Tag Archives: German expats

WDR Redaktion “Bustour” sucht Deutsche aus NRW

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Hallo liebe Deutsche in den USA,

ich suche Deutsche aus NRW, die in den USA leben und die wir im Rahmen einer Sommerferienserie portraitieren könnten. Weil sie Büffel jagen…oder einen außergewöhnlichen Beruf haben…oder bei Indianern leben..oder Wüstenforscher oder Surflehrer oder NBA-Spieler oder Baseballtrainer sind …oder sonst irgend was interessantes tun, das ich mir gar nicht ausdenken kann. Wichtig ist für uns immer, dass derjenige keinen Bürojob macht, sondern etwas tut, das für unsere Zuschauer interessant anzugucken ist.

So ist ein Schreibtischjob, sei er noch so interessant, kein gutes Fernsehthema, weil er auf der ganzen Welt gleich aussieht. Toll sind Tätigkeiten, bei denen man etwas von Land und Leuten mitbekommt. Interessant sind auch Wettbewerbe und Wettkämpfe aller Art mit deutscher Beteiligung…ob das auf Weltniveau oder im Stadtteil ist, ist für uns eigentlich unwichtig, wichtig sind gute Bilder, deshalb darf es auch gerne etwas skuriler sein…Bäume werfen oder sägen oder Murmeltiere fangen oder Indianerponies zähmen…oder oder oder…

Zeitrahmen ist ungefähr: 4.7. – 20. 8. , Wir kommen mit unserem Oldtimerbus in NY an und fahren dann Richtung Westküste

Interessierte können sich auf der WDR-Seite auch Beiträge aus dem letzten Jahr anschauen, wo wir in Rumänien und Bulgarien und Ungarn unterwegs waren. Einfach WDR.de, dann Mediathek anklicken, und dann Bustour eingeben, da kann man sich dann diverse unserer 5-minütigen Portraits angucken und bekommt eine Vorstellung, was wir vorhaben-nämlich nette, liebevoll gedrehte und getextete kleine Geschichten aus der Ferne.

Bitte leiten Sie unseren Aufruf gerne an alle Deutschen, die Sie kennen, weiter, ich freue mich sehr über jeden Tipp! Und wer unsicher ist…kann mich einfach anrufen oder anmailen, dann können wir gemeinsam sehen, ob’s passt. Bin auch gut über whatsapp und Skype erreichbar…deswegen auch unten mein Skypename…

Herzlichen Dank, ich freue mich sehr auf jede Antwort!

Beste Grüße B. Luther

Barbara Luther
WDR Fernsehen
Redaktion “Bustour”
Tel. 0171-9320177
Skype: skypebaluechen

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Sybille Cohen : Thinking Adventure Only – Settling for a Lifetime

-A CaliforniaGermans Interview-
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Sybille Cohen originally from Hamburg, moved to Northern California in 2001. She is director of the Bay Area KinderStube (short BAKS) a full-immersion German-language preschool for children between the ages of 2.5 and 5 years in Albany, a city very close to Berkeley. She has been teaching children from infants to preschool age over her extensive career and taught also as a teacher at the German Language School in Novato.

When coming to California initially, she didn’t have much of a plan but was ready for an adventure. And in fact the trip turned into the adventure of her lifetime. During her stay she met her now husband and made California her home.

Sybille you arrived in California about 10 years ago. What made you leave Germany?                                                                                                                                          This is a great question. I think I was just ready for a change and an adventure. I wanted to do something completely new. I had not seen or traveled ever before so I took a sabbatical from work and just went. California came to mind because I had a friend whose aunt lives here in San Anselmo. I just wanted to experience something new and get to know a different culture.

What was your first impression when you arrived here in CA?
.         Boy, arriving in the states was quite a shock. Everything was so big and enormous, the stores, the freeways, … On the other hand I was very surprised how friendly the Americans are. Always willing to help no matter if I had trouble with the car I rented or if I needed driving directions…

How long did you initially plan on staying in the USA?                        
.        Initially I had planned on staying for 6 month. But everything changed when I met my husband to be. During my stay I was asked if I would like to work as an Au pair for a widowed father who had two boys. I took the job and a couple of months later I found myself in love with the nicest man I’ve ever met, the dad himself! When my visa was about to expire there weren’t many options for us to have me staying longer especially since this was after 9/11. After consulting with an immigration lawyer we spontaneously decided to get married, and this after only nine months of being together! Would I have ever done something like this in Germany? Hell no! But it was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Since it was such an unforeseen change in plan, was it hard leaving family in Germany behind? What was your family’s reaction?
.       It was very difficult to leave family and friends behind! It was probably one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make. For many years I lived in, or better between two worlds, which means, when I was in Germany I wanted to be in the US and vice versa. By now I am content and I enjoy my stays in Germany and am happy when I’m home. Home for me now is California.                        Moving to California turned out to be a very tough change for my family back in Germany. The one most affected by it was my mother since I have a very close connection with her. But in the long run we rearranged our lives and we found a way that it now works for both sides. I’m trying to visit them once a year at least, which is very important to me, especially now as they get older.

Given the option, would you consider moving back to Germany at some point?
.       This is a tricky question. At this point in my life I’m not considering moving back to Germany because everything my life revolves around is here. The US has become my home. Germany on the other hand will always be special for me, since this is where I’m coming from. I am German in my heart and always will be!

