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German alumna reflects on time at RCBC

Marie Totzke

Although a college education is free in Germany, Marie Totzke left her homeland to pursue an American education at Rowan College at Burlington County.

“It is free, but you don’t have those same kind of interactions or opportunities as you do in an American university,” said Totzke, 26.

She got her chance to work and stay in the United States in 2012 when the au pair agency she worked for matched her with a family in Columbus, New Jersey. In 2014, she decided to pursue an education full-time at Rowan College at Burlington County, changed her visa to an F-1 student visa and moved in with friends she had made while working as an au pair.

At RCBC, Totzke made the most of her experience. She served as president of the college’s student International Club, Vice President of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and a senator with the Student Government Association.

“RCBC let me fulfill my dream of a college career, helped me find my passions and strengthened my voice as a first generation college graduate. Whenever I doubted how much further I could go, RCBC paved the way,” she said.

After graduating in 2016 with an associate in business administration and accounting, she transferred to RCBC’s premier partner, Rowan University, on a merit-based scholarship to study accounting.

Today, Totzke lives in Düsseldorf, Germany and works for Deloitte Germany. She hopes to further her accounting career by taking the CPA exam in the United States and possibly in Germany, as well.

“RCBC provided opportunities for me to get out of my comfort zone and helped me build leadership skills that I still get to use every day,” said Totzke. “Even when I transferred to Rowan University, I knew I could always come home to campus and count on support. I thank RCBC for so many things and couldn’t be happier to have gotten my education at such a special school.”

Marie's story is part of RCBC’s 50 stories for 50 years. In honor of the college’s 50th anniversary, RCBC is profiling students, faculty, administrators, alumni and the college community. Anyone interested in being featured can contact rcbcnews@rcbc.edu. To follow along on social media, use #RCBC50Stories.