Dr. Gisela Steinle

Dr. Gisela Steinle

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and Deutsche Telekom, Ananas Productions, Schule ans netz, Alexander Von Humboldt Schule, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Carl-Friedrich Gauß Schule, Confederation High School, Deutsachherren-Gymnasium, German Historical Museum, Gymnasium Isernhagen, Horton High School/Acadia University, Integrierte Gesamtschule Bonne-Beuel,

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Vice Principal of the Alexander von Humboldt Schule in Montreal. 51 years old. Born in Ulm in 1947 (Ulm is between Stuttgart and Munich on the Danube). Arrived in Montreal, Canada 1971. Graduated from the University in Munich, received an MA from the University in Aachen. Received her Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal.
  • Vice Principal of the Alexander von Humboldt Schule in Montreal.
  • 51 years old.
  • Born in Ulm in 1947 (Ulm is between Stuttgart and Munich on the Danube).
  • Arrived in Montreal, Canada 1971.
  • Graduated from the University in Munich, received an MA from the University in Aachen. Received her Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Gisela Steinle

My name is Gisela Steinle. I am the vice-principal for the German school in Montreal.

Canadian Heritage Information Network
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and Deutsche Telekom, Ananas Productions, Schule ans netz, Alexander Von Humboldt Schule, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Carl-Friedrich Gauß Schule, Confederation High School, Deutsachherren-Gymnasium, German Historical Museum, Gymnasium Isernhagen, Horton High School/Acadia University, Integrierte Gesamtschule Bonne-Beuel,

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Why did you come to Canada? Did you come directly to Canada?

I came to Canada in September 1971 because I received a four-year scholarship from McGill University. It was a cultural exchange program between Germany and Canada. I came directly to Canada on a plane.
Why did you come to Canada? Did you come directly to Canada?

I came to Canada in September 1971 because I received a four-year scholarship from McGill University. It was a cultural exchange program between Germany and Canada. I came directly to Canada on a plane.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

What were your hopes and dreams for your new life here in Canada? Were they fulfilled?

I hoped to obtain my Ph.D. and have new, interesting, opportunities. My studies concentrated on medieval German literature. My time in Canada was not supposed to be permanent. I only intended to receive my Ph.D. and return home. Yes, my hopes and dreams were fulfilled.
What were your hopes and dreams for your new life here in Canada? Were they fulfilled?

I hoped to obtain my Ph.D. and have new, interesting, opportunities. My studies concentrated on medieval German literature. My time in Canada was not supposed to be permanent. I only intended to receive my Ph.D. and return home. Yes, my hopes and dreams were fulfilled.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

What was the reaction of your family when you decided to come to Canada?

The reaction from my family was mixed. My mother was sorry to see me leave, but my father encouraged me to go.

What was the reaction of your family when you decided to come to Canada?

The reaction from my family was mixed. My mother was sorry to see me leave, but my father encouraged me to go.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Did you already know people here in Canada? Did you meet any new people on your way to Canada? If so, do you still communicate with them?

I did not know anyone here in Canada. On the way to Canada I did meet a Carleton University Student (Ottawa) who I kept in contact with for a while; her name was Maude.
Did you already know people here in Canada? Did you meet any new people on your way to Canada? If so, do you still communicate with them?

I did not know anyone here in Canada. On the way to Canada I did meet a Carleton University Student (Ottawa) who I kept in contact with for a while; her name was Maude.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

What was your first special experience in Canada?

I was invited by Maude to come to Carleton just after being in Canada for two weeks. I took the bus, which went along the Ottawa River, and the beauty of the leaves changing colour in autumn amazed me. I was also asked a question in regards to Germany’s war record and thought that it was specifically directed at me, when in fact it was more pertaining to Germany as a whole.

What was your first special experience in Canada?

I was invited by Maude to come to Carleton just after being in Canada for two weeks. I took the bus, which went along the Ottawa River, and the beauty of the leaves changing colour in autumn amazed me. I was also asked a question in regards to Germany’s war record and thought that it was specifically directed at me, when in fact it was more pertaining to Germany as a whole.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Did you feel respected when you came here?

It was not a question of being respected or not. The 1970’s were a free time when the "hippie movement" was happening. I was not much older than my students at McGill were so they accepted me.
Did you feel respected when you came here?

It was not a question of being respected or not. The 1970’s were a free time when the "hippie movement" was happening. I was not much older than my students at McGill were so they accepted me.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

What were some of the differences between Canada and Germany you first observed? Cultural or otherwise? Are these differences still present?

I observed that Canada was a much freer society than Germany.

What were some of the differences between Canada and Germany you first observed? Cultural or otherwise? Are these differences still present?

I observed that Canada was a much freer society than Germany.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Did German families live in your neighborhood? Did you join any German associations or clubs?

I did not know any German people aside from those in the German Department at McGill. I later joined the German Teacher’s Association and later, the German Society of Montreal for which I am on the board of directors.

Did German families live in your neighborhood? Did you join any German associations or clubs?

I did not know any German people aside from those in the German Department at McGill. I later joined the German Teacher’s Association and later, the German Society of Montreal for which I am on the board of directors.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Was it a problem finding work as an immigrant in a new country?

It was not hard finding work as an immigrant in a new country. I had started off with McGill, and after completing my Ph.D., I taught there for ten years. Then I found an opportunity at the Alexander von Humboldt Schule as a teacher for Grade 5 and 6 in 1981. Then in 1982, I became Vice Principal.

Was it a problem finding work as an immigrant in a new country?

It was not hard finding work as an immigrant in a new country. I had started off with McGill, and after completing my Ph.D., I taught there for ten years. Then I found an opportunity at the Alexander von Humboldt Schule as a teacher for Grade 5 and 6 in 1981. Then in 1982, I became Vice Principal.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

What type of activities did you do in Germany? How did these activities change in Canada?

I was involved with my education here and in Germany. This only changed with every different level of my education.
What type of activities did you do in Germany? How did these activities change in Canada?

I was involved with my education here and in Germany. This only changed with every different level of my education.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the context of German immigration to Canada in the twentieth century;
  • Recognize that immigration affects the lives of individuals with a wide range of backgrounds;
  • Understand some of the experiences faced by German immigrants to Canada, both in Germany and in Canada;
  • Explain why individuals emigrate to Canada;
  • Empathize with the feelings of new immigrants to Canada.

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