th of August, 1991, studied English at Henan Normal University. As a Chinese student with language access to western culture, along with extra-curricular experience in education, customer service, journalism and social work, she can relate to the problems arising from globalization. Being part of the solution to these transnational issues that will engender global peace and understanding is of great interest to her.

Why Germany?

I chose German as my second language during university. This opened doors for me towards the world. The German language and the culture are enthralling. During my learning process, I have stood in awe of all the contributions and innovations in every field of study that German people have provided to the world. This is the country where great minds and souls are nurtured.

Why Heidelberg?

As a German Excellence University and the oldest university in Germany, the Ruperto-Carola not only provides education of high quality, but also encourages me to continue my German learning as German courses are offered each semester. It has been a dream come true having the chance to study in this very university.

Why American Studies?

The MAS program is the perfect way of combining two of my great interests – Anglophone culture and German language. This fascinating possibility would greatly guide my career when I come back home and dedicate my refined ideology to those who need me for my professional ideas on international affairs with the Chinese traditional yet modern social background.

 

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Emine Türkmen

Turkey

Emine was born in Trebizond,Turkey, in 1990. She graduated from Middle East Technical University, from the department of History in 2014. During her college years, she decided to pursue an academic career in American History and Politics. Hence, In order to realize her dreams, she applied to the Heidelberg Center for American Studies, and she has been accepted to the program.

Why Germany?

Germany has always been my favorite place to live and study because it witnessed lots of historical events, has a highly-developed economy. Being a highly developed country makes Germany very popular to pursue an academic career in. Furthermore, it is easy to access academic resources and libraries in Germany. As I am planning to study Cold War Period Foreign Affairs in my future academic career, Germany’s position as a border country during the Cold War period, makes it a historically important country. Finally, in Germany I do not feel like a stranger, because of all European countries it has the largest Turkish population.

Why Heidelberg?

When I decided to study American Studies in Germany, I did a lot of research about which university has the best academics in the field and finally decided that Heidelberg would be the best option. The M.A. program in Heidelberg covers various subjects and therefore offers a great opportunity to learn everything related to the USA. Moreover, Heidelberg is not just the oldest but also among the top universities in Germany. This academic prestige of the university and its long history inspired me to pursue my academic career at Heidelberg. Thanks to the international environment of the university, it is easy to make friendships from all around the world and meet different cultures. Finally, with its historical architecture and natural beauty Heidelberg makes me feel calm and serene.

Why American Studies?

My aim is to be a professional in American Foreign Policy because America is the leading political power in the world. After taking American courses at the university, I decided to study US foreign affairs. I believe that in order to understand American foreign affairs, one has to know American history, politics, economy, and law. To learn about all of this, I have therefore chosen to do a master’s degree in American Studies as an interdisciplinary program.

 

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Hanqi Yu

China

Hanqi was born in Zhejiang, China, in 1992. This summer, she graduated from Fudan University, Shanghai, with a B.A. degree in international politics. Hanqi looks forward to contributing her knowledge in government or international organizations in the future. She is quite enthusiastic in exploring the world through traveling and reading.

Why Germany?

I have been attracted by German culture for a long time. I started learning the German language two years ago and I hope to improve it a lot by living in the country for some time. Germany is an ideal country for living and education. I am also a fan of Bundesliga.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg has a reputation as one of the top universities in the world. Her name is related with many great scholars in social science, like, for example, Max Weber. I have some friends who have visited or studied in Heidelberg, and they were all impressed by the beautiful scenery and the vigorous campus. I believe Heidelberg will prove to be a great choice.

Why American Studies?

The United States is a vital element in the academic study of international politics. It has been playing an important part in the development of China in the past century, and it will still greatly influence the future path of China. I believe it will be inspiring to study America through a European perspective. The courses I attended during my undergraduate study have provided me with a systematic framework of international study, which will of course be the strong base of my future study.

 

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Nan Zhang

China

Nan was born and raised in Inner Mongolia, China. She graduated from Inner Mongolia University with a Bachelor degree. Although she majored in Philosophy, she also studied literature and history during the four years at college. She really enjoyed it.

Why Germany?

I’m crazy about reading and Germans love to read a lot too. Also, Germany is a country which enjoys a good reputation regarding education and thinking.

Why Heidelberg?

Since 1368, Heidelberg has been an important one among all universities around Germany and even the world. Its long history and beautiful scenery, the brilliant professors and students who were and are there, have made it a world class university. I feel honored and thankful to be part of it.

Why American Studies?

During past years I found that America is quite different from the impression I got from the media, especially after I’ve become friends with ordinary American people. This made me curious and I was fascinated by the diversity of America and wanted to know more about this greatly mixed country. I also believe that studying America could help us understand and appreciate cultural difference more, which will be crucial in the future.

 

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Rasha Al Saie

Jordan

Rasha was born on February 16, 1987 in Aqaba, Jordan. She received her B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Jordan in 2009. She worked as a middle school English teacher at a prestigious international school in Amman for three years. Last year, Rasha spent a year as a Fulbright teaching assistant at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, USA.

WHY GERMANY?

Two years ago I visited Heidelberg as a tourist, and I was fascinated by its deep history and beautiful landscape. When I was considering where to pursue my higher education, I couldn’t think of a better school or location than Heidelberg.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg’s scholastic environment is remarkable, and it has a worldwide reputation for research. I am convinced that this is the right place where an international Middle Eastern student can step up with non-western research insight. Finally, I believe that doing my masters at Heidelberg University is going to be very rewarding.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I would definitely say “WHY NOT!” I strongly believe that the ‘American Studies’ major will allow me to not only study American politics, history, literature and culture, but that it will also expand my understanding and knowledge to give me a holistic, European view of such topics. This knowledge will help me excel in my career as a teacher.

 

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Paul Bacharach

USA

Paul was born in New Orleans, LA, in 1987. In 2007 he began his collegiate studies as a Liberal Arts Major, and in December 2011 he graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.A. degree in History, with both a German and a Philosophy minor. He was introduced to Germany as an undergraduate through a study abroad semester in 2010. Paul enjoys playing his guitar, exploring the outdoors, and reading, namely on topics relating to European history or modern global politics.

WHY GERMANY?

Ever since first travelling to Germany during a semester abroad in 2010, I have desperately wanted to return. While studying throughout the country, I developed a love for the German culture, history, and way of life. I have always loved history, but I am particularly interested in modern European history. Living in Germany will allow me to explore that history more directly, as well as understand more about the political systems of the countries of Europe all the while comparing them to the systems of the U.S. which I will be studying.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg University, being one of the oldest universities in Europe, is rich in history andtradition. The prestige surrounding the university is enough to draw the attention of anyaspiring academic. The international and youthful spirit of Heidelberg’s residents combined with the world class academic standing makes Heidelberg my ideal place of study during my educational experience in Germany.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I have always been very interested in political science and international relations. The MAS program will give me the opportunity to study the social sciences of America through the international community’s perspective. The European approach to American studies willallow me to return home with a more robust understanding of the U.S., as well as further my international experience in an ever-shrinking world economy.

 

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Asena Bosnak

Turkey

Asena Bosnak was born in Turkey in 1991. She has completed her B.A. in American Culture and Literature, Istanbul University, Turkey. She wants to pursue her graduate studies in Heidelberg, Germany.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany is the cradle of the Reformation, which has paved the way for European thinking, and the University of Heidelberg represents a very important element of German academic and intellectual tradition. Germany is a good choice in my area of study. I believe that there will be more critical filters built into the discipline than it is possible in the majority of American universities.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg is the juncture where Europe studies US and where Turkey meets Germany. Germany is therefore ideal to study American Studies, because it allows a critical perspective on the discipline. When I applied to the HCA, I did some research about Heidelberg, and the natural atmosphere and picturesque view made me feel twice as lucky to study at Heidelberg.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

My undergraduate degree is from American Culture and Literature, and my readings also cover American history and politics. I believe that the MAS program will be a good continuation of my degree, and I will have the opportunity to seek interdisciplinary studies there.

 

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Greg Bousamra

USA

Although he is not a Kentucky native, Greg Bousamra, born in 1990, is at home in the Bluegrass State. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a BA in German Studies and minors in Mathematics and Physics, he returns to Heidelberg to re-visit in the city he fell in love with as an exchange student two years ago. Hoping to serve as a US Foreign Service Officer, Greg sees the MAS program at the HCA as a rare opportunity to study his home country and culture through an international lens.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany’s standing a leader in the world economy and one of America’s biggest trade partners makes it the place to be for people interested in international careers. The opportunity to speak German on a daily basis and gain exposure to Germans, their politics and enterprises is not to be undervalued.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

As Germany’s oldest university, the Ruperto-Carola carries a legacy that only a few institutions worldwide can match. Plus, the notion of living like Mark Twain, W. Somerset Maugham or the Studentenprinz is quite exciting!

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

My career goal is to serve as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and possessing a deep understanding of my home country, its citizens and their leadership structures is critical to realizing it. American Studies offers me this with its wide array of subject matter and opportunities for specialization, especially in economic, political and legal disciplines.

 

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Jun Chen

China

Jun Chen studied English at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China from September 2009 to July 2013 and graduated with the Bachelor Degree of Arts in July 2013. Now, she has been admitted to the Master Program of American Studies at Heidelberg University. She believes that she will have a wonderful memory of her study in Germany.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany is quite glamorous for me and I am yearning to study in this charming country.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

As a university enjoying high reputation in Germany in education, Heidelberg University has always been a place I wanted to see. I am longing to absorb new knowledge and experience there and to make friends from different backgrounds.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

The interdisciplinarity of American Studies does attract me. Apart from covering a wide field, it also provides students with lectures given by well-known professors and scholars in this field, aspiring students to express their own opinions bravely, which is quite different from the common “duck-stuffing” teaching type in China.

 

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Trang Dao Thi Minh

Vietnam

Trang was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, in 1990. She graduated from Hanoi Foreign Trade University with a major in International Economics and a minor in Business. During her college time, she worked as a writer for a teen magazine and editor for a student radio channel. After graduation, she spent a whole year joining volunteer projects and running missions in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Northern Vietnam, while still working as a travel blogger.

WHY GERMANY?

Owning one of the best educational systems in the world, Germany is definitely a great destination for pursuing academic interests. Besides, the country has always been on the top of my “List of countries to go”, for not only the rich history, astounding architecture, stunning nature, sustainable technology; but also the national football team, beer, Black Forest cake, and rock festivals.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

If you have studied in the environment where none of your school has a history longer than 60 years, then you will understand my feeling for the University of Heidelberg. It is 600 years old! Just the experience of studying in the oldest university of Germany alone can make meexcited, not to mention its global reputation as a world-class research university. Moreover, I am particularly fond of the picturesque city of Heidelberg. A tourist city with the perse students coming from all over the world, Heidelberg is the perfect place for international students to study academic knowledge and enjoy social life as well.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

Getting familiar with American culture from an early age and influenced by American education method, I find American Studies a tempting program to follow, especially when it is conducted in Germany, as both Germany and America are world-leading countries in terms of economics and political power. From my perspective, “learning the inside from an outside view” is the most effective and interesting way to have the most general and neutral outlook. The courses that MAS offers are very practical, as they concentrate on America broadly, but intensively and systematically. Studying about America at the oldest university in Germany will be an extraordinary experience that I cannot expect to get anywhere else.

 

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Miao Huang

China

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Miao received her Bachelor of Laws degree in International Politics at Peking University. Influenced by her experience in the Model United Nations, her ultimate goal is to become an international civil servant. Miao is an enthusiastic football fan. Music is her hobby. She loves playing ukulele and keyboards.

WHY GERMANY?

I’ve learned a lot about Germany from my thesis advisor, who got her Ph.D. at FreieUniversitaet Berlin. German has an advanced education system as well as rigorous academic environments. The tourism resource of this country is definitely attractive.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

As one of the oldest universities, as an elite university which is steeped in time-honored fame, University of Heidelberg offers its students a wide range of academic and social activities. Moreover, it is a leading university in the field of political science and social science. Besides, the city Heidelberg is amazing. I’ve seen its breathtaking views from several documentaries and they really fascinate me.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

As a superpower, America plays a vital role in transnational cooperation towards the improvement of people’s well-being beyond diplomacy. I came to take an interest in American Studies by participating in the Model United Nations. I had a chance to experience the unceasing debates among powerful countries on their own interests as well as gained insight of American politics and foreign affairs and its position in the international interactions.

 

Karels

Leah Karels

USA

Leah was born in a one-stoplight town in rural Minnesota. She received a B.A. in American Studies from Carleton College in 2009. After graduation, she spent three years teaching and traveling in Brazil, Argentina, and South Korea. She most recently served as a Fulbright Scholar in Portugal, leadingEnglish and American Culture courses at the University of Lisbon. Leah likes desserts, the internet, and TV dramas.

WHY GERMANY?

I loved being an American Studies student in the United States but feared my view occasionally skewed Americentric. Studying America in Germany will give me the opportunity to gain a broader perspective on my home country by observing and analyzing the U.S. from a distance with a geographically perse group of scholars. What’s more, Germany’s current role as amajor player on the world front will provide an engaging backdrop for a Master program. I look forward to taking advantage of the nation’s rich culture and cheerful efficiency.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg’s name popped up repeatedly as I searched for international American Studiesprograms. The city has a reputation as one of the most livable in Europe, and the i­nstitution itself is recognized as one of the finest research universities in the world. A short visit toHeidelberg proved it to be every bit as charming, friendly, and international as I’d hoped. What’s more, I was drawn in by the variety of coursework offered by the MAS program: the combination of colloquiums, seminars, tutorials, and methodology modules will enhance and persify the learning experience.

Why American Studies?

I am unceasingly fascinated by the complexity of American society and culture. The interdisciplinary nature of American Studies provides the opportunity to critically examine the American experience through overlapping political, historical, economic, and cultural lenses. I especially appreciate that American Studies allows me to be an active consumer of popular culture, to mold my love for the lowbrow into meaningful cultural critique.

 

Mariani

Nikolas Mariani

Germany / USA

Nik Mariani was born and raised in Germany to German-American and Croatian parents. Upon finishing his B.A. in English and Philosophy in Heidelberg 2012, he moved to New York City to act, make music and reconnect with his American roots. Having returned after a year, he is currently a language instructor at both the DAI and Berlitz.

WHY GERMANY?

Having grown up here, I have the usual mixed relationship to my home country. However, no matter how often I leave, I am always drawn back. There is something unique about the culture and the people – the gruff realism, a down-to-earth no nonsense nature, but pleasanthospitality - which exudes a charm that at least I have never witnessed anywhere else. This country has been a home to me all my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Not only is Heidelberg’s university world-renown and, indeed, deserves its excellent reputation, the city is the perfect example of what Germany has to offer. A beautiful historical town tucked neatly in a cozy valley, with a coursing river that one can laze around next to in the summer and a fantastic castle looming overhead. The main attraction for me to stay however, afterhaving already spent many memorable and fruitful years here, was the HCA, a department which is truly unique in its interdisciplinary approach to American Studies and offers a varied and engaging curriculum.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I am deeply interested in all aspects of the United States of America, be they of economic, legal, sociological, cultural or historical nature. I am particularly interested in U.S. foreign policy, history, electoral politics, the role of the mass media in the U.S.’s cultural and political landscape, as well as constitutional law and civil liberties. This degree will allow me to deepen my knowledge on a myriad of issues while allowing me still to concentrate on and supplement certain focal points I plan on exploring further.

 

Martines

Kimberly Martines

USA

Kim returns to Germany after first spending a year living here as a Rotary Exchange Student in 2001. She received her B.A. in French/Economics from Kalamazoo College and studied at Ecole Sup. de Commerce of Clermont-Ferrand, France and later at DePaul University in Chicago for an M.A. program in International Studies. While having worked for the French Government and Rotary International, Kim has most recently been an employee-owner in Vermont for King Arthur Flour Co.

WHY GERMANY?

Ever since my year abroad as a high school student in Niedersachsen, I have always wanted to return. Germany fascinates me as a country with unique perspectives so unlike the US. I am intrigued by Germany’s ability to remain one of the most stable EU members. While studying my own country in this program, I seek to gain further understanding of Germany itself - it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to be here and pursue this.

Why Heidelberg ?

As much as this city feels “Americanized” in some respects (fast food, English heard frequently in town, US music on the radio), it is far from being an “American” city in Germany. I chose Heidelberg as much for being a multi-cultural hub as I did for the University itself. People say how beautiful the city is (and they’re right), but there is much more going on than meets the eye. The possibilities to grow professionally/academically here are enviable compared toprograms in other cities in Germany.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I chose American Studies with the HCA because I wanted exposure to a broader spectrum of learning while still maintaining a focused course of study on American subjects. I find that there is much to gain from studying US history, politics, and culture abroad as my country plays a large role in international policy development and economics. With my desire to concentrate in these areas, I find the HCA a fantastic place to begin my journey.

 

Messamore

Everett Messamore

Canada

Everett was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1986. He received his B.A. in history from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, in 2009. During this time, he did work as a research assistant on a Canadian history textbook. Aftergraduation, he spent the past few of years working at theBritish Columbia Automobile Association. He plays andcomposes music in his spare time, and practices Aikido.

WHY GERMANY?

