Sully Fitzgerald spends his final days at Iowa State teaching in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

Sully Fitzgerald made the most of his last semester at Iowa State by spending it student teaching in Germany. Before graduating in Dec. 2023, he spent two months student teaching in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.

Fitzgerald double-majored in Mathematics and Secondary Education, pursuing a career teaching high school-level mathematics. His academic career began at Des Moines Area Community College with a focus in engineering. But, he found his passion for math and teaching. This change led him to choose Iowa State University, where he says “I always wanted to be a Cyclone”.

Fitzgerald’s final semester was “unparalleled” and “once in a lifetime,” he says. During his time in Germany he taught several math classes and English classes at a local secondary school.

“It was really cool to see how the German education system worked, to get to know the students and faculty and see insight as to what it’s like over there,” Fitzgerald said.

Letting yourself be a part of another culture was something special to him. Outside of teaching, he formed international friendships with others on his dorm floor and they spent time traveling through Germany and Italy.

While Fitzgerald was at Iowa State, he taught at Waukee Northwest High School, tutored students, founded the late skate longboarding club and participated in the Salt Company and International Friendship Council.

Fitzgerald’s advice to students who are considering teaching abroad is to “say yes.” Saying yes means getting the most out of your abroad experience. He stresses understanding the value of where you are but the importance of education and why you are there.

“Indulge yourself into that experience as much as possible because you’ll never get that experience again,” Fitzgerald recommends.

He hopes every student who teaches abroad can use it to their full advantage by gaining special memories and valuable experience.

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