German Studies alumnus credits Wooster education to success in Vienna
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2023 edition of Wooster Magazine.
Jeffrey Janus ’15, who was a German Studies major and now lives, works, and studies in Vienna, Austria, began studying German at Wooster by chance. While registering for classes during Academic Registration and Creative Horizons (ARCH) prior to his first semester, Janus was trying to decide on a final class to sign up for. Professor and department chair of German Studies Beth Ann Muellner was his ARCH advisor and encouraged him to take Beginning German Level 1.
“After completing my first semester of German with professor Mareike Herrmann, I fell in love with the program and declared my major in German Studies,” Janus said.
After graduating from Wooster and briefly working in luxury retail, Janus moved to Austria to be a United States Teaching Assistant, a program facilitated by Fulbright Austria and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education. He taught at a technical college and high school for fashion and art. “I fell in love with Vienna, Austrian culture, and the European way of life,” Janus said. “I wasn’t ready for my chapter in Austria to end so I decided to apply to graduate school in Vienna.”
Janus is currently pursing a master’s degree in Gender Studies at the University of Vienna with the hopes of working in higher education diversity and inclusion, international education, or at a non-governmental organization. He enjoys the multi-disciplinary nature of his graduate school program and the chance to read literature in both German and English. He also tutors and teaches English on a freelance basis.
In addition to studying German at Wooster, Janus worked as a Global Envoy in the Off-Campus Studies office, lived in the German Suite in Luce Hall, and studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany. “Had I not gone to Wooster, I would not be living in Vienna now,” Janus said. “My most important take-away from Wooster is that you can do anything you put your mind to. The fact that I could start German from scratch and write my senior independent study in German is incredible.”
Janus said that the smaller size of Wooster’s German department benefited him. “The attention and individualization I received throughout my studies undoubtedly helped me thrive academically,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to be using what I learned from my major in my daily personal, professional, and academic life.”
Posted in Alumni on March 15, 2023.