Tanya Hagman

MA Intercultural German Studies

Tanya Hagman“I chose this program because it gave me an opportunity to spend a year studying abroad in Germany” says Tanya, an MA candidate Intercultural German Studies, “and UWaterloo is also the perfect location to study German because there is such a large German population in the area and the community is very active.” Tanya is part of a unique Master’s program that combines course work and practical experience, with a year of study at the University of Mannheim in Germany. The 2-year, joint degree program culminates in a thesis project. Tanya explains that the small and personal nature of the program was a huge draw for her. “You are able to study in Germany and graduate with a degree from both UWaterloo and Universitat Mannheim.”

It was very important to Tanya that she be able to write her thesis on an interdisciplinary topic and the German department allowed her to do just that. “My focus area is literature. I want to understand how nature is portrayed in contemporary German and Canadian literature and how that translates into sustainability practices in Germany and Canada, respectively.” She has designed her thesis to directly apply to her future career goals. “My hope is to work for either the Canadian or German government researching and reporting on topics such as resource management, environmental impact studies and conservation biology.”

With a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario with a double major in Conservation Biology and German Language and Literature, Tanya is a perfect example of an interdisciplinary student. “It is my conviction that scientific knowledge is not enough to really change how society views, treats and respects nature. Combining scientific knowledge with literary, cultural and social studies is a better way to understand the cause and effect of environmental issues.”

October 2013 Megan Scarborough

University of Waterloo

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