Gauss-Telegraph: 17 international people in Braunschweig – Jeannette Hermanns
by Yasaman Kafshi
- Where are you from?
Germany, Helmstedt, that is 30 km away from Braunschweig.
- When and why did you come to Braunschweig?
I studied my bachelor and master here and now I’m writing my doctoral thesis.
- Do you play any sports? Which sport do you play?
Yes, yoga, exercise classes and water sports, if it comes up.
- Do you play an instrument or which instrument would you like to play?
I would like to be able to play the guitar. In the Gauss Haus we often have artists from different regions of the world and most of the time a guitar is represented.
- Did you do voluntary work before?
Every year I volunteered at the children’s festival on a campsite. Later I also took over stands there. But not really otherwise. I always had the opportunity to make money in other activities, like tutoring.
- What do you think about getting to know new cultures?
I think this is great and can also call it my hobby. I love to travel and what do you do when you travel? Of course, you eat there, look at different things, talk to the people there and that is all culture. When you are in Germany, you see different cultures everywhere. I always had friends from different cultures.
- How did you find out about the Gauss Haus?
When I was abroad, I got a lot of help from locals, so when I started studying in Braunschweig, I looked for programs to help people from other cultures. In doing so I found the Gauss Friends.
- Since when are you active with the Gauss Friends?
It’s hard to say. It’s been a few years, maybe since 2013.
- What is your favorite event or activity in the Gauss Haus?
Tuesday theme night. It is simply the complete package: You get to know new food and see a wonderful presentation about the country. Afterwards you can do whatever you feel like doing. Just talk to old and new friends, help someone, play board games or even dance.
- Have you already organized a theme evening in the Gauss Haus yourself? If so, what did you think of the evening?
Yes, I was in Ghana for a long time through my internship and thought that this is a great chance to present Ghana. Especially from Ghana we do not have very many people in the Gauss Haus. I had so much to tell that I actually had to be stopped so that it would not be too late. But everyone listened enthusiastically and was happy about the delicious food. I had even bought extra plantains for it.
- When and what was your best moment in the Gauss Haus?
I can’t tell you what my best moment in the Gauss Haus was. There were just too many. The fellowship is simply incomparable. One of my first activities in the Gauss Haus was the trip to Berlin. There we went to the Carnival of Cultures. There was an Indian float. There we all danced with each other, no matter from which culture. It was very nice.
- What is the special feature of the Gauss Haus?
That everyone is welcome and warmly accepted. In addition, everyone can find something for themselves in the Gauss Haus, because it is very versatile and always open to new ideas. Moreover, the Gauss Haus is a kind of family. And everyone who wants to can be a part of it.
- Have the events about other countries motivated you to travel to these countries? If yes, which ones?
Motivates, yes. But I haven’t gotten around to going there yet. Through the lecture about Lebanon, this has become one of my dream destinations. I didn’t know before that there was so much culture in that country. I also have many other destinations and I always looked in the Gauss-Haus to see if anyone had ever been there or if anyone came from that city or region. Then I talked to them and collected many ideas for my travels.
- Did the Gauss Haus help you make new contacts?
Yeah, I met a lot of new people. Although it’s a pity too, because you have to say goodbye sometimes. But fortunately, there is the internet. I made a lot of friends through it. Because although many of them have not been in the Gauss Haus for several years, I still have contact with them.
- Would you recommend the Gauss Haus to other international students?
Yes, I have done that several times and nobody came back without being enthusiastic about the Gauss Haus.
- Do you have a suggestion for improvement or ideas for the Gauss Haus Project?
I know the Gauss Haus would need more support. I think it is already great what is done with the means and the commitment of the volunteers.