Ada Abroad: Living and Working in Germany

An online journal recording two years spent as a Fulbright/Pedagogical Exchange Service Teaching Assistant at secondary schools in Germany. (2003-2004 I was in a village near Bautzen; 2004-2005 I will be in Nordrhein-Westfalen.)

Location: Münster, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

I'm an American living in Germany, working as a foreign language assistant at a secondary school. Future plans: getting my Ph.D. (probably in Germanic Linguistics), becoming a professor, living an ethical and meaningful life.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Breaking the Silence

OK, I know I haven't written in a really really long time. As usual, my excuse is just that I've simply been too busy. Here's the update:

-I got into all three graduate programs I applied to. All offered me funding, but the amounts vary (of course). However, while that will be playing a role in my decision, it isn't everything.

-Two weeks ago I spent five days in the US visiting one of those three programs. On Friday I'm flying out again to visit another one. (They're paying for my travel expenses. Otherwise, there's no way I could go!) I hope to make my final decision while I'm out there. Since the deadline is April 15th, that will be cutting it a bit close!

Now I suppose I should (briefly) explain the American grad school application process, since there is nothing like it in Germany:

'Graduate school' refers to anything about a Bachelor's degree (the degree that most US college graduates earn-- for us it takes 4 years). In my case it refers to a Ph.D. program. However, since I do not yet have a Master's degree, I'll have to earn one of those first. Doing the coursework for the Master's degree will take 2 years. After that, I will have two years of coursework for the Ph.D., followed by about 2 years of writing my dissertation. Grand total: 6 years. A difference between the US and German systems: since graduate study takes longer in the US, you are not required to know your dissertation topic upon entering. I'll have about 3-4 years to figure that out. However, you do need to know what subject you want to study: you apply directly to the department or program, not to the university.

Applying to grad school is a lot like applying for a job. Unlike in Germany, where you just need a decent grade point average (from the Master's/Magister level) and the support of a sponsoring professor (Doktormutter/Doktorvater) to earn a Ph.D., in the US it is quite difficult to be accepted to grad school. Also, it is considered 'normal' to do your undergraduate and graduate work at two different universities.

The graduate school application process includes:

-Taking a 3-hour (or so) standardized test called the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), which tests knowledge in writing, mathematics, and English. Depending on what you want to study, you may also have to complete additional GRE subject tests. (I took care of the GRE back when I was in the US.)

-Writing a resume/curriculum vitae-- it's expected that you should have won scholarships and awards or presented research as an undergraduate, and you need to document that.

-You need three letters of recommendation from professors who worked with you as an undergraduate.

-You also need to write a Statement of Purpose: basically, an essay describing not only why you are well-suited to attend graduate school, but also why you think that the particular program you're applying to is right for you.

The programs pick and choose which applicants they want to accept-- they aren't required to accept all candidates who meet certain minimum qualifications. In addition, there is the question of funding: Not everyone who is accepted is offered financial support. Without an offer of financial support, you have to pay for tuition yourself (easily $20,000 a year). If you are offered financial support, you are exempt from paying tuition and also receive a small stipend (about $8-$18,000 a year) on which to support yourself. In return, you usually teach undergraduates or serve as a research assistant for a professor.

The point of visiting the programs is to see whether you fit into the department and get along with the people you want to work with. In general, American students have a LOT more contact with their professors than German students do, so it's important to make sure there wouldn't be major personality conflicts.

So, that's what applying to grad school is about, and why it's been eating up all my time and prevented me from blogging for the past two months!

In other news, I'm going to see Brokeback Mountain with my roommates today. Dubbed into German, which will be really weird. Especially since I read the original short story by Annie Proulx (in English, of course-- it's quite good, incidentally) so I have expectations about what Jack and Ennis are supposed to sound like. Hopefully they at least did a decent job translating the dialogue. I dislike dubbing. Why can't the Germans just use subtitles, the way the Dutch do? And might this extra exposure to English have something to do with the fact that the average Dutch person speaks better English than the average German does?

I'll try to write again soon. But probably not til I'm back from the Midwest.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

how long will you be in the states, and when do you return for your graduate program? will you be in europe in july/august? i might be in spain, and if so, i would plan to visit france and holland and would also like to visit you in germany. take care!

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » »

3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! Cub scout t-shirts incorporate in online il Remedyfind patient ratings of celexa for social phobia tenuate dieting drug Fire alarm sound testing Low temperature spray dryers

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful and informative web site. I used information from that site its great. Fujitsu allegra sony cordless phone answering machine

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

7:02 AM  
Blogger jenniferlopez said...




7:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

MapleStory 2 let you be anything or anyone you want, from star athletes to heroic soldiers to immoral criminals. You can command a tank, fly an airplane, travel around in space, just so many things you can be and to help you understand it all, continue ahead to the article below of MapleStory2 Mesos.

Subtitles are available for a reason, so use them! Do you find dialogue hard to hear because of the music, special effects and other game components? Seek out the subtitle option. Just about all games should have this. Here Maplestory M Buy Mesos, you will be prompted to turn the subtitles on or off upon playing.

