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emily gauld, germany, 2010-2011

Fulbright Year: 2010-2011

Country: Germany
Proposal Type: English Teaching Assistantship
UGA Undergraduate Majors: German, Music
Graduation Date: May 2010
Hometown: Watkinsville, GA

Emily Gauld said she applied for a Fulbright grant with the goal of improving her German-speaking skills. She was pleasantly surprised to learn that she was just scratching the surface.

“Not only have I had the chance to immerse myself in a culture that I have come to know as so much more than lederhosen and beer gardens, but I have also been able to gain a unique outside perspective on my own country,” says Emily, who spent her Fulbright year teaching English to young people in the German state of Bavaria. “In the long-term my goals have not changed so much as they have become more defined over the course of this year.”

Emily was so enthused about her year in Germany that she opted to stay on, serving as an English teacher at a school in the city of Dortmund.

Working with a wide range of students at a gymnasium (the highest level of high school in Germany) in the small town of Forchheim, Emily says she found novel ways to help her charges learn English.

“As a part of my duties, I worked with students from 5th grade to 13th grade during their English classes,” she says. “With older students, I often worked on conversation practice one on one or in small groups, with topics ranging from the use of nuclear power in Germany to the latest ‘Harry Potter’ movie. For the younger students, I often took over full lessons teaching topics such as the days and months, or doing fun activities like creating Valentine’s Day cards.”

With some leisure time at her disposal, Emily immersed herself in the color of the community and the continent.

“I had a good bit of time outside of school to explore my region and experience local culture,” she says. “I also joined a local music club, playing horn in their band – I even marched in a parade with them. I also had the opportunity to do some traveling to England, Scotland, Austria, and the Netherlands during my breaks.”

While the happy memories of her Fulbright year are many, Emily says interacting with fellow English teachers was definitely a highlight.

“To pick one favorite memory out of an entire year is nearly impossible,” she says. “However, one recent memory definitely stands out (as), if not as the best, then definitely within the top 10. In the beginning of June, there was a large festival in a city about 15 minutes south of Forchheim. On the first night of the Berg festival, I joined six other ETAs from the region for a final hoorah before we all said goodbye. We had so much fun enjoying the rich culture of our region, comparing stories of our years, and making new German friends, who incidentally happened to work for the city’s web site, on which our picture ended up on the homepage of the next day.”

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