Sunday, March 14, 2010

Michael Risch-Janson '08 Loves Teaching in Austria

During his time at SJU, Michael majored in both German and Physics -- and spent a semester in Salzburg!  After graduation Michael was a programmer at Securian Financial in St. Paul, then decided to apply for a Fulbright Teaching position in Austria.  Here he describes for our readers the new world he is discovering in Europe.  We are proud of you Michael.  And congratulations Michael and Angela on your engagement!  Here are Michael's reflections on his time in Austria so far...

Since last October, I have been teaching English in the small town of Wieselburg in Lower Austria. The experience has been an interesting and exciting one with its share of challenges that come along with living in another culture and speaking a different language. My fiancée, Angela Sigl, was fortunate to also get a job teaching English at another local high school. Since arriving here, we have developed several great friendships which have been invaluable in giving us an authentic experience. We spend our time teaching English at the local schools, where we share our knowledge of the English language and American culture and learn from the students about Austrian culture.

In October, I joined a local men’s chorus, which has made me feel even more a part of the Austrian culture. We have already performed several concerts in Austria, recorded a CD and have a trip planned to Brussels in June to sing at the European parliament. The choir has been great for me, not only musically but also personally.

Teaching in Austria has been a rewarding experience filled with many different adventures. You can read more about our lives in Austria from our blogs  and .