May 15, 2013
Foreign language teaching assistants offer a unique perspective on Pacific University in a five-part series continuing today.Wanda Laukkanen | Writer
This is Anna Heggenberger’s second time attending school in the United States.
A native of Germany, Heggenberger, then 16, stayed with relatives in San Francisco and attended Mission High School for a couple months in 2006. The school was a lot of fun and was a turning point in helping her understand math, “because it’s taught differently, a little slower, and that was good for me.”
Heggenberger is among five foreign language teaching assistants at Pacific University this year. She is here on a Fulbright grant, allowing her to help teach foreign language courses and support activities for other Pacific students learning German.
What she really likes about Pacific is its campus, especially compared to her home university in Germany, Heidelberg, one of the oldest universities in the world at 675 years. Its buildings are scattered around the city, so students are really spread out, she said.
“It takes me 40 minutes from my house to the university back home. I like that here, everything is in one place and we live so close to campus. That’s amazing.”
She added, though, that small-town life in Forest Grove has been an adjustment.
“That’s the one thing we’re not used to: not being able to hop onto a train or bus all the time.”
Heggenberger had had the chance to travel while in the States, visiting Washington, D.C., New York, and parts of California, Oregon and Washington.
“I was just surprised how diverse the U.S. is, not only in nature, but the people,” she said. “It’s really interesting.”
Heggenberger will return to Heidelberg University this summer and plans to complete degrees in English and history.