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Bart Szymanowski

Bart Szymanowski '2023

Student Spotlight: Bart Szymanowski, '23

Bart is scheduled to graduate with three degrees in Applied Mathematics, Physics, and German in the spring of 2023. As an undergraduate, Bart balanced his schedule between STEM and GSS courses, taking one or two German classes per semester. With little prior knowledge of German, he took advantage of the University Without Walls summer session to take German language classes. During his three years of study, Bart was able to combine his interest in the sciences with language learning by taking advanced scientific German courses thanks to the iSTEP program.

The COVID-19 pandemic during the ‘20-’21 academic year made it difficult for Bart to travel abroad and utilize his learned language skills in vivo. Nevertheless, Bart was the recipient of the DAAD RISE scholarship a year later. As part of this internship program, he traveled to conduct in-person research at the University of Leipzig for three months during the summer. There, he worked on a project that combined the material from both his math and physics classes; all while being surrounded by the very language he studies. The German work and research culture made a positive impression on Bart, and he hopes to one day be able to take part in a similar program.

Bart plans to pursue his German language and STEM education further by studying electrical engineering in Germany. As it is the second most spoken language in Europe, he hopes to keep in contact with German while using it in his daily and academic life. Looking back at his experiences, he highly recommends the iSTEP major to any undergraduates at UMass considering the program.