Abroad in Germany: Teaching, Learning, Aiming for a Fulbright
Back in the U.S. barely long enough to shake the jet lag, Allison Zuckerman ’18 already missed Munich, where she studied for 10 months, focusing on German history, culture and language. Spending an academic year abroad was a natural progression for her.
In high school Zuckerman studied German and went to Germany as an exchange student, but she arrived at Hamilton ready to explore other subjects to major in. “You’ve got that open curriculum, so I was like, ‘Let’s see where my interest lies.’” Still, her interests took her deeper into German and Germany. Zuckerman took more German language and loved it. She took history courses, starting with German history, found them riveting, and settled into majors in German studies and history.
Majors: German Studies and History
Hometown: Allamuchy, N.J.
High School: Pope John XXIII Regional High School
A professor encouraged her to spend a full academic year abroad, and it was the right move for Zuckerman. The study-abroad program in which Zuckerman participated is run by Wayne State University, one of 100 plus off-campus study programs approved by Hamilton.
“The program itself is very self-motivated. It’s more on you to meet German people and practice the language itself. I like that, and I liked the independence I had. My German’s better, I have a lot of friends from not only over the world but America too,” she says.
In addition to handling her coursework, Zuckerman found opportunities to teach in Germany, first as an English language tutor for a five-year-old girl who spoke Ukrainian and Russia.
During a break between semesters, she worked at an English language theatre camp for children. “That was really fun. And through that camp I met an American teacher who works in Munich, and through him I got an internship at the equivalent of an elementary school,” Zuckerman says. She helped out for a month at the bilingual school, observing American, British and German teachers in action.
Zuckerman thinks the two semesters she spent in Germany may be a springboard to more time abroad. Working with Ginny Dosch, Hamilton’s student fellowship coordinator, Zuckerman plans to apply for a post-graduate Fulbright award to return to Germany to teach.