Preston Martens, a sophomore, placed fourth at the International German Olympics for his German skills, including reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension.
Martens has been studying German for two years, and next semester he will be in German 3. He does a lot of independent learning, using resources like Duolingo and Deutsche Welle.
“I chose to learn German because it interested me the most. It’s similar to English, and it’s easy to pick up the words. Plus, I can’t turn back now. I’ve come this far,” Martens said.
Many people from different states traveled to Chicago to participate in the competition.
“It was nice to meet people and learn about their culture. We had a common interest to learn German,” Martens said.
While the task to perform well seemed daunting to Martens, he mentioned that it was not as scary as he thought it was going to be.
“I thought it was going to be a lot scarier than it was, but then we got there and everyone was super nice,” Martens said.
He has been thinking about traveling to Germany to study during college and then getting a career with a German attribute.
“I think it would be really interesting [to work in a German field]. There are a lot of things I feel like I could do, it’s just about finding the one that works the best,” Martens said.