Modern Languages and Cultural Studies

Shannon Coyne

“I received a full 6 credits of 400 level German in 6 weeks!”

Shannon Coyne
Degree: BA Double Major Political Science & German Language and Literature (Graduated November 2018)

Where did you go, how long and what did you do abroad?

I was fortunate enough to participate in two study abroad experiences during my degree. The first was a study exchange in Tübingen, Germany for 5 months in 2016. Then at the very end of my degree, I participated in CSSG (Canadian Summer School in Germany) in Kassel, Germany. CSSG arranged for students to live with a German host family for 6 weeks while receiving intensive German language education - I received a full 6 credits of 400 level German in 6 weeks!

What is something that you will never forget about your stay abroad?

During my first few days alone in Tübingen, I learned how much I rely on the relationships with people around me. It was the first time I was actually alone. It was a tough lesson, but once I made friends in my first day of classes, I was much happier. I met such extraordinary people and the memories we created together are precious. I know now that wherever I am, I need to build a community. I’ll never forget this because I proved to myself that I can overcome hard situations. Whenever I am nervous about an obstacle now, whether it’s in my career or personal life, I think back to that first weekend on my exchange. It’s empowering to know that I can persevere.

Why should students go on exchange?

Studying or working abroad shows that you can do anything, anywhere. It teaches students that they can be independent, resourceful, and take on new challenges. These are essential qualities to have in the workforce (and in life)!
While I was on exchange, I learned to direct my own life. I came back to the University of Alberta braver and took risks academically, professionally, and personally. It changed my outlook on my education, career, and future. I dream big now!