By: Nick Santangelo

Reading books, attending lectures, taking tests and completing assignments are essential to improving language literacy skills. But foreign language students truly get the most out of their educations when they complement on-campus learning with studying abroad. At Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA), many German students do just that by studying in Leipzig, Germany. Some students, however, need a little help getting there.

To enable more students to take part in the Intensive Summer Language Program in Leipzig, CLA is holding a crowdfunding campaign through OwlCrowd. If the funding goal is reached, four students who otherwise couldn’t afford the trip will be able to spend their summers consuming German culture and experiencing German life firsthand. And even the smallest gifts can make a difference in these students’ lives.

“It's the act of giving back in general and helping students here, affecting faculty and just trying to make a difference,” says CLA Major Gift Officer Angelica Howard.

CLA has been using OwlCrowd campaigns to benefit its students since 2017, and Howard says they’re a great opportunity for alumni, students and others to make a big impact through small gifts. The Leipzig trip is a particularly great OwlCrowd cause because traveling overseas is essential to a liberal arts education. It can be expensive, though, and there’s a funding gap.

“Travel funding is an area that we don't have a lot of scholarships or awards for,” notes Howard. ‘So when students are trying to get that experience abroad a lot of the times they're doing that out of their own pocket or they're getting loans in order to do that.”

That means many students who’d love to take advantage of this opportunity are unable to. The hope is that it OwlCrowd will put $1,000 into the hands of four students, enough to get them to and from Germany and ensure they’re fully immersed in German culture while in Leipzig.

It's the act of giving back in general and helping students here

And Leipzig has so much for students to be immersed in. Associate German Professor Anthony Waskie says students who make the trip return “filled with a deep appreciation” for the city, the country and the University of Leipzig, where they take German as a foreign language courses.

“In a relatively brief time in summer sessions, students are exposed to an intense and comprehensive experience that brings them to high levels of language proficiency and facility,” says Dr. Waskie. “They also gain a familiarity with the rich and bountiful culture, civilization and illustrious history of the German City of Music—Leipzig—and other areas of Eastern Germany, not normally seen by most visitors.”

After returning home, students typically continue with more advanced German courses and often become committed advocates for the Leipzig trip. They’re more cultured than ever and possess expanded worldviews, having experienced a breadth of opportunities they can’t get in the U.S.

“If I had to describe my Leipzig experience in one word, it would be rich,” says Ivy Chen, a mechanical engineering and German double-major with two minors in economics and philosophy. “One thing that I got from the Leipzig program that I couldn’t have gotten if I didn’t study abroad was the ability to communicate with people across different cultures.”

To get the chance to do so, many students need just a little financial boost. Once the OwlCrowd Leipzig campaign is completed, beneficiaries will be selected after students apply just as they would for any other scholarship or award, and students who are awarded funding will get a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“The Leipzig trip wouldn’t have been possible for me at all without the support of a Temple scholarship,” says Ryan Duncan, a political science and strategic communication double-major and German minor.

Now, you can help make it possible for more students.

Please help students like Ryan and Ivy make it to Leipzig by donating to OwlCrowd! Every little bit you can give helps and will be greatly appreciated by CLA, the German Department and our students.

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