Irvin Hall in the Fall Irvin Hall in the Fall

Casey Smitson

Name: Casey Smitson
Graduation Year: 2014
Majors: German and American Studies
Minor: Management and Organization

I have always had an interest in different cultures and languages and quickly found a home in the German Department at Miami University. As a German major, I was not only able to gain valuable language skills, but also had the opportunity to travel and to engage with different people and cultures.  Additionally, studying German taught me to be a better student of my own culture by challenging me to think critically about my own history and cultural perceptions.

While at Miami, I spent a semester studying abroad in Salzburg, Austria. In Salzburg, I took courses taught by Austrian professors, participated in cultural excursions, volunteered, and traveled. Through these experiences, I improved my German language skills, but, more importantly, became more confident and independent.

The language skills, confidence, and independence I gained from studying abroad prepared me to spend a year after graduation living and teaching in Düsseldorf, Germany as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. In Düsseldorf, I lived with a wonderful family and had the challenge and pleasure of learning to live everyday life as an American abroad. In addition to spending time with my family, working with the talented students at Görres Gymnasium was certainly a highlight!

I am now back at Miami and pursuing a master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education and am working in the Miami Office of Admission. As a student affairs professional, I hope to challenge college students to take advantage of opportunities that require them to step out of their comfort zones in order to engage with different people, cultures, and ideas.