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tylerpeters
10-24-2005, 06:03 PM
Somehow I have managed through my contacts to garner a verbal commitment to Weihenstephan for masters studies in brewing. The problem is I am just begining to learn German and am finishing up my undergraduate degree in Bacteriology in May 06 while working at the Joseph Huber Brewing Company in Monroe, Wisconsin.

The thing I really want to know; is Weihenstephan worth the trouble of learning German and spending the massive amount of money to complete the studies? I've heard so many different things from the people I've talked to about it that I just want to hear what members from around the rest of the brewing industry have to say about it. The costs of the immersion programs to first learn German and then to live in Munich is not cheap, so i'm attempting to make sure that when i'm done with it all it will be all worth it.

Any help or ideas on the school and/or funding for such studies??

Alex T
10-25-2005, 02:39 AM
Hi,

If I was you, I would find the money somehow and go for it! Will you say, "I could have went to the Weihenstephan and couldn't be bothered?". Yes, not easy to learn German, and I know it is not easy to find money, but if you do well in the course, it will give you a huge leap ahead in whatever stream of brewing you choose to work in - microbrewing, macro-brewing, brewhouse manufacturers (Steinecker, Huppmann, Briggs, etc). People go into debt for doing things like PhD's in art - who cares? Do it if you want to do it.

As for how to get the money...... if I knew how to get it, I would probably have already been there.... Good luck!!!!

Alex

Beersmith
10-25-2005, 08:29 AM
Alex,

I only know about Weihenstephan through its reputation. Being both a brewer and a former linguist, I hope my advice will be relevant. The education you would receive be invaluable, not only the brewing side, but the language experience also. I worked as a Russian linguist while in Germany for 3 years, and studied the German language while living there. German is not that difficult of a language, especially for a native English-speaker (a hell of lot easier than going English to Russian, imo). When you study German, you will also learn there are many similarities with English, especially when dealing with modern technology issues. Many Germans speak English very well, and I am sure that many of your fellow students will be able to help (within reason). That said, you should definitely prepare yourself well for being in the learning environment with a different language. You cannot afford to get behind in the beginning or else the frustration can be overwhelming. Studying some German prior to an immersion program will help significantly. Getting an idea of the language structure and building some reading/writing skills will greatly increase your immersion experience, many immersion programs emphasize building conversational skills. Do your research on available programs, I am sure there are some great ones out there.

I think it is certainly a great opportunity, one that will change the course of the rest of your life. I cannot speak to the finances or personal committment, only you can determine if it is worth it. An education from Weihenstephan will certainly increase your opportunities in the brewing industry. And besides, you will get to drink a lot of really good beer (and wine) while your there....

Good luck in whatever you do!

Beersmith
10-25-2005, 08:31 AM
I guess I got names confused, I should have addressed that post to Tyler. Oh well, I'm sure you figured it out by now anyway...

tylerpeters
10-27-2005, 03:13 PM
"you should definitely prepare yourself well for being in the learning environment with a different language. You cannot afford to get behind in the beginning or else the frustration can be overwhelming. Studying some German prior to an immersion program will help significantly. Getting an idea of the language structure and building some reading/writing skills will greatly increase your immersion experience"

I have thought about things a bit more and am starting German next semester - and taking another semester's worth over summer before i head on off in late August/early September (if i find $$). After much thought this is what i really want to do and I look forward to the challanges ahead - thanks for your input.

Kim
10-28-2005, 02:12 AM
You can also go to the VLB (Versuchs und Lehranstalt fuer Brauerei) at the technical university in berlin, where i did my diplom in brewing science. They teach a lot in english and the brewmaster you can do there in one year is complete in english. Berlin is cheap and a great city. Just check it out at www.vlb-berlin.org and the page is also written in english.
good luck Kim

tylerpeters
10-28-2005, 07:02 AM
Thats not a half bad idea, but for some reason i want to make it hard on myself and learn german. I figure learning another language along with taking what could be the most prestigous brewing program on earth might not be the worst idea. I do appreciate your input and your comments are not taken lightly. I have though about programs like you have mentioned but I also come from a family which the minimum amount of education is 2 college degrees - so you can imagine the pressure to get a masters. The chance to do what i've always wanted to do (travel europe... and drink good beer) is not far away, and its a challange i look forward to. Thank you for your comments.