My name is Henrike Belz, I’m a native German speaker, mother of three adult „kids”, living here in Austin since march of 2004. My husband’s job brought us here, and what was supposed to be a five year gig turned out to become a long term solution. Not being able to work in my actual profession as a physical therapist, I discovered teaching my native language to be another fantastic way to overcome my - yes, still present - homesickness. I’m teaching mainly adults now at all levels (A1-C1) and all ages (16 - 86!!!), in person and, since the pandemic hit, online as well. I deeply enjoy forming connections throughout my classes and have gotten to know a wild variety of very interesting people, who all share the same trait: being intrigued and fascinated by the German language - that is the utmost fun! Through GTHS, which is a cooperating partner of the Goethe Institute, I was able to receive the Prüferschulungen and exams to be a certified tester for the Goethe exams (levels A1 - C1), which we administer four times a year. That’s a very humbling experience, seeing people of different cultures and backgrounds trying to make their way to Germany by fulfilling one of the requirements for non EU citizens.
When I’m not teaching, I most often will be found in my wildlife habitat at home, gardening ‘til sunset, saving the environment one wild plant at a time.