Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 1:04pm
By:
Alan Flurry

A virtual exchange between an American and a German peer, the summer term of the UGA Linguistics / Germanic & Slavic Studies exchange program with the University of Hannover, Germany began May 20.

As an additional opportunity to work on their German language skills, returning UGA exchange participants and other students who are interested can sign up for the Skype/Zoom Tandem program, which is offered twice a year, once toward the end of the fall semester and again in the summer, immediately following the UGA spring semester. UGA students are paired up with Hannover students to practice their German and English, respectively, by discussing a number of suggested topics during three to five 90-minute Skype/Zoom sessions. One half of the session is spent speaking German, and the other half is spent speaking English, so that the native speaker can help the foreign language learner improve their speaking level. 

A terrific learning opportunity for students of both universities, the virtual exchange grew out of the actual Linguistics exchange program UGA has with the University of Hannover.

On the German side, the exchange is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service, and the program is coordinated by UGA associate professor of Linguistics Vera Lee-Schoenfeld with her German research collaborator Dr. Gabriele Diewald. 

"This virtual exchange program is a great way for students to improve their German skills in a real-life setting without the commitment and costs that come with an actual study abroad program," Lee-Schoenfeld said. "One of the UGA tandem exchange participants from the fall semester says she's still in touch with her assigned peer now a half a year later, but she enjoyed the tandem sessions so much that she signed up to be partnered with an additional peer from the University of Hannover this summer. The more opportunities to practice her German, the better!"

More information on the virtual exchange program is available here.