The end of A 1.2


It is Thursday and finally/sadly we are at the end of our Level A1.2 course. Next Monday the Level 2 will start together with serious issues!

But now it is time to enjoy the last day all together.

We start with the last topic of the book: “Emotionen”, pretty funny! After learning how to express happiness, sadness and anger in German, it comes the test time. The test is a good tool to review what we have studied so far. Afterwards, finally the Breakfast all together! Of course, the social breakfast has been Marie´s idea. A few German friends told me that in Germany it is a common tradition to have breakfast all together the last day of school. I think that it is a nice tradition! Therefore, everybody had the task to bring something typical from their own country. All of us had the chance to discover breakfast traditions from other countries.

For instance, there was some typical food from Venezuela, croissants from Italy, vegan cake, cheesecake and the super delicious spinach muffins that Marie prepared.

In the end, Marie gave us a present: a preview of the topics we will study in A2, since she wanted us to be well prepared and ready for the new course.

Finally, I am glad to give a positive feedback to my first experience at DeutscheAkademie  and I am looking forward for the next level!

“Those days”

When you live abroad, sometimes you have “those days”: those moments when something is missing. Precisely you do not know what: you have a good life, good friends and everything is quite alright. But “those days” will eventually come. When you wake up during one of “those days”, you feel like doing something meaningful, whatever could fill what is missing. What is missing cannot be easily translated into one word, indeed it is not simply your country, but it represents something more than that. As well as it is not about material things. Most likely, it is a combination of abstract elements, for instance a smell, some gestures, or the stability of recognizable behaviors. Even the most adventurous people might have those moments.

Everyone would try to fix this emptiness in a different way according to his/her personality, context and resources.

My personal way is to find a place where I feel good, relaxed, where I can organize my thoughts and clear my mind. Usually, my emptiness reveals itself with feelings of anxiety and pressure to act. And the place which would calm me down the most is a bookstore. In Berlin there are several ones, you can find huge and amazing bookstores everywhere. They look like the paradise of books lovers! The luckiest ones of this category are German speakers (the English section is quite small compared to the endless German one). Even though huge book stores are quite appealing, I am more attracted by the old style small book shops, run by a family maybe.

And in Berlin I had the chance to find one! On a very central street in Mitte, you see this small book shop which sells Italian and Portuguese books. When I entered, I had a feeling of intimacy, which recalls home memories. I had a nice chat with the very kind lady who works there. She suggested me a very interesting book and unexpectedly she gave me what I was looking for. That day I was feeling frustrated and confused after a German class. I was thinking that all my efforts to understand the language were not enough to fulfill the goal. I needed something more. And I found it here. The book is about an explanation of the German mindset, which leads you to better understand the complexity and peculiarity of the language.

The nice lady suggested me also to take a look at some paper boxes filled with a big choice of second-hand books. Well, when I left, I somehow felt that my personal gap was filled.

I recommend a visit to this lovely Portuguese/Italian book shop called “Mondo Libro” (Torstraße 159, Mitte)” for all the “small and unique shops” lovers, against the “big shopping stores” types. I believe that they will be very satisfied!books

Unser Kulturprogramm im Februar

Liebe Teilnehmer,

diesen Monat besuchen wir mit euch eine echte Berliner Bier-Brauerei. Denn was ist deutscher als das Getränk aus Hopfen und Malz? Nichts!

Bei einer Führung durch die Anlage und einer kleinen Bierprobe schauen wir mal hinter die Kulissen der Braukunst. Wir würden uns freuen viele von euch dabei begrüßen zu können.

Anmelden könnt ihr euch im Büro bis zum 19.01.2015. Dort erhaltet ihr auch alle Informationen. Gern könnt ihr aber auch auf dem Flyer nachschauen!

Bis bald im Büro!

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

Brauerei Poster_-001

Humans of Deutschkurs

One day a guy called Brandon Stanton had an idea: to follow his passion. After losing his job, he decided to dedicate his time by doing what he liked the most: photography. And he had a project in his mind. He wanted to create a photo book with a collection of images of New Yorkers. By going around the city and collecting pictures of all its inhabitants, he must have realized that all these people were also stories, unknown stories that had to be told. So, he included a short text alongside every picture with a short story about the life of all these people. Thus the blog: Humans of New York was created”. The blog was followed by the book, which became a best seller in NYC. Brandon knew that New York was the perfect city for this experiment: the city with the biggest variety of cultures and stories in the world, the so called Melting Pot.

I like to believe that Berlin is the European version of New York. People could now argue my point of view and they would give this honor to other cities as London or Paris.

Well, this is just my personal opinion. The 2 cities have at least one thing in common: they are places with a continuous immigration of individuals coming from everywhere.  People are attracted by the vibe of these 2 cities. I am sure that the constant move of people coming from everywhere is not only because of the economic situation. It is scientifically proved that most of the times people do not take decisions based on a precise calculations of a list of well-analyzed logical reasons. Ok, maybe only Germans! 😀 the motivation is different from one person to another. Actually, once, at the job center, I have been told that statistically, people move to Berlin for “die Liebe”.

Our course is just a small good example of this phenomenon. In my group, I had the pleasure to meet and exchange opinion with people coming from Australia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Israel and Russia. I am the only Italian. It is very interesting talking about their motivations and their background. In my life I have done several international experiences (both academic and professional), but every time I approach a new multicultural environment, it always surprises me. I like to get new insights from people who I will never have the chance to meet in a stable and predictable environment.

I am very attracted by the power of Weak relations: those people who just crossed your path of life for a short time, but they leave you something precious.

Greets to all the nice people I met during this month. Some of them will not continue to A2, so I wish you so much luck guys! And for the others, see you on Monday!


