Study Abroad


Sakiko Mitsumizo

I spent my junior year studying at the University of Cologne. The reason why I wanted to study abroad was that in my freshman and sophomore year courses in the German Department, while developing my language skills, I was also deepening my awareness of issues related to the German-speaking countries. I had the idea that I would like to conduct research together with local faculty and students at a German university on the theme of “What impact does Germany’s history have on its current political stances?” To actually take classes at the University of Cologne, give oral presentations, read the literature, and write essays—all in German—was really difficult, but because I had been placing priority on practicing not only listening comprehension and speaking, but also reading and writing before I did my year abroad, I was able to stand up to the challenge. It was an extremely valuable experience in that by the end of my year abroad I was able to go beyond just improving my language skills and in fact use that to step up to the next stage and do research in my field of expertise.