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Kristen, Amy, and Tyler

Kristen, '08

KristenI was an International Relations and German double major.

I interned at World Relief in public aid and with family reunification immigration programs during the summer of 2008. During the fall and winter I returned to the Philadelphia area and volunteered in refugee resettlement through Lutheran Children and Family Services.

Next year I will be teaching in a private language school in Seoul, South Korea.

Amy, '00

AmyI graduated from Wheaton in 2000, with a double major in German and Political Science and a minor in Bible.

I'm currently self-employed as a grantwriting consultant for nonprofits. I live in Raleigh, NC, but I accept clients from all over the country. I have a JD and have interned in organizations in London, Geneva, Washington, D.C., and Iowa City. I have also worked as the director of a nonprofit based in Raleigh, NC. As a result, I have had the opportunity to work with such topics as religion and diplomacy; corporate social responsibility; child labor; gender issues in Germany; the right to work and property rights in Africa; orphan care and adoption.

I have formally studied French and Spanish and informally studied Russian and Korean. I initially chose to study German because my grandmother is German, and I am fascinated by the cultural and historical significance of the country. Because of my German Mennonite heritage, I have a number of German-speaking relatives, and I have become the family ambassador to those based in Paraguay and Germany.

However, I decided to make German my major because of its importance in the business, legal, and human rights fields. Even though I do not use my German in my current profession, it has helped me tremendously since graduation, and I never plan on abandoning it completely. Learning about another culture and IN another language is invaluable. My knowledge of church and world history, as well as business and politics, acquired a much greater depth than my peers because I studied it in German, in Germany. I have an additional level of understanding of outstanding literature and poetry, and even of the Bible, because I have read them in German. I have worked and traveled in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America, and I have used my German to make connections in each of these regions.

In short, I believe majoring in German is one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.


TylerI work at Teavana in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a tea salesperson.

A knowledge of German is helpful in the world of tea; the tea auction in Hamburg is one of the biggest tea auctions in the world. In fact, Germany procures the most first flush Darjeeling teas of any other country the world, these teas are considered by some to be the best black teas available (they're certainly the most expensive due to low supply and high demand.) The monetary value of Germany's tea industry is the same as Britain's, but because Germany drinks one-seventh the amount tea that Britain does, the value of tea consumed in Germany is seven times that of tea consumed in Britain. All of this leads a professional tea man like myself to have great respect for Germany, in addition to all other sources of respect for this great country.

I also work at a resort called Camp-of-the-Woods during the summers playing music in the 33 piece one-or-two-steps-below-professional orchestra, and a small and exciting jazz combo.

Occasionally I find customers who can speak German, and it's very enjoyable to chat with them in German. Also, I've been reading some German poetry from Goethe; his poem entitled "Sehnsucht" has inspired a literary renaissance in my life, and it's wonderful!