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Student Organization Spotlight: Drexel’s German Club

Drexel’s German Club at Global Day. From left to right: Franziska Bartel, treasurer and German tutor; Amy Smith, vice president; and Amarah Malik, president and German tutor.

June 25, 2019

“Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”, or are you simply interested in German culture? Get involved with Drexel’s German Club! We caught up with its president and founder, health administration and finance major Amarah Malik, to learn more about the club.

Amarah Malik ’21 - President and Founder of Drexel's German Club
Amarah Malik ’21

What is the purpose or mission of the German Club?

Our mission is to spread and introduce German culture through group activities that not only engage students, but also challenge them to develop a broader perspective on international issues (especially those related to German-speaking countries such as Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland). From a broader perspective, our mission is to develop Drexel students’ intercultural communication competence. 

By participating in cultural events, charitable events, study abroad information sessions, educational events, networking events and guest speaker series, students gain an understanding of the prominent role that Germany has played in the past and will play in the future. Together, we embark on an exploration of Germany's history, art and music culture, cuisine, cinema, politics, economy and health care to shape students’ understanding and cultural awareness of all things German! We give students a chance to find German-language practice partners in the club, so they can make new friends and learn from each other. Students are not required to speak German or take German classes to become members.

What activities does the German Club do throughout the year?

Drexel’s German Club hosts numerous recurring monthly events, as well as unique yearly events. We introduce innovative ideas through new events every year to keep our membership engaged and actively learning about the German culture. We host Kaffeeklatsch (German conversation hour) on a monthly basis for our members to get to know each other. We encourage all levels to attend these events! We also host game nights on a regular basis, in which members learn how to play German and Austrian board games. We always have new German treats at our events for members to have a taste of the German culture!

We also support our members in sharing their stories and connections with Germany. We have a culture talk series that serves as a platform for anyone to present about their connection with Germany through an informal presentation. Professors have also presented in the past, and German food is always more than welcome! Last spring, we also organized a waffle breakfast (Waffeln für Frühstück), in which we served waffles and taught members how waffles are made in Germany.

For students with little or no experience speaking the German language, we host a German crash course series to teach members the basics. We have also constructed a tutoring program, in which we pair members with fluent German speakers to help them reach fluency in the language. Whether students need to improve their grades in German classes or would simply like to practice speaking, our tutors are there to help!

Describe your favorite memory within the organization.

One of our major accomplishments this past year was organizing Drexel’s first annual Oktoberfest. As the president of Drexel’s German Club, I am very proud of bringing the German culture to campus in such a colorful way. Our goal was to make Oktoberfest as authentic as possible, and I strongly believe that, through effective collaboration with the Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Honors Program, that goal was made possible. We are very excited to bring Oktoberfest to campus on a yearly basis going forward!

How has being a member of the organization benefitted you, professionally and/or personally?

Being a part of this organization is truly rewarding. I remember arriving at Drexel on my first day, excited to continue on my journey to learning the German language (which I had been learning since middle school), only to realize that there wasn’t an organization dedicated to helping students learn about and connect with the German language and culture. I made it my mission to establish this organization after meeting with German teaching faculty and learning about the student organization recognition process. It has been three years that I have been running this organization, and I have come to know so many dedicated students and faculty through my collaborations.

The Drexel experience teaches students the importance of finding what makes you stand out, as well as reflecting on what makes others unique and what contributes to their unique perspectives. In my time at Drexel, I'm constantly carving my professional path to find who I am as a leader. Simultaneously, I have come to develop a strong sense of cultural awareness, which I highly value.

Are there leadership opportunities within the organization?

We recently completed the recognition process with a new e-board; however, we are open to helping students who are seeking leadership experience and are motivated to celebrate the German culture. If students are interested in leadership positions, I would be happy to organize something with them according to their goals. We also have tutoring positions open for students who would like to become involved in teaching other members grammar and conversational topics.

Who is the organization open to?

Drexel’s German Club is open to all students who are interested in learning about German language and culture. There are no requirements for prospective members to be able to speak German!

Learn more about Drexel’s German Club on DragonLink.