Robert Spurzem

My decision to begin German in the fall quarter, freshman year, was first made because of the UCLA language requirement and supported by my interest in my German heritage. From the beginning, I always knew I wanted to go abroad for a year and Germany was my top choice as it would provide me with an opportunity to interact with my German relatives and, with the help of the language courses offered at UCLA, a rich and fulfilling cultural experience. I couldn’t have been more correct.

Halfway through my sophomore year at UCLA, I found myself further along with a German major than the English major I entered with. As the deadline for abroad applications approached, I decided to go for it and transferred to the German major and got accepted to study abroad in Berlin for all of my junior year. Without the overwhelming support and guidance I received from the German department and the UCLA EAP advisors, I would have never been able to complete a full year abroad as well as a double major.

The year I spent in Berlin was one of the most defining decisions I have ever made and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. By deeply immersing myself in both the German language and culture, I felt myself grow and expand both personally and professionally as I continue to maintain consistent contact with my European family and friends.

If someone had told me before entering UCLA that I would major in German, I would have laughed at them. Now, a recent UCLA graduate, I could not be happier with my decision to not only learn German but also go abroad for a year and fully immerse myself in the German culture.