Sander – our new volunteer from Norway

Who am I?

Hello, my name is Sander and I am 19 year old boy from Norway. I am currently in Leipzig to take part in a ESC-project that evolves around working in the Kindervereinigung. I am going to stay here for the next year, and I thought it would be nice to introduce myself to all of you to get a better understanding of who I am.

What did I do before I came to Leipzig?

I just finished highschool in Norway this summer, and this will be my first year of doing something else than attending school. For a long time I thought about going abroad, and Germany was one of the countries I considered going to. I had german as a subject in school for 5 years, and in those 5 years I learned about german culture, the country´s history, and also about the language. To be honest, I did find it hard to learn the german language through only studying it, and I therefore only have basic german-skills. That´s why I hope to learn the language better through this project, and the dream would be to become more or less fluent in german.

What are my tasks?

I have some different tasks I can do at my workplace, and my working days has so far been different and flexible, which I like. I have been at different meetings, I have gone with the Spielmobile several times, and it is amazing to see how both kids and their parents can come to play for free and also make new contacts and friends. My colleagues are also really nice, and even though I try to speak german most of the time, I also have the opportunity to speak english if there is something I don´t understand in German. I have also learned that if a german person tell me they can´t speak english, they are most likely lying or not so confident in it, because most germans speak really good english and has a good vocabulary.

Why did I choose Leipzig?

My honest answer to this question is that I don´t know. When I was looking for a project, I only knew that I wanted it to be in Germany, and I would also love to work with kids in one way or another. I had also heard some great stuff about München, but I had never been in Germany before, and I did not have special relationship to the country or any specific cities in mind. Once I started looking for projects, there were not many projects available in München, and I therefore started to look at other cities. When I saw that they were looking for several volunteers in Leipzig for projects that seemed interesting, I immideatly figured out I had to find out more about the city. I started reading about the city, and I saw that it was quite a big city with a lot to offer, so I decided to apply for the project.

Why did I want to go abroad?

I come from a really small Norwegian city called Harstad (with about 25.000 people living there). I have lived there my whole life, and with the exception of a 3-week long language course in the UK and a few holidays in Southern Europe, I can´t really say that I have travelled a whole lot. I wanted to change that, and I wanted to travel and hopefully learn a new language or two before I eventually started my studies. I also wanted to explore a bigger city and a new country, and I therefore thought Leipzig and Germany maybe could offer me that.

Where do I live?

I currently live in ´´Die VILLA´´, which is a socio-cultural center that among other things hosts language-evenings, open stages, language-courses for immigrants and more. I share a flat with 6 other volunteers, and it has so far been a great experience. I have to learn new things as cooking dinner for myself, washing my own clothes aswell as living with other people and respecting their privacy. I also have to keep control of my own econmy, something I find a bit scary, but also really fun and interesting. These are all important things you don´t really learn in school, and I feel like it has been really rewarding. I also like the fact that I live with others, because I have the opportunity to always do something. If I feel like getting a coffee, going to the cinema or just go for a stroll in the city, I can always ask some of my flat-mates.