Rachel Berkowitz, Level 4
BA, Comparative Literature, University of Chicago
After receiving a Fulbright grant to teach English in Austria, Rachel Berkowitz had to face her biggest language-related fear. "My German was pretty good," she says, "but I was terrified to talk to people, especially native German speakers."
Middlebury provided everything necessary to enable Rachel to express herself with confidence. "The academic atmosphere is very rigorous, but also relaxed," she says. "It's a great environment to practice speaking and it's safe to make mistakes." Rachel also notes that Middlebury has prepared her to pass the language proficiency exams she needs to pursue graduate study at a German university.
Edoth Mukasa, Level 1.5
Ph.D. Candidate, Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity, University of Notre Dame
Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Edoth Mukasa came to the U.S. to pursue his studies in theology. Notre Dame's Ph.D. program demands competence in two modern languages, and Edoth decided on German for its importance in the scholarly writing of his field. "Although my needs were oriented toward proficiency for graduate work, I chose Middlebury because I wanted to develop my skills beyond the immediate departmental requirement."
Discussing why he feels the Middlebury approach works so well, Edoth underlines the significance of the Language Pledge in creating a constant learning environment. "The Pledge is so effective because it facilitates endless opportunities for practice. It's helped me to achieve my goals and make my summer a success, and I've enjoyed every minute."