When I was a child, I lived in Switzerland for a couple of years and went to a German-speaking school. Since then, I have forgotten much of what I knew and studying in Germany is an ideal opportunity to regain fluency in the language. Having travelled in Germany before, I have experienced firsthand what a beautiful country it is and how warm its people are.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

I have wanted to study in Heidelberg for some time now. While I have never been myself, I have heard from many people that the city is gorgeous. It is also famous as a university town with a lot of international students and a great sense of community. Perhaps, as a Canadian, I am unduly wowed by old buildings, but the chance to study at a medieval university is extremely appealing to me. My late father planted the idea in my mind; it was his dream that I’d return home with a dueling scar.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

While the focus of my studies, to date, has been historical, I find the cross-disciplinary approach offered by the program very interesting and a great way to see different perspectives. American history is rich and varied, and the unique religious tradition carries a particular fascination for me.

 

Osman

Sara Osman

Lebanon

Sara was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1990. After living in Beirut for 16 years, Sara got the opportunity to study at the United World College in Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina for two years where she received her International Baccalaureate. She was then offered a full tuition award to study in the United States at Westminster College where she completed her Bachelor degree in International Studies, Pre law and French.

WHY GERMANY?

Nowadays, Germany is one of the most developed and influential countries in the world. Therefore, living and obtaining a master’s degree from Germany is a great investment for students who are wanting to experience a country that is an important international trading partner and player in political and economic questions.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Having heard that Heidelberg University is one of the best schools in Germany has definitely made it a big attraction to get my master’s degree from there. Moreover, its beautiful location, international reputation and student life has made Heidelberg the perfect place to live in and get my graduate studies degree from.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

After living in the United States for four years, I believe getting a master’s degree in American Studies at Heidelberg University will help me have access to the tools necessary to understand the politics and economy of the United States of America. By doing so, it will allow me to bring change and improve the lives of people in need in my homecountry and its surroundings.

 

Rauscher

Natalie Rauscher

Germany

Natalie was born and raised in Schweinfurt, a small town in Bavaria, about 2 hours away from Heidelberg. She started studying in Heidelberg in 2009. Her major was English Linguistics, Literary and Cultural Studies, and she did her minor in Political Science. In 2011/12, she spent one year in the US at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany has always had close ties to the US and is therefore a very good place to pursue American Studies. Apart from that, university education in Germany remains both sound and affordable.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg already was my first choice for my BA studies and I never regretted it. I love the town with its little cobblestone streets and tiny restaurants and bars all over the place. I have lived in Heidelberg for three years now and though I love to see other places as well, it has become my second home. It is full of students and provides ideal and inspiring conditions to do studies here.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

Ever since I went to the US for a year to pursue my studies there, I realized how intrigued I was by the country and its culture. The US has been the most influential country over the last century and its political and cultural impact remains vitally significant despite other rising powers in the world. Pursuing American Studies as a Master student offers me the opportunity to learn about all this in depth and can be a first step towards a career in international relations or in an international organization.

 

Sch _fer

Maren Schäfer

Germany

Maren was born near Bonn, Germany, in 1988. Having studied in a dual system in cooperation with ALDI SÜD, she graduated from the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University with a B.A. in International Business. Since then she has been working in an online marketing agency in Munich, being responsible for key accounts and international projects. Also, Maren has a passion for ballet and all kinds of books.

Why Germany?

Germany is famous for its high quality education. Therefore, I decided to benefit from an excellent and international study environment while being relatively close to my family and friends.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

The University of Heidelberg has an excellent reputation worldwide. With the MAS, it offers an outstanding interdisciplinary, international program which is located, considering the past decades’ history, at the perfect place to study American Studies. Moreover, I have been to Heidelberg once – and fell in love with this beautiful city!

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

During my semester abroad in the US I realized the complexity of culture in this single country. Since America is one of Germany’s most important business partners, deep familiarity with each other’s culture, habits and traditions is inevitable for mutual success. The MAS is a unique opportunity to further broaden my horizon beyond the business perspective and to learn more about American history, its politics and culture. In turn, combined with the offered trainings in academic and practical skills, the program provides me with the knowledge necessary to successfully operate in a transatlantic environment.

 

Shuyi

Guo Shuyi

China

Shuyi was born in China in 1991 and has spent almost eight years in the capital Beijing. Since very young, she has been travelling around the world and making friends with people from different nations. The exposure to western cultures and her college major in Chinese language both ignited her interests in exotic culture research and helped her lay a solid foundation in American Studies. More importantly, Germany has always been her favorite place to learn and to live.

WHY GERMANY?

The first time I went to Germany was in 2010. I spent a whole summer in Berlin, and I was addicted to the charming culture and amicable people from this country. When I came back to China, I started to learn German and was determined to carry on my education career in Germany. Not only to develop my capability of studying in an international environment but also absorbing the culture persity between Europe and China.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

University of Heidelberg, the oldest university in Germany, is famous for its innovative ideas, high-standard teaching and international persity in student body and faculty. My mom went to Heidelberg once and when she was back she told me one sentence ,,Heidelberg is the most splendid city that I’ve ever been, you belong there.”

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

In a global, interconnected world, we cannot avoid the influence the United States have on our lives. After taking several classes related to American and globalization studies, I gradually became interested in studying Sino-US cultural relations from a global perspective, not just from a Chinese mode of thinking. I have long set my eyes on HCA in Heidelberg, well-known for its “Typically American” Master’s degree courses; it is a dream program that can help me fulfill my dream of working on American Studies.

 

Wagner

Jordan Beck Wagner

USA

Jordan was born in Washington, D.C. in 1991. She received her B.A. in Political Science and German from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2013. Her international experience includes study abroad programs in the United Kingdom and Germany. During her time at university, she held internships with the U.S. House of Representatives and U.K. House of Lords. She was also very active in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, holding internships with a Presidential campaign as well as a political fundraising organization.

WHY GERMANY?

I started studying the German language in 9th grade and continued throughout university. All my ancestors are from Germany and I felt a desire to connect with that part of my family history. Germany is such a rich, culture-filled country that is on the forefront in Europe both economically and politically. Its international prominence is going to continue to grow as it becomes a stronger world player. Additionally, Germany is a gorgeous, modern country filled with hard-working and ambitious inpiduals.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

After studying for six months in Tübingen, I knew I wanted to return to the state of Baden-Württemberg. Heidelberg and its university are known internationally for their superior academics and prestigious reputation. Furthermore, Heidelberg is a beautiful city with a long history and rich culture. I feel that I can grow both intellectually and personally in this wonderful city and university.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

American Studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows me to pursue multiple areas of interest. Not only do I have a passion in political science and international relations, specifically the relationship between the United States and European Union, but I also pursued a minor at university in Public Health and would like to combine that with other fields. This program allows me to explore and combine a variety of topics into one area of study. My eventually goal is to run for political office in the United States. I’ve only learned about the United States internally and the HCA affords me the opportunity to study the United States from a different perspective.

 

Williams

Laurence Williams

United Kingdom

Laurence was raised in London where after a drearily uneventful life of education, he moved to Guildford and graduated from the University of Surrey with a 1st Class BA in English Literature and Creative Writing. For his 3rd year placement, he studied abroad at Heidelberg University and decided he might as well mosey on back for his Masters. Outside of this, Laurence’s focus lies in theatre, having written and performed with the Soho, Kings Head and National Theatre along with working on the design for the Olympic events.

WHY GERMANY?

Having visited the country whilst on my Jailbreak, I fell in love with what little I saw of the culture and nation’s movement, which caused me to then seek it out in more detail during my year abroad.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Given I’d studied here for a year, perhaps having gotten more involved with the local drama and writing societies than actually studying, I felt it was right to sink my teeth into some true academia. Heidelberg’s prestige and quality of teaching drew me back and having thoroughly enjoyed my time at the HCA previously, it seemed a natural step to continue my passion in a city I already adored.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

America’s global presence cannot be overstated. From its geography, culture, finance, belief system and military intricacies, there is a wealth of curious and amazing avenues with which to explore. I am particularly interested in the dichotomy and subversive nature of its secular and idealistic goals alongside the development of its religious influence. All of which I think can only be viewed objectively and intimately through the lense that studying at HCA offers.

 

Wu

Jin Wu

China

Jin was born in Chengdu City, the hometown of giant pandas and hot pot. She studied at Xi’an Jiaotong University in Mainland China and graduated with a B.A. in English. During her studies, she participated in an academic exchange program at National Chengchi University in Taiwan and was actively engaged in perse symposiums, summer schools and voluntary programs in US, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan.

WHY GERMANY?

FOOD! I love German bread, beer and Schweinehaxen!

PEOPLE! The people I met during my stay here were super nice. They were always ready to offer a helping hand. Also, the German is famously detail-oriented and punctual. I want to learn from them and know more about its people.

LANGUAGE! I have long been looking for an opportunity to immerse myself in German culture so as to sharpen my German language skills.

AND THE UNIVERSITY OF HEIDELBERG!

WHY HEIDELBERG?

The magnetic pull of Heidelberg is hard to resist. Walking on the Philosophenweg along the Neckar in March, 2013, feeling the fresh but still a little bit cold wind, looking at the castle and the classic buildings, I decided to make Heidelberg the ideal place for my future study and living.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I am inquisitive about American Politics and its foreign policy, especially about the Sino-US relations. However, my studies, majoring in English during the past four years, have very few courses directly related to my major interests. At HCA, its well-designed curriculum best endows me with an opportunity to fill the niche in my study and to get a comprehensive understanding of the United States through a German, European and global perspective.

 

Yang

Yawen Yang

China

Yawen was born on April, 1988 in Jiangsu, China. She received her M.A. degree in 2012 from Nanjing Normal University, majored in Master of Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages. She worked as a volunteer Chinese teacher in Cambodia for one year, and was a Chinese tutor for students from US, Korea, Australia, Belgium etc.

WHY GERMANY?

I traveled in Europe in the summer of 2012, I went to Germany, France and Italy. While those countries are all beautiful in their own ways, I love Germany most, simply because of theGerman people. They are so nice to foreigners! I had a great time in Germany, I didn’t feel like a stranger there because German people are so kind and helpful, they treat each other with respect and politeness. Also, I love the small towns in Germany. They are so quiet and peaceful, yet full of characters.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

While traveling in Europe last summer, I came across the gem that is Heidelberg, whichcompletely took my breath away by its enchanting sceneries and lovely red-roof buildings. Instantly, I fell in love with this most beautiful and serene city I have seen in Germany. A friend of mine, who studied in Germany for more than 3 years, told me that Heidelberg University is one of the most prestigious and elite universities in Europe. At the time, admiring the beauty and history of the Heidelberg University buildings, I could not help but think “What I wouldn’t give to get the chance to study here”.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I have been fascinated by American culture long before I can remember. I spend large amount of time reading American literature, news and watching American movies and shows. I am certain that the Master Program of American Studies will equip me with intensive knowledge on America and rigorous methodological approach to convey my research.During the first year of my master study, I worked as a Chinese tutor, teaching students from US, Canada, Belgium, Hungary and Korea. I enjoyed the time with them because I love the experience of interacting with people from different cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. My experience as a volunteer Chinese teacher in Cambodia further convinced me that it is intriguing to work and study with people from perse cultures. The M.A. in America Studies is exactly the research environment I am looking for.

 

Aydamirov

Khizir Aydamirov

Russia

Khizir was born in Chechnya, Russia, in 1986. After graduating from a gymnasium, he attended the Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway where he received his International Baccalaureate. He was then offered the Davis - United World College scholarship to attend Westminster College, Missouri, USA, where he graduated with a BA, double majoring in Politcal Science, International Relations & Diplomacy.

WHY GERMANY?

Internationally, education in Germany is prestigious! Moreover, my father, being a teacher of German language has visited Germany several times. He always tells me about how beautiful, rich of history, traditions and culture Germany is, how kind and friendly German people are. Since then, I always wanted to visit Germany and be part of that great experience that my father has, to learn about its culture, traditions, history and hopefully German language.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Friends from Germany told me that Heidelberg is a beautiful city, with an amazing landscape, and that it hosts one of the oldest and elite institutions of Europe. Home to approximately 30,000 students, Heidelberg University is one of the diverse institutions in Germany which offers an excellent teaching, working conditions as well as a welcoming atmosphere for students and scholars worldwide.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

The Masters of Arts in American Studies at Heidelberg University offers an opportunity to learn about American foreign policy, its international relations, history and its development. The MAS program will help me to further expand my knowledge about the United States at one of the elite institutions of higher learning which provides academic and practical training skills with its interdisciplinary teaching to fulfill the needs of future leaders.

 

Blottenberger

Daniel Blottenberger

USA

Dan was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1985. He served eight years in the U.S. military as a combat correspondent. During this time he also completed his B.A. in Communications and Journalism from the University of Maryland University College. For the past three years he has worked as a journalist for the Stars and Stripes European edition.

WHY GERMANY?

Ever since I left the United States in 2004, I have been broadening my horizons. I have traveled to many locations across the globe, but I have always considered Germany as a second home to me. I easily fell in love with the German culture and history. Every little town you stop in seems to have its own hidden story to tell. In a nutshell, I am still a traveling man and want to experience as many cultures as I can. I selected to study in Germany because I would like to further myself academically and professionally before my next career move.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg is one of the elite universities in Germany and one of the first cities I came to visit when I originally arrived in Germany. Through my undergraduate elective studies, I learned all about German culture and history and I want to experience that culture now without any military obligation at the oldest university in Germany.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

While working in the field of journalism, America has always been my main focus in some aspect or another. I find it easier to develop an objective perspective when you approach a topic from the outside looking in. Ever since I departed from the U.S., I have been constantly learning about what America looks like from the outside. The U.S. is quite a melting pot, but I do not believe its culture can be defined so succinctly. After reading through some of the other students’ thesis topics from past classes, I became motivated to join this academic community. I want to study with students from all over the world and that definitely is the case at Heidelberg.

 

Chourabi

Hibetallah Chourabi

Tunisia

Hibetallah was born in Soliman, Tunisia, in 1985. She studied at the High Institute of Human Sciences in Tunis, where she received her English Diploma specializing in International Relations, in 2010.

WHY GERMANY?

I believe that Germany has a rich history and has also strong ties with the United States.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg is a quiet and beautiful city. I believe that Heidelberg is among the best known Universities in Germany, continuing my studies in Heidelberg represents a great opportunity for me.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I am interested in International Relations. The Heidelberg Center for American Studies offers an interdisciplinary program with various subjects like Political Sciences, Religious Studies and Literature. 

 

Dachs

Isabella Dachs

Germany

Isabella was born in Southern Bavaria (Germany). At the age of 17, she spent her senior year of high school in Boise, ID (USA). Due to this experience, she decided to enroll at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID, from which she graduated with an honors degree in psychology (major) and justice studies (minor). Later, she attended VU University Amsterdam while continuing to regularly serve as a reviewer for multiple journals in the field of psychology.

WHY GERMANY?

Having lived and studied abroad (in the US and the Netherlands) for a total of six years, I am now eager to continue my education in my home country.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

I believe the Master in American Studies offered by the University of Heidelberg will be an excellent preparation for my future career since this English-taught international master program will provide me with an opportunity to study issues affecting the US from an interdisciplinary perspective. Besides, the fact that the University of Heidelberg, being the oldest institution of higher education in Germany, has a long tradition of attracting students and researchers from all over the world prompted me to pursue an advanced degree right there.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

Following my practical experiences in the US as both a high school and college student, my current aim is to deepen my theoretical background of various themes within American culture and society. In the long run, I could easily imagine myself working for a company or research center that has close ties with the US.

 

Dale

Thomas Dale

United Kingdom

Thomas was born and raised in Oxford, England. He took a sojourn in Leeds to do a B.A. in Music, and has since been teaching English in Oxford and travelling. He is a keen musician, Ultimate Frisbee player and reader on American politics and history.

WHY GERMANY?

I could write about Germany being a major player in European and global politics, its economic strength and cultural influence, the countless great writers, artists, musicians, and icons that it has produced, but really it has more to do with the many friendly and interesting German people I have met, the excellent food and drink, and the high quality of education.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg is a world-class university, one of the best in Europe, with a truly global reputation. The city is beautiful, easy to cycle around and has a large student population. Most appealing is the department itself, particularly its interdisciplinary focus and varied curriculum.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I have been fascinated by American culture and politics since before I can remember, from having a vague childish perception that Bill Clinton was a good guy to having an explicit adult sense of disappointment with Barack Obama’s national security policies. I spend a lot of time reading American news, history and literature, and listening to and playing American music. This degree will give me a diverse base of knowledge to take into further graduate study and beyond.

 

Fischer

Dušan Fischer

Slovakia

Dušan was born in Skalica, Slovakia. He completed his Master’s degree in 2011 at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava, majored in EU Studies and International Relations. He is working as junior researcher and project manager at the Center for European and North Atlantic Affairs, a think tank based in Slovakia.

WHY GERMANY?

Truth to be told, my choice was the University, not the state of Germany. However, the country has rich history and culture and spending some quaility time here will help me to understand the people. Plus finally I get the chance to learn the language and master it throughout the time spent in the country.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Besides being one of the oldest and most prestigious Universities of Europe the Heidelberg University is a guarantee of quality. Experience and presentation of the Center of AS abroad demonstrates the importance and relevance of study at University in a long-term research and expanding knowledge and experience in the field. Furthermore every time I mention the city of Heidelberg to someone who has been here or heard about it has nothing but warm recommendations. 

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

My interest in the US matters started by watching American daily shows on regular basis since I was a kid. Later, in my university years I researched on various issues (history, politics, etc.) deeper and started to get to know better what is going on oversees and somehow be more efficient to analyze it. The United States of America is kind of a love-it-or-hate-it country. And that fascinates me.

