I finally started my German language course. I chose die Volkhochschule because this organization existed for a while and I was sure that teachers there have lots of practice when it comes to working with foreigners. I did not realize that SO many students come to study there. Our class has 15-20 students (not everyone comes every day). That is a big number of students for studying a foreign language. Lucky us, our teacher is friendly and she can more or less keep everybody under control.
Never in my life I would be a part of such a motley crew if not die Volkhochschule. Our group has students from Syria, Romania, Ecuador, Italy, Japan, Turkey… All the students have their own reasons for coming to Germany and their own opinions about the country and its citizens. I was shocked (err… in a good way?!) to find out that one of the elderly ladies in our group thinks that Germany is ‘das kleine Paradies’. Is Germany that wonderful?! Why did not I get such a feeling? In my view, I cannot feel like in paradise here unless I speak good German. Obviously, for many people this is not a problem.
There are students in our group who have been living in Germany for some years. They managed to find a job and get apartments here without speaking the language. They could feel comfortable enough here (I guess?) without deeply understanding German culture and people who speak the language. Aber ich mag es nicht. I certainly can see why some people in our group are not interested in studying the language, talk during the lesson, do not listen to the teacher, and cannot wait for a break. I understand why they switch to English or to their own language when chatting. I believe they are already satisfied with living in Germany. They love it here, they do not mind small towns. Some of the students in our group take a train to get to the language course. They live in smaller towns close by where there are no language schools.
I was genuinely surprised to find that out. I find the city I stay in to be too small. I do not think it is marvelous (‘prima’ as one of the students described it). Apparently, I am the weird one. Everyone else in our group likes it here very much. Well, as for me, I am simply happy I can improve my German skills with the help of the lessons, and I have managed to make an appointment over the phone today without asking my favorite question: ‘Sprechen Sie Englisch?’