Q&A with our ETA

von Alexander Rosetz

Interview with Ms Robert

Last week, grade 12 students from Mr.Rosetz’s English class sat down with our English teaching assistant, Ms.Robert, to ask some questions about everything from life in the U.S. to her experience in Germany so far.

Q: What do you miss most about the US?

A: I think I would probably have to say my friends and family. Not only am I 5,000 miles away from home, there is also an 8 or 9 hour time difference. So even though I theoretically can call or text my friends and family, I can actually only do so during certain times of the day.


Q: What will you take away from your experience in Germany?

A: My German speaking is certainly improving, but really I am gaining a much better understanding of what it is like to struggle to communicate. I think this will allow me to be more compassionate in the future with foreign language students, as well as those with communication disorders or differences.


Q: Why did you decide to come to Germany?

A: I studied linguistics, Germanics, and speech and hearing sciences in university. As graduation was approaching I began to plan my next steps. I came across a program called Fulbright that sends grantees to all different countries for all different things such as study, journalism, and research. I decided to apply for the English teaching program in Germany because it made the most sense with my degrees.


Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: I have been considering studying audiology in the U.S. This would require a special doctoral degree, called an AuD, which would take around 4 years to complete. As an audiologist I would work to help people with hearing loss.


Q: Would you want to do this job in another country?

A: I also applied to a similar program in Austria but ultimately chose Germany instead. I wanted to stick to countries where I knew at least the basics of the language, which limited my options a bit. In the future I might be interested in teaching elsewhere.


Q: Which languages do you speak?

A: In high school I took 4 years of German. I continued to take German at university where I also began learning American Sign Language. I took 2 Latin courses and 1 French course but unfortunately I have forgotten both languages.


Q: Did you have any preconceptions about Germany before moving here? Did they turn out to be true or untrue?

A: I think Germany has a reputation- and I don’t know where this comes from because I don’t think it is true at all- that they’re very strict about crossing the street when the light is red. I don’t know where this comes from because I see people here do it all the time. So that was kind of a big surprise for me!


Q: Germany and the U.S. have a huge variety of food. What would you say is your favourite type of food?

A: In the U.S. my favorite food would probably be mac & cheese.I figured out that you don't really have that here in Germany, but I'd say Käsespätzle is somewhat similar. I also really like döner, which we don't have in the U.S.


Q: What other experiences have you had outside of your job?

A: I have really enjoyed getting to travel. For example, I was able to visit Hungary and Italy. If it weren’t for this program I would have probably never traveled there.


Q: What are your favourite places in Germany?

A: I really enjoyed visiting and hiking in the Saxon Switzerland national park near Dresden. I thought the scenery and history of the area was very interesting.


Q: A lot of people associate the U.S. with celebrities. Have you ever met anyone famous?

A: One time in high school I was in Disneyland on a school band trip. We were waiting in line for a ride, which was taking a while, so we began talking to the people around us. One guy said that he was an actor. I was a bit skeptical because there are a lot of people in California who want to be actors. I asked what he had been in and he told me that he played a role in a show I had never heard of. After we got off the ride, a swarm of fangirls ran up to him and began asking for his autograph or pictures with him. I found out later his name was Michael Campion and that he was an actor on the show Fuller House.

If you have further questions about the Fulbright program, the United States, or English, feel free to reach out to Ms. Robert at robert.miah@gymnossen.lernsax.de