Listening to my grandparents’ stories about all the crazy adventures they’d experienced in all the different countries they’d worked in sparked my interest in travelling and languages when I was a small child. I enrolled at the Gymnasium Marne Europaschule in Northern Germany which specialises in various exchange programmes. As a student at the gymnasium I participated in two exchanges to France and this made me realise that there was the possibility of not only exploring a country, but actually living and working there.
I firmly believe experiencing the way of life in another culture or country is what essentially helps us to understand the country and its people, and it allows us see life from a different perspective. By gaining knowledge about other languages and histories, we expand our general knowledge about the billions of people living and thriving on this planet. It also helps to reduce prejudice.
So, I decided to do a gap year after high school, packed my bags and moved to Seoul for an internship at the German school there.
The first week totally overwhelmed me, but of course, all beginnings are difficult, especially when you cannot read, write or speak the language of the country you’re living in. However, I soon became accustomed to everything, started a language course, and came to enjoy the beauty of the Korean culture. During my stay in Seoul, I also had the opportunity to explore the diversity of languages, habits and customs in this part of the globe. This experience further fueled my interest in learning and knowing about other cultures.
When my internship came to an end, it was time to apply for university and, even before going to South Korea, I knew that I’d like to study translation as it gives you the opportunity to put your knowledge of languages and cultures to practical use. I started studying translation at the Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen in 2017 in Heidelberg and chose English and French as my working languages.
I am now in the final semester of my bachelor’s degree and have to start thinking about the specific master’s program I want to follow. I have to narrow down the different options, gain experience in the field and become knowledgeable about a translator’s working environment. I also realised that I want to live and work outside of Germany again before starting my master’s degree. This is why I decided to come to Cape Town and Folio Online. I am eager to grow as a translator and person through my internship, and to explore more languages and cultures. May it help me pave the way into a not so unknown future.