German youngsters get a taste of Swansea life

German youngsters from Hamburg have been in Swansea as part of a University-run scheme, working with local businesses and having language classes; they were also honoured at a formal dinner on campus on Thursday 1 September.

The group are apprentices, including a hairdresser, a care assistant and a chef. They have been spending time working with equivalent businesses in south west Wales, and having language classes to improve their English. 

The scheme is organised by English Language Training Services at Swansea University.  It forms part of a vocational training course in Hamburg which is organised by Wendy Swaby at ausblick, an organization that supports young adults entering vocational education, with financial backing from Hamburg local government.

600 x 395Picture:  the Hamburg group at the so-called Swiss cottage in Singleton Park, near Swansea University

Comments from the students:

"It was a wonderful time and I`m really thankful to have this chance and to be able to have this experience". Jasmin

"I have worked successfully with different catering-teams at Bay Campus and at Singleton Campus.  I have learnt a lot of new things and additionally I laughed a lot. I also came to know many lovely people". Sabrina     

"My English knowledge has improved immensely. I am very happy to have attended the project".  Moritz            

"I spent my internship at Gower Heritage Center. I was so much surprised to be working with a blacksmith, an experience I would never have had otherwise". Alex

"I had a very interesting time here. I felt very comfortable in the salon, my staff-members were all very nice and I have gained a lot of experience." Yelda

"I appreciate the chance I had. I spent an incredible cool time at Debenhams". Fereshte

"It was great to see the new Bay Campus and all my colleagues were very nice". Caro

"I had a good time. I have profited a lot for my professional future. I made friends for a lifetime what I would never thought of at the beginning of the project." André  

600 x 480Picture: Marcello from Hamburg with residents at the care home where he worked

Jennifer Welti of Swansea University, who co-ordinates the involvement of English Language Training Services, said: 

“It’s a great opportunity for our Hamburg guests to work in a different environment, as well as improve their English.  For some of them it’s their first time away from home, and they live in the student residences, so it all adds up to a great experience for them.

For the University it’s important to have these international links.  This scheme also means we are giving a taste of university life to people who haven’t experienced it, which is an important part of our work.”

Wendy Swaby of ausblick, who organizes the overall vocational training scheme, said:

"This truly wonderful project has seen 11 young “Hamburgers” successfully complete a four-week internship with a Swansea company.

For many of the students, the trip has been a life-changing opportunity. Many of them just never dreamt of working abroad or studying in a university, but four weeks in Swansea have given them a whole new outlook, enabling them to gather invaluable experience on so many levels, really making a difference for them."