FlipSide Face


by Ryan Steinbach

Looking for more diversity on campus? Then head to the German department to meet a teacher-student who used to be an ocean away.

Karin Glock left Vienna, Austria to take her first steps onto Simpson’s campus last August. She is a teacher-assistant in the German department and is enrolled in two classes even though she is nearing completion of her master’s in education.

“This semester is kind of funny because I am taking classes with students who I teach,” Glock said.

Glock competed with 200 Austrian applicants to become one of 15 Fulbright Scholars. Her scholarship allows her to teach in America for one year with all expenses paid.

“The Fulbright Scholarship is funded by an organization that wants mutual understanding,” Glock said. “Americans are able to learn about Austria through me, and when I return home in June, I can inform others about my experience in America.”

Before coming to Simpson, Glock had a mental picture about American life. However, she discovered her experiences were far different from her expectations.

“A lot of Europeans think the U.S. is all about Hollywood, the American dream and that everyone is rich and attractive,” Glock said. “Now I have a more realistic picture and realize America is a very diverse country.”

After living in Indianola, she noticed many differences between Vienna and her newfound home.

“There’s no central square in Indianola,” Glock said. “Instead you have a main street with fast-food restaurants. Things are not as centralized here.”

She also noticed major differences between Simpson and the academic institutions she attended in Vienna.

“I like the size here,” Glock said. “It’s so familiar. Simpson teachers really care about their students so it’s really hard to fail. In Vienna I was one of 63,000 students so you’re just a number.”

She hopes to continue to teach and travel after leaving Simpson.

“My main goal is to teach English at the high-school level,” Glock said. “Since I love to travel, I’m open to teaching in Austria, Spain, America or even Africa.”