Like all seventh-graders at The Linsly School, Allen Flint of Rayland took German class. Because of its departure from the Romance languages and his fascination with German (Norse) mythology, he decided to take two more years of it as a freshman and sophomore at Linsly before transferring to Buckeye Local High School.
"I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Linsly offering German," said Flint. The "here" to which he refers is on the verge of embarking on a nine-month teaching stint in Germany.
Flint, who graduated magna cum laude in November with a degree in German from Ohio University, is one of more than 100 Americans who earned a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship this year. He has been assigned to help teach English at a high school in the city of Mainz on the Rhine River.
Allen Flint gets ready to take a photograph while touring Western Europe following a study-abroad program in Austria in 2010. The 2007 Buckeye Local and 2011 Ohio University graduate will embark in September on a nine-month Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Mainz, Germany.
"I'm really excited. I'll be teaching American culture and history and helping with spoken English," said Flint, who since graduation has been substitute teaching for Buckeye Local Schools. When he applied for the Fulbright last year, "everything clicked. ... I realized I could go live in Germany, which I like to do, and teach, which I like to do."
The application process included two essays - a personal statement and a statement of grant purpose. He had to be accepted in both the U.S. and Germany before being awarded the assistantship.
This will be Flint's third trip to Europe. While attending Franciscan University of Steubenville, he studied abroad for a semester at the school's Gaming, Austria campus. After transferring to Ohio University, he completed a study-abroad program in Salzburg, Austria. After completing both programs, he spent about two months traveling in Germany and throughout western Europe.
While in Mainz, Flint will assist a high school English teacher. He will help round out the students' English education by providing cultural and language insights as a native speaker.
"I know these kids have been studying English for seven or eight years, so I'm excited to see how good their English is and to kind of help put the capstone on their education."
Flint said he enjoys the geography of Germany, as well as the people and the beer. Germans, he said, are health conscious, environmentally minded and well traveled - all traits he admires. He again plans to travel following his assistantship, and upon his return hopes to work with adult learners of English as a second language.