Joint MA in Intercultural German Studies

Where and what did you study before you came to Germanic and Slavic Studies at the University of Waterloo?Katharina Epper

Before I came to the University of Waterloo, I studied Germanic Studies and Educational Science at the University of Heidelberg and had my first state examination. Instead of becoming a teacher at a grammar school, I followed my passion – writing. I spent a couple of years as an editor, working for a German newspaper after I decided to join this Masters’ program. Fortunately, my current employer has offered me a chance to come back after my studies.

What are your interests in German Studies?

I’m mainly interested in applied linguistics. My research work focused on common phrases in media articles concerning economics. Besides German philology and cultural studies, I am interested in traditional and digital media, which are addressed in the subject area “specific media sciences”.

Why did you choose the University of Waterloo?

It’s part of the Masters’ program. So honestly, I didn’t really get a choice :)

However, it’s the best match for me. I appreciate the familiar atmosphere at our department and the interaction with Canadian colleagues. I enjoy my encounters withdifferent people and their ways of thinking and finding solutions, as well as the challenges that derive from it all. It's a great opportunity for my personal and professional development.

Why did you choose this program?

The IcGS program gives me a fantastic opportunity to dig deeper into the understanding of linguistics and see analyses from another angle, for example: How the German language is perceived on an intercultural level? How do foreigners perceive Germans?

Do you already know what you want to write your thesis on?

I don’t have a catchy title as of now, but it will definitely be dealing with media and its’ impact on society. In particular, I want to focus on the role of foreign media for immigrants and temporary residents. Is there a real demand in Canada – or is it just a rule what has been written into the Canadian Act that has no meaning in everyday life? These are questions which drive me. Now it’s my turn to find answers…

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to become a florist – at least that’s what I wrote in some friendship books. Now I’m happy that I changed my mind and am still working as an editor. I think my orchids are delightful, too.

What is something people wouldn't guess about you?

I plunder my whole advent calendar in the first week of December. I’m addicted to chocolate. That’s why my mum decided to buy me one with pictures only.

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