Taught by Andrea Fieler
Topics in culture and language of German-speaking countries.
- Professor Andrea Fieler
Having the Mayerson student philanthropy experience tie into and be a part of our course has really helped to connect with the material along with giving real and necessary context beyond the classroom walls. With the opportunity to meet with these non-profits I was able to better understand the work that these non-profits are offering as well as understand refugee situations better, also about what gets told and what is left out. - Student Isabella Bonner
I had a truly great and rewarding experience advocating for our chosen non-profit as well as learning about various other organizations across Germany. It was very interesting to learn about the various needs that are being met by our different organizations, which all serve to help refugees in the end. It was especially valuable doing a Zoom meeting in German with a representative from our organization. - Student Ashley Mullins
The opportunity to meet with my organization over Zoom helped me to gain a more in-depth picture of all the work and effort that keeps nonprofits running. The Zoom meeting also helped me to better understand the various needs of refugees, which was a topic that was closely tied with theme of the course. It was also great to personally meet with someone who worked for the nonprofit and see how she devotes her time to the greater good of her community. Knowing that the organization couldn’t run without its 200+ volunteers helps motivate me to think about ways I can help my own community. - Student Grace Bradtmueller
A Mayerson project helps make a class relevant and it provides scenarios to utilize skills learned in the classroom. As a German language and culture student, I was forced by the project to research German websites and email and interview a German non-profit. In class, we have been learning about the German immigrants and refugees who had come to the United States. Through the Mayerson project, we have learned how Germans are helping refugees today and we are able to help them get funding. By participating in a Mayerson project, I have used my language skills outside of the classroom, deepened my understanding about German culture and history in the past and in the present, and prepared myself to help others in the future. - Student Peter Finke
The Mayerson project was a wonderful experience for me, it connected me with modern problems on a level I had never in the past. The ability to help with some of the pressing issues I see in the news made it all the more personal. Getting the chance to speak with people who are directly involved with helping refugees in Europe was massive, as we all know of the refugee crisis, but speaking with people involved in it made me care on a personal level. By the time of the presentation, I genuinely cared about the topic and doing my best as I had the chance to make a genuine effect on the issue. - Student Jackson Lehrter:
Overall, this experience was very unique, and never did I think I would participate in a project like this in an academic setting. With that being said, the project was most definitely worthwhile. The project promoted stepping outside of my comfort zone, especially when speaking with the non-profits over zoom, which while a bit scary at first made me feel much more confident with my communication skills. In the end, the project was one of the most rewarding experiences in my academic career. - Student Stephen Brueggen
I am very grateful to have participated in this project, and I'm thankful that it has allowed me to grow my language learning skills and confidence, not only in speaking, but also interacting with the world in general. It was wonderful to connect with others over zoom meetings as well as to just learn that people are very different, but they are much more alike. - Student Gionna Bannister
I learned many interesting things related to my German Immigration class while participating in the Mayerson Project. The refugee crisis in Europe began in 2015 with immigrants coming mostly from Syria and other middle eastern countries. Germany has developed a system to assist immigrants in adapting to their new lives that includes many non-profit organizations providing services to this vulnerable population. Funds for services are provided by the government and by private donations. Our group focused on the psychological needs of refugees coming to Germany seeking asylum. The organization we were able to work with, MFH Bochum, provides medical, social and therapy services to refugees while actively promoting human rights. Also, they are one of only three organizations within all of Germany that specialize in providing psychotherapy to victims of torture. Because of what I learned about MFH Bochum through my Mayerson experience, I am choosing to personally support MFH Bochum in their essential work as they deal with yet another wave of immigrants now coming from the Ukraine. - Student Barb Kruza
"Anyone who flees has good reasons for it. This is especially true for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people who have experienced persecution and violence from their state, family or society in their countries of origin. In 70 countries around the world, the lives of LGBTI persons are in danger. After their arrival in Germany, the flight is not over for many LGBTI persons. […] In support of the refugee LGBTI persons, a whole series of initiatives have been set up by the queer scene, as well as by other social actors throughout Germany, providing psycho-social counselling, meeting space and accompaniment of refugee LGBTI persons during the asylum procedure. More and more refugee LGBTI persons are becoming part of these initiatives or forming their own first refugee self-help structures."
For more information, https://www.queer-refugees.de/en/