Student Perspectives

COHORT 1 (2014)

Jack Dollar, Mechanical Engineering (Germany HS Esslingen 2016)

“I was really surprised how easy it was to pick up the German language in the beginning. I would say though, that making new friends and connections from around the world was the most amazing part for me.  I really enjoyed getting the technical and cultural experience at Mercedes (AG) and the opportunity to use my German along the way.”

COHORT 2 (2015)

Carter Boyle, Electrical Engineering (Germany HS Esslingen 2017)

“The combination of showing that you can learn a new language to the point of fluency in two years and gaining engineering experience at one of the top companies in the world is an indispensable item on your resume. Not only does it make you highly employable, it gives you the confidence to take on whatever challenge you might face afterwards.  The most valuable thing I gained from the program is my newfound confidence.  Not too many people have learned a new language and then applied that language to designing electric motors for a top automotive company in a country renowned for its engineering prowess.  You start to think about how if you could learn to do something in German, it’s going to be that much easier in your native language.”

John Paul Smith, Mechanical Engineering (Germany HS Esslingen 2017)

“This program has made me realize my aptitude for embracing unforeseen challenges and excelling at them, despite the odds. To learn a new language in two years, going from zero ability to a level that allows me to effectively work and learn in an intensive, technical and challenging atmosphere, will remain the paramount achievement of my college career.  This experience is the capstone of my time at the University of Alabama and will serve as the standard for all my future endeavors and career goals.”

COHORT 3 (2016)

Claire Galloway, Mechanical Engineering (Germany HS Esslingen 2018)

“The International German Student Exchange Program presented me with an opportunity I simply could not decline. Following two years of accelerated German language courses in addition to my mechanical engineering course load, I was equipped with the necessary skills to transport myself out of any comfort zones I had developed in the United States and effectively immerse myself into an entirely different manner of living and learning.  Furthermore, the program assisted me in obtaining an internship with Mercedes-Benz both in the United States and Germany, a known hub of technology and innovation.  I anticipate my experiences with a world-renowned company such as Mercedes-Benz will sculpt me into a young professional ready to enter the work force.  IGSEP is an extremely unique and valuable program that enriches future engineers with a connection to industry, foreign language skills, and the chance to see the world.”


COHORT 4 (2017)

Joseph Lulka, Mechanical Engineering (Germany HS Esslingen 2019)

“There are currently 18 students in our cohort. We have all gotten to know each other very well thanks to the ‘Deutsche Sommer Schule am Pazifik’, the curriculum and organization of the summer school was phenomenal.  Our cohort has had the benefit of being able to hear about all the experiences from the cohorts, which have already been to Germany.  Hearing from them gives us a better understanding of what to expect when we arrive.  Our cohort is still awaiting the next big steps in our studies—Dr. B’s automotive engineering class, internships for our second summer and the year abroad in Germany.  We are eager to interview for an internship at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz U.S. International) for this upcoming summer.”