Germany From the Inside

Helen Schlimm

Helen Schlimm '17, seen here on a favorite street in Bremen, enjoys her German environs.

Prestigious DAAD scholarship helps Helen Schlimm ’17 enhance her time abroad

by Tony Moore 

For students looking to study in Germany, it’s hard to beat landing a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship. The DAAD brings with it about $900 per month, plus travel expenses, and prestige comparable to that of a Fulbright Award (only 28 undergraduate DAADs were awarded this year)—and Helen Schlimm ’17 recently became Dickinson’s latest recipient.

“I’ve been interested in studying abroad in Germany ever since I started taking the language in ninth grade to connect with my family heritage,” the environmental science major says, noting that Dickinson’s global studies program was a big part of her decision to attend. “And the scholarship has opened a whole range of new and exciting study and travel opportunities for me to capitalize on!”

Schlimm, who is already in Germany as part of the Dickinson in Bremen program, has those opportunities mapped out.

“I always knew I wanted to better my German skills in the mother country, so applying to Bremen was an easy decision and the ultimate language immersion experience,” says Schlimm, who has plans to visit friends in England and Switzerland over the holidays. “Also, this country is on the forefront of the sustainable energy and environmentally conscious lifestyle movements, which is fascinating to observe, study and compare.”

As any DAAD recipient will mention, and Dickinson has had its fair share, taking full advantage of the support system in place on campus is an essential part of the process.

“The German department, especially [associate professor of German] Sarah McGaughey, helped me immensely,” Schlimm says. “She spent many weeks giving helpful advice and writing critiques, and I’m grateful for all of her time and patience.”

Schlimm is taking a full set of courses for the year at the Universität Bremen, a large research and technical university, in both environmental science and German studies, and she's studying freshwater resources. She’s also looking for internship or research opportunities in climate change research in the North Sea area.

“My ambitious hope is to spend time in every country that borders Germany,” Schlimm says. “I love being outdoors, hiking, kayaking, etc., and I'm excited to see and get lost in the natural beauty of this part of the world!”

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Published November 30, 2015