Taurin Eimermacher learnt German at his secondary school in Burwood East. He successfully applied for a SAGSE scholarship in 2007, and off he went to the beautiful Black Forest for his exchange experience. After studying back in Australia, travelling the world and spending two years in Salzburg, Taurin is now back in Germany again, working as a Primary School teacher in Berlin.
Year of exchange: 2007/2008
Group Leader: Ada Mickan nee Yu
School: Forest Hill College
Sponsor: Siemens VDO
Town / city of exchange in Germany: Altensteig
Some memories / anecdotes from your Exchange: Beyond the more typical memories that most Stipis encounter, what stands out to me the most is the feeling of freedom and connection. It goes beyond the mere concept of 'free travel'; but the entire experience of flying to other side of the world in a completely foreign environment encapsulates the chance to step entirely out of your comfort zone and discover your true self. I think going through both the good times and the struggles that come with a language exchange like SAGSE, helped me form genuine friendships through shared experience.
But for something more embarrassing ... I remember how I completely butchered introducing myself saying "Ich heiße DER Taurin", falling on Glatteis more times than I can count or turning completely red walking past my host parents' bedroom, where there was a very German open-door policy.
Studies on Return from your Exchange: Bachelor of Arts (International Relations)/ Health Sciences (Health Promotion and Psychology) and a Masters of Teaching at Monash University.
Career Path: Since my exchange experience, I spent almost two years living in Salzburg, Austria, working as an au pair whilst continuing my undergraduate studies. Following that, I worked in the travel industry, travelling the world pretty extensively on and off for a number of years. Despite a regrettable missed opportunity to visit Antarctica, I managed to explore every other continent at least a couple of times. Once the 'travel bug' subsided somewhat, I began my primary teaching career (balancing both classroom teaching and leadership roles) which I absolutely love.
What are you doing now: I'm currently living in Berlin teaching German / Primary Years Program at an International IB School. Teaching German was never on my radar, but when an opportunity arises you have to grab onto it with both hands and make the most of it.
Future Plans: For now, I'm living in the present moment (and getting through the grey months of Berlin Winter).
It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge how profoundly impactful SAGSE has been on my life; the opportunities and experiences it provided were life changing - it's difficult to grasp just how much of an impact SAGSE has had on me. Hindsight, that unpredictable companion, reveals its insights in retrospect.
I've been fortunate to stay connected with many GASSies over the years, sharing nostalgic moments over meals and drinks, building deep connections with friends-of-friends who became integral parts of my life, and witnessing beautiful weddings and the birth of babies.
I think at the very least, the skills I developed on exchange such as being confident to talk to new people, finding common ground across cultures and communicating clearly are all skills that I take into my day-to-day work environment. If I reflect even deeper, visiting my host Mum's primary school in 2008, where she worked as a primary teacher, is a very special memory. Considering my current role as a primary teacher 15+ years later, I find myself contemplating whether SAGSE directly shaped my path. I might not ever know, but it gives me a warm feeling nevertheless.
Further comments: The impact of my exchange experience might not have instantly influenced my decisions post-exchange. Yet, in a subtle and organic manner, it managed to weave a positive influence without me realising it. My message to those currently on their Stipi journey is this: everything tends to unfold in its own time and in the way it's meant to be. Trust the process, live in the moment and say YES! I've met some amazing people through the GASS network, and encourage anyone to continue spreading the message and cause of SAGSE.
If you are also able to, supporting The Heart Foundation is something very important to me.