A few days ago, the community in our Shenbakkam flat has increased. We are happy to welcome Carola, who is going to take part in daily life here in Shenbakkam for the next two months. During this period of time, she is going to work as a German teacher here for our project.
After her arrival, we took the chance to invite her to an Indian dinner, enjoy the view on the hills surrounding Vellore and ask her a bunch of questions about her life and her motivation to join our project.
Carola, we are pleased to welcome you here in Vellore. But please tell us first, what you usually do, when you don’t teach German in India.
I live and work in Wiesbaden as a consultant for the parliamentary group of the Green party. Appart from that, I have two almost grown up children.
How did you come up with the idea of working abroad as a German teacher?
Since my teaching German as a foreign language at the Goethe institute I often had a look at a portal for jobs abroad. Most of the jobs offered required a stay for at least 6 months and were thus not compatible with my position in Germany. In Gyan Shenbakkam School Project India, a shorter stay is also possible. Furthermore, I’ve wished for a long time now to go abroad for a longer period of time. But so far, there had not been the opportunity to do so.
And why India?
I‘ve always found India exciting and interesting and I really liked the idea of the project. Now I want to see, smell, hear and feel India and I want to know how I can cope with this big and unknown country.
How come that you decided for the diploma as a teacher for German as a foreign language?
I was teaching German at the Volkshochschule in Berlin, when I started the apprenticeship additionally to my work. In the beginning, I saw it as possibility to earn money through the lessons in case I find no other job, but also as a chance to go abroad one day.
How did your children react, when they heard about your plans?
My daughter was delighted because she enjoys travelling also and has always been interested in going to India, while my son reacted in quite a neutral way. Only when he heard that he won’t be alone at home and that his grandma will pass sometimes, his enthusiasm declined a bit.
What are your first impressions at the moment?
It is similar to what I imagined. The life of the people here is simple. But so far, I have not had a culture shock. I just find it so interesting to see everything here. Only the heat at night is harder for me than I expected.
How did you prepare yourself for India?
At first, I talked to a lot of people who have already been to India. Appart from that, I imagined everything in the worst way so that I am positively surprised now. Concerning my German classes, I just packed all the books I possessed.
What do you hope for in the next two months?
I am hoping for a lot of new impressions. What is more, I wish to learn a lot about me and gain experiences for my future life. I am also curious about how I will manage daily life in spite of the continuous heat.
Translated by Tim Rothenbücher