Sibylle Bläsi: English Teacher
I chose to study English because it has always fascinated me; as a teenager I enjoyed reading English literature and reflecting on language. Going to the U.S. as an exchange student turned out to be a momentous decision, allowing me to further develop my language competence and to gain insights into U.S. American culture. After graduating from grammar school I felt that studying English was the right choice, simply because I loved reading, analyzing and discussing literature. Basel appealed to me because it appeared to be an open-minded and culturally diverse city. It was perhaps not a coincidence that some friends and relatives of mine also chose to study at the University of Basel.
Autonomy is an essential aspect of my current position as a teacher. During my studies at university I learnt to work independently, a skill I have substantially benefited from. Further skills that turned out to be useful encompass the ability to study a wide range of literary and theoretical texts from different periods; to write academic papers, i.e. to adequately express and organize thoughts by placing them in a theoretical framework; and to give presentations and interact with others.
I remember that my first semester at university was quite a challenge – academia was indeed a new world compared to school! Of course it is advisable to plan your studies wisely. However, I also enjoyed the freedom of choosing lectures and seminars that truly interested me. Delving into the exciting universe of literary and theoretical texts allowed me to grow intellectually and personally. At the start of your studies you might not always find it easy to adjust to the new setting, but as time passes you will learn to master these challenges if you keep an open mind, take pleasure in what you do, and are willing to work hard (which is not necessarily a paradox).