Nicole Smith

Students cheer on the Redhawks during a sporting event at Miami University.
Nicole Smith

Majors: International Studies & Psychology
Minor: German

People always seem to ask “why German?” where, I suspect, they would not ask the same question of a Spanish or Chinese language student. There are many answers to that question. A personal love of language, German’s common linguistically heritage with English, and German’s compelling and sometimes dark literature are just a few. For me I started German in high school because I was already taking Spanish and my father would not allow me to take French. I knew I wanted to add another language course and German was the only other option. I defaulted into taking German, and I’m forever grateful that I did.

My Germanic studies have made me the person that I am today. There are so many passionate people who teach German and so many opportunities that surface through the study of language. My current career path seems far removed from German, but I know that if I had not completed a German minor I would not be where I am. At Miami University I was able to study abroad in the Intensive German Summer program where I lived in multiple German homes, traveled across the country, and got to know some of my favorite Miamians. That experience led me to the Fulbright program where I received an English Teaching Assistant grant and lived in Germany for a year after graduation. The Fulbright enabled me to further explore Europe and gain a better understanding of culture and pedagogy. I’m now in law school and while I might not have t­o use my German skills anytime soon, those skills definitely opened doors that led me here.