Silke Burmeister “For international students, SMC is perfect! You can work on campus, combining it with your education, and they have great housing lists to get you linked up with good roommates.”

Voilà! The Internet. A chance drive along Pico Boulevard—and the sighting of SMC’s ‘billboard’—somehow stayed in Silke Burmeister’s mind when she arrived back home in Frankfurt, Germany. “I looked up SMC’s homepage, and I liked what I saw. I mean, it’s very expensive for foreign students to study in the US, and the fees at SMC were very good. Plus, they have a very excellent reputation. So I thought, ‘Why not?’ I always wanted to live in California, and here I am!”

It’s been said that if you go to the top of the highest mountain or to the smallest town in a desolate land, you’ll find at least three Germans there—sharing sandwiches and discussing the landscape. One cliché about Germans is true: They travel. And this is certainly true of Silke’s family. “My dad is a development aid volunteer who helps the Third World countries, and I actually grew up in Niger, in Africa,” says Silke. “Those years were actually the most important of my childhood, and it was actually a shock to come home to Germany.” And because of all her youthful travels, Silke does not plan on settling down anytime soon.

“I love writing, and it would be perfect for me if I could go back to Africa and report on the issues there as a journalist,” she says. “And I also love acting, so working as a broadcast journalist would use all of the skills that I enjoy. In Germany,” she continues, “you have to be very selective about what you study and what you choose to do. But at SMC, I don’t feel confined at all, and I’m discovering all kinds of new potentials. I like to think of this college as ‘my little laboratory.’”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.