Back in April, as I sat preparing for my German speaking mock exam, I received an email. I was pleased to discover that I had been accepted into this year’s Goethe Institut's Schwäbisch Hall Work Shadowing Programme.
The programme, organised annually by the Friends of the Goethe Institut London, takes around 20 young people from all over Britain to Schwäbisch Hall in Southern Germany. The programme, which takes place over five days in the October half term, offers students work experience within small and medium sized German companies. Students spend the mornings shadowing a professional, and the afternoons taking part in cultural activities to help them improve their language skills and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the German culture.
Due to the global pandemic, I wasn’t able to travel to Germany like originally planned, but was still able to take part virtually. The first session focussed on developing and creating our own podcasts, from the script to the marketing strategy. Our chosen theme was German and politics. We met with the team who created the German podcast ‘HerzaufZunge’ and enlisted the help of a student from Durham University who is studying German and politics.
Another session we attended during the week was on STEM subjects, hosted by Imperial College London. The workshop, which was spoken entirely in German, focussed on physics and the practical applications of it.
The week was so much fun and I've made some great friends, who I'll hopefully get to meet in person next year! My listening and speaking skills have improved, and the whole experience has just furthered my resolve to study languages.
I'm really grateful to the German department for telling us about this fantastic opportunity, and to the Goethe Institut for providing it. It was an amazing experience and I learnt so much.
The project is taking place again in February 2021 - please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.