Turning the Tables

30 Sep

Next week I will be working as a camp counselor at the Longbridge camp in Langenbrucke, Switzerland (Langenbrucke=German for “Longbridge”). Longbridge is a language training camp for Swiss children between the ages of 12 and 16–a place where they will be exposed to an all-English environment for one week. The program I’m with here in Freiburg, IES Abroad, sent me an e-mail about the position because the organization that runs the camp has had many IES students work as counselors in the past. I am extremely excited to be helping these kids learn English by getting them involved in activities and organized events, and hopefully I’ll get some insight into how other cultures learn about us Americans instead of myself learning about them. I know that I’m supposed to be teaching them, but I have a feeling that my next entry will not be about what I teach these children, but rather what they are going to teach me. As a bonus, I am getting paid around 400 Euro for my efforts, which is nice because if it were any more I’d have to pay taxes and such (I can only make 400 a month on a student visa).

In other news, Tuesday was our last day of classes for the pre-session here in Freiburg. The pre-session was a three-week intensive language program offered by Uni Freiburg’s Sprachlehrinstitut (Literally, Language Teaching Institute), and consisted of 3 hours of language courses in the morning supplemented by Vorlesungen (lectures) and Seminars in the afternoons. The most important aspect of this program to me was that it was conducted entirely in German, as not all of the participants could speak English, so it definitely got me in the “German” swing of things. I got a score of ‘2’ in my class, which is the equivalent of a B+ in the grading system back home; I’m satisfied with that, because I would rather have learned more in a challenging environment than breezed through class and gotten a perfect score without actually learning many useful things.

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