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Recent Grad Selected for Prestigious Teaching Assistant Program in France

Continuing what is becoming an Otterbein tradition, Susanna Long ’14 will embark on a seven-month teaching and learning adventure in France beginning in September.

The native of Mansfield, Ohio, will work in a high school near Nantes, France, where she will help students sharpen their skills in speaking, reading and writing English and have a more developed understanding of American culture. She will be working in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), an initiative by the French government that offers students with a major or minor in French and intermediate proficiency in that language to teach in a high school.

Long is the third Otterbein student selected for the prestigious program since 2005. Stacey Chapple ’05 was the first, and Emmy Hammond ’13 is now finishing her teaching assistantship in France.

“This program offers us an opportunity to internationalize our students' post-graduate learning experiences,” says Levilson Reis, professor of modern languages and cultures at Otterbein. “In particular the TAPIF offers students the chance to gain experience teaching English in a country with a very different pedagogical environment and traditions that make us appreciate our American education system.”

Chapple, an English major at Otterbein, completed her teaching assistantship in western France and went on to earn a master’s degree in European studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Hammond, a history and political science major, is working at a high school in western France.

This has been a momentous spring for Long. Besides being selected for the TAPIF, she recently earned her bachelor’s degree from Otterbein where she majored in English and completed a number of intermediate-level French courses. She also worked as an assistant in Otterbein’s Writing Center, an experience she says helped prepare her to teach in France.

“Otterbein’s high support of studying abroad also drove me to learn about the wealth of experiences waiting for those who want to work and learn internationally,” she says.

Now it’s on to France where Long will work on improving her French and teaching skills while learning to travel and live independently abroad. “I am most looking forward to the chance to go out of my comfort zone and make the most of every day,” she says.