sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 20:29
Betreff: Some thoughts on my German course at Treffpunkt
Alexandra and Dani,
I thoroughly enjoyed my German course at Treffpunkt, and would recommend it to anyone interested in increasing their understanding of the German language and Germany. What follows are some observations and reflections on my two-week stay.
For me, the hardest part was understanding directions in German. While I agree that for maximum effectiveness the immersion should be as total as possible, I did have a lot of trouble determining what was being asked of me, what time (and where) people were meeting, what the activity was, etc. This is not a criticism but an observation, and I would not want the rich variety of events to be curtailed simply for the sake of clarity. But perhaps some measures to increase that clarity could be implemented.
I was very impressed with the quality of the teaching staff. They were universally dedicated, intelligent, clever and impressively PATIENT. My hat goes off to them, they can truly CUT THE MUSTARD!
Both of my daily instruction teachers, Kunibert and Sibylle, were friendly and knowledgeable, as well as obviously interested in transmitting their knowledge of German to others. The classes were fun and informative, the homework comprehensive enough to be effective but not overwhelming. I did not learn a lot about their personal lives, which reflects on their professionalism. Their focus was on teaching us German, not becoming our friends or entertaining us. Please extend my thanks to them for their efforts.
Norbert, on the other hand, did depart from strictly language instruction to touch on various other subjects of German culture, such as the rich history and geography of German-speaking Europe as well as German beer culture, which was of particular interest to me. This was a welcome departure from the intense language instruction of the morning classes, and was appreciated for its depth and comprehensiveness.
The physical spaces at the school were impressive as well, and I only regret that I did not take further advantage of the library, the study rooms, or the computers. In future, should my plans to return come to fruition, I would make more of an effort to utilize them. They were friendly, light-filled spaces that invited relaxation and study.
The town itself, Bamberg, hardly needs my commendation. It is a supremely livable city, small enough to feel comfortable but big enough to allow a wide variety of diversions. The history is staggering, and the generous time spent in showing it to us, by Joachim in particular, was deeply appreciated. Bamberg is a wonderful city to study in, one is surrounded by German culture and can truly feel a part of its history. And for one such as myself, who is interested in beer and beer culture, it is a treat to frequent the beer cellars in the area that proudly carry on the remarkable tradition of German brewing.
I can hardly emphasize enough my delight with my experience at Treffpunkt, and only hope that in the future I am able to repeat my visit, perhaps this time spending more than two weeks at your excellent institution. Thank you again for your efforts in making this remarkable institution what it is today.