Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CNN and Mercer's 2011 Quality of Living Index Name 7 of the Top 10 Cities in the World are in Germany, Austria and Switzerland!

(CNN) – The city of Freud, Klimt and the famed Spanish riding school is top of the pops when it comes to the world’s best cities to live in, according to a new survey.

For the third successive year, Vienna was ranked number one as European cities claimed more than half of the top 25 positions in Mercer's 2011 Quality of Living index, which awards points for a range of criteria, including political and economic stability, culture, health and sanitation, quality of schools, public services and housing.

Zurich in neighboring Switzerland came in second, while New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, was third in the list of 221 cities worldwide.

Top 10 (quality of life):

1. Vienna (Austria)

2. Zurich (Switzerland)

3. Auckland (New Zealand)

4. Munich (Germany)

5. Dusseldorf (Germany)

6. Vancouver (Canada)

7. Frankfurt (Germany)

8. Geneva (Switzerland)

9. Bern (Switzerland)

10. Copenhagen (Denmark)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Matt Beck '09 Teaches in Germany and in China

Hallo Freunde!

Since graduating from CSB/SJU with a degree in German, my life as taken a few interesting turns. Last year, I worked for the Fulbright program in Germany as an English teaching assistant. While there, I decided to spend one more year abroad before beginning to teach in the United States. One of my friends from college was teaching in China and suggested that I apply to his program.

I did so, and I received a teaching position at Zhanjiang Normal University in Zhanjiang, China. Unfortunately, there was a problem processing my visa which led to me being unable to teach at the university level. Without another employment option but still wanting to spend some more time abroad, I decided to begin studying Chinese at the same university where I would have taught.

Studying Chinese here has been quite an experience. For starters, there are only two students in my classes: myself and another one of my college friends who is in the same situation as I am. Also, I'm almost a complete beginner in Chinese, only having met with a tutor a few times in Germany. I have fourteen classes a week here covering all aspects of the Chinese language: speaking, listening, reading, writing, and grammar. So far, the most challenging part has been reading and writing characters. Since each character represents a syllable, a person needs to know a few thousand to be able to read well. To date, I've been able to learn a few hundred. I'm starting to see some patterns, though, and the process of memorizing characters and how to write them correctly is constantly getting easier.

Aside from learning Chinese, I've also found part time jobs at a couple of English tutoring schools. These schools, independent companies that offer weekend classes for interested students, are quite common here. My students range in age from elementary school to high school. Teaching so many different levels is difficult, but rewarding and engaging. It makes me miss full-time teaching, and I hope to get a university position (as well as a matching visa) next semester.

German continues to play a large role in my life. In my free time, I've been keeping my language skills fresh by reading German literature and keeping in touch with my German speaking friends. Also, I've recently been rereading some of the works that we covered in my German romanticism course. Those who know me well know that my study of German led to a passion for the complexities of Turkish immigration to Germany as well as Turkish culture. I had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul when I was working in Germany, and I've been spending quite a bit of time lately reading Turkish novels by Elif Shafak and Orhan Pamuk.

Choosing to study German doesn't necessarily mean that you'll need to find a job in Germany or one that requires language skills. It does, however, open doors to a wide variety of careers and interests. As a freshman at CSB/SJU, I never imagined that I would graduate from college interested in Turkish culture or that I would one day be studying Chinese in China, but my choice to study Germany led to these interests and adventures. Personally, I'm planning on keeping German in my future, and I would like to come back to the United States next year and teach it.

Liebe Grüße aus China!
Matt Beck

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why take German at CSB/SJU?

Picture yourself studying German on our two beautiful campuses -- Saint Ben's and Saint John's -- and at our two campuses in Europe, Salzburg and Ingolstadt!  The architecture, woods and lakes of Saint Ben's and Saint John's reflect the parts of Bavaria where our founders came from.

Program Highlights -- You Can:
Study abroad and do an internship in Germany or Austria
• Become friends with teaching assistants from Germany who live at CSB and SJU!
Join the German Club – and make life-long friends who also love to travel and learn about languages and cultures

Often students taking German at Saint Ben's and Saint John's plan their four-year schedule to include a major or minor in German as well as a major or minor in another subject like music, physics, chemistry, economics, psychology, French, education, art,  or political science. Actually, any combination is possible and desirable in our increasingly global world.

German is also a popular major or minor for pre-med, pre-law and pre-engineering students.  Give yourself an edge in the global economy and in global research by becoming immersed in a culture that lies at the heart of Europe.

Class offerings include:  German History, Culture, and Civilization, German Conversation and Composition, Literature from the 19th and 20th century, The Age of Goethe, German Poetry.

Our CSB/SJU students heading into the salt mines near Salzburg

Study German, see the World.  Fall Term your Sophomore or Junior Year  join your friends to study in Salzburg, one of the most beautiful cities in the world!  Besides becoming fluent in spoken German, you will learn about the cultures surrounding German and Austria by seeing them first-hand!  Saint John’s and Saint Ben’s are ranked number one in the country for the number of students who student abroad!
The architecture of Salzburg is stunning!

Live in Salzburg, the city of Mozart's music, majestic mountains,
and many architectural masterpieces.

Picture yourself hiking in the Austrian Alps

Take classes at the world famous University of Salzburg including political science, art history, philosophy, senior seminar, and of course German!.  Join your friends on excursions to destinations in Austria and Germany to enhance your knowledge of history, art and architecture, and cultural differences within German-speaking lands.

The main street of Salzburg -- beautiful!

Picture yourself taking advantage of cultural events, folk festivals, art museums, skiing in the Alps, soccer matches and world-class concerts!


In Salzburg you will be living and studying in the very center of Europe, within easy reach of cities like Munich, Nuremberg, Prague, Rome, Berlin, Budapest, Paris, Venice and Athens

For more information about our program in German, please Google us at CSBSJU German or email us at

Study with enthusiastic professors who love European culture, music, philosophy, film studies, politics, gender studies, literature, art, architecture and taking students abroad.  Pictured here are professors Wendy Sterba, Lisa Ohm, Andreas Kiryakakis and  Mark Thamert.   We are here to help you get the most out of your four-year plan.

 Take more German.
See where it takes You.

German Minor:
212, 311, 312, plus four more courses
German Major:
212, 311, 312, plus eight more courses

The beauty of our campuses in Minnesota and Austria is astonishing!