 

French

Christopher French

USA/Germany

Christopher was born and raised in Heidelberg, Germany. He started taking classes with the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) in Heidelberg in 2005 and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a Minor in Sociology. After graduation, he worked for UMUC as a Student Records Processor assisting university students, faculty and staff members across Europe and the Middle East with their transcripts and other administrative needs.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany in my opinion has one of the best structured educational systems in all of Europe. Germany has not only a rich, cultural and profound history that was instrumental in Germany becoming a self sufficient, modern, multicultural society, but it also offers endless opportunities to grow and develop professionally and personally.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Since I was born and grew up in Heidelberg, I am very familiar with the city, its cultural life and people. Studying at such an elite institution of higher learning as the University of Heidelberg will not only help further my academic knowledge, but it will also help shape my understanding and appreciation of this wonderful city full of opportunities. 

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

America has dominated the world’s economies, politics and diplomacy since WWII and it is important to learn and understand how and why the United States has become the number one super power in the world. American Studies is a great opportunity to study the American people and all aspects of their society in order to understand not only American ways but also how the world and its peoples interact and often come in conflict with America. I plan to pursue career opportunities in the United States or Europe and American Studies will broaden my understanding and appreciation of my American heritage.

 

Jafari

Mohammadali Jafari

Iran

Ali was born in Iran in 1987. He attended Shiraz University where he received his B.A. in English Language and Literature in 2010. He has experience in teaching English as a second language and also worked as a travel guide. Ali also enjoys writing, traveling and photography.

WHY GERMANY?

Studying in Germany is a crash course in knowing Europe. German culture promotes such values as hard work and success. I am more than happy to have a chance to live among people who have established themselves as the pioneers of technology. I hope that this experience will help me gain a deeper insight of this curious culture.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

If one of the oldest universities of Europe does not attract you, may be the beauty of the historic city it’s located in will tantalize you. Heidelberg is home to thousands of international students, and is famous for its rich social life. Heidelberg University is ranked among the best universities of the world and is a leading research institution in Germany.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

American history is made up of bit and pieces of events and incidents: from 15th century immigrants fleeing religious suppression, to women building tanks and airplanes for men who were fighting in battlefields during the Second World War. I believe that MAS at Heidelberg can help me understand the forces that have constituted the American society. As I aim to pursue a career in International Relations, a thorough understanding of the United States is crucial. 

 

Leemput

Lisette van Leemput

Netherlands

Lisette was born in 1991 in Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands. In June 2012, she received her B.A. cum laude from Roosevelt Academy in Middelburg, where she majored in American Studies, with minors in Gender Studies and European History. During her last semester, she interned at the Roosevelt Study Center, a research and conference center on modern American history and transatlantic relations.

WHY GERMANY?

After attending such an international and diverse college, I could not wait to start an adventure abroad. Since I am more interested in studying the United States from a European perspective, I decided to look for options on this continent. Germany was the country that offered the most challenging and diverse programs. In addition, since it is Holland’s ‘Big Neighbor’, I was very interested in taking a closer look at the German people and their culture.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

In my last year at college, I was very busy with looking for M.A. programs. My supervisors at my internship have connections with the HCA and therefore recommended it to me. Not only was I drawn to the interdisciplinary program, also the city hugely interested me. I have heard many good stories about the beauty of Heidelberg, so I cannot wait to be part of the city and its vibrant student community. 

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

America has always been part of my life while growing up in a globalized world. Therefore, I wanted to research who the Americans really are and how their country functions. In addition, America’s superpower is declining so it is very interesting to see how they will redefine themselves and how the rest of the world will handle the shift in the balance of power. HCA’s interdisciplinary program and diverse group of students will be an ideal platform for all my study plans.

 

Lu

Xiaoxu Lu

China

Xiaoxu graduated from Shandong University, China, in 2012. She took part in a volunteer teaching program and taught English in rural country of Hainan. She also served as a volunteer in Jinan Bauhinia Hospital to offer assistance for deaf children. She used to be a free tour guide for foreigners from Malaysia, England, France and the Netherlands.

WHY GERMANY?

As one of the most developed countries in Europe, Germany always attracts me to study there. Speaking of Germany, lots of people will think of cheap beers and all the fantasy cars. However, the reason why I chose Germany for my further study is that Germany is the perfect place to study, live and get to know people from all over the world.

WHY HEIDELBERG ?

 

Heidelberg University is a world-famous university with intelligent students and professional staff and faculty, who are devoted to high-quality teaching and research. Over its 600-year history, it has grown into one of world’s finest universities. Accordingly, it plays a vital role in the cultural, social, and economic development of the region and even the country. It has also strengthened and increased its international links with numerous foreign institutions, and every year it attracts hundreds of students from all over the world.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

I find the Master Programme in American Studies corresponds to my interest and career pursuit exactly because it will provide training in academic and practical skills tailored to meet the needs of future leaders in a transatlantic and global environment. With the irrevocable trend of globalization, there is increasingly frequent cultural exchange and communication among countries all over the world. Under this background, language, the carrier of culture, becomes more and more significant. I am obsessed with English language and American culture. I am longing for committing myself to exploring deeper in this domain so as to make contribution to development of culture exchange between China and America. To me, the study of culture is the fundamental study of human beings, the miracle in the universe. I have been interested in works of literature and other kinds of media that stating stories of culture, and works presenting the world of human beings in different historical periods. It has been the most important source of pleasure of my life.

 

Palmi

Edward Palmi

United Kingdom

Edward was born in Leamington Spa, England, in 1989. After the completion of the International Baccalaureate, he was accepted into Swansea University to study a joint honours in History and Politics. In his second year of study he spent a semester studying at the University of Mary Washington, Virginia. After graduation in 2010, he worked at Coventry University, teaching English to prospective students. After this he moved to Tangshan, China, to continue teaching. 

WHY GERMANY?

My affiliation to Germany was fostered from an early age when I spent a number of family holidays that lives in various places around Germany. By staying and living in Germany I would like to better understand the culture and hopefully learn the language. 

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Whilst looking for universities and cities that I could potentially study at, Heidelberg always topped the lists that mattered for me. There is a strong sense of academic rigorousness coupled with a fantastic reputation throughout the world; the city is steeped in history; and the location is stunning, nestled between hills and the river. All these things, and many more, made it a very easy decision that Heidelberg is a place I would love to live in. 

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

Although I only spent six months living in America, it was the most formative time in my life. The country, that we know it as, is comparatively young to many European and Asian countries, however the actions and ideas that it has brought to the world have done lots to shape the modern world. It is my desire to understand how and why this was possible. I feel the HCA provides the best opportunity to understand this by bringing students from many cultures together and founding the course in a truly interdisciplinary context, will serve to help us appreciate the delicacies of America.

 

Purification

Jacqueline Theresa Purification

Bangladesh

Jacqueline was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and completed both her Bachelor degree (Hon’s) and Master of Science (Geography & Environment) at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1998 and 2001 respectively. Beside this, she received a Bachelor of Education from the National University of Bangladesh in 2006. Since 2005, she has been working as a lecturer in Geography at the ‘Notre Dame College’ Dhaka, Bangladesh.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany is at the heart of Europe and has nine neighbors. It is among the world’s largest and most technologically advanced producing countries and having 102 Nobel Prize laureates and out of them 10 Nobel Prizes for professors of Heidelberg University, the most recent awarded in 2008 to Professor Dr. Zur Hausen! Indeed, Germany does offer highest level of education and Heidelberg University has impressive academic records which encourage me to continue my further higher studies in Germany.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

The name of Heidelberg stands not only for world-famous castle, for Germany’s oldest university and for lanes steeped in history in the Old Town but also for a modern scientific and economic location with an international reputation and a most lively and varied cultural scene. It is an ideal location for any International students.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

America is the world’s original and sole remaining ‘Superpower’. This term not only refers to the military and economic power of the United States but also to the huge influence it exerts upon contemporary global culture. It is crucial to see the United States as a national and a global phenomenon and understand the effects its power has on the world.

 

Rettig

Julia Rettig

Germany

Julia was born in Heidelberg in 1987. In 2008, she started studying both Slavic and Religious Studies at the University of Heidelberg. After being an exchange student in Eugene, Oregon, she concentrated on Christianity in the USA within Religious Studies. In 2012, she finished her Bachelor and got admitted to the Master program of the HCA.

WHY GERMANY?

Germany is known throughout the world for quality. This is also true when it comes to education. The long line of German thinkers, inventors and great minds prove this to be the very truth. To study in Germany means to continue the tradition of quality and is a great motivation for me. 

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Being born and raised in Heidelberg I already am in love with this city. Heidelberg is considered one of the best business locations, but Heidelberg also stands for excellence in education. The University of Heidelberg is one of the best 50 in the world and to be able to study at the HCA with its newly opened Jonathan-Edwards center is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for me.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

While studying Religious Studies I attended classes about Christianity in the USA and the more I read within this field, the more interested I got. The decision to focus on Christianity in the USA was made quickly and easily and I think the HCA offers the best when it comes to this. So it is American Religious studies for me, but I am also eager to learn more about history, politics, literature and law for these fields are also very important considering religion.

 

Saura Campillo

Maria Dolores Saura Campillo

Spain

Maria was born in 1989 in Murcia, Spain. She studied Translation and Interpreting in Spain, the United States and Heidelberg. During her stay in the USA, she worked at the writing center of the University of Texas. A year later and after her graduation, she devoted an academic year to working as a Spanish language assistant in North West Germany.

WHY GERMANY?

During my studies in Translation and Interpreting having English as a second language, and German as my third one, I studied my third year in the United States. After such a great experience, I decided to go to Heidelberg as an Erasmus student and finish my degree there. There I had the chance to meet excellent professors and learned a lot, both personally and academically. Yet, once this academic year was gone, I felt I was craving for more.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

My German professor in Spain had strongly recommend us Heidelberg as one of the best cities where we could study. She could not have been more right. The academic athmosphere together with the charm of a city proper of fairy tales turns Heidelberg into a dream and unique city. Moreover, the location of Heidelberg, together with my previous experience in this city would help me adapt again to this brilliant academic and multicultural environment I long for while studying about the country I am most passionate for.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

After concluding my degree in Translation and Interpreting I was not sure about studying a master in Translation or Interpreting. I had been feeling the need for a couple of years, of studying something different, in another field that broadened my spectrum. This is a master that meets all the requirements I was looking for, and besides, thought in English. While studying my degree in Translation and Interpreting, I noticed that we were lacking something; and those are exactly all the interdisciplinary areas of knowledge that are offered in this master. I am always eager to expand my knowledge in many different areas, as I am a really curious person, and this change would let me go into economics, sociology, political science, law in more depth, among other areas focused this fabulous melting pot called the United States of America. 

 

Stuckart

Emerson Stuckart

USA

Emerson was born on May 10, 1986 in Corpus Christi, TX. She received her B.A. in Psychology from Westminster College in 2008. After college, she worked as a kindergarten teacher at a small private school in San Antonio, TX. For the past year, Emerson has been living in Heidelberg, working as an English teacher and tutor.

WHY GERMANY?

I’ve been living in Germany for the past year and I absolutely love it-the culture, the history, even the weather! Germany is one of the strongest countries in the EU, with a highly motivated, educated, and loyal population. Even though I am so far away from the United States, I feel extremely at home in Germany. Additionally, some of the most important figures in the field of Psychology have been German and I am excited to explore their history as well as my own German heritage.

WHY HEIDELBERG?

The University of Heidelberg is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe. The city is such a great combination of history and modernity. Having lived in Heidelberg for the past year, I cannot imagine studying anywhere else.

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

American Studies is an amazingly interdisciplinary field. It encompasses so many different areas-political science, history, religion, literature, etc. I am extremely interested in mental health problems within the military, but with American Studies I can examine the issue from a political and historical viewpoint. American Studies will provide me with a strong foundation, one that I can use in my future academic and career pursuits.

 

Xiao

Katherine Xiao

USA

Katherine moved to Savannah, Georgia when she was ten, and she has been a southerner ever since. She studied history and philosophy in Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Georgia. She studied abroad in Tokyo Japan from 2010-2011, during which she volunteered for clean up missions after the 3/11 earthquake in Northern Japan. She also worked as an English tutor in Tokyo, and for a digital advertising firm in New York City right after graduation.

WHY GERMANY?

I have only spent a few weeks in Germany this past winter and I had the most wonderful time. I have always admired the German language and history, and I see no better opportunity than this to immerse myself in the culture. Germany is the back bone of the European Union and the European economy, there is no better place for me to learn German as well as to finish my schooling in Germany. 

WHY HEIDELBERG?

Heidelberg is not only known for its excellent University, but also its historical beauty and international environment. The German educational system, so different from the US, was what drew my attention to Heidelberg University. During my brief time in Heidelberg, the beautiful city and its wonderful location made me realize that this would definitely be the place for me to complete my graduate school education before stepping into the next stage of my life. 

WHY AMERICAN STUDIES?

It is my belief that in order to study the U.S, one must first get out of the U.S. I have spent most of my life in America, and have always been interested in the U.S. Role on the international stage. I aspire to work in the foreign service section of the American government after completion, and this program provided the perfect opportunity to learn about America from another’s perspective.

 

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.

Mahmoud Abdou (Palestine)

AbdouMahmoud was born in Gaza City, Palestine in 1986. However, he lived eight years of his life in Saudi Arabia, where his father worked for more than 20 years and in 1995, following the signing of the Oslo agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis, his family and he moved back to Gaza. He graduated from Middlebury College in 2009 with a BA degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Additionally, he spent the fall semester 2008 studying International Law at American University in Washington, DC. Middlebury College was also the place where he studied Hebrew and Spanish.

Why Germany?

I always wanted to study in Germany, especially given the reputation of Germany‘s elite Academic institutions
such as Heidelberg University. I love Germany‘s culture and my many friends from Germany made me want to go there even more. They made me feel like Germany is a very friendly and welcoming place. Also, considering the County‘s rich history and its very strong relations with the United States, this will make for a perfect environment to gaining an outsiders perspective about the United State‘s own history and rich culture.

Why Heidelberg?

Every time I mention the name Heidelberg to a professor or a friend they excitingly appraise the beauty and the peacefulness of the City and the University. Heidelberg is considered one of the top ranked universities in Europe as well as on the global scale.

Why American Studies?

I am very interested in studying the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The United States has always played an important rule in mediating between the Arabs and the Israelis and my hope is to gain a greater understanding of the United States foreign policy in general and particularly its policy towards the Middle East. The different research projects that I did on the undergraduate level have led to me to believe that a long and lasting peaceful resolution to the Conflict will only be brought about through the mediation and the contribution of major global economic and political powers such as the United States and the European Union.

Bryan Banker (USA)

BankerBryan has lived all over the United States, but New Jersey is his home. He received a B.A. in History in 2005, focusing on subjects ranging from revolutionaries to the American Labor movement, and African-American history. After university, he settled in the Washington, D.C. area to focus on writing, and to teach. He has taught US History, American Literature, and Film at the high school level in Virginia for a number of years.

Why Germany?

The special relationship between the United States and Germany gives me the opportunity to attend a great program at one of the oldest universities in Europe, and one of the most distinguished.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is one of the most prestigious universities, and provides a unique prospect to gain an abstract perspective of America. The university is grounded heavily in history and philosophy, which can lead to great edification. The prospect of studying at such a proud and diverse university presents me with immense opportunities to learn from its vast background, and its programs, professors, and students. Heidelberg is a perfect fit!

Why American Studies?

Heidelberg’s program presents the challenge to delve deeper into American subconscious and identity. By studying the historical significance of American art, literature, and culture within the confines of the program
and under the guidance of the professors, I aim to learn concepts and ideas in the transcendental, that will lead to a fuller understanding of the American identity.

Ivana Banovic (Croatia)

BanovicIvana was born in Split, Croatia. After she graduated from highschool she enrolled in the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb, Croatia where she graduated in English and Art history. Since then she has worked as a translator.

Why Germany?

Even though I have never visited Germany I know that it is a great country that offers excellent educational possibilities to anyone who is willing to learn. On numerous occasions during the course of my studies I had the chance to get acquainted with Germany‘s rich cultural heritage, and now I want to experience it first hand.

Why Heidelberg?

Because the University of Heidelberg is one of the oldest and finest universities in the world. Also, from what I‘ve heard so far, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe where students from around the world come in search of knowledge.

Why American Studies?

During my junior year I took a course in American history and culture which gave me greater insight into the workings of the world in which we live today. It was then and there that I fell in love with that subject and decided to pursue it further.

Ergün Baylan (Turkey)

BaylanErgün was born in Karabük, in 1987. He is a graduate of Hacettepe University, Department of American Culture and Literature. After graduation, he started to work as a Research Assistant for the Department of Western Languages and Literatures at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. He published numerous essays in a departmental journal and also wrote articles for a nationwide youth periodical. In addition to participating in several academic conferences as a speaker, he has been engaged in several social projects and groups. His main interest areas cover philosophy, sociology, culture and literary theories.

Why Germany?

Germany, I believe, is the place where I can get a really challenging education, taste the social and cultural heritage of the Continental Europe, better know the country which has cultivated throughout the centuries a number of great thinkers, scientists and artists and have the chance to broaden my horizon by acquainting myself with a new culture, academic tradition and a second foreign language.

Why Heidelberg?

As a prospective academic, the most crucial point for me is the academic tradition in which I will get educated and hopefully prosper. It has made it possible to access every kind of knowledge in an instant and from any part of the world. Yet, in academia, the academic tradition is, I believe, much more important than the bulk of knowledge. Heidelberg, as the oldest university in Germany and one of the best in Europe, is the most suitable place for me to make use of such an academic tradition. Also, the interdisciplinary curriculum of the HCA, its international student profile and the marvelous atmosphere it provides are the foremost reasons for me to choose Heidelberg.

