I can safely say that if it was not for my experience as a USTA in Styria from 2010–2011, I may have never embarked on my career path as an international college admissions officer. There was not a single day as a USTA that I did not learn something new from my students at the school in Raumberg-Gumpenstein. My students’ different spoken dialects, customs and learning styles allowed me to attempt different teaching methods and share fun aspects of my upbringing in New Jersey. Not only did my experience as a USTA allow me to hone my skills as an educator and learn more about the Austrian educational system, it also gave me a platform to expand my international education knowledge base, which I continue to draw on every day as one of the international admissions officers for Bennington College. It is for these reasons that I am forever grateful to the Fulbright Commission for granting me the opportunity to live and work in Austria over eight years ago.
Jonathan graduated from Lafayette College with a degree in geology. He taught in Styria during the 2010–11 school year as a participant in the US Teaching Assistantship program administered by Fulbright Austria. Photos courtesy of Jonathan Werkmeister.