Why I learn German – Interview with Derin from Istanbul17. April 2018

Derin is taking German courses at the Humboldt-Institut in Lindenberg since September. She tells us about her motivation to learn German, her goals and of course her time in Lindenberg. This interview dates from February 2018.

About me
My name is Derin and I am from Istanbul. I am 14 years old and started learning German in kindergarten. In order to continue learning German I had to enroll at a specific school and therefore had a quite long commute to school every day. My grandparents used to live in Germany. My parents also speak a bit of German and have relatives in Cologne. Also my uncle told me lots of stories about Germany.

My parents want a good education for me and I want to study at a German university. This is why I want to go to school in Germany and graduate with the Abitur (=German high school diploma). My goal is to study biology and to work in genetics. There are many reputable universities in Germany offering programs in natural sciences.

For me Germany is just positive!
Before arriving in Germany, I was a bit scared as I didn’t exactly know what to expect. I thought that it would rain or snow a lot. Besides, I have never been abroad alone.

But when I arrived, everything was lovely: The air was clean and crisp and the people were so friendly. For me Germany is just positive! The staff at Lindenberg took great care of me. Shortly after my arrival I met my roommate and her friends. We do lots of things together and I never feel homesick, because at Humboldt we are like one big family.

After-class we often meet in the leisure hall to play billiard, table football or ping-pong. There are always students and you can make new friends quickly. During group evenings we do different activities and it is always a lot of fun. From the many excursions and cities we visited I liked Munich best. I really like football and enjoyed the visit to Allianz-Arena, home stadium of Bayern München football club.

Learning German can be fun
Lessons at Humboldt are well structured. During class we regularly switch between grammar, reading, writing and speaking. We also learn with games. In my former school we only focused on learning by heart. In Lindenberg it is quite different and we learn and practice in turns. This way we improve and deepen our knowledge of German quickly. Everything is explained in German and I learn quicker as I almost never speak Turkish. This is the advantage when learning German in Germany.
My favorite subjects are grammar and sometimes listening comprehension. During my free time I enjoy reading fantasy novels such as Harry Potter, in German of course!

My classmates – currently we are five students in class – are all from different countries and we get along very well. We spend a lot of time together and learn from one another. I now know Chinese jokes and we really enjoy ourselves.

Soon I will attend a boarding school in Germany
When I arrived in Lindenberg my German level was approximately A2. Due to the small classes we progress quickly and I will soon write the B2.2 exam. After that I will leave Lindenberg and start at Solling boarding school in Lower Saxony. There I want to graduate with the Abitur in order to study at university and become a biologist. Anastasia, another Humboldt student, is already enrolled at Solling and I am really excited to meet her there.

My time at Humboldt was a great experience and I can only recommend to learn German with the Humboldt-Institut!