by Tony Moore
The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarships provide funding to students interested in studying or pursuing research in Germany, but only 16 percent of applicants end up with one. The low number of grants given and the prestige attached to landing a DAAD have earned the scholarship comparisons to the Fulbrights.
And next year, three Dickinson students are on their way to Bremen by way of various parts of Germany, DAADs in hand.
“As soon as I finished reading [the acceptance letter], I left a message for all my family members and friends and stormed to the German department office to notify all my professors and advisors,” says Santiago Princ ’16, who will further his studies in computer science, mathematics and German culture at the University of Bremen.
The grant provides each student—all going overseas through the William G. and Elke Durden Dickinson Program in Germany—with about $900 per month while in Germany and additional financial help with travel costs. Ezra Sassaman ’16 says he feels lucky to be one of the recipients but adds that luck takes a backseat to preparation and a great support system when it comes to securing a DAAD.
“I think about how many people helped me along the way,” says the German major, who will take a language course at the University of Bamberg in August before going to Bremen in the fall. “My advisor, German faculty members, my friends at Dickinson, former DAAD recipients and the writing center staff all played a role in my successful application, and I am very thankful to all these people.”
Sarah McGaughey, associate professor and chair of German and scholarship advisor, says that not only is earning the DAAD an accomplishment in its own right, but simply preparing for it through the rigorous application process makes students’ trips come to life more fully before they ever leave the U.S.
“The great advantage of this scholarship program is that students get an early start on thinking about how to make their abroad experience an academically rich one,” she says. “All three made contacts with schools and mentors as they wrote their applications. Thus, they have begun the work of exploring a research project that can now become a reality.”
Katie Mooradian ’16 is a psychology and German double major who will begin her stay with a monthlong language-intensive course at the University of Freiburg. Like Sassaman, she found that her support system served as a launch pad.
“I have felt so blessed by the resources provided to me by the German department at Dickinson,” she says, “especially the phenomenal professors who are constantly challenging me to push my capabilities, which has led to wonderful results, such as the DAAD scholarship, that I never could have achieved without them.”
Published May 8, 2014