Senior profile: Emily Broderick

Emily Broderick moved 4,568 miles when she was 8 years old. Not only did she change addresses, but she changed continents, cultures and languages. Emily was born to a German mother and an American father and spent the first eight years of her life living in a German town called Hildesheim, in a German school and speaking primarily German.


“In Germany we spoke mostly German, but my dad would usually speak English to us so [my sister and I] would pick it up,” Emily said. “He was American and his family lived in America, and he wanted us to grow up bilingual so we could have the opportunity to live in both countries, which turned out helpful [because] we ended up moving.”


In 2006,  Emily’s father got a job promotion, prompting the family to relocate to the United States. This would be Emily’s first time living in the U.S., surrounded by a new culture and a new language.

“At first I kind of hated [moving] because I didn’t want to go away from my friends,” Emily said. “I was 8 so I was in second grade. I was just getting used to the school. Initially I did not want to move but it was something we had to do.”

Despite Emily’s initial reluctance toward moving to the U.S., she adapted well and does not regret moving. Additionally, Emily spent very little time learning the English language  after being immersed in it, something her mother noticed after they moved.

“She started learning [English], but she could only speak a little at that time [when we moved],” Marion Berktold-Broderick, Emily’s mother, said. “It took her about half a year or so and she was fluent because little kids learn very fast and from then on she did not have any trouble at all.”

Emily’s AP German teacher, Larry Anderson, said that when Emily speaks German in his class he can tell she is a native speaker. Additionally, her exposure to and knowledge of the German culture has benefitted the class.

“She has some experiences having gone to elementary school in Germany that [other] kids in AP German haven’t had, so she [has] a lot of good insight,” Anderson said. “She has a well balanced view of things [when] comparing German and American cultures because she’s lived in both.”

Emily is thankful for the experiences she has gained from both cultures and would like to go back to Germany at some point in the future and re-immerse herself in the culture.
“I’m glad I got to experience living here [in the U.S],” Emily said. “It’s still kind of sad that we had to leave where we initially were. If I had to go back and change it I don’t know if I would. I don’t know how things would have changed but I like how it eventually turned out. I appreciate my parents being brave enough to pick up their lives and move somewhere else.”