Stork Awards Recipients - Thank you letters

2019 Recipients

CSSG 2019 Participants
WCGS Stork Award winners from the 2019 Canadian Summer School in Germany (CSSG) program.
Back row, left to right: Nathan Deschamps, Hannah Peter, Nathaniel Andre-Peirano, Katrina Cooney, Erike Hallemann, Adam Gemmink, Cole Murray, Makoto Bono, Shihori Kawamura, Dr. John Plews (CSSG Director)

Front row, left to right: Christa Bezooyen, Kelsey Wiggers, Braedon Pauzé, Skynye Wang, Young Yu

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.

"The CSSG program changed my life. It reinvigorated a love for school while fostering a deep cross-cultural interest in German. Upon returning to UBC I picked up a minor in German language to supplement my philosophy degree and began planning to return to Kassel and the CSSG program. Thanks to the Stork Award, I was able to do just that. ... Whether it was seeing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, being with friends on the banks of the Spree in Berlin as the sun rose, or gazing up at Herkules on his pedestal atop the Bergpark in Kassel, this trip has provided me with a lifetime of memories which I truly believe have made me a more worldly and complete person."

Braedon Pauzé participated in the CSSG program and is an Honours English Literature and Philosophy student at the University of British Columbia. Return to top

Germany fountain

"This year was the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall in Germany and so, we also spent a lot of time studying the separation and the reunification process of the country. Not only did we study the history of the reunification, but we also learned about the real impact it had and still has today on people’s lives. ... A trip to the small town of Havelberg also allowed me to see for myself how communities are still influenced by the sudden change that happened in the German Democratic Republic."
Elisa Hernandez Riveiro participated in the Berlin Summer School 2019, a joint program from UQUAM and UQTR, and is a student at UQUAM.
Click here for a copy of a newspaper article written about her class visiting Havelberg
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wine fields in Germany

"Without the intention of sounding cliché, attending the CSSG was quite a life-changing experience. Not only did I greatly improve my linguistic abilities and cultural competence, but I was also able to create a new home away from home. ... The CSSG and Stork award permitted me to explore more of Germany, experience more culture and reconnect with close friends. These experiences had such a profound impact on me individually and educationally, that I’ve already begun planning my return to Kassel next year, to complete my C2 level in German."
Kelsey Wiggers participated in the CSSG program and is a student German and International Business student at the University of Calgary. Return to top

"During our visit [to Berlin], we met a number of people who had lived during the communist era. For me, one of the most touching moments was when a man explained to us how and why he escaped from former East-Berlin to go live in West-Berlin. His manner of always hoping for a freer world even after all these years was deeply inspiring and moving."
Andréane Petit-Dugas participated in the Berlin Summer School 2019, a joint program from UQUAM and UQTR, and is a student at UQUAM. Return to top.

Veronika Mikolajewski

"We began our trip in France where we visited several battlefields, memorials and cemeteries of the Battle of Normandy. I found our visit to the German cemetery most interesting as it told the often-overlooked German experience. While the American cemetery immediately comes to mind, most people do not realize that the largest cemetery is actually the German La Cambe Cemetery. While the American and Canadian cemeteries have bright tombstones that shine in the sun, the German cemetery has dark, solid markings laying flat in the earth. Rather than boasting numbers, the cemetery radiates permanence. I found this moving as the Germans mark their own place in the narrative."
Veronika Mikolajewski participated in course from the UWaterloo History department "History and Memory in 20th Century Europe" and is a Joint Honours English Literature and History student at University of Waterloo. Return to top

"Travelling to Germany has always been at the top of my bucket list and this year I was finally able to realize that dream. We packed quite a lot of activities into our three weeks in Berlin. Our courses focused on German history, culture, and economics. ... We toured what feels like most of Berlin, as well as Potsdam and Dresden; I even made my own weekend excursion to visit Poland!"
Steven Greer participated in the University of New Brunswick's Berlin Travel Study and is an Honours History student at St. Thomas University. Return to top

"The Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin was a dream for a history student like myself, and I wished that I could have spent a week inside. I admired art in Vienna and Frankfurt painted by the great masters. I visited churches in small towns in Germany and Austria in addition to visiting the grandiose Berliner Dom of Berlin, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, and Frauenkirche in Dresden. ... Thank you once again for the financial aid that helped me to cover part of the cost of a well-organised and long-running language immersion program for Canadian students wishing to truly experience German life."
Katie Leitch participated in the CSSG program and is a Mathematics student from the University of Alberta. Return to top

"With the help of your travel grant, I had the opportunity to have a wonderful academic and life experience this summer in Berlin. The summer school organized by UQAM aimed to give its students a good overview of how Germany's history has shaped its contemporary society. My stay in Berlin during this past summer has enriched my understanding of Germans and in my opinion, was the best first contact I could have had with Germany."
Frédérick Dechênes participated in the Berlin Summer School 2019, a joint program from UQUAM and UQTR, and is an Honours History student at the Université du Québec à Montréal.  Return to top

Here are some photos from CSSG participant and student at the University of Toronto, Yixin Wang (Left - Berliner Dom; Right - Yixin in Berlin)

Berliner Dom
Yixin Wang

"Germany and its people are lovely. It has beautiful streets and flowers everywhere. I was convinced that the green in Germany was greener than the green in Canada LOL. I remember walking to and from school, and I would look around and see the people in the streets, the cars and surroundings, and I would think to myself, “I could happily live here!” In addition to my host family and in the program, in all the places we went I felt warmly welcomed. From small towns to the larger cities of Leipzig and Berlin, it was wonderful. Some real highlights were the football match between Wolfsburg and Ausburg, the Berlin Philharmonic and Museumsinsel in Berlin, and the Thomanerchor in Leipzig, but especially day to day life in Kassel."
Christa Bezooyen participated in the CSSG program and is a student at the University of Alberta.
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