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Lara Steinike (2016-2017 Germany, English Teaching Assistantship)
B.A. German Education, minor Biology education, graduated December 2015

Lara studied abroad in at the University of Kassel, Germany, during spring semester of her junior year. She knew she wanted to go back after graduation, and the Fulbright ETA program seemed like a perfect match.   

When asked to describe her responsibilities as an ETA, Lara said, “First and foremost my responsibility is to serve as a cultural ambassador between my German students and the US. Serving as a direct connection between Germany and the US and taking part in thoughtful cultural discussions is one of my favorite parts of the Fulbright experience!

Another exciting part of being an ETA however, is that the experience and what responsibilities you have are really up to you. Making strong connections with my colleagues helped integrate me into the school community and as a result I have the opportunity to engage in a huge variety of activities at my school!  During my first few months some of my responsibilities have included, advising in the school’s English debate club, working with students in class on English projects, playing games to get to know students and help them practice English, and creating a Pen-Pal exchange between the high school in Eau Claire I student taught at and my school here in Germany.” 

A typical day for Lara includes some hours each day at school (editor’s comment:  ETAs are typically expected to work around 20 hours/week). She gets together regularly with a few other Fulbrighters in the city to discuss how school is going, and to plan trips.  She also tutors a few students in English every week.

Lara sees her Fulbright experience as a transition step between her time at UWEC and her future studies in teaching German as a foreign language.  She is currently applying to graduate programs in Germany and says that the Fulbright has not only given her insight on the school system she hopes to be part of in the future, but also gives her time to further strengthen her language skills and make connections at the university she plans to study at next year.