International experience broadens horizons for Dellwo

February 13, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-UW-Platteville senior Stacy Dellwo returned from Heidelberg, Germany, with valuable knowledge and priceless friendships.

Dellwo visited Germany with her grandmother in the summer of 2001, which prompted her to pursue the opportunity to study there last semester. While in Germany in 2001, Dellwo was able to meet some of her distant relatives from Poland and Germany, as her grandmother traced the genealogical roots of her family there.

"I've always wanted to study abroad, I just didn't know when or where I wanted to go," said Dellwo.

Dellwo, a native of Maple Grove, Minn., and elementary education major, attended a small language college called Collegium Palatium in Heidelberg, Germany. Dellwo lived with 14 other students from around the globe in an apartment type setting. The international students who Dellwo lived with were forced to communicate in German, because they didn't know each other's languages. This caused Dellwo to be immersed in the language and pick it up easily. Dellwo resided in Germany for 16 weeks.

While in Germany, Dellwo enjoyed a ritual of international night, every two weeks. On this night, a different student each week would make his or her own cultural food. Dellwo was able to sample a number of dishes. Her favorite German dish was Schnupfnüdelpfanne, a combination of sauerkraut and potato noodles.

"I didn't know the language or anyone, and left having many friends and a semi-fluency of the language," said Dellwo.

Dellwo felt the largest advantage to studying internationally for her was gaining self-assurance.

"I got a chance to see a film in German, I saw the Harry Potter movie and understood 95 percent of it," said Dellwo.

Dellwo plans on visiting Germany again and possibly teaching there during her career in education. She expects to graduate in May 2004.

"If anyone is considering studying abroad, I recommend it. It was the best experience of my life. I now have friends to visit in Japan, Sweden and all over," said Dellwo.

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