Michael Marrone

Michael Marrone

"My experience with the Canisius College German Program cannot be measured; it was invaluable.  Four years onward, I continue to owe a great deal of my success, confidence and maturity to the German Program. For the last four years, I have been stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. I lived in Würzburg for two years, a beautiful university town in Northern Bavaria, and currently reside in Wiesbaden; a twenty-minute drive to Frankfurt Airport, and the world is my oyster. My ability to communicate with the citizens of my host nation places me far above my American peers, and its advantages extend beyond Germany's borders, whether in the beautiful ski regions of Austria, Switzerland or Southern Tyrol, or extending to multi-lingual cities in the Netherlands and Belgium. The ability to communicate directly with the local population is an undeniable advantage I take for granted. It is easy for me to act as the liaison between our American unit and our Bundeswehr partners. Additionally, my German language abilities have allowed me to continue to develop my athletic interests, something I would be denied were I not able to speak German. After passing the Deutsche Eishockey Bund officiating exam (in German) I was selected to referee the Deutsche Eishockey League-2 (DEL-2) and Oberliga, the second and third highest professional ice hockey leagues in Germany. It is a blast working games in Germany, and it is not uncommon to have 5,000-6,000 fans present; the German fans create earth-shattering energy. I am also an Olympic Weightlifting (Gewichtheben) and CrossFit coach at CrossFit Wiesbaden, which has a great mixture of both German and American members. After learning German vocabulary specific to the fitness industry, I can now teach classes in German or English.

Although this may seem like a list of what I have accomplished while living abroad, I can say that the list would be far different if I had never studied through the Canisius College German Program. In fact, it would probably only be a few sentences long, and state something of the sort, "living and traveling abroad." Without the ability to speak German, my extracurricular life would be minimal. I could never integrated deeply with the local population; I would never have had the privilege of being the only American referee within the German Ice Hockey Leagues; I would not have been able to coach 150 members within a German-owned and German-operated CrossFit gym; and I would never have been awarded the German Bundeswehr's “Abzeichen für Leistungen im Truppendienst”, nor Austria's “Gebirgsjäger Edelweiss Badge” for climbing the Austrian Alps. I am living abroad because of my choice to join the U.S. Army, but my ability to integrate fully into German culture and take full advantage of what Germany and Europe have to offer, is a direct result of my choice to study under the excellent professorship of Dr. Böhm’s at the Canisius College German Program."