Fall 2019

Caroline Cox Studies Neuroscience in Munich and Berlin

When I declared a double major in Neuroscience and German Studies, I never imagined that they would be a combination that would actually go together! I considered them to be two separate academic interests of mine, and every class I took in college was directed towards either one or the other. That is, until my neuroscience research mentor showed me a program that managed to perfectly combine the two: the Neuroscience Semcaroline_gvinar in Germany. Offered by the College of Charleston every 2 years, this program is a 3.5 week upper-level neuroscience seminar taught in the context of the research being conducted at some of Germany’s top neuroscience labs today. The first half of the trip was hosted by LMU in Munich, and the second half was at the Charité in Berlin. Over the course of the program, we read and discussed scientific papers for research being conducted at these institutes, and then were able to meet the researchers themselves, attend lectures by them, and see their projects in person at their research labs. While the course was taught entirely in English, I was able to use my German skills to converse with the researchers in their native language and connect with them on a deeper level. Ncaroline_gv2ot to mention all the showing off that I could do for the other students on the program, whether it was translating a menu in a restaurant, chatting with a cashier at a clothing store, or explaining to them the different types of German Würste! In addition to the academics, I was able to explore the beautiful (but very different) cities of Munich and Berlin, along with a short trip to Salzburg, and could even meet up with some old German friends along the way. Doing the program showed me that no matter how unrelated they may seem, my two interests have a lot more in common than I originally assumed, and that German Studies is something that can work for anyone regardless of their interests! Caroline Cox.