Elizabeth Matteri ’15 goes by “Lizzy,” but her nickname could just as easily be “Double” – as in double major and double study abroad.
But she was singularly focused when she applied for the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD or German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship, which she was awarded last spring. She’ll spend next semester studying at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich through the Junior Year in Munich program.
“The best way to learn a language is by living it and experiencing the culture around it,” said Matteri, who applied for the scholarship in the hope of being able to spend more time in Germany.
The junior – who is studying biology for a semester at the University of Sydney (she’s a double major in German literature and biology) – visited Germany many times as part of an immersion language primary school in Portland, Oregon, where she grew up. It’s been more than six years since she was in the country she’s grown to love so much, and she’s looking forward to the food, sightseeing and visiting old friends.
As for coursework, she’ll be studying German literature with a focus on Jewish-German literature and history.
The scholarship, said one of her advisors at Kenyon, is the reward for all of her hard work.
“DAAD is generally a very difficult scholarship,” said Leo Riegert Jr., assistant professor of German. “Only the very best students get it.”
And Riegert considers Matteri among the very best.
“She has been one of the most dedicated members of our German program,” he said, noting how she came to German table every week she was on campus, took a challenging course in German literature as a first-year student and served as an apprentice teacher. “She’s quiet, calm and confident. She’s a great student.”
Matteri feels Kenyon – and Riegert in particular – prepared her well to apply for the scholarship.
“I have spent a lot more time writing in German while at Kenyon, and this has helped me improve my grammar and language skills,” she said.
“[Riegert] has been a wonderful teacher and has pushed me to work quite hard.”