Teaching Abroad: Brooke Soto
Posted by stintedu1 on October 13th, 2017
Year in school: Senior
Program: Teaching Abroad at Berlin British School
“Teaching abroad has been a life changing opportunity for me. I am experiencing new cultures, languages, and people. I am also discovering different teaching strategies that I believe will make me a better teacher.”
Why did you choose to teach where you did?
When opportunity knocks… open the door! I first heard about teaching abroad this past spring. A guy came in to talk about how he student taught in France and how he is currently teaching in France because of this. After class was done I went and talked to him about how he was able to do this. He told me about a program, through the school, that allowed him to pick a country and teach there. I knew this was something that I had to do. With my love of traveling and my desire to teach, I applied to teach abroad and (spoiler alert) was accepted! My first choice was to teach in Vienna but God had other plans for me. I wasn’t able to teach in Vienna but was accepted to teach at the Berlin British School in Germany.
What were somethings you had to get used to living in Germany?
There are many thing that I will have to get used to.
1. Most stores (including grocery) are closed on Sunday.
2. Your life doesn’t revolve around your schedule… it revolves around the U-bahn, S-bahn and Tram schedules.
3. You can’t be soft spoken.
4. It will feel like leg day every day.
5. If someone tries to hand you something, don’t take it. They’re probably trying to take something from you or get you to buy it. Also, your purse is your best friend so always keep a hand on it.
6. Don’t smile. It’s considered flirting. But for real.
7. If you need help with translating or getting somewhere just ask. People are typically very friendly and then you have a new friend.
8. Almost every building has some sort of historical significance. So take lots of pictures.
9. Yes, there is a McD’s 2 blocks away and you did pass a BK’s on the S-Bahn but…. TRY NEW FOODS!
Living in a different country provides opportunities that may never come again. Being adventurous is the best way to enjoy my time here.
What are some things you enjoyed learning while abroad?
Walking around Berlin there is history around every corner. It’s amazing what I’m learning along the way. I discovered that there is an abandoned airport in the middle of Berlin.
In 1948, Soviets cut off West Berlin from having access supplies. This was done because West Berlin was located in the middle of the Soviet’s portion of Germany. They were afraid of what might happen if the anti-Soviet West Berliners united against them. In response, Operation Vittles was formed. Within the next year the Allied forces sent around 2.3 million tons of cargo to West Berlin to keep them from falling apart. The Berlin Airlift is a memorial (located in “Platz Der Luftbrucke”) to those who died trying to help the people of Berlin get the supplies they needed.
Want to read more about my experience abroad? Follow my personal blog posted below!
Connect with the OIE
Posted by lundj on September 8th, 2017
Connect with us!
We are in a new location- Cofrin Library 108 (by the Garden Cafe)
We are open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:30pm. Stop in, call, or make an appointment to meet with one of our advisors.
You can call us at 920-465-2190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org- also find us on social media (@UWGB_oie or #UWGBstudyabroad)
The OIE has MOVED!
Posted by lundj on July 19th, 2017
The OIE has moved into our new space over the summer! Make sure you come visit our new office in Cofrin Library 108 (right by the Garden Cafe!
See you soon!
Spring 2018 applications will be open soon!
Posted by lundj on June 22nd, 2017
We are in the process of updating our full website (content, budgets, attachments, etc.) and will have applications ready and open for spring 2018 study abroad programs very soon!
Please keep an eye on our websites and social media for updates and our announcement when applications are open. If you have questions in the meantime, please let us know!
We are open all summer, so stop in, email or give us a call.
A Semester in Germany: Emily Van Rossum
Posted by stintedu1 on June 22nd, 2017
Name: Emily Van Rossum
Majors: Democracy and Justice Studies/Spanish
Year in School: Sophomore
Program: Semester at IUSP Phillips Univerität Marburg, Germany Spring 2017
Why did you choose to study abroad?
I have been dreaming about studying abroad my entire life, since I was about 5 years old. I did not know exactly where I wanted to go, but I knew it would be in Europe. My mother had studied abroad in England, and my father had spent some time in Germany as well, so they were very supportive in my spending a semester here. The UW system has a great study abroad program, which was a quality I valued when looking at attending college. I had also grown up to know that living in a different country will bring countless benefits to your future life, so I continually worked towards setting up my academic plan in such a way that I could have time to fit this into my curriculum. Starting early has paid off in my case, because I’m not behind in credits, and am actually still on track to graduating on time.
Why did you choose to go where you did?
Many people have been surprised that I chose to study in a German city when I am earing my degree in the Spanish language. I chose Marburg for a few reasons. First, I wanted to explore the most of Europe that I could during my time abroad. There is rarely another period like this in life that will allow you to travel to so many places in such limited time. Germany is centrally located in Europe, which warrants many opportunities for adventure. I have a strong German and Dutch heritage, so curiosity about where I came from also influenced my choice.