Why American Studies?

Studying literature, culture and politics of the United States has fascinated me ever since I was admitted to the department of American Culture and Literature at Hacettepe University, Türkiye. During my undergraduate education I decided to actualize my dreams and be an academic in American Studies combining the areas of literature, culture, sociology and politics. I believe that American Studies is a discipline which encourages a true interdisciplinary approach. It is indeed not just a discipline for me; on the other hand, an inspiring way to answer some matters of question in our world, not for the US only. As I know of Heidelberg’s worldwide reputation as one of the greatest universities in the world and its being a perfect place for research, I wish to join to your family and contribute to the academic and the real world by making use of Heidelberg’s opportunities. My intention to pursue a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. with research goals is based on my desire to be in the academia.

Nina Maria Pinheiro de Britto (Brazil)

BrittoNina was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1983. In 2008, she received her B.A. in International Relations from the University of São Paulo. In that year, she went to North Carolina to observe the US national elections as a participant of the US State Department’s program “Study of the US Institutes”. She has work experience as an English teacher, as a staff assistant at the Argentinean General Consulate, and as an Institutional Development intern at an NGO. Before starting MAS, she held a position as an analyst of social projects at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.

Why Germany?

Germany has attracted me for several reasons. As an International Relations student, I wanted to experience life in one of European Union’s central countries, as it means a good opportunity to have concrete references not only of the positive outcomes of this political, economic and cultural integration process, but also of the practical implications, responsibilities and constraints - imposed by such position - in the country’s daily life and society. Paradoxally, living in Germany also means to me having the chance to “discover” Brazil, by taking distance and gaining a new perspective on its culture, society and its role in the international scene. During my everyday life, I intend to observe the many aspects that help shape both Germany’s and Brazil’s foreign policies and national identities, ranging from their geopolitical context to their historical and cultural differences. In addition, I am eager to learn the language, to be geographically closer to friends I made while in Poland, and to live in a land which is full of ancient sites, great museums, nice people and excellent food and drink.

Why Heidelberg?

In 2009, I had the pleasure of spending a few days in the city, which impressed me for its organization, historical buildings, the Neckar and the woods. Although I was very short in time, I was lucky enough to make friends with one student and one former student of the University, and they both strongly encouraged me to apply, as I had plans for a master. Back in Brazil, I learned more about the University and found HCA´s program, which suited perfectly to my interests and goals. Studying in one of Europe’s top universities and sharing classes with students from the most diverse backgrounds is a dream coming true to me. It is an honour to take part in an Institution that has been home of great thinkers and scientists, throughout the centuries. In Heidelberg, inspiration for studying is everywhere. And, in case one needs even more, take the Philosophenweg for a walk!

Why American Studies?

Despite being Brazil´s major commercial partner, its most influential country in the mass culture consumption and a historical political ally in the region, the USA are not considered as an object of study up to the point of having their own independent field research in the Brazilian academy. There are no American Studies graduate programs, and, consequently, there is a lack of experts in the area. To me, it seems crucial to have a deep understanding of this complex superpower, its people and their actions as a major international player, in order to be able to think more strategically when conducting businesses and politics with them. I believe HCA´s MAS will provide me with the analytical tools needed for that, which I intend to apply as a future diplomat and academic researcher.

Evan Cacali (USA)

CacaliEvan was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He lived in various Rocky Mountain states before graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Montana. During university, he participated in a yearlong exchange at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, where he was first introduced to American Studies. For the past five years, he has been living in Japan and teaching English in public schools. He enjoys everything.

Why Germany?

Ancestral ties and fondly-reminisced travels would be reason enough to want to study in the country. But these reasons are overshadowed by my interest in Germany’s historical, artistic, musical, and philosophical influences on the world.

Why Heidelberg?

Where to begin . . .? The picturesque city of Heidelberg is coupled with the oldest German university, one of the best academic institutions in Europe, to form the elegant wrapping that envelops the beautifully conceived MAS program. Its internationally oriented interdisciplinary study plan is taught in English in a 300-year-old baroque townhouse, a few steps away from an impressive research library. What more could someone ask for? Also, did someone say something about dueling grounds, a philosopher’s walk and a student prison?

Why American Studies?

American Studies provides an opportunity to explore the nature of the country I call home. It gives me cause to study the origins of, and the debates surrounding the ugliest as well as the most transcendent aspects of my culture in an academic setting. In the future, I hope to become an American Studies teacher who is capable of both repulsing and inspiring students depending on what facet of American culture is being considered.

David Cagle (USA/Turkey)

CagleDavid was born in Augusta, Georgia in 1989. Because of his father‘s occupation in the U.S. military his family moved around a lot until finally settling permanently in his mother‘s homeland, Turkey. That is where he started his education. He recently graduated with a B.A. in American Studies from Ege University in Izmir. During his studies he volunteered, organized and participated in various symposiums on culture studies. He spent his second year at university studying in Germany at TU Dortmund via the Erasmus Exchange Program. He also minored in Teaching ESL and has taught 6th and 7th grade English for a semester at Yavuz Selim Primary School.

Why Germany?

Germany is a wonderful place to live and study. During my one year stay in Germany I became enamored with the country and its people. My studies at TU Dortmund provided an enlightening experience as I witnessed the high-level education that is given in German universities, especially in the field of American Studies. I have been hoping to return to Germany ever since I came back and I am very glad to be doing so as I work towards earning my Master‘s degree!

Why Heidelberg?

I lived in Heidelberg for two years, actually. Although I was too young to remember the experience, my parents, along with a great many friends, assure me that Heidelberg is a delightful place to live. I also spent new years of 2009 in Heidelberg and had a great time exploring the city. I have been recommended to consider the University of Heidelberg for my M.A. studies many times and I believe the university will offer me the opportunity to achieve my aims.

Why American Studies?

I wish to pursue an academic career in the field of culture studies and gain knowledge of many different cultures, starting with America. My initial interest in America came from the fact that I have, technically, lived abroad almost all my life and was, therefore, greatly curious about the subject. As I began my studies I realized that the subject was more complex and more interesting than I had imagined. Now that I have my B.A. in American Studies I wish to further my knowledge regarding all aspects of American culture by becoming an HCA student. There are many aspects that I wish to explore in detail. For example, being a Turkish-American, I am interested in how „hyphenated“ Americans construct their identities and express themselves through literature, media and politics.

Doina Octavia Dumbravescu (Romania)

DumbravescuDoina was born in Brasov, Romania, in the summer of 1988. She recently graduted from ‘Transilvania’ University of Brasov with a BA in American Cultural Studies. During the three years at the department of American Studies, she teamed-up with some class-mates and founded the American Culture Club (February 2008) at Brasov, the first of its kind in Romania. She has also worked as an English teacher at Magister Educational Center in Brasov, with pupils ranging from 5-6 years of age to adults of over 30, a fact which gave me the best chance to develop my communication skills.

Why Germany?

I visited Germany a few months ago, and made a lot of friends who are students. While having a conversation and comparing the educational systems in my country and theirs, I came to realize that the rules which govern the institutions of education in Germany far exceed those in Romania, and therefore I made the decision to further my studies at one of the country’s most prestigious universities, namely Heidelberg University. More so, what made me choose Germany over all other European countries is the fact that it is more “Americanised” than others, while still preserving its cultural heritage with very high dedication.

Why Heidelberg?

I first heard about Heidelberg – one of Europe’s finest research-based center for students interested in the field – while studying anthropology, as “the father of anthropology” Franz Boas studied at the University of Heidelberg, undergoing anthropological research that enables us to see cultures with different eyes in this world of patriotism and nationalism.

Why American Studies?

Americanism is very present throughout Romania and Europe, let alone the ‘exotic’ far East. The American culture is clearly dominant within the multitude of the world, and no matter how much people fight it, they succumb to it through the process of inculturation. This process alone brings fascination, therefore I am without any doubt that the master’s program will add to my knowledge in the field. The issues that Americans have to deal with day by day may be called overrated and outdated, but seeing how a country of a magnificent quilt of cultures can prosper and develop even in the hardest of times is one idea that cannot be overlooked, for it goes beyond the intricate backgrounds of the people that inhabit the United States, beyond even the individual itself. Getting to the littlest of detail even within just one of the fields of study in American Studies would be a great addition to my developing personality and individuality.

Aikaterini Katsouri (Greece)

KatsouriAikaterini was born in Komotini, Greece, in 1988. She obtained her BA in English Literature and Philology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2009. She also studied at Karl-Franzens University of Graz, Austria, during her last semester of studies. After that, she worked as an English Teacher in Schools of Foreign Languages and held private lessons as well.

Why Germany?

German Universities have an excellent reputation world wide. Their educational system is challenging and demanding. Apart from that, studying in Germany is an opportunity to improve my German language skills. Moreover, the living cost is lower compared to studying in the UK.

Why Heidelberg?

First of all, Heidelberg is considered to be a landmark, world-class research university, which library is ranked as second best in Germany. Being the oldest in Germany and being ranked 71 on a world wide basis, it reassures superior educational and research opportunities. The Interdisciplinary method used and the Colloquium course offered in the university are also a reason why somebody searching for academic exchange would study in Heidelberg. Heidelberg, being home to over 27,000 full-time students – including more than 6,000 foreign ones – provides chances to get acquainted with an international learning, community, which holds a diverse and cosmopolitan way of thinking. Last but not least, one should not overlook Heidelberg picturesque city itself.

Why American Studies?

The United States exert a huge influence upon contemporary global culture, construct images, and recycle stereotypes through movies and music. The fact that America is one of the most ethnically diverse nations in the world makes American Studies multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary , which means that they integrate an array of subjects within one degree and explore the same issue from different perspectives and variations. It should also be noted that I would like to know the history of a nation that is a paradox in itself. America focuses on religion, but struggles for materialism. It promotes radicalism, but it is the most conservative. For all the above, I hope American Studies will be a challenging field to explore.

Nicholas Musto (USA)

MustoNick was born in 1987 in Boston, Massachusetts and spent most of his life in the New England area. He recently graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, with a B.S. in History and a minor in Spanish. He enjoys many outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking. Nick is excited to be studying in Germany and hopes to gain new perspectives on the US in the international community.

Why Germany?

The German people have a reputation for being some of the friendliest in Europe and it will be fascinating to explore their country and culture. Germany is also an important ally of the United States and one of the most influential countries in the European Union. I have wanted to study abroad for some time but this is my first opportunity. I have always been interested in the German language. What better way to learn German than to live and study in Germany?

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is a vibrant and beautiful city. It provides the ability to enjoy the nightlife on the Hauptstraße or just as easily hike in peace and quiet along the Philosophenweg. The university has a reputation for being an exceptional location in which to study. I also like that there are many international students studying here. Since Heidelberg is centrally located in Europe, I will be able to travel around Europe more easily as well.

Why American Studies?

A former student recommended MAS to me. I like that the program is interdisciplinary, which will allow me to continue my study of history but also branch into other fields. As an American, I feel it is important to gain insight into the rest of the world’s views on the United States. Being very limited in travel experience, the MAS program will allow me to interact with people from all over the world.

Tami Newton (USA)

NewtonBorn in the USA, Tami received her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She went on to travel extensively as an international fashion model before penning her debut novel, Men: Custom-Made, a hilarious read about dating issues, which was released to the German-speaking market in 2006 and the audio CDs in 2008. Tami enjoys hanging out with friends, sunny days, and Häagen Dazs by the truckload. She also loves a good game of tennis even if she’s not exactly the Venus or Serena on court her alter ego tries to make her out to be.

Why Germany?

Why not?! After living and working in different countries, Germany has, through pure coincidence, become my second home. I’m still no fan of beer, and for the life of me, I cannot decide between a pair of Lederhosen and a Dirndl. I am leaning toward the Dirndl though!

Why Heidelberg?

The first time I visited Heidelberg I thought I’d stepped right into a fairytale. Aside from the University’s great reputation, I was blown away by the warmth and appeal of the city and its surrounding area. The river Neckar, the castle, the pedestrian zones and quaint little shopping miles, the small vineyards and beautiful landscapes, and all the different kinds of people running about their merry little way. It was as if I’d stepped right smack into the middle of a magical mix of contemporary meets good old-fashioned tradition. DREAM-MER!!!

Why American Studies?

I’ve been interested in America’s genetic makeup for as far back as I can remember. My primary interest is in breaking down the building blocks of American culture to take a closer look at the individual components and how America today compares to that of yesterday. I’m particularly fascinated by the factors affecting the economy, the role history plays, and America’s report card on global welfare. I’m also really looking forward to sharing and interacting with others of different cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs.

Chester Prestes Pra Baldi Junior (Brazil)

PraChester Prestes was born in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, in 1975 and moved to São Paulo in 1991. There he finished his High School studies and attended a Bachelor of Social Science at the University of São Paulo (USP). For the past 8 years he worked at the Instituto Itaú Cultural, which promotes and researches Brazilian arts and culture. He focused on Brazilian music and also engaged in projects using arts as a mediation tool in conflict zones.

Why Germany?

In the state where I was born, in the South of Brazil, most German immigrants settled in the 19th century. Therefore, the cultural influence from Germany is quiet strong. Germany in a way was always around. I remember that the fall of the Berlin Wall really impressed me as a teenager and made me curious. Back in those times I never imagined to visit this place. But as life happens to be, I got to know students from Germany who showed me more about their country and culture. And finally, as a passionate brazilian soccer fan, I only fear two national teams in times of World Cup: Argentina and Germany!

Why Heidelberg?

During my studies at the USP I became friends with students from the University of Heidelberg. We shared experiences about our universities, cities, cultures and countries. They invited me to visit them and so I did in summer 2009. The atmosphere and structure Heidelberg offers for students really impressed me. For example, the fact that people ride their bike to university without getting stuck for hours in traffic jams made me want to have this experience, too. The Heidelberg reality is a totally different one to where I come from and that makes it an even more attractive place. As a consequence, I decided to apply for the Master Program at HCA.

Why American Studies?

Brazilian institutions have always used the United States of America as a benchmark more than Europe. Brazilian Anthropology includes cultural studies comparing the two countries, especially in terms of the racial issue where there was apparently a peaceful coexistence between whites and blacks in Brazil at the same time that segregation existed in the U.S. My interest in knowing more about this country is much more cultural than economic, more anthropological than political. In fact, my interest is in the hugh differences and similarities between these two countries with a similar population and geographical size.

Nikola Radinovic (Serbia)

RadinovicNikola was born in Belgrade, Serbia, in 1987. He was enrolled at the University of Belgrade, at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of International Studies. In 2008/09 Nikola was one of the first students from Serbia to be granted a scholarship funded by the EU, and studied at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Heidelberg for a year. Through the course of his studies Nikola took part in UN simulations and various conferences on human rights, leadership and diplomacy.

Why Germany?

Germany is a place-to-be in Europe. There are so many chances to develop your skills and pursue your interests. It‘s the heart of Europe and its influence is felt across the continent and beyond. This enables me to learn at a different pace and in different ways than in my home country, constantly opening new possibilities in pursuing a career I always dreamed of.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is a perfect setting for my studies. Very traditional and yet very modern, Heidelberg has it all. This combination of traditional and modern creates an atmosphere of being part of an extraordinary history this town and its University have.

Why American Studies?

At a very young age, before and while in an exchange program in the United States I understood that this country is of a huge interest to me. This interest has not ceased through my university studies and persists to this day. The impact American Presidential Elections have, not only in the lives of Americans but of people throughout the globe as well, is a subject I want to research. The broad spectrum of courses offered by the HCA enable me to continue with plans to one day work in diplomacy in connection to the USA.

Edra Sulo (Albania)

SuloEdra was born in 1984 in Shkodra, Albania. She graduated in American and English Studies at the University of Shkodra “Luigj Gurakuqi”. She has worked as a lecturer at this university, where she has also lectured on American Literature. In addition, she also worked as a teacher of English in “28 Nentori”, one of the oldest secondary schools of Shkodra.

Why Germany?

When I started my academic studies, Germany attracted me as a country with a rich history, tradition, and culture as well as the vitality of the German nation. It has always been inspiring for me the fact how the German nation fell down the Berlin wall encouraging not only my country but also the east European countries. It was interesting to learn more about the devotion of the Germans to reunite their nation. So that, when I was given the opportunity to study for a Master degree, I chose without hesitation Germany, as an opportunity to know and touch the German reality.

Why Heidelberg?

Some of my friends who live in Germany have told me that Heidelberg is one of the cities that has left impressions to them. It attracts with its architecture and landscape not only the tourists but students, too. This was one of the main reasons why I wanted to learn more about the University of Heidelberg, the life there, the university programs, and the academic staff. I hope to make real my goal to get a Master in American Studies, doing in this way a comparison among the American, European and Balkanic studies.

Why American Studies?

One of the oldest Albanian emigrations is toward United States of America. It started in 1884. Since those days, Diaspora has enlarged and it has also been a joining bridge between America and Albania. This is one of the main reasons why I was attracted by the American culture, tradition and history during my university studies. At the university of Shkodra there is a program on American Studies and I hope that after getting my Master at the University of Heidelberg, I will be able to widen and deepen this program for the students.

Michael Taylor (USA)

TaylorMike was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah, USA, in 1985. Before entering his university studies, he spent two years in Hamburg as a volunteer for a Christian outreach program where he developed a deep passion for the German people, language, culture, and of course, food. He recently earned his B.A. in English and German Studies at Brigham Young University where he was also employed as a German Instructor and Honors Writing Tutor. He enjoys researching, writing, and interacting with others.

Why Germany?

