Erica Swyers

PhD German
Erica Swyers

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

I did my B.A. (Hons) in German and Business Administration at Memorial University in St. John’s (2014). After spending a year in Germany as part of the PAD program, I completed my M.A. in Intercultural German Studies at the University of Waterloo/Universität Mannheim (2017). Now I’m back for round 3!

What are your interests in German Studies?

I’m interested in second language acquisition and teaching, teaching language and culture, language learning materials, and language education in the digital transformation.

Why did you choose University of Waterloo?

I was drawn to the very interdisciplinary Germanic and Slavic Studies department here. Most language programs don’t offer Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies in the same program, so that definitely influenced my decision to come back.

Why did you choose this program?

In addition to the reasons listed above, I think the Ph.D. program offers a thorough and well-rounded education in German Studies, as well as a unique perspective in being able to think critically in and about different disciplines.

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

Nope! I’ve got some broad ideas and am waiting for inspiration to strike. No Legos this time (maybe).

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

A writer or a teacher.

What is something people wouldn't guess about you?

I remember everybody’s birthday – it’s my mundane superpower!