Posted by: SSU Lingua Franca | November 24, 2014

Salem States Launches a New Study Abroad Program in Germany

Salem States Launches a New Study Abroad Program in Germany

By J. Douglas Guy, WLC

On November 3 Salem State University and Universität Mannheim signed a memorandum of understanding starting an exchange program between the two universities. For the first time, SSU students will have a chance to study in Germany for a four-week summer term, a semester or an entire school year, complete course work in English in a number of departments and also pursue German-language study while earning SSU credits toward graduation.

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Ana-Sofia Commichau from the Universität Mannheim

Interim Provost Amie Marks Goodwin (left) and Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello (right) prepare to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Ana-Sofia Commichau from the Universität Mannheim.  Among other exchanges, this agreement will permit students learning German to study in Germany for a summer, a semester, or a full year.

Interim Provost Amie Marks Goodwin (left) and Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello (right) prepare to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Ana-Sofia Commichau from the Universität Mannheim.  Among other exchanges, this agreement will permit students learning German to study in Germany for a summer, a semester, or a full year.

Prof. Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello was instrumental in making the initial connections with Mannheim’s department of American Studies.  SSU students can take American studies courses in Mannheim as well as a huge variety of humanities, social science, business, language and informational science courses, all of them taught in English, and pay no more than the regular Salem State tuition.  For language students interested in acquiring or expanding their German, this is a golden opportunity.  Even rank beginners can start learning German in Germany, and those who have completed course work here can explore the many opportunities for building strong intermediate to advanced level skills and doing advanced work in German literature, culture and history.  Students normally complete six credit courses over the space of a semester.  Outstanding performance is credited with A grades on the transcript while lesser performances are not included in the GPA.  Coursework completed in German language courses can count toward the World Language major.  Students who have completed the GER 201/202 sequence at Salem State can earn a German minor with the completion of three upper-level courses in Mannheim.

Mannheim is the second largest city in the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany with a population of about 300,000.  It is located between the Rhine and Neckar rivers in the town where the automobile was invented, close to vineyards and the famous university town of Heidelberg.  It is roughly one hour away from the French border, making it a great jump-off point for exploring Europe. The university itself is centrally located in downtown Mannheim, housed in a massive Baroque palace.

Universität Mannheim has adjusted its academic year to accommodate Salem State students and make it possible to spend one semester abroad and get back to Salem in time for the next semester.  Whereas German students usually start their classes in October, courses for Salem State students will run from the end of August to January and end of February to June.  Students who spend the entire year have far more opportunity to explore the curricular offerings, get to know German students and build their proficiency in German, not to mention traveling around the area. Students can also take a four-week summer program in Mannheim in the month of August.  Financial aid for Salem State can be used for this program with the approval of the financial aid office, and the cost of the entire program in Mannheim is significantly less than other study abroad programs.

Anyone who is interested in the study abroad program in Mannheim for 2015 or beyond should contact the Center for International Education as soon as possible, and no later than the semester before traveling aboard.  Students with specific questions about Universität Mannheim can contact the program coordinator there, Ana-Sofie Commichau, at a.commichau@phil.uni-mannheim.de.  For a one-on-one conversation SSU students can contact Dr. Donald Ross in the Center for International Education, Prof. Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello in American Studies or study abroad coordinator Prof. Fatima Serra in the World Languages and Cultures department.

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