Nadine El Housseiny talks about third year

A day in the life

Nadine El Housseiny talks about third year

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I'm basically a shy person—but being a German tutor has given me more confidence.

Teaching and translating

Months before the 2011 political crisis in Egypt began, Nadine El Housseiny immigrated from Cairo to Halifax with her parents and sister. Nadine says she really likes Halifax, despite the cold winter wind. And though Cairo is on the Nile River, “You can’t really get close to the Nile. In Halifax, I walk five minutes, and I’m at the waterfront!”

Because Cairo is her hometown, Nadine watched the political crisis with particular concern. “When the telephones were cut off, it was stressful—we couldn’t contact friends and family. And it was weird to see familiar places on TV—my old school was around the corner from Tahrir Square!”

But she reports with relief that friends and family back home weren’t harmed. “And all my profs were very supportive, asking me what was going on.”

Her old school near Tahrir Square was a German private school. So Nadine was already fluent in German when she transferred to Dal to do a major in German and a minor in Journalism. “I started with 3000-level German courses. German is almost like my first language! Of course Arabic is my mother tongue, but I express myself easily in German.”

The German courses Nadine's taking at Dal keep her challenged and interested. “The 3000-level language class was fun because it involved a lot of speaking—it wasn’t all grammar. And it was really interesting in the German Art and Literature class when the prof contrasted paintings from two different eras to show how standards of beauty have changed over time.”

With her advanced skills in German, Nadine has been leading tutorials for a first-year language course. She says she used to hate presentations. But after being a tutor, “it’s definitely not so intimidating now.”

And tutoring has started her thinking about future opportunities. One of her profs told her about a teaching program in Germany. “You go to Germany and teach English for up to two years,” she says, adding that she might apply. But Nadine’s future might also include her love of translation—“maybe I’ll work as a freelance translator!”

Nadine’s younger sister, in her last year of high school, has just been accepted to Dal too. “But she’s not like me—she’ll probably do economics or business!”