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Farewell Letter from DAAD Professor Dr. Niko Switek

June 30, 2021

Dear CWES community,

After three wonderful years at CWES, the Jackson School and the Political Science Department, my stay as a DAAD visiting assistant professor comes to an end this fall. The goal of the DAAD (short for ‘German Academic Exchange Service’) program that brought me to UW is to facilitate a sustained cooperation – and I think that worked very well.

I was impressed by the smart, engaged and curious students in my courses, who showed interest in strange ideas like multi-party systems or coalition governments. Faculty and staff were so welcoming and supported me with advice on how to adapt my classes to the UW environment and in patiently answering all the questions of a visiting professor. Also, I enjoyed reaching out to audiences beyond UW, in collaborations with the Goethe Pop-Up or the Thomas-Mann-House.

On a more personal note, we moved here as a family and were amazed by how we were welcomed here. We have met so many wonderful and generous people and families. Our older son Luis started his first day of school without speaking any English, and now you cannot tell him apart from the other third graders. Seattle is such a great place to live – we tried to discover as many mountains, lakes, and islands as possible. If you do push me to say something negative, I could have probably done without a global pandemic in our third year.

I especially want to thank Prof. Sabine Lang, who organizes the DAAD cooperation for CWES. She was incredibly helpful and supportive, in integrating me into the Euro Studies faculty, but also considering us as a family (thanks again for the kid’s bike!).

Even if Germany is far away, I hope that this is not a final goodbye. I am sure we will come back to visit and if you are interested in Germany or are planning research on Germany please reach out – my UW mail address will forward mail so you can continue to reach me at

Thank you all so much for making our three years at UW an unforgettable experience! I wish you all the best,