8:45 AM  
Blogger smrtsmith said...

If you want to buy safe and cheap game gold coins
,The mmoah website has it, not only cheap, but the most important thing is security. The game FFXIV Gil here are all made by real people and are absolutely legal. Moreover, the user's preferential activity page is quite powerful, and the delivery speed is very fast, because the customer service is very dedicated and will not drag down. This is my most satisfactory place.

4:51 AM  
Blogger Michael Jones said...

Another foremost benefit of Assignment Help Online is that they are available all the time, so students can ask any of their queries to them at any time.

8:16 AM  
Blogger rickypauls said...

Assignment Writing Help gives me a solution to how to score good marks and attain the attention of professor. In a competitive world, only hard work is not enough to score high but how you present your content is very important. And this I learn from Assignment Writing help. A powerful tool to score high marks in Assignment.
Assignment Help
Assignment Help Online
Online Assignment Help
Assignment Help Online Services
Assignment Helper
Assignment Assistance
Assignment Help Experts
Online Assignment Help Services

11:48 AM  
Blogger Stefan Carl said...

students assignment help have the specialist in assignment writing that have more than 10 years of work experience and they offer high-quality help with assignment writing services to the students. If you need help you can mail us on

8:18 AM  
Blogger Rayan Warner said...

Nice article and thanks for sharing this to us. You explained in a nice way. Here will help you with all any technical issue difficulties in using Microsoft Office products and will resolve all your any doubts regarding the setup, password reset and installation process etc. calling the tech support team will save your time and money. Office 365 Support

12:01 PM  
Blogger Reagan Pessah said...

Hello there, I found your website by way of Google while looking for a similar matter, your site came up, it seems great. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.Also Visit on
Best Editing Services

11:44 AM  
Blogger unknown said...

What a nice blog! I have enjoyed reading through the article although I landed on this site while I was looking for data analysis assignment help . I will be visiting this site occasionally to read more interesting and intriguing articles. I hope the writer will continually keep us updated with new information.

10:08 AM  
Blogger unknown said...

What a nice blog! I have enjoyed reading through the article although I landed on this site while I was looking for irrigation equipment suppliers in Kenya. I will be visiting this site occasionally to read more interesting and intriguing articles. I hope the writer will continually keep us updated with new information.

7:15 AM  
Blogger pesh said...

What a wonderful content will be occasional visitor. Our team has professional writers who handles nursing assignment with almost 100% perfection and delivers quality work free from plagiarism. Place your order today at nursing care plan writers and get work done

9:16 AM  
Blogger pesh said...

Best piece of info ever looking forward for more, if you have always desired to look like Jesse James or James Bond, your look won’t be complete without a typical full-length all-leather duster. Get one from Leather Duster Jacket

1:55 PM  
Blogger Binary said...

Thank you for this wonderful information looking forward for more, if you live in an area with some hills and slopes and you are planning to buy an electric scooter to climb the hills when commuting or enjoying the beautiful view of the landscape, you need to choose the best electric scooter for climbing hills around your area. All from Best Electric Scooter for Climbing Hills

3:49 PM  
Blogger Sam Smith said...

Thank you for sharing great content. Will be your occasional visitor. Drip Irrigation is a kind of micro-irrigation system that delivers water slowly at a low pressure near or at the root zone of the plants. Get Best drip emitters today

2:48 PM  
Blogger James Ian said...

I have been looking for such great information for some time thanks I finally found it. From sweetbreads to sandwich bread, to gluten-free bread, people are using these handy bread maker machines to replace the less than appetizing store-bought bread. But choosing a bread machine isn’t exactly easy. Visit Best Buy Bread Maker for more.

11:20 AM  
Blogger James Ian said...

Thank you for such a great content looking forward for other. When it becomes hard to manage your online assignment, availing Online Assignment Help is the best choice. Many students often fail to submit their assignment before deadlines and end up scoring low grades because they didn’t have enough time to write the assignment given on time and satisfactorily. Read more on Assignment help UAE .

8:53 AM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

In order to write a top-notch assignment, research would be the first step. But if you think you are not good in writing or research part and looking for some creative writing ideas then you can hire the ABC assignment help experts who can provide you instant assignment help for your assignment task.

8:16 AM  
Blogger My Assignment Help Online said...

My Assignment Help online is the most preferred writing service provider for students to get assignment help for any subject in Australia. Contact us now to connect with our most professional writers and get best assignment help Perth service to score outstanding grades in your concerned subject.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Max Willor said...

Quite Interesting Post You Made. It's Nice Shared Information And It's Quite Helpful Post. At, We Offer Pocket-Friendly Services And Write Tailored Assignments. Students Trust Our Assignment Help in Australia. To Get Authentic Assignments Within Deadlines, Hire Us Today!

12:15 PM  
Blogger goingF said...

Thank you for such a great content looking forward for other. I have been looking for such great information for some time thanks I finally found it.

