Emily Massey, from Rossville, GA, is a recent graduate of Berry College, having completed her degree in English (writing concentration) in May 2008. Just before graduation, she was offered a position in the Austrian Fulbright Program to teach English to native German speakers in the town of Wels, Austria during the 2008-2009 academic year.
While in Austria, Emily has been a Teaching Assistant in two different schools, to fifteen different teachers and in twenty-one different classes, with students ranging in ages from twelve to eighteen. She assists the regular classroom teachers with reading and listening comprehension exercises, leads group discussions and debates about literature, current events and issues, as well as prepares and teaches her own lessons about American culture and customs. Her main objective has been to help teach her students the English language by encouraging them to participate in class and actively use the language. Another goal of the program is to create a better understanding of the United States and American culture for the students.
Emily’s year hasn’t all been work, however. She has taken part in local culture, including skiing, Nordic walking and hiking, and attending traditional folk music concerts and literature readings. During the month of December, Emily participated in a Weihnachtslesung (Christmas lecture), an evening of literature reading by local authors and community members, at which Emily read some of her own works. While in Austria, Emily has continued writing poetry and short works of fiction and is currently working on a series travel narratives, documenting her time abroad. She has traveled to many other countries around Europe, including Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Romania, and Hungary.
“This has been an amazing experience,” Emily has said. “I’ve loved learning about another culture first-hand and have made some great friends, who I hope to be able to come back and visit as often as I can. I surely don’t want this to be my only trip to Europe, though it has been a great one. There are still many other cities and countries I would love to see.”
written by Pamela Harris, '09C
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