MLCS Honors student testimonial

John Evjen Honors Student German Courses University of Alberta


Name: John Evjen


Honors (German) student in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (MLCS).- Class 2018

What has been your favourite course so far?

I really enjoyed MLCS 399 "Revolting Bodies," a seminar taught by Dr. Reisa Klein. She did a great job of curating all the texts.

What do you like about MLCS in general?

I like the fact that MLCS is so interdisciplinary featuring not only language, but also literature, film, cultural studies and that it gives you lots of opportunity to practice the relevant skills that you're learning.

What inspired you to want to study a foreign language and its culture?

I first considered pursuing an Education degree in music, but in high school I signed up for a German exchange program. I was accepted and attended school in Wiesbaden while living with a German family. That experience fostered in me a love for the German language and culture.

Have you had any memorable experiences you'd like to share?

I was asked by Dr. Smith and Dr. Stuhlmann to run the German Film Series and I was ecstatic when they asked me. I am in charge of the logistical side of things and I get to choose all the films in consultation with Dr. Stuhlmann. I love getting involved because I can start applying the material I'm learning. I'm also on the MLCS Curriculum Committee, which provides me with another learning opportunity.

How do you see foreign language study as being beneficial for a career?

I think that mastering a foreign language is a very unique skill and brings with it many transferable skills as well; e.g. the ability to analyze things, critical thinking, and problem solving.

What do you do for fun in your free time?

I like music, swimming, cooking; basically I'm attracted to things that are challenging. I don't like being static or sitting around and doing nothing.

Do you have any advice to give potential/current students?

Work hard and don't be afraid to develop personal connections, i.e. meet with professors and ask questions and be willing to make mistakes. The connections you make during your time as a student can create opportunities and become helpful later on.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.