60 Years OeAD: Taking the leap

29. July 2021 OeAD60School
Eine junge Frau in den Bergen
“weltweit unterrichten” (“teaching worldwide”) – language as a gateway to the world

Language assistants can gain their first teaching experience in Austria or abroad with weltweitunterrichten.at. Language assistants assist teachers in the classroom and work closely with them. Their support is intended to motivate pupils to speak the language. They provide country-specific insights and thus arouse the pupils' interest in Austria abroad. Language assistants in Austria provide support in the classroom by teaching vocabulary and language as well as impressions of other countries and bring internationality into Austrian classrooms.

Davy Martins (FR), former language assistant in Carinthia, has stayed in Austria. He now works as an educational and language cooperation coordinator at the French Cultural Institute in Vienna. Thanks to his experience as a language assistant he knows the Austrian school system well, which contributed to his getting this position. Today he is responsible for the French language assistance programme in close cooperation with the OeAD and the FEI.

Davy Martins (FR): An extraordinary adventure
“The idea of becoming a French assistant in Austria came from my German teacher when I was at university in France. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after graduation but I wanted to do an intermediate year before my master's. At first I didn't know about the assistantship programme at all but after doing some research it was the perfect opportunity to go abroad, get practical experience and earn some money on top of it. I applied by filling in an application form on the website of CIEP (International Centre for Educational Studies), which has since become FEI (France Education International), an organisation that manages the recruitment of assistants in France. I had not decided on a region. A few weeks later I received an e-mail telling me that my application had been accepted and another e-mail with my region of assignment and the contact details of my two schools. Off to Carinthia – I was super happy!

Education in Austria is quite similar to France. The main differences are the timetable, whether or not you wear slippers in class and that there was no canteen at my school. During my stay I interacted a lot with the teachers. I had the opportunity to spend several days with a colleague in a mountain chalet, to hike and go on school trips. I also made friends with some of the pupils. Incidentally, when I came to Vienna later, I initially shared a flat with student friends who were former pupils of the school where I was an assistant.

The OeAD is really helpful for anyone who wants to do language assistance. Integration seminars are offered and lots of documentation, like the guide, which is very useful at the beginning. The assistance experience is an extraordinary adventure that I can recommend to anyone and everyone. It is this experience that has made me want to continue teaching. After my year as an assistant I completed a master's degree in linguistics with the goal of becoming a French teacher.

After that I had the opportunity to work in many countries, such as the USA at the University of Chicago and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It's very stimulating!"
Davy Martins

weltweitunterrichten” is a mobility programme of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF). It includes the language assistance programme, which is implemented by the OeAD. www.weltweitunterrichten.at