Stork Awards Recipients 2018 - Thank you letters

German AlleywayAlleyway in Germany.  Photo Credit Amir Taheri.

Stork Awards in German Studies are given out annually to encourage student participation in a recognized institutional Canadian-organized German language or cultural studies program abroad. These awards are made possible by a generous donation by the Stork Family. Each award recipient writes a 'thank you' letter to the Stork family in recognition of the family's contribution to the students' trips. Click each name to read an excerpt from their letters.


student in front of a church

Guten Tag! My name is Joanna and I attended the 2018  Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG) program. It was the most incredible opportunity! As a recipient of the WCGS Stork Award I was able to enjoy many cultural events without worrying about the expenses. In turn, I fell even more in love with the German culture. During my time in Germany, I was fully immersed in the language from political conversations with my host mother over dinner, daily classes, dinners with other host families to everyday interactions with my peers and strangers, everything was auf Deutsch!"

Joanna Amores-participated in the CSSG program and is a Political Science student at the University of Toronto. Return to top


Subway station in germany Church in Germany

"The CSSG program allowed me to learn more about both the German and Canadian cultures. I mention Canadian as well because I am an international student from the Kingdom of Bahrain with very few Canadian friends. Now, thanks to the CSSG program I have two very lovely Canadian friends. We went on multiple excursions to Berlin and Bremen and these are some of my favourite memories. Furthermore, travelling to Germany allowed me to practice my passion - photography!"

Amir Taheri - participated in the CSSG program and is a Psychology student at the University of British Columbia. Return to top

people cycling in Germany windmill by water   Berlin Holocaust Memorial

"At first, the group of CSSG students affectionately named the pain of German immersion “Deutsch-Schmerz.” By the end, however, I had become very comfortable speaking and understanding ... Before I came to Germany, I had felt that learning a foreign language was maybe not of much value to an English speaker. My experiences during this exchange have shown me otherwise. While it is true that globalisation and the availability of English classes in foreign schools have provided a somewhat common language, there is nothing like the adoption of a country’s language to grant you real connection with its residents. As a Canadian in Germany, my attempts to communicate in German made me a far more welcome visitor, and a more capable person."

Alana Krahn - participated in the CSSG program and is a Business student at the University of Alberta. Return to top

"As a result of this experience, I’ve felt my German has greatly improved and I found a new love for Germany as a country. I plan to continue my German studies and hopefully go on exchange for a full semester in the future. I’d like to pursue at least a minor, if possible a joint honours major with German. As a computer science student, this really opened up my eyes to career possibilities or grad studies in Germany. It also helped me understand some of the importance in studying the humanities.
Again, thank you for the generous grant which allowed me to go on this wonderful trip!
I hope to return to Germany someday soon."

Stephanie Ginovker - participated in the Waterloo Summer Language School in Bamberg and is a Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo. Return to top.

"During the program, I was able to connect with international students and learn about their countries - expanding my global knowledge. I established strong relationships with students from the Ukraine, Ireland, Tunisia, and Hungary. I was able to speak with individuals about their culture including society, food, and laws. I embraced the opportunity to share my culture, learn about other cultures, and expand my cultural identity."

Laura Kraehling - participated in the Waterloo Summer Language School in Bamberg and is a Global Business and Digital Arts student at University of Waterloo. Return to top

Students on a roof in Germany

building in a forest

german city on a river


"Liebe Frau Marion Stork und Herrn Michael Stork, ich möchte mich bei Ihnen dafür bedanken, dass ich die Gelegenheit hatte, fünf schöne Wochen in Bamberg zu verbringen. Jetzt, nachdem alles schon vorbei ist und fast zwei Monate, nachdem ich ein Praktikum in New York begonnen habe, erinnere ich mich noch gerne an alle meine Erfahrungen in Bamberg und die wunderbaren Menschen, die ich dort kennengelernt hatte und die ich heute ehrlich vermisse... Plötzlich konnte ich mir vorstellen, in der Zukunft internationale Arbeit in Deutschland oder deutschsprachigen Ländern zu leisten. Dazu sind meine Deutschkenntnisse, die sich seitdem noch verbessert haben, überaus nützlich."

Minghao Ji - participated in the Waterloo Summer Language School in Bamberg and is an Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. Return to top

"I can, without a doubt, say that my time in Berlin last May was one of the most amazing, edifying and gratifying experiences I've had as a student. Accompanied by our Professor, Nina Woll, and her teaching assistant, Isabelle Wouters, our group had the unique chance to explore Berlin and it’s surroundings ...We observed different aspects of German and Berlin culture, such as history, language, societal and political issues, urbanism and city planning, gentrification, the school system, art and literature and more!...I left Berlin with a more open mind and a great eagerness to go back to Germany and discover the other wonderful parts of this beautiful and fascinating country."

Pierre-Olivier Major-Chayer - participated in the Berlin Summer School 2018, a joint program from UQUAM and UQTR, and is a Communication and Public Relations student at UQUAM. Return to top

"During my time in Berlin I had the opportunity to listen to a number of speakers on a range of topics. For instance, one speaker specialized in matters of terrorism and outlined the various expressions of extremism in Germany and their evolution trough time. We also went to a Fußball game  at the Olympic Stadium and this brought to light how significant this sport is in German culture. Our group also visited the Reichstag allowing us to see how the German political system is articulated and begin to understand its strengths and flaws. Living in Germany afforded us the chance to speak with people who lived through important historical moments like the Cold War and Reunification. I don’t think I could have reached the same level of understanding if I had not been shown first-hand how history shaped itself so deeply in this city."

Victoria Brodeur - participated in the Berlin Summer School 2018, a joint program from UQUAM and UQTR, and is an International Relations student at UQUAM. Return to top

John Plews (Associate Professor of German at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax) is the coordinator of the Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG) - an exchange program that takes students from Canadian universities to Kassel, Germany for a six-week language program.

Return to Top