Sprichst Du Deutsch? Why not? – UNESCO International Mother Language Day

UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies and declared February 21st to be International Mother Language Day . Since 2000, International Mother Langauge Day has been observed annually worldwide with the intention to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

German Language Schools in the United States celebrate this day with the campaign “Sprichst Du Deutsch? Why Not?” encouraging students to learn more about their heritage by studying German and inspiring others to get to know more about Germany and its culture by means of its language.

By scanning the QR-codes in the picture below you can learn more about German Language Schools in the USA and about the motivation of students wanting to learn the German language.

To get a head start finding some options to learn German in California connect with GASA, the German-American School Association of Southern California.

Image: @GLSC-German Language School Conference

Weihnachtsgottesdienst 2021

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in La Mesa is holding a German Christmas Carol Service on Sunday, 19 December 2021 at 7:00 pm.  


The Service will consist of readings of the Scripture and songs that retell the story of Christmas. After the Service please join the community for light refreshments.

All are invited.

Church’s Address:

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
5150 Wilson Street
La Mesa, CA 92942
www.st-lukes-la-mesa.org

Please find driving directions to the church via this link: http://www.st-lukes-la-mesa.org/maps.php

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Luke’s Lutheran Church in La Mesa hält am 19. Dezember 2021 (Sonntag) um 19.00 Uhr wieder einen deutschsprachigen Weihnachtsgottesdienst.

Wie in vorigen Jahren besteht die Gottesdienstordnung hauptsächlich aus Lesungen und Liedern, die die 
Weihnachtsgeschichte erzählen.  Nach dem Gottesdienst gibt es kleine Erfrischungen.

Sie und Ihre Familie, Freunde, Gemeinde- und Vereinsmitglieder, Studenten/innen, und Schüler/innen, usw. sind herzlich eingeladen.

Die Adresse der Kirche ist:

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
5150 Wilson Street
La Mesa, CA 92942
www.st-lukes-la-mesa.org

Einen Fahrplan zur Kirche findet man per diesen Link: http://www.st-lukes-la-mesa.org/maps.php

California College Application Countdown

The Countdown for Applying to Public Universities in California has begun.

While students in Germany won’t lose sleep over college applications just yet and keep preparing for the Abitur, students in California, and in fact all over the USA, have been working on their college applications since summer. If a college is high on a student’s list they might have even applied already, either Early Action or Early Decision, with both having had deadlines around Nov 1st.

California’s public state universities impose yet another deadline, November 30th! Since the UC as well as the CSU university system are highly regarded, many students in California are in a frenzy to meet the universities’ deadlines.

California State University Systems – UC & Cal State

California has two fabulous State University systems: the UC (University of California) and the CSU (California State University). While many UCs enjoy international recognition, UC Berkeley and UCLA come to mind; the Cal States have a few schools in their own system that are highly regarded in California but also within the USA. Admission there can almost be as competitive and selective than it is at the UCs. I am particularly thinking of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly Pomona, and San Diego State

What’s the difference between UC & Cal State?

Aside from the size, the UCs serve about  280,000 students spread over 10 campuses while the Cal States have about 485,000 students on their 23 campuses, both university systems are highly respected. So, what sets them apart? We’ll address three defining differences.

1- Approach to Education 

While the UCs prepare students for careers in academia and graduate school, and are highly focused on research, Cal States’ focus is on hands-on education and helping students prepare for practical, non-research oriented professions. Having said that though, there are still many options available for students to engage in research and even go on to graduate school at the Cal States. Over 50,000 students are currently pursuing graduate degrees at Cal States’ 23 campuses. 

2- Cost of an Undergraduate Degree

An important difference to consider, however, is the affordability of a degree at the Cal State or UC system. Being the largest public four-year university system in the USA, the Cal States outscore the UCs for making a Bachelor’s degree a much more reasonable option for many students. The in-state tuition for a Cal State Bachelor’s degree lies around $7,000 while out-of-state tuition is about $18,500.

In comparison a Bachelor’s degree at a UC school has a price tag of about $14,000 for in-state tuition and about $43,500 for out-of state tuition. 

Since these tuition prices are for one year only and don’t include room & board, this is certainly a component that international students should consider when applying to a California university.

3- Application Process

As part of the application to a UC school, students need to answer four Personal Insight Questions (PIQ) and describe their extracurricular activities, not just list them. Students can choose from eight prompts, each potentially giving insight into a student’s character, make up, and life experience. While each “PIQ” can only be 350 words long, it takes time to be thoughtful with your words and make the best use of the given space. 

The Cal State application, on the other hand, seems easy and very straight forward with the part of self-reporting your grades being the most time consuming activity. No essays or answering of any personal questions is needed. 

Final Thoughts

In summary, we think, that everyone in California, who is applying to college, should have one or two Cal States in their mix of colleges they apply to. As mentioned before, they offer a quality education at an affordable tuition price and, should admission to one of the competitive UC universities not turn out for you, you can’t go wrong with an education at the Cal Sates. 