Unsere Lehrerin Marie

Already mentioned in my previous posts, I finally decided to dedicate a few lines only for her: our nice teacher Marie! Marie is the real rock star of our course. A blond skinny girl who has the power to teach us the secrets of the German language. Her main ingredient for every lecture is a big smile and a very positive attitude. Even though often our faces look so desperate while approaching some new alien concepts, she finds the way to encourage us with her positive energy. In fact, without her methods, I bet that for most of us “poor students still at level A1.2” the course would be very boring. I mean, the panic already started and we are still at the beginning. “Zu viele wörter”, too many cases to conjugate and a lot of mass panic! Fortunately Marie makes everything easier for us. Marie´s creative way of teaching makes possible to learn and have fun at the same time. Through table games, activities outdoor, team exercises and a lot of patience for our great variety of questions, I accomplished the goal to make phone calls and organize appointments in German! This is for sure only a small result. But it is the proof that the time at the course has flown away so fast that we did not even realize how many words, verbs and grammar we have learned in a very short time. And I am aware of that every day, when sentences come spontaneously to my mind and I start thinking in German.

Once I asked Marie if we are going to do a final test to evaluate our improvements at the end of the course. It sounds logical to me, otherwise how would you quantify your improvements? Marie´s answer shocked me a bit and at the beginning I could not grasp Marieher way of thinking. She claimed that we will make a team test where we can mutually cooperate to reach the final result. She preferred a group test, since individual tests would just foster the competition among us. But after a few classes, I finally understood what she meant. I realized how good we work all together and how much we learn from each other. Then Marie was right: social learning is the winning tool.

Unfortunately, Marie is teaching only at the basic level, therefore we have to say goodbye to her in 2 days. Marie, we will miss you! Are you sure you don´t want to teach at the next level too? 🙂

Discovering Berlin

Neue HeimatBerlin is a city full of surprises. Everywhere you go, you will make new discoveries, even when you already lived in the city for a while. And however, there are so many options available that sometimes you do not know which one to choose! New places are always exciting, because you can meet new people, do something that you have never done before or getting inspired from everything you see. Nevertheless, new places could be also disappointing. How many times it happens to go to a recommended place just to find out that it does not look as good as you expected. And for this reason, many times people like to go to already known and tested places, since going out with minus “random number” has to be at least worthy. Well, already seen it or not, I have a worthy place to suggest: the Neue Heimat. I was there on Sunday, but it is open also on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Every day has a specific theme. On Sunday it is usually street food. The food exhibition begins at 12pm and it goes on until the night, so it could be a cool place for having brunch, but also lunch, or dinner, or just for a beer. There are no specific rules there, only a bunch of stands with typical food from all over the world, very warm lights and always a lot of people. People sit everywhere, also on the stairs. They walk around, chat with their friends and taste worldwide food. The particular characteristic of this place located in Waschauer Straße in the “Clubs Zone” is that when you come inside you feel like entering into a different world. Now imagine: it is Sunday, minus “random number”, but also that small sun which forces you to go out, because who knows when you are gonna see it again! You leave your warm house and the greenhouse effect is already dramatic, take the Ubahn, walk over the Warschauerbrücke (the bridge). Finally you come in front of that big stand and you do not have any idea of what is going to happen inside. You just know that it is very cold and you are standing in the cue. Then finally in! The warm atmosphere of the Neue Heimat is already all around you. Then what will be next is up to you! I strongly recommend this place when you need to switch off. All the stress related to work, cold weather, routine will be forgotten while tasting a Sicilian arancino and a cold beer together with a nice friend!

Our Deutschkurs on Friday: Shopping gehen

It is funny to see how I put together two different words in the title: german course and shopping. It sounds weird to put those two different things together. People would usually put them in different labels and connect for example the language course with: “duty, serious, studying, effort, getting up early in the morning…”. While they would connect shopping with: “weekend, fun, new look, friends, chat, relax…”. But who said that the world is just black or white? For sure not our teacher. Marie is a special kind of creative German who always thinks outside of the box. When she told us that this week we were supposed to go to the course on Friday instead of Monday, almost everybody reacted not in such a good way. Breaking the expectation to get up late on Friday is dramatic! However, our teacher found a way to break the boredom of the Friday class. Since we are now studying everything related to “Kleidung”, clothes, she decided that the last half of the course we will go shopping! I do not know how she had this brilliant idea! Maybe because she knows that students would spend the last hour of the last day of the course sleeping or thinking about the plans for the weekend… Maybe! However she found the way to wake up us! Fortunately, we were almost all girls who are crazy for shopping, so it is easy to imagine our enthusiastic reaction when she told us what we were going to do!

Our project was about going to a second-hand big store with a very important and precise task: every team had to find clothes for one of the lucky volunteer model according to a season that we chose. My team chose spring and the other one autumn. I was so focused in the task that I looked like those crazy shopping assistant who have to help common people to find the perfect style for them, in one of those American reality shows

I had so much fun that at some point I was thinking that I want to do this as a profession! But I was not the only one. We all had lots of fun trying to find the right look for our model!

Then, the important part would come: the final presentation. For my team, I introduced the Russian model Paulina with a perfect Arbeit outfit for the spring season and the second team introduced the stylish Yael with an urban autumn style!

In the end, it was really amusing and at the same time we learned how to use indefinitarkitikel+adjectives+clothes. It is just a game, but I believe that it is a good approach to reinforce learning and team work. Plus, it is also a good chance to get to know the people at the course. Indeed, we are always so busy in our daily activities and it is difficult to find some time to have a chat or, more ambitious, to make friendships. So what is better than a shopping session?


Check here our stylish model for the Spring and Autumn collection!Shopping!