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Two Recent UW-Eau Claire Graduates
to Teach English in Austria This Fall

RELEASED: July 21, 2006

Emily Braun
Jessica Schiff
Emily Braun (top) and Jessica Schiff have been awarded teaching assistantships in Austria.

EAU CLAIRE — Two recent graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have been awarded U.S. English Teaching Assistantships in Austria. The assistantships are offered through a program of the Austrian Ministry of Education and administered through the Fulbright Commission in Austria.

Emily Braun, Fond du Lac, graduated in May with a major in German and a minor in geography. Jessica Schiff, Superior, also graduated in May with a German major and a topical minor in writing and editing in professional venues. Both will leave for Austria in mid-September and stay until June 2007. They will first participate in orientation programs that will prepare them to teach in Austrian schools and give them an opportunity to meet other teaching assistants.

Braun will then head to Bad Aussee, a small city in the center of the country surrounded by the Alps, where she will teach in three different classrooms for four hours each a week. Schiff will live in Klagenfurt and teach there and in Maria Saal, another town 10 km. north of Klagenfort. Both women will teach English and American culture.

During their time at UW-Eau Claire, both women studied abroad Schiff in Austria and Braun in Germany and both believe those experiences helped prepare them to succeed in their new roles.

"Some of my experiences at UW-Eau Claire include studying in Graz, Austria, in 2003-04, working as the Peer Adviser for the Graz study abroad program, as well as German classes and a variety of English and journalism classes," said Schiff, noting that she also worked at the Concordia Language Villages teaching German to kids ages 7-18 during the summer of 2005.

"While in Austria I took two courses in the American Studies department at Karl Franzens University-Graz, so I got an interesting perspective on how many Austrians view the United States and what they are taught about our country," said Schiff. "That experience will be helpful when I am teaching students about American culture.

Schiff also said she'd spent some time in Klagenfurt and was excited about returning to that city.

Braun said her semester in Germany honed her German language skills since she had to speak in German every day for three months. She also said she had to adjust to the German culture.

"In my work abroad I will need to adjust to the Austrian culture as well as use my German skills on a daily basis," said Braun. "My education classes at the University have also prepared me for the teaching aspect in Austria. My most recent and best experience has been teaching at Eau Claire's North High School."

Braun knows she wants find a job teaching German when she returns. Schiff, who currently works as a documentation intern at SISU Medical Systems in Duluth, is still deciding whether teaching will be in her future.



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