Political science major Jeff Alder ‘20 has been named a Fulbright ETA finalist for Germany. ETA programs place Fulbrighters in classrooms abroad to provide assistance to the local English teachers. ETAs help teach the English language while serving as cultural ambassadors for the U.S.

Alder notes:

“Despite the Berlin Wall falling 30 years ago, Germany is still divided, with the former East being almost abandoned by the West, which can be seen by their higher unemployment rates and stronger political patterns for right-wing parties, which I studied during my time studying in Freiburg. I want to experience a Germany and the eastern culture I have yet to interact with yet have studied extensively.”

He adds: 

“Teaching a language is like teaching someone how to play music because all four modalities of learning are used: reading, writing, speaking, and listening, which is why my time as a drum instructor has prepared me for the ETA.

“Just as I would begin every drum lesson with the student sight-reading a new piece of music, I will do the same in the classroom and have the students read a short article, related to American politics, then have a small discussion about it. Not only will I get a gage on their speed and comprehension of the reading, but it will also introduce new vocabulary.

“Outside of the classroom, I will volunteer at a local Frauenhäuser organization, which gives temporary shelter to families in the event of domestic violence, so I can continue giving back to an institution that has helped my family in the past. I also plan to take classes at the nearest university to contribute towards my master’s education in international relations, which would also give me an opportunity to make friends with peers closer to my age.”

April 28, 2020