What did you struggle with?
The university itself is spread out all over the city, with buildings by the cafeteria, and also right across from Elisabethkirche, the church of Marburg’s patron saint. This might seem very daunting when coming from a school where all of the buildings are connected by tunnels, but I found that locating everything took a relatively short period of time. It’s similar to being a freshmen all over again. One of the struggles has been learning the bus system, but getting lost sometimes leads to finding new adventures; not always a bad thing.
Another personal struggle has been not knowing the language. I do have a language course I am taking here, and we learn a lot of helpful information, like how to navigate the German culture, words or phrases to order in restaurants, and what to look for when in a train or bus station. It takes a little time to adjust hearing German everywhere, but I have found that when I return to Marburg after being in a different country for a weekend trip, all the German sounds perfectly normal, even if I can’t understand the majority of it.
How has studying abroad personally help you?
Surprisingly, my time abroad has actually helped with my homesickness. I am one of those people that loves to stay in bed and watch movies all day, but being in Germany has helped me be more outgoing. I don’t have a TV in my room, so I find that I am going out more, taking weekend trips, and doing my homework in a different building, which helps me not to think about home so much. Of course I miss my family and loved ones, but I know they will be waiting for me as soon as I step off the plane in Wisconsin. My mission is to enjoy my time here and bring back amusing stories to tell. And to study of course.
What is your favorite experience studying abroad?
My favorite experience in Germany so far has been visiting a blind cafe. Here in Marburg they have a special school for blind students, and the city itself is tailored to assisting them in leading independent lives. The bus stops have audible schedules, the sidewalk has specific ridges on it so indicate where a walking path is, and the crosswalks will all make a noise to signal that it’s safe to cross the street.
In an attempt to bring awareness to regular people who have their sight, there is a blind cafe in which the dining experience is done totally in the dark. The waiters are blind, and there is not one shred of light that helps you see your food. I had apple pie and ice cream when I went, and used my hands more than I used utensils to eat my food. It truly gave the feeling of not having any sight at all, and how it must feel like to navigate everyday tasks without being able to see.
What advice do you have for those who want to study abroad?
My first piece of advice for anyone planning to study abroad is to always be open: open to meeting new people, open to eating new foods, or open to listening to opposing views someone may have. Be open to finding a new bus when yours is not on time, and open to the new university system. Second thing is always have wet wipes. They come in handy more often than you think, and it is always good to have some on you. Three, there is never a shortage of German bakeries, and life is too short to not go and enjoy all of them.
I cannot wait to get back to America and see how much I really have changed without realizing it. Besides there being obvious differences in the language and the way the university is set up, I know I have habits that have been modified. For example, Germans usually only buy groceries for one or two days, never a huge cart full, and the stores are not open 24/7. I have now gotten in the habit of buying food for only a few days in advance, so I anticipate feeling a subtle difference at home. However I have changed though, I know that I will always look back at this adventure with great appreciation for such an amazing semester.
Winter 2018 Travel Course Info online!
Posted by Jenna Laabs on May 3rd, 2017
Check out our website (Destinations, then search for Winter courses) to see what is being offered this coming winter! More information regarding costs, dates, and specific itineraries will come over the summer. The courses offered (with focus) are:
Cuernavaca, Mexico (Business, Education & Social Work)
Ecuador (PEA, URS, & Geography) Rwanda (DJS & PEA)
South Africa (Democracy & Justice Studies)
Don’t forget about our two winter university programs in Germany (Hessen IWU)!!
All deadlines for applications are October 2nd
The Office of International Education is open ALL summer, so call, email, or stop in with questions!
A Semester in New Zealand: Haley Stevenson
Posted by stintedu1 on May 3rd, 2017
Haley Stevenson has been spending the semester in Auckland, New Zealand! She has also been keeping a personal blog to share her ongoing experiences. Interested in reading all about it? Here is the link to her online blog!
Live. Laugh. Kiwi.
First Steps to Study Abroad
Posted by Jenna Laabs on February 15th, 2017
Interested in Study Abroad? Not sure where to start or have specific questions? Stop by a First Steps to Study Abroad Information Session!
They are held:
Every Tuesday @ 2:00
Every Wednesday @ 1:00
In the Office of International Education (CL 207) during the semester. Stop by!
National Student Exchange Information Sessions
Posted by lundj on February 9th, 2017
Stop by our National Student Exchange information sessions TODAY (Feb. 9th) in the OIE!
What’s HOT in Study Abroad?
Posted by lundj on January 24th, 2017
Come to our event on THURSDAY, Jan. 26th!
Free hot chocolate/coffee & learn about study abroad programs and events this semester!