Southsider Voice correspondent
Angie Schott, native Southsider and a 2009 Roncalli graduate, is spending a year teaching in France. But that’s not the end of her global journey; she plans to teach the next school year in Dublin, Ireland.
Schott, who graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2013 with a degree in music education, is spending the current school year working for the French National Department of Education as an English assistant. She lives in Savenay, France, a small town about 30 minutes away from Nantes.
“I work with all the English teachers at the local middle and high school here in Savenay, ” said Schott. “Sometimes I’m teaching full classes by myself, and sometimes I’m more of an aid in the classroom. This year has been a great chance for me to gain teaching experience and to improve my French.”
Schott also has a blog, laughingangie.blogspot.com, created in September to update and inform her friends and family with anecdotes, daily events and pictures of French life. She has eight siblings and seven in-laws, many of whom have lived or traveled abroad and are also huge supporters, inspiring her to make the most out of life. Schott said her parents also inspire her.
“When I mentioned to them that I had applied to teach in France, and then work in Ireland for a year, they both told me the same thing: ‘We’ll miss you here, but we know you’ll have a great time,’ ” said Schott. “They are willing to let me go and travel the world, as long as I promise to come back from time to time.”
Schott’s father, Joe Schott, said his daughter has a storied history and he and his wife have tried to instill in her a strong sense of God, family and community.
“Angie has always been full of life, looking for the best in herself and especially those in and out and around her life,” said Joe. “I often tell Angie, ‘You’re a party looking for a place to happen!’ ”
Schott noted that she finds joy in daily occurrences while living in France, from picking up baguettes and cheese to improving her French skills through personal interaction. She was able to study in Dijon for four months during college, but her music education degree required constant attention to her music and education classes.
Despite scheduling conflicts, Schott was able to add a minor in French. She stressed that this year has given her unforgettable experiences traveling and that travel is possible on any budget for any amount of people.
“I often talk with friends here about how excited I am just to travel the U.S. when I’m home,” said Schott. “I feel like there’s so much of it I haven’t seen, even (within) a few hours of Indy. There are so many blogs and books about how to budget travel abroad as well.”
Schott plans to work in Dublin for Notre Dame as a volunteer in its House of Brigid program, where she will be involved with a Catholic Church in music ministry. She will also assist the O’Connell House, which is the University of Dublin’s headquarters for its students studying abroad, as well as all of its outreach programs. She is eager to travel Ireland. After her time in Dublin ends, Schott plans to return to Indianapolis to teach music. “I feel like living abroad is simply an extension of my education and makes me a more knowledgeable resource for my students.”
Schott has noted missing several aspects of America, such as driving herself, because she relies completely on public transportation while in France. She added that the experience is “great and poetic, until you just want to go home at the end of the trip and have to take a train and then walk home with all of your bags. I have definitely learned how to pack lightly while being here!”
Joe Schott said he and his wife, Bonnie, taught their kids a good, honest work ethic, as well as encouraging nontraditional education. Joe added that because Angie was one of the youngest children, she was able to be selective about what she watched, learned from and listened to her siblings.
“We’re blessed with a big group of wonderful kids,” said Joe. “Bonnie has worked hard planning and encouraging them to go to good schools.”
Schott noted that she has always been close to family and friends, but her year abroad has helped her better appreciate every moment she had with them, and she’s thankful to those who have sent cards and kept in touch via Facebook. She will be home this summer before traveling to Dublin.
“I know that after two years abroad I will be ready to be home and be a part of the little things,” said Schott. “Living abroad has made me realize, more than ever, what a blessing it is just to have people around us who love us. I love living in France, but it definitely feels different than living on the Southside of Indy, where I’m always running into familiar faces who brighten up my day just by saying hello or waving from across the street. It’s those encounters that are so easy to take for granted.”