Hello! Everyone. My name is Sitsanou Phouthavong or you can call me “Nou”, I am 34 years old and graduated in Master’s degree in science and technology education from KhonKaen University Thailand, I had started my work since November, 2012 at faculty of education, Savannkhet University under the Ministry of education and sport. Now, I work with two duties and responsibilities, first I do administration with the office and a lot of time I have taught students year I, II and III such as English 5 (English for Physics), Mechanic, fluid of Physics and Electrostatic-electrodynamics. But in the office my responsibility is scores and syllabus. Recently, I was appointed Deputy Head of Academic affairs of the Faculty of Education.
Two years ago, the pandemic froze the second Erasmus+ cooperation project between the universities in Karlsruhe and Savannakhet. In 2021, my colleagues and I tried our best to get to Germany as the epidemic continued to increase, but a few days before our flight the government therefore issued a lockdown order again. We had just collected our visas from the German Embassy in Vientiane and were on our way back to Savannakhet when we heard the news. The next week, we were not allowed to travel back to Vientiane to reach our flight. Our mobilities were lost.
Finally, my dream came true, I arrived in Germany on 4 May 2022, I spent time to travel around 10 hours from Wattay International Airport in Vientiane capital, Laos to Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand then I transfer just before midnight to the flight to Frankfurt Airport, Germany.
I have the opportunity short term two months to participate in a training program in Physics as well as English Department at Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany. I am very happy to be a part of this project in “Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship”, which is coordinated by professor Doctor Isabel Martin.
Jun. Prof. Dr. Tobias Ludwig is my partner and host in my research and Lab course from the Physics Department, I’m attended lab activity with a pre-service Physics teacher bachelor and Master degree and observation in his Physics Class. Mr Ralph Hansmann is my second partner, he is a lecturer in the Institute for Physics and Technical Education. He explains and introduces the equipment in the various labs.
This is my first time in Europe so everything here is new for me and transportation this here is very comfortable especially train that run out in every 5 or 10 minute so you do not need to bring your car or motorcycle and you can easily to go anywhere with only the semester ticket. In coming to Germany, I learned a lot in the first week, such as taking the train to work. Which line do you have to take? Learn to look at the train schedule but now I do not need it and I have my trusty bike I rented for only 19,90€ per month from website Swapfiets, at that time I rented on 7 May but the system charged me a full month for 19€ plus 7€ of Vat I am so disappointed. In June, in Germany have 9-Euro-Ticket you can travel throughout Germany on local/regional trains for a whole month in June, July or August.
In this exchange, I learned a lot. Whether adapting to the environment, taking the train to work, practicing speaking English for others to understand, eating traditional German food, although it is a bit salty, it is good enough. I like to eat hamburgers and Pizza here because it is easy to eat.
Most important: Learning in the lab, doing labs, and participating in the classroom of coaching students. All these things I would like to express my gratitude for such a great project that gave me the opportunity to learn new things.
Text by S. Phouthavong
Photos by S. Phouthavong, N. Khothphoutone & S. Xayyavong