Top 10 Container Shipping Companies In The World

10:20 AM  
Blogger Assignment Help Australia said...

Students can take experts' assistance via Assignment Help services from the Australian service providers. Professional subject matter experts will help you to write your papers before the due dates even if you have issues of timing or quality content.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Caleb said...

I’m amazed by your great effort to make best content on internet. But wait! Did you know? Everyday hustle and bustle make it difficult for most people to get some time for hitting the gym, but doing a few yoga poses right in the comfort of your home can be good enough. That is why a quality rolling wheel is an essential part of your workout kit. Visit Chirp Wheel for more.

8:57 AM  
Blogger get assignment help online said...

Student can normally have issue finishing Assignments.Many assignments area unit quite difficult and have to be done in a very short period of your time. That’s not continuously possible. After all, there area unit so many assignments from all varieties of subjects that require to be done at the same time. but many students troubled by the deadlines of the Assignment submissions they don't know how to get high-quality assignment in a short time, most of the students get stressed. but now Assignment Help In US is here providing best quality Assignments.
visit here:
online coursework help
online coursework writing
coursework assignment help
online coursework service
coursework help online
coursework writing service
Java Assignment Help
Java Assignment Helper
Java programming help
do my java assignment
coursework help
coursework help service
help with coursework writing

9:50 AM  
Blogger Sam Smith said...

What a nice piece of content. At the point when the yard work is done, it's a great opportunity to cook outside. Envision yourself planning steak, fish, chicken, cleaves, imps, canines, burgers, or a major skewer of marinated vegetables on a new gas grill. Hungry? You’ve come to the right place. Learn more on Best Gas Grills

10:13 AM  
Blogger James Martin said...

Assignment Help allows scholars to get experts' assistance at very reasonable rates from a reliable service provider in Ireland. Make sure to provide correct details to your service provider so you will get the complete assignments before the due dates.Online Assignment Help

11:13 AM  
Blogger James Ian said...

What an informative article. Tell you what I have bookmarked your website for regular checkup. Thank you for taking time to share such a great content. Are you puzzling about who to contact for Nursing Writing Services? Could it be that you are working on a tight budget yet need high-quality nursing-related assignments? Is it the efficiency that you are looking for? Well, with the popularity that the nursing course has gained over the years, there are a lot of gaps to fill in the health sector. Read more on Nursing Writing Services.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Assignment help said...

My Assignment Help is an incomparable online assignment writing service delivering excellent assignment help service. We have the best in-house team specialist to take complete care of assignment within provided time limit. Convince yourself only after looking at the list of our free samples talking of our quality and expertise.

1:57 PM  
Blogger James Marcus said...

Nice blog and great topic you choose. I am really impressed by your content and headings which you used in your blog. Same as you, I am also here for advertising for my Outlook web-page. When we use Outlook email then we face several things that we do not know at the time of installation, and these things can make differences. So I am here to light-up some useful and technical things about the Outlook email application. To know about the Outlook, you should visit our Outlook Customer Service web-page. For the separate technical help of the printer, click our web-links.
Outlook Support Phone Number
Outlook Customer Service Number
Outlook Tech Support Number
Is there a phone number for Outlook support?
How do I contact outlook Support?
How do I contact outlook by phone?
And we also provide information and help for printer from our HP Printer Support and HP Support web-page.
Thank You.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

Hi, this is a wonderful piece of writing. I want to say that a nursing professional portfolio is a must-have document for every nurse. It contains everything a nurse needs in their career. The idea is to collect everything and have it in one place to easily trace them whenever you need them. There are nursing students who finding compiling the documents and putting them in one place difficult and opt to look for help in a platform like Nursing Professional Portfolio . Luckily, we are always here to help.

2:47 PM  
Blogger customerservicehelpnumber said...

Awesome and informative blog. I always like your blog because your blogs are really very impressive, that’s why I always prefer your blog to read. I would like to say that I am also here to promote my printer web-page like you because there are many untouched facts that are helpful to notice the problems. You will read many facts and figures from our web-page because our service page will bring you lots of new and advanced things for you. You should just click our HP Printer Support web-page to know about the printer. On the other end, if you feel helpless to figure out the reason for the printer issue then you may also click our given web-links to help.
Visit our printer web-page:
HP Support
HP Printer Customer Service,
HP Printer Tech Support,
HP Technical Support,
How do I troubleshoot my HP printer?,
Does HP have a customer service number?,
Where is the HP Support Assistant?
We are happy to help, so always feel free to contact us.
Thank You.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Euni said...

Thank you for sharing such a great article. A critique is a document that provides a basic appraisal of a book or editorial, not a feedback. A scrutinize is a particular mode of exposition into which you recognize, assess, also react to a creator's thoughts, together decidedly also adversely. It is generally connected to scholarly sources. When you are writing a critique it has some steps. Read the book or article many time while you are selected. If you are more time read, you can get many points from that book or article. Write a rough note about the author's main points or thesis statements. Read more on Article Critique Homework Help

12:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home