Corena Pincham

Corena Pincham

Name: Corena Pincham
Graduation Year: 2022
Major: International Studies
Minor: Geography and German

Knowing that I’d have to choose a language for my International Studies degree, I thought I would try something new after being dissatisfied with Mandarin and French in high school. I wanted something that was linguistically closer to English and relevant for my academic interests. I had a baseline familiarity with German culture, so I felt it would be fun to dive deeper into that world by studying the language. That turned out to be one of the best decisions I made during my first year at Miami.

German was more challenging than I expected but this was the first time I felt truly connected to a foreign culture as my skills advanced. This had a significant impact on the trajectory of my major, as Western Europe became my regional concentration for ITS. I appreciated having a different language experience than most ITS students; I leveraged that unique cultural knowledge perspective in various policy, history, and political science courses.

During sophomore year I started thinking about where to study abroad, another requirement for my major. I wanted to put my language skills to use with native speakers and take courses providing a European perspective on international affairs. My experience living in Berlin during senior fall was incredible – I felt so at home in that dynamic city, the beating heart of where immense national and global history has taken place. This was my first opportunity to spend substantial time outside the U.S. so I knew it would be impactful, but nothing prepared me for returning to America with a second homeland. I met both of my personal criteria for the experience there as well: communicating bilingually in Berlin and the other major cities I visited, and learning so much about transatlantic relations and German history.

Taking two German courses during my last semester at Miami following that helped me hold onto cultural elements I dearly missed being back home, and I was able to reflect on my recent experiences in many discussions and assignments. All 6 semesters I spent learning German here were enjoyable not only for their curriculum, but also for the lovely peers and faculty I had beside me. I am now an intern at NASA utilizing a different skillset, but I look forward to getting back to my career interests in international affairs (and hopefully dabbling in German affairs). It is hard to fully describe the value GRAMELAC has brought to my life as a student and now young professional, but my gratitude for the department is infinite.