Sofia Linsenmeyer

“Germany, and specifically Vauban, became like a second home.”

Program: Academic Year in Freiburg (AYF)

Student’s Majors: Communication Sciences and Disorders, German

Sofia at the Hochburg (“high castle”), a castle outside of the town of Emmendingen, near Freiburg.

Academic Life: I was able to take many different types of classes during my year in Freiburg. I took some classes directly through our study abroad program, which are taught by German professors specifically for American AYF students. I was also able to take classes directly through the University of Freiburg and also at the Pädagogische Hochschule, another type of university in Freiburg that is geared more toward people who want to be teachers. These were classes with mostly German students and sometimes a few international students.

Housing: I lived in Vauban, a district about 10 minutes with the tram outside of the main downtown. It is a district known for its focus on environmental sustainability and green living. It is also a center for alternative living- there are people who live in commune-type housing in the area and some who live in wagons. It is a vibrant, interesting area with many young families and an active student community. It is close to grocery stores, the Black Forest, and the tram stop. I was very happy that I lived there.

Internship Experience: I had an internship as an English assistant at a German Gymnasium (grades 5-12) in Freiburg. I helped the English teachers with their lessons and sometimes taught sections of the lesson by myself. I hope to teach English abroad in the future and my internship was the perfect opportunity for me to gain more experience teaching in a classroom. It is really a valuable work experience and teaches you how to adapt to different work situations with different cultural influences.