Students from Connecticut, who plan to study at a university in BW, teamed up with one or two students from Connecticut’s German partner universities, who plan to come to the U.S. in the near future. The groups have been meeting on a weekly basis throughout the spring semester and discuss topics related to their respective home and host countries and academic systems. The goal is to prepare each other for the study abroad experience by sharing insider knowledge, as well as some of the do’s and don’ts, thereby increasing excitement about the upcoming adventure.
Student Reflections from Kim & Aaron
Kim Keller, University of Heidelberg
I can say – with absolute certainty – that I am lucky to have the chance to participate in this Tandem Project connecting incoming and outgoing students. I am from Heidelberg in Germany and fortunate enough to have been accepted to UConn for the Spring. In August of 2022, I am planning on graduating in psychology after having spent a semester at UConn.
Very fittingly, I got matched with a partner who is coming to Heidelberg soon and also majoring in psychology. This gave us the opportunity to exchange tips not only on where to live, to eat or to spend free time, but also discuss which psychology courses are the best and unique. Originally, that was one of the most important reasons why I wanted to study abroad: to take courses that Heidelberg simply does not offer.
In addition to being matched with the perfect partner, I was able to learn so much about the U.S. and its way of life, especially among students. Now I feel much better prepared to go to a foreign country all by myself. Some of the differences I learned about did not even occur to me beforehand, so it was extremely helpful to be able to ask “stupid questions.” For example, did you know that in Germany a full workload equals 30 credits per semester? I guess not only temperature, length and weight are measured differently.
In sum, the Tandem Project facilitated my encounter with someone who I can ask anything and I am grateful for Inga Pötzl and Friedemann Weidauer, for connecting two people who could benefit from one another personally and academically.
Aaron Karch, University of Connecticut
The Tandem Exchange Program is a credited opportunity that puts you in touch with another foreign exchange student from your respective host university. The architects of this program are Inga Pötzl and Professor Friedemann Weidauer. Inga has been my direct advisor throughout this entire process, and has always been there to answer questions and support me through this program. They both did an amazing job of putting together an incredibly useful and beneficial program for students wanting to participate in the Baden-Wuerttemberg-Connecticut exchange program. I was skillfully matched with Kim, who not only is a student at my German host university, the University of Heidelberg, but also a psychology major. Kim was incredibly helpful in answering questions about the University and Germany itself. I returned the favor, as she has plans to attend the University of Connecticut.
This program has benefitted me substantially in my academic and cultural understanding of Germany and the University of Heidelberg. We spoke about everything from language differences, semester structure, places to visit, and many other useful and fun topics. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program and plan to stay in touch with everyone as I continue onto the University of Heidelberg.
Inga Pötzl, BW-CT Coordinator & Co-Faciltiator of the Tandem Project
I was immediately on board when Friedemann Weidauer suggested exploring a more personal, but still academic experience for students on both sides of the Atlantic. I am confident that we will continue facilitating this type of exchange, even when in person-travel resumes, hopefully in the fall.
For more information, contact: Education Abroad at email@example.com