International dental student brings perspective and enthusiasm to her studies
An international student is spending the semester at the University of Minnesota, expanding her worldview and her understanding of oral health care.
Maike Weilandt has long known that she wanted to pursue dentistry—drawing on her love for working with her hands and artistry. After attending high school on an island in the Baltic Sea called Fehmarn, she completed an apprenticeship as a dental technician in Hamburg, Germany, before volunteering in the same role in Bolivia.
“I enjoyed working in Bolivia, because I got to have more contact with patients,” she said. “I enjoyed that, because it was so different from the work I had done in the past. The people I worked with were so thankful that someone was helping them with their teeth.”
Realizing that she had made the correct choice in her career path, Weilandt began a five-year dental program in Greifswald, Germany in 2018.
Now in her fifth year, Weilandt was excited about the possibility of studying abroad in the United States. “I had never been to the United States, and I was curious to learn about a new culture,” she said. “I think it just really opens your mind.”
Weilandt has enjoyed her time at the School of Dentistry so far, remarking on how large everything seems in the United States—from the size of Moos Tower to the aisles in the grocery store. She also feels truly welcomed, and appreciates the training she is able to get.
“I’m getting a lot of opportunities to treat patients,” she said. “Feedback is given well, and faculty speak with the students in a way that makes us feel like we’re on the same level.”
When she returns to Germany after the semester is over, and prepares to complete her studies before becoming an assistant and eventually opening up her own practice, Weilandt will do so with the knowledge she has gained and the memories she formed here.
“I am so thankful for this experience, and for everyone who has made it so great for me,” she said. “The students and faculty have helped me feel at home, and I feel so privileged to be in this position.”