Alumni Spotlight: Maddi Pike

Why did you decide to intern abroad with Cultural Vistas in Germany?

Maddi at the ruins of Hohentwiel in Singen

Maddi: I am a German Major, and in order to receive my degree I had to either spend a semester abroad, or complete a 3-month internship. I knew that I wanted to intern in Germany, but I had no clue about how to go about finding an internship. I decided to intern with Cultural Vistas because I had heard about the program though one of the upperclassmen at my university, who had success with Cultural Vistas finding him a position and said that competing the internship had improved his German skills.

What made this intern abroad experience so unique and special?

Maddi: Because of my previous experience with summer camps, Cultural Vistas paired me up with the Carl Duisberg Centren language camps for children. Before the camps started, I helped with the language school, by planning the free time program and weekend excursions, along with helping out with administrative tasks as needed. What made this experience very special to me was the Carl Duisberg Centren staff willingness to help me improve my language skills, the encouragement to speak German as much as possible and them correcting on my grammatical mistakes.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Maddi: Because of this experience, not only has my fluency improved, but also it made me a stronger person knowing that I could go to a country and make my way around it using the language skills I had. Professionally I hope that this will help me show employers that I am flexible and willing to take on a challenge.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone considering interning abroad in Germany?

Maddi: Take all of the other advice from everyone else, but be open-minded and realize it may or may not be that way for you. I was advised to be formal and orderly when (at my particular job) I did not need to be formal with everyone and a little chaos was a part of the job.

Maddi with other interns at Germany's Mercedes-Benz museum