Since my initial German experience, I have always hoped for an opportunity to return. Besides my afore mentioned passion for Germany, I am extremely curious to learn about America from a German/European
perspective, a perspective that continues to form through a roller-coaster of wars and reconstructions, economic growths and recessions, and through coming to terms with America‘s overwhelming international influence--both positive and negative.

Why Heidelberg?

In 2006, I spent one day in Heidelberg and it was enough to „lose my heart in Heidelberg.“ I see Heidelberg, with its history, renown faculty, diverse student body, and thought-provoking landscapes, as the ideal location to further discover and fine-tune my intellectual heart.

Why American Studies?

I have always celebrated the underlying ideals upon which the United States was founded; however, as I mature, I recognize the many domestic and international controversies resulting from Americans seeking to fulfill and impose their individual interpretations of such ideals. The MAS program will enable me to more narrowly examine America‘s successes and failures in order to promote the former and avoid the latter through future teaching, researching, and writing.

Fiona Würthner (Germany)

W _rthnerFiona was born in 1985 near Düsseldorf, where she later received a Bachelor‘s Degree in History and Media Science. She went on to become part of the first class in the Master‘s Program of Public History at the Free University of Berlin. As a High School student Fiona spent a year in Indiana, USA, and has worked in various countries throughout the world, including Ecuador, Canada, and Australia.

Why Germany?

Growing up in a country with a long tradition of creative talent and inventiveness on the one hand, and a conscience-stricken memory culture on the other, was certainly a unique experience as a prospective historian. Germany to me represents a country with many faces, a nation in a constant state of flux - dynamic, bustling, visionary - and yet never forgetting the ruins it was built on.

Why Heidelberg?

Having spent the last few years in flashy, politic crazy Berlin, the longing for a more serene and picturesque alteration seems to come naturally. At last I want to be one of the people humming „Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren“!

Why American Studies?

Just like empires rose and fell in ancient times, power structures today, too, break and form anew. The U.S. will have to face many challenges throughout the 21st century and I am very excited to be able to debate them with students from around the world at the HCA. Finding out more about the societal, political, and economic state of affairs, as well as digging deeper into the history of this young nation, is my primary aim for the Master‘s program.

Kuiling Yu (China)

YuKuiling was born in Shanghai in 1986 and grew up there. She received a B.S. in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering and a B.A. in English Studies from Donghua University in 2009. After that, she went to Germany and studied German at the Herder-Institute at the University of Leipzig. As a member of China Red Cross, she participated in a lot of volunteer activities in her spare time, such as the 2008 World Special Olympic Summer Games, etc.

Why Germany?

Germany is one of the most developed countries in Europe with well planned infrastructure. After one year living in Germany, I really love the fresh air and friendly people here. I can also enhance my German skills and get to know the German culture and tradition better.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is a world famous historical and cultural city, which can provide great atmosphere for me to study and improve myself in every respect. I’ve been there once as a tourist, and was totally fascinated by its natural beauty. No wonder Goethe said, ”Ich habe mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren. ”

Why American Studies?

America is undoubtedly worth studying. Since it’s the only superpower in the world today, it is impossible to study our common world without studying America. This master course could provide me with the superb opportunity to study America in the perspective of Germany, another super powerful country. I’m really looking forward to listen to more opinions and absorb more ideas. Now that I’m in Germany and have been around, I would really like to take full advantage of this and study and compare every social and cultural similarities and differences between America and Europe.

Hasan Adwan (Palestine)

Adwan HasanHasan was born in Gaza City, Palestine in 1985. He started his education at United Nations‘ schools in Beit Hanoun in Northern Gaza before he went to Red Cross Nordic United World College in Norway where he received the International Baccalaureate. Following the IB, he became a Davis-UWC scholar in the United States at Westminster College in Missouri where he graduated with a BA, double majoring in Political Science and History. He participated in and organized many political debates. He enjoys writing, especially political journalism.

Why Germany?

Germany is one of the United States‘ most important allies, making it one of Europe’s key countries in understanding transatlantic relations; both historic and contemporary. The German education system has a reputation of being very challenging. Germany is rich in culture and history, and the landscape is fascinating. Last but not least, the Bundesliga!

Why Heidelberg?

We learnt about Heidelberg and its university in Medieval Europe history courses. It’s considered as one of Europe’s oldest and finest. HCA provides the opportunity to study with people from many countries with different educational backgrounds. Heidelberg is old and beautiful and provides a great atmosphere to study and live.

Why American Studies?

My undergraduate degree played a major role in my decision to pursue higher education in American Studies. I like American history and politics. I find it intellectually challenging and fulfilling. I still have much to learn about the U.S. from its early development until today. I‘m most interested in U.S. foreign policy and also the evolution of the United States‘ Constitution.

Redona Boriçi (Albania)

Borici RedonaRedona was born in Shkoder in 1988. She has just graduated with a B.A. degree in British and American Language and Culture. She has worked for several years as a volunteer as English teacher and translator. Coming to Germany is her first experience abroad and she is looking forward to meeting new people from all around the world.

Why Germany?

America today is the only leading power in the world and the destiny of many countries is closely related to that of America. The MAS, with a huge variety of topics to study, offers me the possibility to see different facets of this country and get a closer insight of its dimensions and perspectives. With this vision, the Master’s degree would offer me an excellent opportunity to increase my knowledge with regard to American Studies. I am sure that this Master’s will enhance my interpersonal skills, and it will be a very interesting opportunity to exchange ideas regarding America with people from all around the world. This program will be an excellent opportunity for my future career, and will provide me with the knowledge, confidence, and contacts to achieve my aims, and make it in this competitive world.

Why Heidelberg?

My admiration for Germany started when I first had the opportunity to hold in my hands one of the books of a distinguished Albanian author and fellow citizen, Martin Camaj, who taught Albanian at the University of Munich. Even though it may sound strange for a student who has devoted almost all her life to British and American Studies, Germany has always been my favorite country. I have always admired its traditions, values and above all its high-quality education. Studying in Germany will not only give me the opportunity to learn something more about German culture and traditions, but it will also offer me the unique chance to deepen my knowledge of German.

Why American Studies?

Being the oldest university in Germany and one of the best universities in Europe and in the world, Heidelberg University is a dream and an aim for many students around the world. Throughout my stay in Heidelberg, I am sure that the MAS will put me into a new cultural and studying environment and it will make a very big impact on my growth as an independent thinker. Heidelberg seems to be the perfect place for my studies since it resembles my place of birth, Shkoder. They both have a wonderful castle, a bridge and a river. In this way, I am leaving my city for a year and a half, but I am going to find another city similar to mine

Lidia Beatrice Butacu (Romania)

Butacu LidiaLidia was born in Bacau/ Romania in 1987. She studied journalism in Bucharest and she also worked at the Romanian Broadcasting Corporation as junior editor.  Lidia is very excited that she is going to study in Heidelberg and that she is going to get a new perspective of the American culture.

Why Germany?

I really wanted to do a master program abroad and Germany seemed the perfect choice. Even though I don’t know the language, I am sure that it will be easy to get to know the culture and the society because Germany is a very friendly country with the foreign students.

Why Heidelberg?

I’ve read that Heidelberg is a wonderful place to live and also it’s the best academic environment possible since all the great sociologists, philosophers and political scientists like Max Weber, Jürgen Habermas and many others have been professors here. I only hope to be clever enough to take advantage from this experience as much as I can.

Why American Studies?

Without any doubts this master program will gave me the opportunity to learn in a professional way about the culture that influences my country the most. Furthermore, I want to become a journalist who knows what she’s talking about.

Elena-Laura Caprioara (Romania)

Caprioara LauraElena-Laura was born in 1982 in Piatra Neamt, Romania and has a High School diploma in Foreign Languages, main subject English (June 2002) and a Bachelor Degree in Political Sciences, from The Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Political Sciences, at the “Al. I. Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania (June 2006).

While studying in the Department of Political Sciences, she had the opportunity to actively participate in various national political and cultural projects. In June 2008, she succeeded in obtaining her Master‘s Degree in Human Resources, with a Master‘s Thesis dealing with the impact of motivation on people performances.

Why Germany?

I always considered that Germany has the strong rich background of a higher educational system and that education takes place to a great extent. I chose Germany, first of all because of its outstanding reputation in the field of education, and then because I was always fascinated by this country’s history, culture, people and traditions. Besides all these, I believe that the German professionalism can have a key role in helping me to consolidate my knowledge, enhance my intercultural competence and gain a significant European perspective on American topics. Therefore, I am eager to deepen my interests and to experience the intercultural exchange that Germany can offer.

Why Heidelberg?

I visited Heidelberg for the first time in 2004 and I was impressed from the very beginning, by the charming and pleasant ambiance. Taking into account Heidelberg’s excellent educational status and the remarkable reputation, I considered that having the chance to study at the one of the prestigious and landmark universities worldwide would give me the deserved chances to mature in both personality and academics. That is why in searching for a representative institution that focuses on the issues of American Studies and at which I could have the opportunity of studying at the high standards as well as in a culturally rich environment; I became acquainted with the HCA at the University in Heidelberg and read with high interest about the research domains developed here. It is a both a great honor for me to have the opportunity to study at Ruprecht-Karls-University in Heidelberg, a true exponent of high educational standards and to study at HCA, an authentic international learning environment that develops a multicultural dialogue between nations.

Why American Studies?

How does the rest of the world view the U.S.A.? How do Americans see themselves and their nation in the twenty-first century? How did the assassination of JFK change the future of the American nation? What are the effects of 9/11 upon the American nation? These were some of the questions that stimulated and motivated me to possess and keep a continuous desire to learn more about American Studies. The domain of American Studies always represented a field of great interest for me as means to implement my theoretical knowledge, consolidate and develop my expertise in order to obtain significant achievements and learn more about the American culture. American Studies is a vibrant, challenging and exciting field of studies that can make me understand better the dynamics and the diversity of the USA and can also help me unravel this international power’s mechanisms of development. The chance to obtain a Master of Arts in American Studies was definitely crucial in opening further routes for my development as a good specialist in this field. For me, one of the major challenges of American Studies as an academic field is that of learning to appreciate the difference between the sorts of symbols and generalizations that nurture understanding and the stereotypes that do not. American Studies emphasize the history, literature, and culture and can be a representative symbol for nations, for a set of feelings, ideas or ways of life. In terms of global impact American culture is the world’s only “super-culture“.

Kimberly Chadwick (USA)

Chadwick KimberlyKimberly was born in Southern California in 1987 and has lived in the immediate area of Los Angeles County, California her entire life.  Her high school courses exposed her to European cultures for the first time, as well as providing her an opportunity to travel to Europe in the summer of 2004.  Kimberly is a recent graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona holding a B.A. in Liberal Studies.  Throughout her undergraduate studies, Kimberly has held a high interest in American societal concerns. 

Why Germany?

Since visiting Europe in 2004, I planned to study abroad during my undergraduate studies.  As I became more involved in college clubs and philanthropic events, I ran out of time to study in Europe for a semester or year.  After meeting a few of the International/Exchange students that attended my college, I found that the German students held a high respect for their education system.  During my last year at CSU Pomona, I researched German graduate programs and came across the University Heidelberg.  

Why Heidelberg?

I visited the city of Heidelberg during a summer vacation in 2008 and took notice to this setting.  The city itself holds a respectable reputation, especially in regards to Academic relations.  The city offers a number of opportunities to embrace new cultures as well as share new perspectives.   

Why American Studies?

My undergraduate courses revolved around community conflicts, controversies, and expressions.  In my last few class researches, I focused on relations between American traditions/controversies and drew upon European parallels.  Heidelberg’s MAS Program not only offered me an opportunity to expand on my previous ideas, but also to become submerged in a rich culture.  I am extremely interested in the European point of view, and it will be most beneficial to see an outside perspective on my own histories.  As an educator, I would hope to provide a new perspective for young students.  If I remained in California to pursue a Master’s Degree, I would not gain the same level of experience and expertise in an area I wish to teach.

Yung-Han Chiang (Taiwan (ROC))

ChiangYung-Han was born in Taipei in 1985 and has spent most of her life on this beautiful island, Taiwan. She has a B.A. in Diplomacy from National Chengchi University and is currently completing a M.A. degree in Development Studies at the same university. This MAS program in Heidelberg will be her second Master‘s degree.

Why Germany?

All for Heidelberg!

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is my dream school. It’s a university of high academic reputation and beautiful scenery. It is my hope to start an academic life in this prestigious university as well as an experience of fascinating European culture.

Why American Studies?

My main research direction is the international relations in Northeast Asia. The U.S. is a geographically outsider but the most pivotal state actor in the region. As a superpower globally and regionally, of course the United States is worthy of studies. In the MAS program, I’m going to focus on the relations between the U.S. and Northeast Asian countries.

James Ferrell (USA)

Ferrell JamesJames was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1984. He lived in North Carolina and Florida for the majority of his life. He has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Social Sciences from Florida State University. He also received a Masters in Applied American Politics and Policy in May 2009. He interned in Florida‘s 2009 regular legislative session with a lobbyist group representing Florida‘s Public Schools. He eventually wants to work towards a PhD.

Why Germany?

I like the people and the country. And I have always wanted to live outside of the U.S. for the experience.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is in a beautiful part of Germany and I had the pleasure of visiting in 2007. I enjoyed the town and the castle. So, when I found the American Studies program at the University. I decided to apply.

Why American Studies?

Apart for the aforementioned information, I would like to learn the perspective the world has on America. The American Studies program allows me to do this in a scholastic environment.

Elif Huntürk (Turkey)

Hunturk ElifElif was born in Izmir in 1988. Later on she moved to Istanbul for her university education. She received her B.A from the Bogaziçi University Western Language and Literature Department. She is currently studying for the American Studies Certificate Program at the same university. She has attended several Model United Nations simulations in different countries. She really likes to experience new cultures. Apart from that, her biggest interest is Ottoman music, ethnic music and photography.

Why Germany?

In 2007 I came to Bonn to attend the World Parliament Experiment project. It was a turning point in my life. I met with many very good German students who came from prestigious German universities. The Intellectual environment, order in daily life, famous German study discipline and multicultural atmosphere really appealed my attention and convinced me to pursue an academic study there.

Why Heidelberg?

My first encounter with Heidelberg was through a pure coincidence. Just after I decided to continue my studies in Germany, I searched for American studies programs in German universities and found the HCA. The more I read about the university and its program, the more I was motivated to apply. Heidelberg is an enchanting city and the university is one of the most renowned and prestigious universities of Europe. 

Why American Studies?

Actually my interest in American studies stemmed from the rising anti - American discourses. Especially in some countries, there is nearly no trust in the U.S. and generally it has a very negative image in the eyes of people.

This negativism made me ask the question „why?“ In order to find an answer to my question, I had to understand America, get familiar with its politics, history and sociology. So I chose to specialize on American Studies.

Cen Jiang (P.R. China)

Jiang CenCen was born in Shanghai in 1987, and received her B.A. in English language and literature from the University of Fudan in 2009. She has been an exchange student to Yale University in 2008 where she studied Maths and Art History. In her free time she is interested in Fine Arts, Music, Drama Acting, Travelling, Reading and doing Sports.

Why Germany?

Germany is among the most developed countries in the world. It is the land of great thinkers, musicians as well as fancy cars and hi-tech industries and has aroused my interest a long time ago. Ever since my personal visit to Germany, I have been even more attracted to this country because of the beautiful landscape, the friendly people and their lifestyles. That is why I want to study in this charming land to experience its rich culture, to have a better understanding of Europe and to improve my German language skills.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is such a prestigious university with a long history and high academic reputation across the world. I came to know it from an erudite Heidelberg alumnus when I was only a child. From then on, I have always been longing to have a real experience studying at Heidelberg, to visit the historic castle and to walk along the famous Philosophers’ Way. Little wonder that this beautiful and placid place will be my ideal destination for academic research and personal development.

Why American Studies?

As we all know, being a superpower in the world, the United States has accomplished such a wonder in its short history. How was that achieved? What can we learn from its experience? And how will the U.S.A interact with the international community in the time of Obama? All of these questions are worth the attention of both China and Europe. The MAS will provide more professional and systematic insights into these relative issues.

Axel Phillip Kaiser Barents von Hohenhagen (Chile)

Kaiser AxelAxel was born in Santiago de Chile in 1981. He is a lawyer with Masters degree in International Law from the University of Heidelberg. From 2007 to 2009 he worked as a business lawyer and as legislative adviser to a Chilean senator. In 2008, he started writing for the Cato Institute in Washington DC and in 2009 he became professor of Latin-American politics and political philosophy at two Universities in Chile. Since 2005 he is an opinion columnist of the Chilean financial newspaper “Diario Financiero”.

Why Germany?

As a German descendant, I have always been exposed to the German culture. Since I was child I have dreamed of spending a few years in the country of Beethoven, Goethe, Kant and Einstein. Besides its interesting history and beautiful landscape, Germany offers a friendly atmosphere, an intense cultural life and high living standards in general.

Why Heidelberg?

Its reputation worldwide makes from Heidelberg a very attractive place to study. As a student, its exciting to know that renown thinkers such as Hegel, Hannah Arendt, Karl Jaspers and Max Weber, among many others, have been former students or professors at Heidelberg.

Another good reason is the city of Heidelberg, which combines different aspects difficult to find in one place at the same time: an extraordinary beauty, an excellent location in Europe and a life quiet enough to study but at the same time very amusing.

Why American Studies?

I have always been very interested in everything related to the US. and particularly in the causes of its great success as a nation. I`m sure that the American culture can still make gigantic contributions to the world in terms of freedom and prosperity, and especially to my region, Latin America.

