Each Fulbright experience is unique because it is shaped by a multitude of factors. The academic host institution, its location, and the people working there all have a big impact on how FLTAs experience life in the US. For two semesters, I was able to teach and study at The Ohio State University (OSU)—one of the largest public universities in the US—located in Columbus, Ohio. If I had to pick one word to describe my time at OSU, it would be community. Let me tell you why.
I arrived in Columbus in late July 2022 and had a couple of days to settle in and explore the environment before my teacher training started, preparing me for my role as a German instructor. The workshop was a rather strenuous undertaking, but also a great opportunity to meet my new colleagues as well as instructors from other language departments. After two weeks of training, I was ready to teach, and I had become friends with people teaching a variety of languages such as Spanish and Japanese.
But not only did I feel a certain kind of affiliation with the other instructors, I also quickly felt at home in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (GLL). The staff and faculty were outstandingly kind and supportive and showed genuine interest in each individual student. Most of the courses I took were relatively small and relied heavily on input from the students, while being guided by distinguished experts in the field. This was a new experience for me, and it had a great impact on my perception of academic life in the US.