Natalie, German Academy Student

Natalie decided to learn German at the Academy at the same time her father was learning German at Middlebury Language Schools.

“My dad’s actually going to the seven-and-a-half week program for German at Middlebury College. And I thought, oh, that’s a really good idea for the summer. I’d like my German to be better, a lot better. So we researched the camps that were similar to his, and we found this camp, and I said sign me up.

“I really wanted to be able to integrate more into my community because that’s what they speak, German. And I also think that it’s a really helpful thing to learn a language, especially when you’re younger, because now that I can speak enough German, I can travel and use my German in other ways. Immersion is very, very hard. When everything around you is in a completely new language, it’s a great experience, but it’s also very challenging at the same time.

“Living with a group of people for a long period of time, it’s a great way to get to know people because you’re really forced to be with them all the time. And I’ve learned a lot about social interactions, and skills, and what not. You’re really forced to communicate and be with these same people for this whole summer. And also having to— basically, you know, you’re living by yourself. You don’t have parents to clean up after you. So you have to be pretty independent, and able to basically function alone.

“Every single day, outside our building, in free time, in the morning, in the rain, soccer, soccer, soccer. We had a soccer match. We lost, but it was still a ton of fun. So that must be my favorite part. The proudest moment, I think, was when I sat back and looked at what we’ve been doing. And I realized I’m thinking in German, and everything is in German. And it’s a great feeling.”