Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Zoological Garden area in Berlin

Lily, UIC B.A. in Germanic Studies and LCLC Peer Tutor, 2020

My language story began when I was a second-year student at UIC, with a major in Biological Sciences. To fulfill my language requirement, I wanted to try something new and interesting; I had already taken Spanish at my high school, so I decided to branch out into something completely different: German.

Within the first few lectures in GER 101, I was hooked. I found myself falling in love with the German language and its complexities – to me, that is the best thing about a language. Learning a language has always been an exciting challenge for me, and something about German really drew me in.

My grandfather spoke near-fluent German, and being able to talk with him in German, especially during his twilight years, was very important to both him and myself. I think of German as a language rich in history and cultural remembrance. My favorite word in German is “Vergangenheitsbewältigung”: overcoming of the past. I reflect on that word a lot as I proceed through my German coursework; German was the piece of the puzzle I was so worried about never finding.

German is my passion. I reflect on the person I was in GER 101, both in terms of language learner and as an individual. Since 101, I have grown as a learner and an individual. Since my days in 101, I changed my major to Germanic Studies, and also spent a semester abroad in Berlin – something I never thought I would be brave or courageous enough to do. But I did, and it remains as one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had.

I became a German Peer Tutor here at UIC because I wanted to help others facilitate love for a language, especially one that’s not commonly chosen in college. Most people who take German WANT to take German – I want to make sure people continue to want to learn the language, even if it gets hard. Help is always available – I don’t want people to give up on a language that could become their passion because they didn’t understand something.

You never know where your language will take you, but I guarantee it’ll take you to places you never even considered.