Rozhovor s lektorkou anglického jazyka Julií Prager-Hessel

Julia is a twenty-two-year-old American from New York. She took part in a project in the Czech Republic during which she spent the whole school year at the gymnasium in Chotěboř, where she has been teaching English. We interviewed her.
Rozhovor s lektorkou anglického jazyka Julií Prager-Hessel
What did you expect from this project?

Well, I think I am halfway in already but what I am expecting for the next half is I think to develop stronger relationships with students, and I want to experience more cultural activities like learn more about Czech culture and stuff like that. I think coming here I didn´t really know what to expect. But I was very excited to get to know all the students and the other teachers. 

What do you think about Chotěboř, do you like it here?

I love it here, I was nervous to come here because I´ve only ever lived in big cities, so I was nervous to be in the place where I was always going to be running into students, or teachers, or students´ parents. But now I kind of like it. I feel like there is always a friendly face. This is a really once in a lifetime opportunity for me to live here, just because this isn´t anything close to where I live in America.

What do you think are main differences between USA and the Czech Republic?

That’s really hard question and I get it a lot. Sometimes I feel it´s so different that there is not even one specific thing I can say, but other time in school and stuff it´s the same. You guys are the same as American students, it´s the same social dynamics even the uniform like jeans and sweatshirt is the same, so I don’t know. Definitely the food and diet is different, and the culture. In America it´s like: I live to go to work, and here it´s like: I work so that I can live. And I really like that culture. 

Do you like towns or bigger cities for example more Prague or Chotěboř?

I don´t know. Like I said, I´ve only really lived in and around bigger cities, but I really like it here. I think that when I go back to America after this year, I will still be in my twenties, so I think the cities are better for me. There are more opportunities to meet people, to try different jobs and different kinds of hobbies but I really like the peace and pace of life here so I can definitely see myself in a smaller town more distantly in the future.

Do you want to visit another country in a project like this in future, or is this enough?

This has been the best year of my life so far, I am enjoying it so much. I think I almost don´t want to do it in another country because I just want to be this year to be perfect, but I definitely would if I had the opportunity. I think it might be interesting to compare teaching in the Czech Republic versus another country. But I don´t know. We´ll see.

What launched you to this project?

That´s a long answer. I´ve always really been interested in teaching, but I´ve also been really interested in history and politics. This is a unique program in America that kind of lets you do both, and it helps you to think about international relations and cultural differences while also allowing you to be in the classroom. I´ve always been interested in this program, but this programme sends you to any country and there are programmes in pretty much every country in the world. I chose the Czech Republic because I spent a semester in university in Prague. I really really loved it there. I thought it was so interesting and perfect place, and I wanted to experience other aspects of Czech life and culture.

Is there anything else you want to say?

I am really really grateful to be here. Not only to the teachers for letting me into their classrooms, but also to everyone that has been so nice, asking me to coffee and being interested in my life and teaching me about culture here. I feel very welcomed. I know that´s really unique. I´m just happy to be here.

Natálie Krédlová, Vendula Pekařová, Jindřiška Doležalová

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