Izzy’s German scholarship with the Goethe Institut
Last year, I was given the opportunity to apply for a summer scholarship, to study German in Germany for two weeks. This was through the Partners for the Future (PASCH) initiative with the prestigious Goethe Institute, which Richmond School is partnered. It was an international course, so there would be lots of people from all over the world on the same course as me.
The application process involved putting together a three-page PowerPoint on the chosen topic for that year –‘What German and Germany means to me’. This all had to be in German, so it was very challenging, but through hard work and perseverance, and a hand from Miss Dutton, I managed to achieve a place.
However, due to Covid-19, I was unable to travel and stay in Germany. This meant that I took part in the first-ever Digital Pasch Summer Camp. We were given a login to a platform that was all in German, so that in itself was the first big hurdle.Every day, I was set work on the ‘Lerntplatform’. This work varied in topics, from ‘Saubere Energie’, ‘Schule’ and ‘Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung’. (clean energy, school and sustainability goals.) Then, in the evenings, Zoom conferences were held, for 1-2 hours. Here we would discuss the work we had done, different ideas we had, and we would also have a ‘Live Lesson’, learning more in depth about the topics – every word in German!
Our teacher, Susanne, was a lovely lady who was very kind and understanding. It didn’t matter if you said something that wasn’t quite right, she would help you understand how to say what you wanted to, and she was very good at explaining things slowly and in a way we could all understand. We also had meets with young German ambassadors twice a week, where we could ask any question to do with culture, or any topic we were discussing. For the last two days, we had to do a group project on what we thought was the most important German sustainability goal, of which there are 17. I was nominated as a group leader. In my group, there was a boy and two girls from Senegal, a girl from England and another boy from America. This was a great way to get to know people and make friends. We had several Zooms in our groups, where we worked on our project, but also had a lot of fun, which was nice. In the final conference, we presented our projects, and said goodbye to our new friends and to the teachers.
It was a very challenging experience, but it was definitely worth it. I learned so much, and made lots of friends. A big ‘Thank You’ to Miss Dutton for helping me with the whole process.
Izzy Lundberg, Year 11