"I remember having several of the same students in my classes from year to year which allowed for the development of academic and professional relationships that have had a lasting impact on my career and personal life to this day."
Major(s) and Certificate(s): International Studies and German. TESOL Certificate
Graduation Year: 2012
Current Location: Madison, WI
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?
ESL Instructor and Student Services Coordinator, WESLI, Madison, WI; February 2016 to Present, ELL Instructor, Journey House, Milwaukee, WI; May 2015 to February 2016, Administer and rate TABE CLAS-E listening, reading, and speaking tests Adjunct ELL Instructor, Moraine Park Technical College, Fond du Lac, WI; September 2015 to December 2015, ELL Specialist, Marian University, Fond du Lac, WI; September 2015 to December 2015
What motivated you to study this/these languages?
A study abroad trip in high school to Germany opened my eyes to the idea of a second language allowing my brain to think in new ways never thought imaginable. The benefits of learning a second language go far beyond just completing some pre-req. Apart from mastering a second language, I acquired immense critical thinking and cross-cultural communication skills.
How have these languages enriched your life?
The experience of fully immersing myself in another language and culture motivated me to become an English as a Second Language instructor. Having always enjoyed my time in language classes, I joked that my career goal was to be a student forever. By becoming an ESL instructor I have essentially made this goal a reality. Every day, I get to use my own experiences to benefit others all while continuing to learn about the world around me through other languages and cultures.
What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?
I remember having several of the same students in my classes from year to year which allowed for the development of academic and professional relationships that have had a lasting impact on my career and personal life to this day.
How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences?
While studying abroad through the Academic Year in Freiburg program, I accepted an internship through a local gastronomy company. At the time, I thought my main interests were in the restaurant industry. Looking back, this internship was invaluable not for the restaurant experience I was gaining, but rather the language learning experience.
How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?
Long lasting friendships with German speakers, current Treasurer of the Academic Year in Freiburg Alumni Association (501c3 promoting study abroad program) in contact with our German branch. Many of my current students come from German-speaking countries which allows for continued practice and improvement.
What advice do you have for current language students?
Language learning does not end in the classroom. Get out there, put yourself in uncomfortable situations and don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?
“Fernweh” translated from German to mean “Longing for travel” or essentially the opposite of “Homesick”