Brian Cash

Students cheer on the Redhawks during a sporting event at Miami University.
Brian Cash

13 years later, I still come up with a rather dull response when asked why I chose to learn German. My most-rehearsed answer is that I devoted myself to the language and made it my thing.

After committing four years to German in high school, I majored in Architecture and minored in German at Miami University. I also opted to live in the German Living Learning Community during my freshman year. During my undergraduate career, I slowly improved my command of the language, but didn’t become confident in my skills until I returned from an exchange semester in Rosenheim, Bavaria during my fourth year. My remaining German courses were greatly benefited by this experience.

I visited Berlin before starting my semester in Rosenheim and decided that I would make the city my home after graduation. A Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) initially brought me over here and some strategic planning has allowed me to stay. Directly after my fellowship with Fulbright, I secured an internship in the field of architectural lighting design. The internship was wonderful but I knew I wanted to pursue architecture in a more traditional sense. Over one year ago, I began as an intern at one of Germany’s premier architecture firms, Staab Architekten, where I have since carved out a unique professional role for myself.

My time in Berlin is wrapping up in two weeks and the transition back to the States will be bittersweet. While German may not be the most logical choice for life in North America, I have built a life where a mastery of the language has been vital. Next year I will begin my M.Arch degree at Yale and have already started looking into the German Club on campus. In retrospect, the joy that German has brought me is reason enough to have chose to learn it.