Sunday Spotlight: An Interview with Simon Hoellerbauer

To finish out the week, get to know Simon Hoellerbauer, the German Dorm Head here at GMC!

July 2, 2017

Week 1 here at MIL Summer Academy 2017 is officially in the history books! While Week 1 here at Green Mountain College was extremely busy, we have just as much to be excited about for Week 2. Stay tuned for all of these upcoming adventures! 

To cap off this week, I'd like to share with you an interview I had the pleasure of conducting with Simon Hoellerbauer, the German Dorm Head here at GMC. Simon has been active with MIL for six years, and has really helped shape the German Academy here in so many ways. In addition, check out the images gallery and our Facebook page for some images of today! 


1.How did you first start working at MIL? Why do you keep coming back?


I first got involved in MIL kind of by accident - My brother was hired as a Program Assistant for the German Academy, but ended up having to drop out. Because of this, I ended up filling in for him. However, the German Academy staff was small at the time, and soon needed some help in running the program. Eventually, I ended up taking on a role as a German RA as well.


I enjoyed the experience tremendously, and soon wanted to come back for more! I therefore applied for a Spanish RA at Swarthmore the next year. I’ve been at MIL now for over 6 years, and keep coming back because of the experience of guiding students through the language. For the staff here, it is so rewarding to watch them grow up in this new language and advance as far as they do in such a short time.


2.Why do you think it is important high schoolers learn German (or any international language)?


Learning another language is really important because it changes your mindset. It exposes you to the rest of the world, and opens you up to a whole world of culture. It helps you acknowledge that your perspective isn’t the only one out there. In some ways, learning a new language is very much like growing up, and realizing one’s place in the world.  


3.How did the first week go?


As always, the first week was extremely busy, but extremely entertaining! We’ve had clubs twice already this week, and will be having many more to come. We also had a discussion about Germany’s role in World War 2, which helped expose the students to serious topics in German history. In addition, we had a speaker from the Goethe Institut come by to further educate students in German education and culture. Finally, we celebrated Fasching, the German version of Karnival, last night. It was a night of funny costumes, party games, and lots of fun!  


4. What are some upcoming plans for the German Academy?


So of course, we’ll be taking part in the 4th of July Parade this Tuesday, as well as the MIL Olympics at St. Michael’s on Saturday! Next Tuesday, we’ll be hosting Uwe Kind, German educational singer. He’s a hilarious guy, and will help students learn even more German through humorous, educational songs. That Wednesday, we’ll also be taking a trip to Middlebury in which students we’ll have a chance to meet with students in the college program.


During the last week, we’ll be taking a trip to Bromley Amusement Park in which students will go hiking, and even ride an Alpine slide! Finally, on July 18th, we’ll be having a grill fest to celebrate students’ graduation, catered with wurst, potato salad, and other classic German dishes.