Each year more than 250 Language Assistants come to Germany to work in schools across the country. One of them is the 20 year old Rosanna Beach from Sheffield who studies at the University of Birmingham. We have invited her to tell us about her impressions so far.
What made you choose to study German in the first place?
German was always one of my best subjects at school and I've always loved the way it sounds. My German teacher at school was a real inspiration for me and I also have a keen interest in German history (there's certainly a lot of it!) so it seemed like the best subject to study at university.
What stereotypical ideas about Germany have you found to be most true or most false?
I was told that northern Germans are among the friendliest in the country, which I can well believe. People in Schleswig-Holstein do generally seem to be more open than those in other regions I've visited. They are also very keen on punctuality and good organisation but don't - as some people think - only spend their lives drinking Bier and eating Wurst! Up here a Fischbrötchen would be more appropriate!
What do you miss most about home?
I miss food like good-quality baked beans and Robinson's squash! And then that 'British way' of doing certain things - there's often an overriding feeling of politeness and warmth found in Britain which doesn't appear as much in Germany.
What was the most difficult situation you’ve had to deal with so far?
Dealing with a group of ten-year-olds who know you're not a fully-fledged teacher and trying to teach them some English was quite a challenge!
Do you think teaching as a Language Assistant can teach you something as well? If so, what?
I think the job gives you an insight into the world of work in Germany as well as what it is really like to be a teacher. You develop patience and listening skills, gain confidence in speaking in front of groups and of course you develop your language skills no end simply by talking to your colleagues.
Our Language Assistant programme
The British Council English Language Assistant programme spans five continents, placing people in 14 countries around the world. As well as improving their language skills and exploring a community, the experience rewards the Language Assistants with skills and insights that stay with them for life – and it sometimes sparks a long-term passion for teaching!
If you are interested in being a Language Assistant in Germany and would like to find out how to apply, have a look at the British Council website.
If you represent a school in Germany and would like to host a Language Assistant, check the details on the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst website.