An update from Keven Buh, freshman German major in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures:

“Listening to Dutch, German, and a little bit of Italian music in high school got me interested in learning other languages. I took Spanish for two years in high school, but I was not all that interested in it so I took German and really enjoyed it. My high school teacher was very fun and inspiring, and it is interesting to be able to communicate with other people around the world in their native languages.

Life as an Illinois State language student is good. The teachers are always willing to help outside of class. Currently, I am considering either tutoring or working in a German restaurant. Last semester I went to the Stammtisch (regular’s table) with the German club. It was fun to get to know other students who are learning German, to talk with teachers and the graduate student from Germany.

The classes in the language program have been interesting to me. At this point I have only taken German 115 and 116 with class sizes of about 20 people. There was a lot of partner work in 115, but in 116 we have projects which students can demonstrate their passion about certain areas of Germany.

I like several things about majoring in a foreign language: the class sizes are small and the professors care about you as an individual while willing to help you become successful. The professors also have a great sense of humor and appear to enjoy teaching at the college level. At Illinois State, I am allowed to study something I am very passionate about. The program at the university is very good, keeps my interest, and my classes have friendly students who have a good general knowledge of German history.

I have hosted two German exchange students (at the same time) with Sister Cities program in West Chicago and last summer I visited three separate families in three separate villages that I met through the program. I attended school in the village of Taufkirchen for a day and split my time with two of the students. The teachers at their school were very kind to me (many of them tried to speak English) and it was interesting to observe their classes to see how they run their classes differently than classes in the United States. I plan to study abroad during my junior year and hope to go to Paderborn, Germany, for at least one semester focusing on business classes. I hope to be able to stay with a local family to better immerse myself into the culture while I am there.

I am not exactly sure what my vocation will ultimately be at this time, but I would like to live in a German-speaking country. I know I can do a lot with the addition of an international business major so I have plenty of options. I am considering obtaining a teaching certificate after my undergraduate studies are completed and may consider a master’s in translation or linguistics.”