Ana Maric (Bosnia-Herzegovina / Germany)

Maric Ana PhotoAna Maric was born in 1985 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the civil war between the Balkans states broke out in 1992 her family decided to leave for Germany where she spent the majority of her childhood. She pursued her B.A. in History and Political Science at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany. During her studies she discovered her growing interest for American culture and politics.

Why Germany?

Germany has been home to me and my family for many years. A culturally rich and historically dynamic country that is as captivating to the mind as it’s landscape. Naturally traveling abroad is my plan but the strong ties to my family and an invaluable network of friends made it an easy choice to stay.

Why Heidelberg?

The first time I visited the city of Heidelberg I fell in love with it. Heidelberg although being a small but historical city has a very international flare. The long tradition of the University, stellar professors and a diverse student population make Heidelberg a great environment to study in.

Why American Studies?

American Studies has always been an interesting field for me. The United States, although a rather young country, has a rich cultural and historical significance in our world and I am looking forward to learn more about it during the MAS program.

Xianzhi Meng (P.R. China)

Meng12Xianzhi was born in Shandong which is known as the hometown for Confucious, and spent most of her adult life here. She got her master‘s degree from Sun Yat-sen University in 2009, majoring in English Language and Literature. She also had a second major in Japanese.

Why Germany?

Germany, a country known for its rich culture, well-developed industry and high quality education, begins to attract more and more attention in the world. However, Germany fascinates me most is its philosophy. I was enchanted with the philosophy since my undergraduate years and my interest has never faded since then. I believe there is no country in the world to learn philosophy better than Germany. I hope my years spent in Germany can deepen my understanding of my knowledge of philosophy. Also I have learnt German during my graduate study and I want to take this opportunity to learn it well there.

Why Heidelberg?

As one of the top-ranking, world-class universities, Heidelberg University would offer the best intellectual environment for me to pursue a comparative, global approach to study American culture and literature. Its long tradition of humanism, of intellectual inquiry, and of excellence and leadership in research and scholarship goes back for several centuries. The preeminent faculty and the individualized nature of the program, will definitely bring out the best in me.

Why American Studies?

Even though I have learnt English language and literature for years and got my bachelor degree in English language and literature, I do not think what I have learnt up to now can give me a very deep understanding of American culture and literature. As one of the most powerful country in the world, both American culture and literature have its valuable aspects worth our study. Particularly now, as China is catching up with the West politically and culturally, it is quite necessary for us to learn more about American culture and literature. The Heidelberg Center for American Study, as one of the best schools of American study, will provide opportunity for me to deplore American culture deeply, and diversity of research interests in American study is particular interest to me.

Nanda Kishore Pinpati Sudhakar (India)

Herr Pinpati 02Kishore was born in Bangalore, India. After graduating with an Engineering degree in Computer Science from Bangalore University during 1994, Kishore went on to pursue his Graduate studies in International Business at an American University in Germany.  Kishore has worked in the IT industry in Management for more than 12 years with American and European software companies.

Why Germany?

As a child in India the first exposure to Germany were its cars, machinery and documentaries on TV as to how well everything is organized in this country. During high school I was very much interested to learn about 20th century German history.  Germany today with its diverse and international young population combined with world class industries makes it one of the most important countries in Europe to live and work in.

Why Heidelberg?

The University with its 600 years of tradition combined with a beautiful old town, the Neckar valley is an ideal place to pursue one’s studies.  This city keeps one “young” and as one says in German is “klein aber fein”.  Heidelberg is a truly international city in continental Europe and together with its research institutions, gives an opportunity to interact with intellectuals from around the world.

Why American Studies?

United States has influenced my life since the early 80s when the first software companies started developing software in my home town of Bangalore, India. American Democracy and the entrepreneurial spirit of its people always fascinated me and have had very good experiences working with American companies. The interdisciplinary MAS program is ideal to pursue my PhD in International Relations.

Styles Sass (USA)

Styles-sass-09Styles Sass was born and raised in North Dakota and later attended the University of Iowa, where he received his BA in English.  Completing his last semester on a study abroad program in Donostia / San Sebastian in the Spanish Basque Country, he remained there for another two years, working as an English teacher.  Later moving to Germany, he pursued a career in writing and, after a series of grants, eventually settled in Stuttgart. 

Why Germany?

Since I am already living here, it is the place most compatible with my other professional and familial responsibilities.

Why Heidelberg?

The HCA offers one of the most thorough American Studies programs in all of Germany—a fact attested to by the rapid growth of its academic reputation.  In addition, the three aspects that attracted me most were its truly interdisciplinary approach, the international character of its students, and that the center rightly chose to use English as its official language. 

Why American Studies?

During my time abroad, I have had many opportunities to observe the fascination (both critical and favorable) that American culture holds for people around the world—the recent presidential campaign of Barack Obama being the most obvious example of the latter.  This curiosity has reignited my own interest about the U.S. and I would like to deepen my understanding of it through a structured approach.

Thi Hai Ly Tran (Vietnam)

Hai LyThi Hai Ly, born in 1984, graduated from the College of Foreign Languages at the Vietnam National University with a B.A degree in English Language Teaching in 2006. After working as a lecturer of English at the Vietnam University of Social Sciences and Humanities for one year, she moved to the Banking Academy of Vietnam and has been teaching there until now.

Why Germany?

Germany, with its rich cultural heritage, outstandingly beautiful landscape with fairytale castles, highly developed economy and advanced education system, seems like an ideal place for me to live and study. Moreover, German hospitality and its cuisine are renowned worldwide and studying in Germany is definitely a valuable opportunity for me to explore all of these nice things myself.

Why Heidelberg?

One of my university friends has been studying in Heidelberg and she is greatly enjoying the MAS program. From her conversations, I am extremely attracted by the lively multi-cultural learning environment, outstanding academic staff and excellent schoolmates found in this university. I truly think one and a half years in Heidelberg would be a great source of further knowledge and invaluable intercultural experience, which is essential for my professional and personal development.

Why American Studies?

After America‘s devastating war in Vietnam, the unfavourable impression about the U.S and its people still remains in mind of many Vietnamese citizens. Although the governments of the two countries are cooperating effectively in fostering a bilateral relationship, the ideological and cultural differences between the two nations lead to contradictions in humanitarian and religious issues which considerably hinder the normalization process. As a lecturer of English for Economics in a renowned institute of Banking and Research in Vietnam, I fully realize the influence of U.S-Vietnam relations on the development of Vietnam’s economy. Therefore, I wish to take part in this course to obtain better insights into American politics, economy, religion, and culture. I believe a proper perspective on America gained from the course, which I hope to pass on to many generations of my students, will promote mutual understanding and a long-lasting relationship between the two countries.

Ana Cecilia Velázquez-Rodríguez (Mexico)

Velazquez Ana CeciliaAna was born, grew up, and went to school in Guadalajara, Mexico. She has graduated from the University of Guadalajara and her major was Political Science and Government. She is interested in Political Science and Culture and she has been working on and studying the relationship between the media and the society. She wrote a dissertation on: The Construction of the Political Culture. Theoretical Research of the Contribution of Mass Media in the Construction of Identity and Political Culture”

Why Germany?

Ever since I was a child I have been interested in German culture. Recently, authors such as Kafka, Goethe, Kant, Hegel, Weber, Heidegger, Habermas and Arendt were the cause of my fascination with the German way of thinking. On the other hand, because of the readings I have done and the movies I´ve watched, I think that Germany not only offers the best education in Europe, but it also offers the chance to learn from its way of living and to actually enjoy it.

Why Heidelberg?

The University of Heidelberg offers educational prestige and an international learning environment.  I´m interested in being a student at this university, since I know that is the oldest in Germany and worldwide known for its excellence in academics. 

Why American Studies?

I´m interested in political culture, the media and international affairs, since I have already worked on such subjects. The United States represent an essential part of Mexico´s economy, politics and culture. Americans and Mexicans share a border and complex issues that need to be solved such as, illegal immigration, security cooperation and social welfare, which is why I´m really interested in studying a master degree that gives me the opportunity to understand and know more about my neighboring country, The United States.

Scott Werner (USA)

WernerScott completed his BA in German Language and Literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia in 2007. He minored in teaching and is a state licensed German teacher. After finishing his enlistment in the Army reserves, he went to Germany to complete a six-month internship at the Goethe Institute Mannheim-Heidelberg. He then decided to stay and has been teaching English as a foreign language at Berlitz for nearly two years.

Why Germany?

I really became interested in Germany after my first trip when I was 17. It was such a profound experience that I made it my life’s goal to learn German. When I moved here for the internship, I was immersed in German culture and language and I decided living here was a good idea. It has definitely exceeded my expectations and broadened my perspective on my things. I want to be an informed American citizen as well as world citizen. To attain the objectivity needed to study one’s own system of values, Germany serves as the perfect starting point.

Why Heidelberg?

Simply put, Heidelberg is a great place. There is no other city like it in the world. The cultural and historical aspects of this city, blended with a touch of modern Germany, make this city a perfect place for the HCA to call home. I have visited countless times for countless reasons and each time there is something new to experience and take back with you. They say you can lose your heart in Heidelberg, and for whatever reasons you might have, it is true!

Why American Studies?

I have been teaching for a while and inevitably questions crop up from my students about America. Many are very thought provoking and I began to see what my students see when they think about America. Their curiosity has in turn fueled my own. America is a struggling superpower, trying to rebuild itself domestically and internationally, amid an ever changing global landscape. I am truly looking forward to studying how the events taking place in America will affect not only America, but the rest of the world as well.

Oksana Yeshyorkina (Turkmenistan)

Yeshyorkina OksanaOksana was born and raised in small town Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan. She graduated from high school in 2002. After graduating she spent a year living in the USA and studying as an exchange student at an American high school in Naperville, Illinois. In June 2009, she graduated from the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan with a B.A. in American Studies and a minor in International Public Law. While studying and living in Bishkek she gained valuable experiences in teaching English and lecturing various topics in the field of American Studies.

Why Germany?

I chose Germany because of my interest in German language and the role Germany plays in the international arena and the high-quality education Germany offers. In addition, it is an opportunity for me to experience another culture, people and historic places.

Why Heidelberg?

While searching for European schools that offer a Masters Degree in American Studies I found the Heidelberg Center for American Studies to be the one that fully suits both my academic and professional interests. Heidelberg University is known for its academic achievements and educational heritage. The HCA allows its students to study in a multi cultural environment which gives a wide perspective for sharing and learning.

Why American Studies?

In the future I would like to teach courses in the field of American politics, international relations and foreign policy issues. Studying in the field of American Studies will allow me to gain knowledge in these topics thoroughly and will prepare me to become a competent scholar in the chosen field. American Studies is a field which allows focus on many different academic areas. American Studies allows research combining various disciplines and areas in ways unsuitable for many other subjects.

He Zhang (P.R. China)

Zahng HeHe Zhang was born in Jiangxi/China in 1983, and studied at China Foreign Affairs University where he finished his L.L.B in Diplomacy in 2007. He received a B.A. in English in 2005. Before joining the MAS, he worked for the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympia (BOCOG), and served as an interpreter for different organizations, like the Foreign Aid Department of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, Confucius Institute Headquarters, Beijing Chinese Language and Culture College and the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Among his interests are public speaking and broadcasting.

Why Germany?

Because of the HCA! I have to thank a friend of mine who is studying at the HCA for introducing the MAS to me. Having been learning in China for a long time, I really look forward to studying in a multi-cultural community, particularly for such cross-cultural programs, like American Studies. Thus, Germany becomes my perfect location for further education. Besides, it would be a golden opportunity to pick up German as a second foreign language and discover the charms of Germany.

Why Heidelberg?

Playing a leading role in cross-cultural studies, and offering a dynamic learning environment in my intended field with selected professors, HCA offers the most suitable program to study America from an outside perspective. Moreover, the curriculum offered by the HCA will strengthen my ability to analyze and solve practical problems encountered in a work environment. Last but not least, there is no better place than Heidelberg to study in such a beautiful place!

Why American Studies?

Since Sino-U.S. relations had become one of the most dynamic and important bilateral relations in the world, the better understanding of America is one of the important qualities for the one who wants to work in foreign affairs.

Due to my propensity for America’s foreign policy and its culture, I want to extend my vision of the Asia-Pacific region to Europe and to explore how America interacts with Europe. Meanwhile, drawing on the experience of European integration can help me study America’s influence on the East Asia regional cooperation and integration.

Sarah Alexander (UK)

Sarah was born in London in 1984 and has spent most of her life growing up in the South East of the United Kingdom. She has a BA in American Studies (History) from the University of Kent in Canterbury and also spent a year at Purdue University in the US as a part of her undergraduate studies. Sarah is currently completing an internship at the Benjamin Franklin House in London and hopes to pursue a career in the heritage sector after her studies.

Why Germany?

Ever since my first visit to Germany, I was instantly drawn to the country because of its people, its culture and its landscape. Germany and the US played important roles in one another’s development during the 20th Century and I think that this, in itself, is an interesting aspect to consider. However, I also really wanted the opportunity to become more acquainted with another culture, another way of life and another language. Whilst my studies have focused on the US, they have also underlined how important it is to understand other countries and cultures that exist around you.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg has an incredible academic reputation, not just throughout Germany but the rest of the world. To be able to participate in a programme at such an institution, in an academic area that I find so interesting, will be a wonderful opportunity. With the city of Heidelberg renowned for being so beautiful and so steeped in history, I couldn’t think of a better place to be!

Why American Studies?

I have always been interested in American culture and the way in which it interacts with the rest of the world. My undergraduate degree helped to refine the more general interest I had with this Superpower, at the same time as forcing me to challenge my more conventional ways of thinking. I’m really looking forward to doing an MA in American Studies as I want to continue to broaden and deepen my understanding of this immensely powerful, complicated and influential country.

Thi Diem Ngoc Dao (Vietnam)

Thi Diem Ngoc graduated from the College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University with a B.A degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in 2006. Since then, she has been working as a lecturer of English at this college. Apart from teaching English, she also work as an interpreter for short-term projects and a collaborator translator for a publishing house in Hanoi.

Why Germany?

As the search for American studies courses went, I came across the MAS program in Heidelberg, Germany, which struck me as a golden chance to study about America and at the same time stay in a country lying at the heart of Europe. Studying in Germany will enable me not only to enjoy every new cultural discovery but also to explore a land where great thinkers were born.

Why Heidelberg?

All the same, my attention is profoundly drawn to the rich educational prestige and international learning environment of the University of Heidelberg, especially the Heidelberg Center for American Studies.
Believe it or not, my choice of study in the MAS program in Heidelberg seems to be proved right when Heidelberg appears in the list of “World’s best places to live 2008” recently rated by BusinessWeek online newspaper. I truly think that studying in Heidelberg will enrich my knowledge to the fullest and enhance my living experience to the most.

Why American Studies?

With my B.A in TEFL, I have familiarized myself with a wide variety of social and cultural contexts of the English-speaking countries. Inspired by the study in American literature, I am really interested in getting to know more about American people and culture. I believe that taking part in a course in American studies will give me more insights about the country which has many socio-political links with Vietnam.

Jordan Dubin (USA)

Jordan was born in Arizona in 1985. He grew up in the Phoenix metropolitan areas of Chandler and Cave Creek. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and graduated in May of 2008 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy.

Why Germany?

I chose to come to Germany to experience an entirely new continent and culture. Being in Germany will allow me to visit many historical areas of Germany as well as other European countries with diverse histories and traditions. I also hope to immerse myself in the German language, becoming fluent by the end of the year.

Why Heidelberg?

I picked the University of Heidelberg not only because of its prestigious international standing, but also because
it offers me an opportunity to explore the rich history of the city and surrounding areas. The scenery in Heidelberg is a polar opposite to my home state of Arizona so living here will be a great adventure.

Why American Studies?

I chose to pursue a MAS because I want to learn more about my country of origin and learn its history from across the Atlantic. It will be fascinating to watch the upcoming American presidential election through a different perspective. Many of the fields of study offered by the MAS coincide perfectly with my personal interests. I am also excited to make lasting relationships with students from completely different cultures than my own.

Yulia Egorova (Russia)

Yulia was born, grew up, and went to school in Yaroslavl, Russia. She graduated from high school in 2003 with a silver medal and entered two Universities: Yaroslavl State Teacher Training University, with the majors in English, German and Education and International University of Business and New Technologies with the Finance major. She finished both of the Universities this year with Specialist Diplomas with honors. Yulia also gained job experience during her part-time summer work with the charitable organization Cross-Cultural Solutions, where she worked as a translator. Among her interests are Art, Traveling, and Culture Studies. She also loves working and communicating with people.

Why Germany?

I have been interested in Germany, German language and Culture since I was a child. Therefore, I chose German
as one of my majors at the University. I had an opportunity to travel to Germany twice which deepened my interest. However, my German language command is not sufficient to use it in work and communication. Therefore, studying and living in Germany, I hope to master the language.

Why Heidelberg?

I was very lucky to visit Heidelberg last year and I fell in love with this beautiful city at once. But the main reason for my choice was, of course, the reputation of the University as one of the best not only in Germany, but in Europe and in the world.

Why American Studies?

I have always been interested in Culture, particularly in American Culture. I believe that with its diversity and dynamics it presents the best field for investigation. My diploma project also had to do with American Studies. But, unfortunately, due to the unavailability of the necessary material I was unable to make American Studies the major topic in my Diploma. The curriculum of the MAS is most suitable for me to reach the objective of focusing my interest on American Culture and continue my studies in the chosen field.

