Giancarlo Paradisi wins First Prize in the Dr H H Stewart Literary Scholarships and Prizes in German
Congratulations to our student Giancarlo Paradisi, for winning the First Prize in the Dr H H Stewart Literary Scholarships and Prizes in German. We spoke to Giancarlo, who studies German as part of his World Languages degree, about his achievement, his motivation to study German, and his experience at UCC.
What does receiving the First Prize in the Dr H H Stewart Literary Scholarships and Prizes mean to you?
Most of all, I feel that being placed first for a scholarship that is quite competitive and involves multiple Irish colleges is a testament to my dedication to German. I see it as confirmation that I’m on a good trajectory in my studies and as a sign that I should keep up with the work I’m doing as you can eventually reap the results. Third level education can be a draining process but rewards like this help with keeping focussed on the end goal and keeping in mind the importance that your commitment can have.
What motivated you to pursue a degree in German and languages more generally?
I find it ironic that today I’m pursuing a degree in German and getting good results for it because I originally never meant to take up German as a language in school. I had to since there were not enough people wanting to study the other language choice to form a class. I became passionate about German when learning it, it started feeling like a challenge, it sounds so different from Italian, my first language, but that’s why it feels more rewarding than with other languages, when I understand it, written or spoken. I look back at texts I did in school that I thought I would never understand and it feels good when I realize that now they seem simple to me. I suppose that’s why I study German, as well as languages in general like Spanish and English, I feel motivated knowing that my dedication results in actual improvements and while German often seems demanding to learn, the feeling of getting better at it is what pushes me to keep going.
What was your experience with the Department of German and UCC so far?
The experience I’ve had with the Department so far has been great. Whenever I’ve asked for help or clarification I was always assisted efficiently. Language classes strike me as they often make it fun to learn and improve at something that can feel as complex as German grammar and communication. I believe my critical and analytical skills have improved thanks to the German literature modules I have taken as I was pushed to think harder about the ways in which works of literature can reveal topics that are at the same time current and relevant to their time. I’m glad I chose to become a UCC student and I’m grateful for the skills I have developed so far and that I will continue growing over the course of my degree.