Sep 13, 2018
From September 3 – 6, 2018, 134 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants met in the Jugendbildungsstätte Haus Altenberg in Odenthal/Altenberg (near Cologne) for the Orientation Meeting to prepare for their Fulbright grant year. Haus Altenberg is located in a beautiful, if remote, setting with an historic cathedral and buildings that date back to the 12th century. Representatives from the Fulbright Commission and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) provided the Fulbright grantees with information regarding administrative and organizational matters such as insurance, residence permit, teaching duties, and safety & security. English teachers representing 11 of the 16 German Bundesländer (9 of them Fulbright Germany alumni) played an integral role in the meeting by sharing advice and tips regarding teaching methodology and classroom management, and they observed small groups of ETA’s teaching a simulated lesson and provided very helpful feedback.
Five Fulbright ETA alumni from 2017-18 were present throughout the orientation meeting to share valuable advice from their Fulbright experience as well as lead a discussion regarding diversity in German schools. Benjamin Chapman, Consul for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General Düsseldorf, and Janani Ravi, 2015-16 Fulbright ETA alumna representing the German Fulbright Alumni e.V., also addressed the grantees. On the final evening of the event, the Fulbright alumni organized a talent show in which the current grantees displayed an incredible array of diverse talents including guitar and piano playing, opera singing, storytelling, poetry reading, dancing, and more. These amazing talents will be very helpful to the grantees in engaging their young students during the upcoming year!