Marianne Fleurimont (USA)

Marianne was born in 1981 in Shanghai/ China, grew up in Ithaca/ New York, and studied Architecture, History, French, and International Communications Management. Marianne spent the last 7 years in Europe, first in Strasbourg and then in Neckarsteinach. Last year she completed a six-month internship at Lufthansa Cargo‘s marketing communications department on the Frankfurt Airport.

Why Germany?

I‘ve been spending my last 3 years studying International Communication Management in Bruchsal, Germany.
During that time, I‘ve been living in Neckarsteinach where there are four castles in one town, plus Dilsberg across the river. Naturally, I fell in love with that! In addition, Germany offers some of the most impressing architectural monuments, both old and new, as well as a plethora of art museums within easy reach of public transportation. I must also confess: I fell in love with German cuisine…

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg is the first city in the mind of many Americans when thinking of Germany. The Heidelberg University is a landmark in Western intellectual history. The old ruined castle that inspired Romanticism is still today an icon across the world. So, little wonder that I also succumb to the charms of this romantic little city with its saturated atmosphere. In many ways, it’s like my hometown in America: Ithaca, NY—an international place in the middle of splendid nature, dominated by a university and its intellectual tradition.

Why American Studies?

Having been away from the USA since 2001, I’ve lived the vivid experiences of my country “second-hand” in Europe. Turbulent changes and traumatic events have taken place meanwhile, and on my visits home, I’ve discovered a homeland altered and transformed. My European experience has also left its marks on my views and ideas. This is why I appreciate the opportunity the HCA has to offer me: to study America. I’d like to dedicate one year of my life to better understand my own country and how it emerged from the traumas of the last 7 years. This “outsider view”, moreover, becomes increasingly important for America as the world shrinks and neighbors rub more than just elbows.

Nastasja Gerlach (Germany)

Nastasja was born in Limburg/ Lahn in 1985, from where she moved to Bruchsal to pursue a B.A. in International Communication Management. Before she came to join the MAS Class 2009, Nastasja spent five months as an exchange student in Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University and worked for the Heidelberg software company zetVisions AG.

Why Germany?

Germany as the “country of poets and thinkers” allows me to gain first class educational experiences and to be close to my family and friends. What would I want more?

Why Heidelberg?

In my opinion, Heidelberg is THE German student city. The fact that the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
is the oldest German university and enjoys an excellent educational status make Heidelberg especially attractive to students- not to forget its romantic flair and international atmosphere.

Why American Studies?

Through my experiences at IU Bruchsal and NTU in Singapore, I have seen how important it is to understand each others’ cultural heritage and backgrounds. Although the world seems to have become smaller, not to say a “global village”, people do not necessarily understand each other better. American society plays a twofold role in this context: as an international power affecting globalization and thus bringing the world together and at the same time as a melting pot which –itself- consists of different cultures and beliefs. Studying these complex connections shall be a challenging, but interesting task for me.

Stephanie Johnson (USA)

Born in 1987, in Indianapolis, Stephanie graduated from secondary school early, and at age 15 she entered Indiana University where she recently graduated with a B.A. in English. After spending the summers of 2006 and 2007 studying Hebrew at Haifa University, Stephanie returned to Indianapolis and interned at the State Treasurer’s Office.

Why Germany?

When I visited a Germany in 2007, I found it to be a very intellectual, politically aware country. When I was looking for master’s degree programs, Germany was my ideal location due to its progressive higher education system.

Why Heidelberg?

The HCA’s MAS program was perfect for my interests. Furthermore, the university is world renown for excellence in academics. Everyone had told me Heidelberg was a beautiful, fun city to live in, and it seemed the perfect location for my studies.

Why American Studies?

I would like to work in foreign relations, and after traveling abroad, I realized there is a significant disparity between the World and Americans in deciding what aspects of history and current events are viewed as important. There are many aspects of our history that are ignored altogether in American classrooms. I would like to reach a fuller understanding of my own country, and I believe the only way to achieve that is through listening to different perspectives. Later in my career, such an understanding will help me better appreciate how other countries view the United States; I hope I will be better able to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings.

Balazs Kantor (Hungary)

Balazs was born in 1983, and studied at Trinity College in Hartford, CT and at the University of Budapest (Eötvös Loránd University) where he finished his dual M.A. in English and American Studies in 2008. Before joining the MAS, he had worked as an English teacher and an intern/lecturer at the University of Budapest. In his free time, he is also an aspiring journalist.

Why Germany?

I chose Germany because of my interest in German culture, language, and, perhaps most of all, the fabled German professionalism. While studying in Heidelberg, I would like to improve my German language skills, discover the country, and to get to know the culture to enhance my intercultural competence.

Why Heidelberg?

A friend of mine who attended the programme before highly recommended the MAS. I visited Heidelberg in April and instantly fell in love with the city and found the unique university environment captivating. Studying at the internationally renowned Heidelberg University makes the place all the more attractive.

Why American Studies?

I have studied American Studies before in Hungary and in the United States. I would like to learn more about American politics and history from another (international) perspective and to use that knowledge in my future academic and professional career.

Carrie Khou (Germany)

Carrie was born in Hamburg in 1983, and received her B.A. in American and British Studies from the University of Mannheim in 2006. Afterwards she continued her education abroad at the University of Massachusetts Boston and studied Media Studies, Spanish and American Studies. Back in Germany she pursued experience on the job at BASF SE and ABB AG before joining the American Studies program at the HCA.

Why Germany?

Having been abroad gave me the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the culture I was born into. Being away from your familiar environment puts a lot into perspective and helps to understand how other cultures function. I decided to join a German program, in order to intensify the German point-of-view of American topics, before I finally go abroad again.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg offers a unique accelerated program which matches my goal to receive another academic degree within a short period of time. Furthermore, this program is supported by BASF and other well-known institutions,
which shows that the program also pursues a practical approach.

Why American Studies?

Social interaction, political decisions, cultural understanding are all part of modern business life. Since the business horizon has significantly expanded beyond mere figures, it is highly important to know about the idiosyncracies of the global player, in order to be able to make sustainable decisions that are benifical to both, society and businesses.

Melanie Lewis (USA/ Germany)

Born to a German mother and an American father in the southern U.S. state of Georgia in 1986, Melanie was raised in a small town in southwest Germany. In 2000, she returned with her family to America where she lived and studied in Arizona. She received her B.A. in British and American Literature in the city of Tucson from the University of Arizona in 2008. After years of living in the States, Melanie has returned to Germany to join the HCA and be reunited with her family.

Why Germany?

After eight years of life in the United States, I am ready to re-familiarize myself with my roots which lie here in Germany. The MAS program offered me the perfect opportunity to return home where I can be close to family and friends.

Why Heidelberg?

I grew up in a small town called Heidelsheim here in Baden Wuerttemberg and am excited for Heidelberg to be the place where I continue my university studies. I have always seen Heidelberg as a special place to study and reside in, not only because of its grand history and friendly people, but also because of its university’s worldly focus.

Why American Studies?

After almost a decade of living as an American, I have to say that no matter how often I disagree with the government’s doings or am annoyed by America’s obsession with Hollywood celebrities, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the U.S. It is because of this that I am so thrilled to be able to revisit its history and culture in my MAS studies at the HCA.

Mahshid Mayar (Iran)

Mahshid did her BA in English language and literature at the University of Tehran. Then, she moved to MA in the same field, and as soon as the newly-founded field of American studies started at the same university, she switched to this 2-year program. Thus, MAS is her second major in American studies. She has persistently worked as English teacher and translator. She has also been a researcher in the same field for the last 10 months.

Why Germany?

Long lines of history: division and unity, industrial wheels and political burdens, economic headway and philosophical headship; these make Germany a perfect academic destination.

Why Heidelberg?

Long roots of knowledge: pioneer academy, scientific edge, THE honors, top German university, interdisciplinary
niche; these make Heidelberg a perfect academy.

Why American Studies?

Long threads of excellence: diverse research ideas, robust relations, interdisciplinarity of perspective, precision
of objectives; these make HCA perfect.

Anne-Kathrin Pusch (Germany)

Anne-Kathrin was born in Bendorf, Germany in 1983, went to school in Neuwied and afterwards to the University of Constance, Germany. She received her B.A. in British and American Studies (major) and Sociology (minor) in 2007. During her studies, she spent one year abroad at the University of Richmond, Virginia, USA (2005-2006) to study English and Anthropology and also took classes in Spanish, History and Sociology. At the U of R, she also worked part-time for the Institute of Modern Languages where she was an instructor for German as a Foreign Language. In 2008 Anne-Kathrin started working for a German Lifestyle magazine in Essen as a journalist. She still helps out at the magazine part-time.

Why Germany?

Since I‘m pretty sure that I‘ll go abroad again in the future, staying in my home country for another year simply feels right. Education in Germany is high-quality and I also like living here.

Why Heidelberg?

The reputation of the university of Heidelberg made my decision easy. Besides, the city offers a rich cultural heritage with an impressive old townscape and is at the same time a vibrant place where to encounter an international mixture of people. Being relatively close to my family and friends is another advantage of Heidelberg.

Why American Studies?

The HCA seems a great place to study American Studies. The participation of various faculties and the large range of subjects offered here are very attractive. I hope to gain a better idea of America in a broader context. The structure of the MAS and its organization in small groups sounds just perfect and I appreciate the chance to work together with people from all over the world. I am looking forward to the discussion of varying perspectives on North and South America, their politics, arts, economy and the influence on the rest of the world. Selected professors and the high academic activity at the HCA are great advantages and hopefully prepare me for my future academic or professional career. The international orientation of the Master program combined with an intercultural exchange will make me more sensible for cultural matters and enhance my knowledge about America and other nations.

Zeynep Selen Saydam (Turkey)

Zeynep Selen is from Turkey and graduated this semester from Ankara University with a BA in American Culture and Literature.

Why Heidelberg?

While I was applying for some great universities,I came into HCA MAS in Heidelberg and luckily I’m here. I hope in a few years I would be also teaching in this field.

Why American Studies?

Right along my educational life,I’ve been interested in various languages,cultures and literatures and I’ve chosen to study American Literature which was a great interest for me. As the end of my University education got closer, I noticed that the only thing I dreamed of for my whole life was to continue learning and reading in American Studies.

Erhan Simsek (Turkey)

Erhan was born in Ankara/Turkey in 1986. He received his B.A in English Language Teaching from Middle East Technical University with a minor degree in European Studies from the department of International Relations. Before coming to MAS, Erhan acted as the president of METU Book Club and worked as an English tutor.

Why Germany?

The prevalent rich heritage, understanding people, distinguishing educational services and the fact that I could improve my German made my way to Germany. As a developed Western country with a high number of foreign immigrants, it gives me the chance to experience different cultures and traditions within the German context. I believe that Germany will help me gain a European perspective in scrutinizing the American culture and politics.

Why Heidelberg?

In the summer of 2007, I attended a voluntary work camp around Heidelberg. I was thinking of pursuing graduate studies but I did not plan where to attend. The trip to Heidelberg helped me make my mind. MAS program has an eclectic curriculum, which seems to prepare the students in a wide scope of areas. I think that the interdisciplinary approach of the MAS program in Heidelberg and the inspiring intellectual environment would help me learn more about American Studies.

Why American Studies?

The undeniable role of the U.S in world affairs and U.S/Europe relations matter in world politics. What is more, American culture dominates many regions in the world and expands with globalization. Thus, studying American Studies attracted me for social, cultural and political position of the U.S in the world.

Silvia Toma (Romania)

Silvia was born 1986 in Resita, Romania, and grew up speaking Romanian and German. She studied German Language and Culture in Bucharest, with a minor in English. During her study, Silvia has been a translator and an interpreter, which is the job she enjoyed most. She has also been working as a journalist at the newspaper of the German minority in Romania. Silvia is now eager to dive in another culture and get a new perspective on Germany or Europe.

Why Germany?

Last year, while studying for three months at Regensburg, I realized that I want to return to Germany, as I like the atmosphere at universities here. I also feel very much at home in this country, while on the other side, I have only seen small parts of it. I’m looking forward to get to know it better.

Why Heidelberg?

Heidelberg means on the one hand an ancient and prestigious university to me. On the other hand, it attracts me with its beauty and its cultural life. I have to admit that I am also happy to be for a year in the center of Europe, which allows me to get to know at least a bit of regions and countries I have never seen before.

Why HCA?

It is thanks to the advice of a professor of mine that I heard of the HCA and its interesting program. This master in American Studies in Germany will help me understand the American culture better, a culture of great influence on Europe and not only, while I can also experience the German culture from the inside. I am very interested in the dialogue between cultures, and I think that the master program as well as living in Germany will be a positive experience in this direction. 

Ruhuan Wang (China)

Ruhuan was born in 1986 in Sichuan/ China. In July 2008 Ruhuan graduated from Peking University (Beijing, China) where she specialized in German in her freshman year and English in the remaining three years. She once participated in an exchange program at Bryn-Mawr School (Maryland, USA) and had an internship at DaimlerChrysler Northeast Asia Ltd. Ruhuan‘s biggest hobby is acting – she used to play in Die Physiker, Fiddler on the Roof and Tartuffe.

Why Germany?

Once a German major at college and an intern at Daimler, I am haunted by the fact that I have never really been to the country. I always wished to learn more about the German language and culture. Plus it really excited me to find out that the field of my primary interest, American studies, has become especially prominent in Germany and Britain.

Why Heidelberg?

Because of the university! Heidelberg is Germany‘s oldest university and a world-class institution with perfect educational heritage and scholarly achievements (it has so far brought forth eight Nobel laureates). Though HCA is a very young institute, it has become one of the leading centers for American Studies in Europe and I would love to make my own contribution to it. HCA appeals to me particularly because it has an interdisciplinary nature and comprises a multicultural student community. Besides, now that I‘ve studied America from the Chinese perspective for three years, it is a tempting idea to see the country from European viewpoints too.

Why American Studies?

My exchange program to the U.S. first triggered my interest in American Studies, which later became my major
field of interest and study at Peking University. The important role USA plays today on a global scale makes
this country of special interest. A sound knowledge of the United States is a prerequisite for one to gain a deeper insight into the modern world. Last but not the least, the American historical and political heritage can be very helpful for countries with developing democracy, like for example my native country China.

Fei Ye (China)

Fei was born in China in 1986 and studied in China Foreign Affairs University and graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in English and International Studies. Before joining the MAS, she took several internships in news agency, corporations, and non-governmental organizations. Besides, Fei also worked as a part-time interpreter and translator between Chinese and English.

Why Germany?

Actually HCA is the major reason I chose Germany to pursue my master’s degree. But the more I learned about this country, the more it attracts me by its fascinating culture, history, society and tradition.

Why Heidelberg?

The university stands as one of the oldest and the most prestigious universities worldwide, giving students precious opportunities to learn from excellent professors with outstanding schoolmates. Moreover, its multi-cultural environment is essential and conducive to the study and research in a culture-related program like American Studies. In addition, it will be great to spend a year in such a picturesque place!

Why American Studies?

The United States is a young yet successful country, and this program will help me understand its miracle of development. Besides, since it always plays the leading role in finding solutions to global problems, its related experience is very valuable for developing countries like China to learn.

Shenggu Chen

Chen, originally from Hainan Province, where he was born in 1985, moved on to Beijing to study English Literature and Culture at Beijing Jiaotong University. He was working as translator and language tutor before coming to the MAS.

Why Germany?
Located at the center of Europe, Germany , to a large extent, plays an irreplaceable role in the development of Western culture. Its quality of education is world-renowned. It is, unquestionably, an ideal place to pursue my MA Study and my interest in the German language.

Why Heidelberg ?
The American Studies program at the Heidelberg center for American Studies can provide me with the opportunity to study the American culture within a western context, an idea that excites me. The reputation of Uni Heidelberg is self-explanatory with its long history and distinctive academic excellence. I believe that the study experience in the Heidelberg University will be beneficial not only to the enlargement of my knowledgebase and the gaining of new perspectives but also to my future career as a medium for intercultural exchanges.

Why American Studies?
The United States is undoubtedly the only superpower in today’s world. In some countries, globalization, for a large part, means Americanization. Therefore, from a macro perspective, a comprehensive knowledge in American Studies will deepen my understanding of the American culture as well as its influence in the world. From a micro perspective, it may help offer me solutions in dealing with cultural matters.

Melanie Gish

Born in Sinsheim in 1976, Melanie received her B.A. in German from the University of Mannheim in 2003. She continued her education at the University of Waterloo ( Canada ) where she graduated in 2004 with a M.A. in German with a focus on Cultural and Film Studies. Melanie first worked as research assistant and then joined the Denver Public Library as Education Program Assistant before joining to the MAS.

Why Germany ?
I have spent the past 3.5 years in North America and I feel like stepping back and looking at my experiences from a distance. Being away from Germany helped me to understand its culture better; coming back and being away from America will help me see the things that I had missed while I was living here.

Why Heidelberg ?
The HCA seems like the finest place in Germany to study American Studies. The University is world famous for its first class academics and Heidelberg is also very close to where my family lives.

Why American Studies?
I would like to place my knowledge of and experience with the American culture in a broader context. I would like to learn more about America on a multidisciplinary level and from a critical international point of view. America is still playing the leading role in shaping the world of today. Having a better understanding of America will help me understand certain problems that occur on all levels of multinational interactions.

Gretchen Greywall

Originally from New Jersey, Gretchen went to the University of Massachusetts , Amherst , to receive her B.A. majoring in Political Science with a minor in German. Gretchen worked for Green Mountain Munchies and Camp Danbee before joining the MAS.

