PRHS Junior Erin Mahon Selected for Free University Study in Germany


Erin Mahon (left) pictured with her German Exchange partner in April 2019.

Prairie Ridge junior Erin Mahon recently won a place in the competitive Study Bridge program. Study Bridge is designed to prepare U.S. high schoolers for study at a highly accredited university in Germany.  Erin, who wishes to study chemical or material engineering, initially found out about the opportunity in her German class at PRHS.

Erin’s German teacher, Jameson Higgins, describes her as “a model student and naturally curious.  She works hard every day in class and always has a positive attitude. I am so proud of her for exploring Germany as an opportunity for her future and I am confident she will be successful.”

Like many high school students in the U.S., the prospect of studying at a local or regional university entails a tremendous financial burden.  Even after saving for decades, most students still require the help of scholarships and student loans to complete even a basic degree. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost for studying at a 4-Year Institution in the U.S. averaged $26,593/year in 2017.

Germany offers high-quality university study to qualified citizens and international students for roughly 150 Euro each semester. This has led many local students to scrutinize the value of certain degrees and seek out more cost-effective options. According to a 2015 article from the BBC, thousands of U.S. students are already enrolled in German universities to help reach their educational goals.

For Erin, who has studied German for the past three years at Prairie Ridge, the opportunity to earn a degree for a fraction of the cost in a culture she already studies was too promising.

After accepting the opportunity, Erin shared that, “by studying in Germany, I hope to learn more about the culture and gain a new perspective. I also want to further my education in engineering and science, and I feel that I can really achieve this by studying at one of the top universities in Germany for STEM. On top of that, an education in Germany would really set me up for many job opportunities and connections.”

Now that she is accepted to the Study Bridge program, Erin has begun supplemental, online German language studies with her colleagues across the U.S. In July she will join them for a summer course in Germany to continue to improve her language and intercultural training.

In an effort to encourage more U.S. participation, the Goethe Institut has recently promoted the Study Bridge program to potential students in the U.S.  The Study Bridge Program is open to U.S. High-School students who have a basic knowledge of German Language and demonstrate above-average academic achievements in STEM subjects.

Erin is the second student from D155 to be selected for this program.  Max Bradford of CLS is currently studying in Germany as a Study Bridge Scholar. For more information about the Study Bridge Program visit the Goethe Institute website.