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INTERVIEW: CARSTEN IN SAIGON

Our teacher Carsten currently lives in Saigon, where he is teaching German for the Goethe Institute for 6 months. We miss him very much, but of course we’re also happy he has the chance of gaining an experience in a foreign country and discovering a new continent. In our little interview with Carsten you'll learn more about his impression of Vietnam and his everyday life in a new environment.

Carsten, you've been in Saigon for almost four months now. What was your first impression of the city?

My first impression was: too hot, too full and too loud. Now I like living here, thanks to my colleagues who have welcomed me with open arms. There are many small islands of peace in all this chaos - you just have to find them.

What do you like most about Saigon, what do you find difficult to get used to?

I especially like the food, of course. I’m always trying something new - not only specialty dishes from Vietnam, but from all over Southeast Asia. I’m still getting used to the traffic.

You have a scooter to drive through the city. How does it feel to be on the road with it? Isn't it dangerous with the chaotic traffic?

In the very beginning I walked everywhere, but I quickly realized that the city was anything but pedestrian-friendly. After a few weeks I gave up and have been traveling through the city on my moped ever since. As long as I drive slowly, with care and let the traffic flow carry me, I feel safe.



You are currently working for the Goethe-Institut with Vietnamese people, among others, who want to work in Germany as nurses for the sick and the elderly. What are the biggest challenges of the new job for you?

I am used to working with learners from many different countries, with many different mother tongue languages. Here I almost only teach linguistically homogeneous classes (that is, a full class of only native Vietnamese-speaking students).  So I had to change my teaching method entirely. It is also a challenge to teach technical language for nursing professions. Together with my students I learn new words every day.

What do you miss most about Germany?

My boyfriend Amir. My dog and my friends. And, at the moment, I miss strawberries.

When will we have you back in Berlin?

I will be back at the end of October and will be teaching two intensive courses starting on the 28th. I am looking forward to seeing the new Transmitter space at Gneisenaustraße.

Thank you Carsten! We're looking forward to have you back soon!