Why Germany ?
Because I have always had an interest in Germany , German culture, and German language. Attending a university in Germany , allows me to learn not only inside the classroom, but also to experience directly the German culture and language. It also gives me an opportunity to learn about my own culture (American) from an outside perspective…not just a German one, but an International one as well.

Why Heidelberg ?
I chose Heidelberg , because of the great experience I had studying here as an undergraduate. I fell in love with the history and the beauty of the University and city.

Why American Studies?
Because I am interested in working in International Relations. I want to understand my own culture at a deeper level, before interacting with other cultures.

Giles Daniel Harber

Born in 1978, in Kansas City, MissouriDan was raised in rural Kansas , second youngest in a large Catholic family. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a BA in Modern Western European History. Before joining the MAS, Dan traveled independently throughout various parts of the world.

Why Germany ?
For starters, when I began to travel outside the U.S., I was drawn to Germany because of my German heritage, and from there I established many lasting friendships that have brought me back through the years. Now that Germany is like a second home to me, it was only natural to explore the possibility of studying there. One also might accuse me of needing to work on my German language skills.

Why Heidelberg ?
If it was okay for Twain, then it’s okay for me. Honestly, having enjoyed living in Heidelberg years ago, I always had it in mind to return.

Why American Studies?
I decided on American Studies for a variety of reasons, but boiled down, I feel it is important that I have a well-rounded foundation of knowledge about my country of birth and its place in today’s world.

Kamila Janiszewska

Kamila, born in 1984, studied at the University of Vienna and Uniwersytet IM. Adama Mickiewwicza ( Poznan ) where she graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in English. Before joining the MAS, Kamila had trained as an English teacher.

Why Germany ?
I have been interested in Germany and its culture ever since my first trip to Berlin as a little girl. German sayings and idioms are witty and abstract and reflect the country’s rich folklore and sense of humor. I am happy that the year at the University of Heidelberg will make it possible for me to explore the diversity of German culture on a daily basis.

Why Heidelberg ?
The university is famous for its long tradition and academic excellence and the town for its picturesque setting. Having heard so much about them from friends and acquaintances, I am glad to have the chance to finally see Heidelberg not as a tourist who has only a fleeting experience of the ambience but a student who will be able to enjoy it and explore it for an extended period of time.

Why American Studies?
The MAS program is interesting and exceptional in that it brings together people from different parts of the world. Since European and American cultures do not exist in isolation but rather in a dynamic exchange, the MAS experience, I believe, offers a variety of perspectives on American Studies and an insight into the import and complexity of the factors which influence the object of study and the approaches towards it.

Gulchekhra Abutalibovna Makhkambaeva

Gulchekhra was born im Termez, Uzbekistan . She studied at Tashkent State University where she focused on languages and pedagogy. Gulchekhra worked as teacher at the Tashkent International School before she came to Heidelberg .

Why Germany ?
I have been to Germany once and fell in love with it. I have always wanted to go back for a longer period of time to be able to learn German and have more experiences. I am happy I can do it now.

Why Heidelberg ?
When I was a student at Tashkent State University , I took Foreign Literature Course and studied Heidelberg poets’ works, which are beautiful. Heidelberg had a big influence on their art, I guess. I am excited about going to Heidelberg to study more not only about America but also about German culture.

Why American Studies?
There are no Universities in Uzbekistan where students would be able to take an American Studies course while in some neighboring countries it is taught as a compulsory subject in universities. Though the relations between Uzbekistan and the US have deteriorated there is a real demand for such knowledge among people of our country and willingness to understand Americans as a nation and America as a country. So I consider this program as a rare chance to get a full course of American studies with the further aim of applying my experience into teaching and training.

Anja Milde

Anja was born in Weimar, Germany, in 1980. She received her B.A. in linguistics and communication sciences at the Erfurt University in 2003. Since fall 2003 she has been a student at Heidelberg University , majoring in history and art history. Before joining the MAS she spent a year at Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where she worked in the Office of International Programs assisting Trinity students in planning their study-abroad semester and wrote for the campus newspaper.

Why Germany ?
I love my country – and its bread! Moreover, I appreciate being close to my family and friends again.

Why Heidelberg ?
After having been abroad for one year, returning to Heidelberg is like coming home. I heart the city, and it’s the place where my friends are.

Why American Studies?
I especially want to explore the history, politics, and culture of the United States and the larger Americas from an interdisciplinary perspective. An extremely distinguished department, an environment replete with academic activity, and a program offering high quality courses are the factors that have motivated me to decide for the HCA ’s MAS program.

Esen Momunkulov

Esen was born in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, in 1978. In 1999 he spent a year at the University of Washington in Seattle as an exchange student. As for his professional experience he mostly worked for non-governmental and international organizations. For past 4 years he has worked for an American company that provides linguistic services for United States Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan .

Why Germany ?
Because this is a great opportunity for me to get my Masters degree and learn German at the same time. Besides, here are some more reasons for me to study in Germany : Mercedes-Benz, German punctuality, uncontested leader in the EU, October Fest., etc.

Why Heidelberg ?
I was looking for Masters degrees in Germany with instruction in English and I came across MAS 2008. It happened that I liked the program first and now having found out that the University of Heidelberg is one of the most prestigious universities in the world, it feels like I won a jackpot.

Why American Studies?
Well, America has been setting political, economic, military and informational agenda in the world for quite a while now. It is very sad to see how “dirty politicians” or “oligarchs” use America as a tool to achieve their materialistic goals. Nowadays America is loosing its great achievements in protecting human rights, respecting diversity, and being tolerant towards other nations and religions – all the things that made America unique. With the war in Iraq and elsewhere in the world, America is loosing its moral right to carry out any major humanitarian missions with its continuous disregard for international law. Although I believe that America could have done more for its security and spent less out of tax payers’ money if it promoted peace and carried out international humanitarian projects that were directed to eliminate poverty throughout the world. America could have used its best practices in bringing people from different backgrounds together within the framework of the United Nations. I would like to deepen my knowledge in American politics, economy, religion, culture, etc. because, truly, America is a very interesting and great nation that I believe will yet to contribute to peace and harmony in the world. I would like to pursue my career as a college professor at a prominent university specializing on American politics.

Joanna Peplińska

Joanna was born in Gdynia in 1982. She studied English Philology at Jagellonian University where she graduated in 2006. Before coming to the MAS, Joanna worked as a teacher in Krakow .

Why Germany ?
Thanks to a variety of programs and projects run by the German-Polish Youth Cooperation Foundation that I was lucky enough to participate in, I made friends with many young Germans, who have always encouraged me to come and study in Germany . In the past ten years I have visited Germany several times, also for longer periods, and my acquaintance and fascination with the German way of life has been gradually growing. I really cherish the German language, with its structure, melody and all its different dialects. Besides, I highly appreciate the unique German orientation towards order in all spheres of life. Last but not least, I really like German sweets.

Why Heidelberg ?
Mainly because the University of Heidelberg is regarded as one of the top universities in Germany and it offers an outstanding, interdisciplinary course of study which provides an excellent ground for my project. Furthermore, Heidelberg is a beautiful city, in which history and modernity combine to create an exceptional whole, which appeals to me very much.

Why American Studies?
The United States has always appeared to me as a multidimensional phenomenon that
captivated my imagination and intellect. One of my primary objects of interest during the studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków was American literature, particularly the literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. The semester spent at the University of Northern Iowa convinced me that the social and religious life of the American people is a subject equally interesting as American literature itself. Therefore, during my stay in Heidelberg , I would like to research American religious experience and the history of American religion.

Emanuelle Catherine N’na Sané

Having been a student in English and American Studies at the Cheick Anta Diop University of Dakar , Emanuelle received her Maîtrise in 2007. Emanuelle, born in Dakar in 1983, worked on “Spirituality and the Image of God in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple” before joining the MAS.

Why Germany ?
To profit from the academic environment of first-class universities with an outside perspective on the subject and to keep improving my German.
I have always been interested in learning new languages as well as coming in touch with foreign cultures and peoples. English and German are just the two foreign languages I favor the most thus Germany looks like the perfect place, for me, where I can exercise both languages.
Moreover during my last year’s stay in Germany I got so many friends, the true and good ones one would like to keep forever so that now I am longing and looking very forward to see them again.

Why Heidelberg ?
The good reputation of Germany’s oldest university, which stands as one of the most prestigious universities worldwide, together with the location of the university and the city itself in a green setting enhanced my wish to study in Germany . In addition, the HCA is affiliated to Heidelberg University and brings together students from various backgrounds. This international atmosphere combined to a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum is very appealing and attractive.
Furthermore, the city is not so far from Mannheim, Frankfurt , or Goettingen where my friends live.

Why American Studies?
For many years, I have been involved in the field and come to find it more and more interesting.
Since high school, I have been learning English. However, American civilization I had no idea about, and did not even know there was one out of what I could see on the screen or in the street: “hamburgers, cinema and jeans”!.
Once at the university I have continued studying the subject and discovered an unknown but fascinating world I wanted to investigate. Then I majored in American literature and civilization to deepen my knowledge of the people. I think this one-year study at the HCA will provide me with the required skills I need in my future career to be helpful to my country. I enjoyed the opportunity to widen my knowledge in many fields: religious studies, one I come to be familiar with while writing my thesis but also literature and history.

Juste Šimelyte

Juste was born in Lithuania in 1983. In June 2007 she received her degree from the Law Faculty at Vilnius University . Previous to the MAS, Juste worked as legal consultant in the Vilnius University Law Clinic where she offered pro bono legal advice.

Why Germany ?
My interest in studying in Germany was determined for many reasons. Firstly, I value the fact that Germany combines the rich cultural heritage with intellectual innovations. A twelve-month program would give me an opportunity to deepen my acquaintance with German traditions and culture, to improve my German language skills. A good knowledge of a foreign language such as German is important for a professional lawyer: in today’s world the knowledge of at least several most used foreign languages is the necessity. I also want to deepen my knowledge of the German language and where else would it be more suitable than in Germany ?

Why Heidelberg ?
The spring semester of 2006 I studied as Erasmus student in the oldest German University – Ruprecht – Karls Universität Heidelberg. My memories about the studies in this University are warm. It is not only because of the democratic and simultaneously innovative academic methods that were being used in Heidelberg University , but also because of the wonderful opportunities for studies (a huge fund of books in the spectacular University library, wireless Internet, comfortable hostels, etc). The cosmopolitan atmosphere supplements the cosiness of Heidelberg : over 3.5 mln. people from all over world visit Heidelberg every year.
It is difficult to forget the spectacular castle of Heidelberg , the old Bridge, plenty of architectural monuments, museums and places of visit. Studying in Heidelberg is a pleasure: what could inspire more for research work than the time spent with a book by the river Neckar , which opens a wonderful view to the old town and mountains?

Why American Studies?
The structure of this program, methods of teaching, wide opportunities for students in choosing subjects and the interdisciplinary manner of these studies helped me to make my decision in my postgraduate academic activity. American studies at the Heidelberg center for American studies offer not only theory: students are introduced to transatlantic institutions and miscellaneous seminars are organized. I also find American studies highly valuable for my future. After graduation of this program I would like to seek a PhD. I am convinced that studies in such a world class institution and international experience would be peculiarly valuable to such a country of developing democracy as Lithuania . Furthermore, American studies would not only deepen my knowledge I already have, but it would be a great source of further knowledge and inestimable intercultural experience which I find essential for my professional and personal development.

Polina Sitkevich

Polina, born in 1985, studied at the University of New Mexico and graduated in 2007 from St. Petersburg Herzen Pedagogical University with a specialization in English. She worked as fitness instructor before joining the MAS.


Why Germany ?
I heard Germany is a wonderful country. I’m also very interested in learning more about German culture and way of life. Besides, spending a year in Germany would be a wonderful chance to work on my German.

Why Heidelberg ?
First I got interested in the program Heidelberg was offering. Then I found out more about Heidelberg was really impressed. I can’t wait to start classes. Studying in such a place is absolutely enriching experience. I’m also excited to be a part of international community.

Why American Studies?
After staying in America for a year I got an insight into culture of this fascinating country. When I learned about this program I decided that would be interesting and beneficial to see America from European perspective. Therefore, I want to engage in American Studies with students from all over the world. Nowadays America plays a very important role in the world and I feel that I need to learn more about the U.S.

Alicia Christine Talbot

Alicia Talbot was born in Ann Arbor Michigan, USA . She grew up going to schools in both France and in the United States . She attended several universities including one in Oviedo Spain . She graduated in 2007, with a B.A in history with a minor in anthropology from Michigan State University . During her study at University she volunteered at a Respiratory Camp hosted by University of Michigan’s Mott’s Children’s Hospital, and has done volunteer projects for Volunteers for Peace in Spain and Italy.


Why Germany ?
I had visited Germany years ago and liked the culture and geography, but I really grew to love both Germany and its people while living in Wiesloch last fall. I really enjoyed the many German festivals and cultural activities that I was fortunate enough to participate in and the friends I made. I would also like to continue working on improving my German skills.

Why Heidelberg ?
Heidelberg is a beautiful town, and I really enjoyed the University atmosphere as well as the many Historical sites. I came to know Heidelberg while living near-by and truly missed it when I had to return to the United States .

Why American Studies?
I decided to attend the HCA program, as I wanted a graduate program that would be international, both in student and faculty population that would encourage students towards interdisciplinary studies. I think that given the current situation politically, economically and culturally in today’s world it is extremely important to have a foundation of knowledge of the world’s super powers, as they have an immense effect on what happens around the world.

Annie Wan-Lin Tsai

Born in Taiwan in 1984, Annie received her B.A. from the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology in 2007 where she was a member of the Buddhist Club, the Flute Club and a Volunteer at the Yunlin International Puppet Festival 2006.


Why Germany ?
I was once a German major. Therefore, I want to master German. Studying in Germany is a good way to improve my German proficiency. What is more, nowadays German universities offer international degree programs taught in English. Therefore, I can improve my English ability as well by joinging in an international degree program.
In this way, I will be able to master two foreign languages and become more competent.

Why Heidelberg ?
I decided to go to University of Heidelberg because the university has a good reputation. Furthermore, many people told me that Heidelberg is really a beautiful city. Once you are there, you will love the city. So I think I must live in Heidelberg for a while since I get this chance!

Why American Studies?
I’ve been learning English for almost ten years. English is the official language of the United States . Moreover, the U.S. is the strongest country in the world now. Thus, I desire to get a deep view about this country.

Emma Le Yu

Emma was born in Xuyi ( Jiangsu Province ) in 1983. She graduated from the University of Science and Technology of Suzhou in 2005 and moved on to work in Shenzhen before joining the MAS.


Why Germany ?
I believe in “made in Germany ”. Germans generally have high expectations of the quality of their products, their life, as well as their education. My work experience in a German company and the good business and cultural relationships between China and Germany convinced me that it is valuable to enjoy further studies in this country.

Why Heidelberg ?
I know that I won’t regret choosing this university. Heidelberg University has a rich history that I always admired a lot. In China we have a saying “A good college will benefit you for your whole life”. I love the upcoming experience – that living in a city full of students, without which, who can say “I used to be a student”? Another point is, the service of students admissions in the HCA is so good that they shouldn’t lose any student they’ve chosen.

Why American Studies?
Having majored in English language, I acquainted myself with American history and culture long ago. After 2 years working in the business world, I realise what an important role the USA is playing on the world stage. So I’m quite interested in a deeper study of this nation.

Cassie Lin Zhang

Cassie Zhang Lin was born in Fuyang ( Anhui Province ) in 1982. In 2005 she received her B.A. in English from Shandong University . Before joining the MAS, Cassie worked as trainer for ReSource Pro ( Qingdao ), developing and delivering training on American Insurance Knowledge. Cassie is interested in enhancing cross-cultural communication and she holds an official Qualification Certificate of Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.


Why Germany ?
My Friends in Germany told me “It is a good place to pursue further study. If you come, you won’t regret.”

Why Heidelberg ?
Heidelberg is the place where Goethe lost his heart. Besides, I can enjoy the pride of being a student at the oldest university in Germany . Excellent reputation can guarantee high quality of teaching and learning.

Why American Studies
I am interested in the course topics. It is one year. I can know classmates from different nations. So, right program in right time with right people.

Yinyin Zhang

Yinyin was born in Tianjin in 1985. In 2007 she received her B.A. from Beijing International Studies University (The Second Foreign Language University Beijing ). Iris majored in Chinese Language and Literature. During her studies she worked as a teacher in the MEA Language Center and served as an interpreter and coordinator during various international, cultural, and political activities.


Why Germany ?
In the whole world, “ Germany ” is a sign of reliable quality of products, the most modern science and technology and the serious academic attitude. These are the most valuable merits which the most developing countries should follow. To study in Germany is the best way to study Germany and German, which helps me introduce these merits to my own country.

Why Heidelberg ?
The first thing I knew about Germany when I was a child was not the beer, the football team or the history, but the University of Heidelberg . There were so many beautiful stories about this University and the city, which impressed me for almost 20 years. University Heidelberg occupies a holy place in my heart. What’s more my German friends told me that Heidelberg is a very small, quiet but beautiful city. I was born and grew up in Tianjin and later on study in Beijing . For 22 years I’ve been living in big cities with crowds and noise. I need a peaceful place to rest my heart. Heidelberg is just perfect for me. Therefore I didn’t consider applying for any other universities but Heidelberg .

Why American Studies?
As it is the newest institute of University Heidelberg , it interests me with the possible modern ideas and ways of analyzing a country and its society. I’m interested in cultural studies for many years and I want to start my study on “cultural globalization of America ”. Therefore I chose to study at the HCA .

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Latest Revision: 2016-09-28
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