I studied German because I have always loved languages, and have always tried to learn as many as possible. I believe that you really get to understand another culture when you study its language, and with German this could not be more true. This one country provided the world with communism and Nazism, Kant and Goethe. Learning to reconcile many of the contradictions of German culture and history was one of the main challenges for me personally, but at the same time I always found it very exciting.
What I enjoyed about studying German at Otago was the diversity of the subject. Along with language papers I also had the opportunity to discover many facets of German culture, including German literature, history, philosophy, and art.
I really grew to love the German programme. Because it is so small you really get to know all of the staff, and they are there to help you with any problems. Being treated by your lecturers and professors as an equal was something that I also came to appreciate.
A highlight of my German studies was getting to spend a semester at Heidelberg university as part of my honours year. The time I spent in Heidelberg counted directly towards my honours degree, which meant that I didn't have to stay for an extra semester at Otago to make up for it.
During my studies I was always frustrated by the question, "So what are you going to do with an arts/language/GERMAN (!) degree?" The answer pretty much is "Anything I want to!" The abilities to read, write academically, articulate yourself properly, understand tricky concepts and relate to different cultures are skills valued by all employers.