Sabaidee\ Guten Tag\Hello, every one, my name is Souphansa INTHICHAK, I come from Savannakhet University, Lao P.D.R., and today I would like to talk about my impressions in Karlsruhe, Germany. While I was in Karlsruhe for my Erasmus+ Student Mobility at the University of Education, everything struck me as different like: the beautiful view, cold the weather at first, nice transportation, old nice building, especially kind and polite people.
5 March 2022 is my first day in Germany. Also this is my first time to travel by plane and train it was very excited.
I really say thank you to Prof Isabel Martin, my buddy Katja Brandl and Tamera Rauch went to pick me up at the Karlsruhe train station in the morning after and took me to the university to pick up a rice cooker left by the former Lao Erasmus+ students Chanthalakone SOUYDALAY and Phongsavang XAIKONGKHAM and then to my dorm.
The room was really comfortable and there was a sharing kitchen and the bath room next to my room.
Then my buddy she guide me to the shop where I can buy food and drink with another places around Karlsruhe on a square called “Europe Place”. We walked almost completely around there because the next day was Sunday and then German shops are closed.
My first night abroad I was sleep around 3 or 4 pm in the afternoon and got up at noon the next day, because the time here is late then my country (Laos) about 6 hour, I also try to adjust myself 2-3 days then I can go to bed regularly.
Monday 7 March was my first day at the University of Education Karlsruhe. This is an institution of higher education for educating educators in Karlsruhe, Germany (“Paedagogische Hochschule” [“PH”]). Its focus is on educational processes in social, institutional and cultural contexts. There are 2 Faculties in the campus; I am study in Faculty of Humanities to be an English teacher. On campus there are 3 building call building 1, 2 and 3 and a cafeteria, and nearby there are building 4, a sports hall, and a canteen. Actually the main classes that I had are building 2 and 3, the class room is very big, clean and comfortable with the nice material for teaching and learning. And also there is a big library in building 2.
The weather was very cold for me (temperature between -3 in the night and 10 degrees during the day) the next month slowly it will get warmer. This week is a little bit still cold, but sunshine, many people go out to other places Such as castle, restaurant, café, park. like me I went to walk around the town in Karlsruhe, I saw many great things like People, building, the tram in Karlsruhe, every street cross to the castle, flower, food, fruits – I really love it.
I begin learning my first class with intensive course in German Langue, I have German course with 3 teachers; the first is Teacher Serpil Aydogan, Teacher Kande Oudjim and Teacher Elena Wermuth and they are all very kindly. Why do I have to learn German? because it very important to live in Deutsch Land even though they can speak English, but I have to know for basic one, like greeting, thanks you, number etc. Also I have class mates from another side Such as Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, and Ukraine they are very nice. Our class was very funny. A few days ago we had a warm welcome party with the president of Karlsruhe University of Education and the committee is very great opportunity to get to know more people in the international student, I really love it was very great experiences to talk and share with them. Now I have friends all over the world and hope they come visit me in Laos.
After 3 month
Time is coming for me to selects the course, the first week of term call “Course shopping”. I really love it, here every one can choose their own subject which their majoring and the courses they find interesting because there is choice of courses in one module and area like Cultural Studies or Linguistics or Literature or Applied Linguistics. I had to register with 4 courses and chose “Global Citizenship Education“, “Colloquium for PhD and Master Students”, “Exploring Reading” and “Flipping the classroom“. Within my student mobility I got to learn many news things in these subjects.
“Global English(es) & Global Citizenship Education” by Prof. Dr Isabel Martin this subject is very interesting; I got that why people need a good more international education, due to education is word wide to everyone, I had participate the workshop in RFCDC “Competences for Democratic Culture” by Dr. Raphaelle Beecroft. In this course we learn about Teaching the Sustainable Development Goals, Global Englishes and Global Citizen of Education, in this subject me and my partner had to present about Laos Education, Globalization in Applied Linguistics, Postmethod Pedagogy and Universal Values vs. Moral Relativism, Decolonial English teaching practices – pronunciation and “global teaching “material, Education in Israel, Stereotypes, prejudice, preconceptions, xenophobia and more.
Colloquium for PhD and Master by Prof. Dr Isbel Martin I would say this subject is also very interesting for investigates and discusses research. Flipping the classroom by Mr Jeremy Bearden this subject is also teaches me how to create media on teaching such as make video, how to do work sheet by use a programme, me and my group is also make a video for our presentation. Exploring Reading by Annette Becker, M.A. in this subject I had got an experience that how to motivate students in reading by using a authentic book like fairy tail, animation book (comic) and learn more how to be good reader.
I am very thanks to Prof. Isabel Martin, Mr Bearden Jeremy, Ms Annette Becker, and my friends in the class especially Florian Hasenburg who help me to translate Deutsch to English in our trip to do the “English database research” in a seminar at the Karlsruhe City Library and the teacher she lecture some part in Deutsch.
All are very kind to help me and guide me to be better even through my English is not strong, but they are very kind to work hard for help.
As some lucky ones of you know well living in abroad is not too easy. There is so much to learn when you living in a foreign country. Sometimes it can even seem like too much. But I now feel so awesome for being able to know a lot of things in a foreign country. I am not intimidated when I have to learn something on the fly, like how to use a subway in a new city, travel many city with my 9 Euro ticket even-though they have a lot of people but is very challenge and interesting, I had a lot of new experiences and activity such as picnic, Lunch, party – all of this is because of my life abroad.
Perhaps the most important thing I can do when moving abroad is to bring new experience, new learning and new friends into my life. There are a lot of opportunities but connect with as many people as I can. First friends can be colleagues, in my case Mr Thanousone! But after that, branch out – join clubs, take language lessons, as a foreigner, it can be difficult, but I have to put myself out to know strong people who make many different project like, Lao-German tandem, sustainable education development, save our soil. Making friends abroad presents some challenges but it is important for adjusting to expat life. And going home now, I will keep all this experience – and also some teaching techniques and discussions from my professor to adapt on my job at Savannakhet University.
Text by S. Inthicak
Photos by S. Inthicak, T. Sangthongphet, N. Khothphouthone I. Martin & L. Wolf