Carolin Seffer’s love for language study was fostered by an exchange year to the UK from her home in Germany, when she was sixteen. It was then enriched by the opportunity to be an English tutor in after-school classes while still at secondary college.
Carolin also volunteered as a German language teacher for refugees.
Alongside language studies at uni, she was lucky enough to study another passion—Geography—and realised she wanted to be a teacher.
Carolin has been teaching German Language at BSSC and Crusoe College since April this year.
She’s found her Australian students hardworking and passionate and says it’s been “so much fun” working with this motivated group of students.
“Learning a language is not just about gaining the language skill itself. In the classroom, we combine history, geography, music and art—giving the opportunity to develop an intercultural competence.”
One of the main reasons Carolin loves teaching in a foreign language classroom is because discussions broaden students’ horizons as they speak about current issues—but in another language.
“I think it is essential our society decreases racism, intolerance, and supports respect towards others. Not many other school subjects are able to target those competences in the same way and with the same frequency.”
Carolin also believes she has gained as much knowledge about Australia, as her students have about Germany—and cannot wait to share this when she’s back in the classroom in Germany.
Recalling her first impressions of Australia, Carolin says she felt very welcome at both of her workplaces right away, and well-supported as she settled into the other side of the world!
Still, it was challenging. She arrived with just one suitcase and it took a while to find a home and a car. She says her colleagues stepped up and helped support her though these early days.
“I’m very grateful for this because it made everything so much easier!
She says getting used to what distance means in Australia was one of her early and major challenges and clearly remembers the first time she saw a kangaroo.
“It was so exciting! Now it’s just part of my daily life—especially when driving at night.”
Carolin has made some amazing friendships while in Bendigo and was able to travel to many places across Australia.
“I’m leaving beautiful Bendigo in mid-January and thinking about leaving soon is something I find very difficult. I hope to be able to return one day.”
Still, there is much to look forward to at home. Carolin plans to start a teacher placement during the European summer and finish off the second state exam to become a fully qualified teacher.
BSSC thanks you for all you have contributed and wishes you all the best for the future.