Melanie Bathan

German Studies

I am currently working at the local Volkshochschule back in my old hometown of Lippstadt. As a counselor for the integration courses, I work closely with migrants and refugees, who are there to learn the German language and culture. It is mainly an administrative position. I register new students, make an initial assessment about their language levels, and place them into one of six modules of the language course. For me, it is great to see the other side of a language program, not just the teaching side. It can be a challenge when I have to explain complex bureaucratic processes to students who 1) don’t speak any German nor English, and 2) have sometimes not even attended elementary school in their home countries. But, when I hand students their B1 certificates and see the joy in their faces, it was worth having to communicate with gestures, interpreters, and even Google translator for a time.