My name is Annika and I am originally from Hamburg, Northern Germany. I earned my Master of Education in English, German and Teaching German as a Foreign Language last July. Before starting my teachers training in Germany I wanted to go abroad and teach German while expanding my English language skills.

I have already been to many English-speaking countries around the globe, but Canada was still on top of my list. I have heard a lot about this country and as a future English teacher I think it is important to have spent some time in the different countries that you will teach about to immerse yourself in the culture and language.

Through the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, PAD, I found a teaching assistant position at Carleton University in Ottawa. The PAD-program offers young people the opportunity to support the German classroom by adding cultural insight into the language class. Part of my assistantship was also to organize events for the university’s German Club and informing students about activities related to the German language and culture in the Canadian capital.

After eight months of working at Carleton University, I can say that Germany is a popular country among students. I told them about Germany and especially the northern region through while assuring them that I was still German even though I strongly dislike beer and sausages and don’t wear a Dirndl!

While teaching I also had the opportunity to travel a bit. I visited Montreal and Quebec City as well as all the way to Nova Scotia. My biggest adventure is yet to come. At the end of May, I will make my way through the country to Vancouver. I am excited, especially for the Rocky Mountains.

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However, I had my most Canadian experience in Ottawa: I skated along the canal to school and had a Beavertail on my way back. I also learned that freezing rain is an actual thing. On Boxing Day I not only slipped and fell. I was lying on the ice like a starfish trying to get back up on my feet for at least 5 minutes. I wish somebody had taken a picture.

Now that I am closer to leaving Canada again, I can say for sure that the people are as nice and friendly as I have expected. They are some of the most open-minded and laid back people that I had the pleasure to meet. I will miss the friends that I made. They did not only help me survive the winter but they made my year a very special Canadian experience. I will be back, hopefully sooner than later!

Check out this video from the EU Language Day in Ottawa (2016) where Annika taught a German class


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