Thomas Austenfeld

Full Professor of American Literature in the Faculty of Arts

For me, the University of Fribourg is...

almost the ideal workplace. It is easy to make friends and experience the breadth of the academic world outside the borders of your subject area and faculty. The University’s location close to the city center gives you the feeling of being part of the life of the city. Fribourg and its University belong together!

Why did you choose the University of Fribourg?

When I came here ten years ago, I was drawn by the multilingualism: in my teaching, the target language is English, but every day I also speak French and German. The result is an intellectual energy which is hard to find in most comparable environments. Today, ten years later, the linguistic challenge has become just a fact of everyday life. When I am a guest at another university, I almost miss the multilingualism a bit.

What do you appreciate most about your work at the Uni?

The contact with students, the relationship of trust, as well as the students’ high level of motivation. I have a lot of freedom in the way I structure my teaching, research and supervision. My obligations – students, colleagues, committee work, meetings – fill my working week to overflowing, but in many areas there is a real spirit of collegiality.

What reasons would you give someone for recommending that they take up a position at the University of Fribourg?

Here you can really influence developments and help shape the future.