Congratulations to Alabama School of Math and Science (ASMS) junior Emmeline Nettles for being accepted to attend the 2018 summer AATG/Pädagogischer Austauschdienst Study Trip. The 3-4 week trip to Germany is offered through the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) and its Pedagogical Exchange Service (Pädagogischer Austauschdienst).
Nettles’ connection with German language, culture, and politics extends back generations as her maternal side of the family is German and her father lived in Germany for some time. Nettles also gives a lot of credit to her teacher, Muriel Hoequist, for encouraging her to learn more about the language and culture.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this trip without [my teacher] Frau Hoequist,” Nettles says. “She has taught my class so much about German and German culture. I definitely feel prepared for this experience thanks to her.”
The program only accepts one student to participate per state, and not all states make the cut each year to have a participant. In addition to scoring in the 90th percentile on the National German Level II (or above) Exam, students must not have visited a German-speaking country for more than two consecutive weeks since the age of six, must not live in a German-speaking household, and must go through an extensive interview process.
“I am elated that Emmeline won this free, high-quality 3-week-immersion for herself! The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) does a great job of motivating and developing learners of German early on in their language career! She will learn more than she realizes and she will make friends with other excellent learners of German from around the country,” says Hoequist. “I have had four of my students win this national award and two be chosen as alternates over my time at ASMS. When she comes back to our class in the fall, I have no doubt that she will tell her classmates about her experience and motivate them and our next generation of potential winners to try to qualify for this unique experience. ”
Students accepted into the program will experience Germany as part of a family with a host brother or sister. They will attend the local academic high school with their host brother or sister and participate in other events and field trips.
Nettles will be away from home for three weeks. After attending ASMS and already living away from her home in Monroeville, Ala., she feels prepared for the trip. The experience of living with a family in Germany and going to a German high school will help her with every day conversational skills, and she believes that the pros of the trip definitely outweigh the cons.
In the future, Nettles hopes to continue to fine-tune her German speaking skills while pursuing a degree in Computer Science.