This past Thursday I attended my first ever German club meeting. A group of individuals eager to work on German language skills meets every week at the Second Wind Coffee shop. There is always someone from the language department to guide the conversations in a general direction, although side conversations are certainly still encouraged.
This past meeting we had two teaching assistants from the German department attend to lead the meeting. One was an American girl who has mastered German after extensive exposure to the German language and culture during her numerous study abroad experiences. The other was a native Austrian who was helpful and encouraging to all the members in attendance. We began with simple introductions and then broke into a casual time of chatting and coffee-sipping.
I personally spoke in German with the American teaching assistant, specifically telling her about my German language background. I spent approximately two and a half years attending a German international school in California. Before this amazing experience, I was very limited in my German communication abilities. However, now I am fluent in the language (although it is quite a bit rusty as I haven’t had the chance to speak to a German every day since middle school). I told her about my plan to use my German knowledge to study abroad in Germany for a semester next year.
My next short conversation was with an individual who had gone to the Technical University of Berlin to study and live. He was sponsored by the American Fulbright program. Only having been at OU for two months, I have already met quite a few individuals who have had experiences with Fulbright. I am now even more excited about applying for the program my senior year as a Global Engagement fellow.
Overall, the meeting was another great experience as part of my international experience here at OU. In fact, one of the main factors in choosing OU as a university was the availability of many opportunities organized by the university for students. OU is all about making sure all its students gain a global exposure in all aspects of their respective fields. As a new member of the Stammtisch, I am glad to be a part a unique opportunity to refresh my German. It is also great that I get to talk to others about pretty much anything in an entirely different language. I think anyone with any remote interest in German should join as each meeting offers something for language learners of all skill levels!