Article Contribution by Global College Advisers

For more information on College Applications in the United States or abroad, please check out Global College Advisers’ website at http://www.globalcollegeadvisers.com

Connecting Young and Old by Simply Conversing in German

LanguageLine, a non-profit, aims to connect German-speaking senior citizens with young, enthusiastic German language learners of high school age. 

Andrew Kelmanson, a language enthusiast and junior in high school had the idea for LanguageLine in 8th grade after he started teaching himself languages like German and Russian in 7th grade.

He realized that there was a two-sided need that could be fulfilled between students and senior citizens. Language learners like himself could benefit from conversing with native speakers, and senior citizens who spoke German could connect with the younger generation. All together this intergenerational exchange helps create an opportunity for both sides to form beautiful friendships along the way.

The project started out with small meetings in Louisville, Kentucky, where Andrew organized for German senior citizens and high school students to come together and meet over coffee and discuss various topics in 2018. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, local meetings weren’t possible anymore, so Andrew created an online meeting solution via his website LanguageLine, which is now connecting senior citizens with language learners in a virtual setting worldwide. Languages, that LanguageLine serves at the moment, are German and Russian.

If you are a student or senior citizen and you are interested in joining LanguageLine to start a conversation, either to improve your language skills or to share your knowledge and life experience in your native language, you can find more information here.

Images ©AndrewKelmanson

Zimt Bakery ships Christmas Plätzchen in California

No time to bake “Weihnachtsplätzchen”? No problem. Let Zimt Bakery take care of it this year!

The love for baking and fond memories of her Oma Doris from Stuttgart made Alina Tompert launch Zimt Bakery in 2020 during the pandemic. Growing up in California she happily joined her mom in the yearly family tradition of backing “Plätzchen” during Christmas season from an early age on. However, she was particularly impressed by the package of Christmas Cookies that her Oma Doris sent from Germany each year for the holidays. It contained an assortment of about 20 beautiful, unique, lovingly crafted “Guadsle” (the Swabian expression for cookies).

Alina Trompert - Zimt Bakery

After her grandma’s passing, Alina turned to baking from the recipes that she inherited from Oma Doris: “I am thrilled to present the lineup of Zimt Guadsle for the traditional holiday baking, and my own mash-up of modern flavors in our seasonal line up of Plätzchen”.

Zimt Bakery specializes in Plätzchen and Guadsle, the former being Zimt’s modern seasonal take and the latter being Zimt’s traditional holiday cookies rooted in Oma Doris’ recipes. Over the holidays, Zimt Bakery will offer also homemade Lebkuchen Hearts which are customizable with a name or message. And even our furry friends can join in the delight of freshly baked cookies. Zimt Bakery also makes Plätzchen for Paws! 

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German Movie Nights with telescopefilm

Ready to turn your home into a German Film Fest for the holidays?

The holidays are usually a great time for some cozy family movie nights. And this year with so many restrictions in place due to the pandemic even more so; movies can transport us into a different world and let us escape these strange times for a good two entertaining hours or more, of course, if you like to binge-watch.

Telescopefilm’s ‘German Films Microsite

Justine Barda, CEO of telescopefilm.com, a company that promotes international films to American audiences, teamed up with German Films this year to create a German Films microsite on Telescope. This site offers audiences a database with an abundance of German films and series with information about where to watch them online in the USA.

Check out telescopefilm.com/germanfilms and build your own holiday list today. There are many ways to go about finding the perfect movie. Either choose the search function and look for a particular movie or get some ideas on what to watch by checking out the recommendations at Telescope’s Spotlight, which presents a new themed international film selection every week. 

Either way, you can’t go wrong. Be it a movie from the wide international film selection or one of more than 30,000 German films. The choice is yours.

Here are a couple playlists for certain search terms we tried:

“Weihnachten”: https://telescopefilm.com/search?findfilm=weihnachten&x=0&y=0&searchby=0

“holidays”: https://telescopefilm.com/search?findfilm=holiday&x=0&y=0&searchby=0

Just get the popcorn and you’re ready for the show! Enjoy!

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Image: Pixabay

Bavarian Yodeler in Hollywood – Meet Kathrin Jakob, Bringing Authentic Oktoberfest Vibes to California

What’s Oktoberfest Time without some real Yodeling?!

Welcome to a new edition of our XPAT Spotlight Interviews. Today we’ve invited Kathrin Jakob, a real “Müncher Kindel” by birth and ‘Yodel Star in Hollywood’ to share with us not only her story but also some Oktoberfest vibes. Born in Munich, Kathrin grew up in Lower Bavaria, in a village called “Wallersdorf”. She now lives in South Pasadena, CA. 

What inspired you to move to California?

Before I moved here I studied Vocal and Piano at a vocational school for music in Regensburg, Germany. Some of my teachers there had studied music in the US and that planted the seed in me that I could do something similar. I graduated with a degree but didn’t feel “finished” in any way and I started researching music colleges in the US. I visited Los Angeles to tour two schools with my mom and immediately fell in love with the city, the weather, and the people. That same year I moved to LA to continue my studies at the Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena.

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