Holly Sherriff from Nottingham
Where were you born?
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, UK.
In which country and city are you living in now?
Wiener Neustadt, Austria but I will be moving to Le Mans, France in March.
Are you living alone?
No, I live with my landlady and my roommate who also teaches English in Wiener Neustadt.
How long have you been in Austria?
I arrived on the 21st September 2017.
How old are you?
Why are you living over here?
In England, I study French and German at University. When you study languages in the UK, there is a compulsory Year Abroad during the third year of study. I chose to live in Austria for the first half of my year to improve my German, followed by the second half in France for my French.
Do you speak German? Do you think it is important to speak the local language?
Yes, I do speak German. I have been learning it ever since I started secondary school in the UK (for 10 years now). I think it is so important to speak, or at least make an effort, with the local language. I do not agree with most English people when they say “Everybody speak English, so why bother”. I think that learning languages opens so many doors nowadays; it increases job prospects and give you so many more options.
Do you miss your home and family sometimes?
I miss my home and family all the time! I have never lived away from home before, not even in England, so moving abroad for 10 months was always going to be so stressful and upsetting. We FaceTime most evenings, which is amazing! It feels like I have actually seen them and had a real conversation instead of just using text messages. My boyfriend has visited me twice and my parents have come out once. I was lucky enough to go home for Christmas and it was the best feeling to be back.
Do you have other plans for the future?
Yes, after my year abroad I will go back to University and get my Bachelor’s Degree in French and German, I will graduate in July 2019. In September of 2019, I am hoping to start a teacher-training course, which will allow me to become a French and German secondary school teacher in the UK.
Do you feel that the work you have done in Austria has benefitted you?
Most definitely! Most of the time I have really enjoyed my work, it took a few weeks to get settled in and used to my new surroundings and job but now I can look back and really appreciate that anything I found a challenge or nerve-wracking has helped me to become a more confident person.
Especially because I want to become a teacher when I graduate, this type of work has firstly confirmed that this is what I want to do, and secondly given me many useful skills that I know I will be able to take with me in my future career.
To all the English teachers at Gröhrmühlgasse, I just want to say thank you for all of your help and support during my time with you! I will never forget my experience in Wiener Neustadt, and my time spent with you all at school.