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Teaching Abroad

Erin O’Farrell ‘17 spreads light in Prague

Erin O'Farrell, Wittenberg class of 2017, is currently teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic. She credits Wittenberg University for the opportunity and courage to dedicate at least one year to teaching in Prague. She possibly intends to extend her commitment to a new location when the year is up.

The faculty at Wittenberg constantly checked in on O'Farrell as she made the decision to move to Prague and followed the progress of her application. An early childhood education major from Indianapolis, Ind., O'Farrell notes that the time she spent student teaching in classrooms allowed her a vision of what it is like to be a teacher and how to be organized.

Though O'Farrell is loving her new experience and #LifeAfterWitt, she says that seeing on social media that all of her friends were back at Wittenberg for Homecoming in September was especially difficult.

"There are not a lot of things I dislike about being over here but missing Homecoming was so hard. While I love the beautiful campus, the people will always be the thing I miss the most [about Wittenberg]," said O'Farrell, who started her position in Czech Republic through the Language House. The program not only provided her time and the resources to help assimilate her into Prague, but also included a course to earn a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate. With this certificate, she can teach English anywhere in the world after completing her first year in Prague.

While she misses Wittenberg, O’Farrell has met many new people and seen many new places during her teaching adventure.

"Moving to a different country has been a crazy experience especially after spending the last four years at a small, tight-knit university," said O’Farrell, who was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, class cabinet and spent time MC-ing Wittmen Crew concerts during her time at Wittenberg.

She claims that being surrounded by people in a foreign city with everyone speaking a different language is an experience that only Wittenberg and her involvement could have prepared her for.

"Traveling is crazy easy over here. You can buy a train ticket the day of and then all of a sudden be in Germany four hours later," she says. She enjoys the ease of travel and sightseeing and meeting "people with such crazy background stories, life experiences and overall life goals."

O'Farrell finds the experience of listening and hearing everyone's stories in different languages fascinating.

"Wittenberg will always hold an extremely special place in my heart," says O’Farrell, who teaches English in the mornings to students ranging from third to ninth grade. In the afternoons, she conducts private lessons with children ranging in age from six to 15 years old.

No matter where we go, no matter what we do, a common theme of #LifeAfterWitt is that a little part of us never leaves campus.

-By Devon Atchison ‘18, Office of University Communications

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About Wittenberg

A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for "Best Classroom Experience" and 15th in the category "Professors Get High Marks" in the 2011 edition of Princeton's annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of "Most Accessible Professors." Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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