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What can become of participants in the German Olympiad

Brigitte Horvathova took part in the 2012 International German Olympiad in Frankfurt am Main – and is now taking a bachelor’s degree at the city’s Goethe University. A short interview.

Ms Horvathova, how did you come to take part in the 2012 German Olympiad?

I come from the southwest of Slovakia and went to a secondary school there which belongs to the network of Pasch schools – that is to say it is one of more than 1,800 schools around the world with a particularly strong focus on German. I had to qualify at school, district and national level to take part in the German Olympiad; in the end, I travelled to Frankfurt with one other Slovakian student.

You won third prize in the category C1. What was it that you were required to do?

The German Olympiad comprised three parts. First I had to pursue an individual project, and designed a wall newspaper about Frankfurt. Then, working as a team, we had to describe an image we had in our heads to a professional artist. That was not easy at all. And last but not least, I had to chair a chat show with my team. I guess we completed all three tasks really well.

What did you do after the German Olympiad?

I had one more year of school, and took my final exams. At the same time, I explored the options for studying in Germany and applied to the DAAD for a scholarship. Then I got a place at university in Frankfurt and the scholarship. Currently I am doing a bachelor’s degree in political science at Goethe University Frankfurt.

What made you want to study in Germany?

The German Olympiad further increased my desire to go to Germany because I discovered that an entirely different approach is taken there as compared to the national selection process. It was not only knowledge that was wanted – but above all teamwork, creativity and flexibility. We had to question things, weigh up their advantages and disadvantages, and analyse them. I liked that.

And what will you do once you have your degree?

I would like to do a master’s in international relations and peace and conflict research, and later put my knowledge to good use in an EU institution.

International German Olympiad from 17 to 30 July 2016 in Berlin

The International German Olympiad is the biggest German language competition. Staged by the Goethe-Institut and the Internationaler Deutschlehrerverband (i.e. the International Association of German Teachers), its aim is to make young people abroad enthusiastic about Germany and the German language. 128 youngsters from 64 countries are expected to take part in the 5th International German Olympiad in Berlin.

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