You have been working with BAKS (Bay Area Kinderstube) since 2007 and since 2009 you are the school’s director. Please tell us a bit about BAKS.                                                                                                      BAKS started out as a parent initiative in 1994 and became a private pre-school open to the public in 1997. We are a full immersion German language pre-school, which means that we exclusively speak German with our children. The German language development takes an integral part of the social, emotional, and cognitive development of our children. We not only teach but ‘live’ the language so that it becomes a natural part of our students’ life. We have many different activities throughout the day from reading, singing, art and dancing to nature explorations, and we also cook and bake together. Since this school year we offer also martial art lessons once a week, alternating with yoga sessions as part of our curriculum!

There is a long waiting list to get a space at Bay Area KinderStube. What’s the success of BAKS?
.        In my opinion KinderStube’s success results in the fact that we are not only a childcare center. KinderStube has the feeling of home probably because it is small and therefore homelike. We have no more than 24 children in our morning program. With 4 teachers on site we have a great teacher/child ration of 1:6. In our afternoon session our ration is 2:12. The other component to our success is that we have very compassionate teachers. We always try to understand each child in his or her own way. Our goal is to get the best out of each one of them and make them feel accepted as an individual. We want to give them a feel of belonging.

 

What are the prerequisites, if any,  for a child to start at BAKS?
.        It is always a plus when the child has already some knowledge of the German Language but it is not a must. The one thing we are looking for is that one parent is able to speak the language and that it is spoken to the child outside of our school.

Can you share some advice with our readers on whether to start their child in a traditional American pre-school or a German immersion pre-school?
.        I do know both school systems and I have to say that the decision which route to go depends really on the parents and on what they think is best for their child. The big difference between these two systems is that the German system is not as academic in preschool and Kindergarten as the American. Kids learn to write and read in first grade, which I think is early enough considering the amount of school years still ahead of the child. But it also depends on the child itself. Is he or she already interested in reading, writing, and wants to learn more the parent should address it as well. On the other hand, is your child not an early “starter “, then don’t worry to give him or her a little more time and let them play a year longer. It won’t matter in the long run.

Sybille, thank you so much for your time and for sharing your insights with us. We wish you and BAKS continued success!

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For more information on BAKS please visit the school website at: http://www.kinderstube.org/home.html

If you would like to visit BAKS – Bay Area KinderStube, you can just call for an appointment or come by to the “Laternenfest” (lantern fest) this Sunday November 13th at 5pm. There will be Glühwein, Hot chocolate “Weckmänner” and Hot Dogs . For sale will also be German children books and lanterns for the children who don’t have any but would like to participate at the lantern walk.

The festive evening will start out with fall season’s songs and have its highlight in the presentation of the St. Martin’s play presented by the KinderStube “Füchse”. The following lantern procession will conclude the evening. At the end there will be a raffle with 5 opulently filled Gift baskets with the proceeds going towards buying new wood chairs and tables for the school.

BAKS – Bay Area KinderStube
842 Key Route Boulevard
Albany, CA 94706
(510) 525-3105
 
 

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Berkeley – At the Pulse of Time

It’s always fun to travel up north and visit San Francisco, but also nearby Berkeley is an adventure. We love to visit Berkeley. The town is full of life but different from what one expects from cities like San Francisco. Here at Berkeley, controversy lies in the air. One can practically feel the pulsating discussions about ideas that might one day change the world and the rebellious attitude towards pressing political questions affecting the nation but also the world.

Not pretty at first sight perhaps, Berkeley seems to be a bit run down almost reflecting the present state of American economy with homeless people making their way through the streets asking for a bit of support to meet living expenses.  But allowing yourself to dive into the mentality of the town and breathing in the politically charged air, Berkeley grows on you and you will love it for what it represents. It’s an intellectually charged place where even the homeless guy at the corner recites his own poetry on “Weltschmerz” or joins in a heated political discussion.

Sure enough also this time we witnessed a friendly demonstration against Wall Street. Since it was Homecoming weekend and the football game of the Cal Bears versus the USC Trojans had just taken place, quite a few USC students were in town representing the more conservative standpoint on political views. Dressed in suits and formal gowns, they were carrying signs that read, “I love capitalism”. I must admit their group stood there a bit forlorn and some onlooker just shouted at them “Go back home…!”

The end of our weekend trip marked a visit to the new California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. What a fantastic museum! It’s impressive how the museum combines a natural history museum, an aquarium and a planetarium all under one roof. And what a roof this is! It’s a living roof with 2,5 acres of native California plants that provide insulation and it “…reduces the urban heat island effect. …It features an expansive solar canopy, an extensive water reclamation system, and walls insulated with recycled blue jeans!”        This is sustainable design and green architecture right at its best, and  “…it just may be the greenest museum on the planet.”

Enjoy impressions of a weekend trip to Berkeley & San Francisco…

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Design Experience or A Lesson in ‘Porsche Design’

If you were wondering why you couldn’t find your favorite Porsche car key chain at one of the Porsche Design Stores, then listen in on excerpts of last Sunday’s Porsche Design presentation by Roland Heiler.

Porsche Design had a presentation and reception at the Porsche Dealership in Newport Beach past Sunday. Roland Heiler, mastermind behind Porsche Design gave an insightful presentation on what Porsche Design is all about and how it differentiates itself from other Porsche brands like Porsche Driver’s Selection .

As the audience learned, Porsche Design was founded in 1972 by Prof. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, grandson of Porsche’s founder and designer of the legendary Porsche 911. Focus of Porsche Design is on high end, timeless design projects that are exclusive and functional in one.

Following this approach one can find distinctive fashion for men and women, luxury items like watches but also stylish and ergonomically perfectly designed tennis shoes (in collaboration with Adidas) in designated Porsche Design Stores or choose to get a  Porsche Design kitchen (in collaboration with Poggenpohl). Two of the latest Porsche Design projects are a  futuristically designed yacht and the design of a luxury apartment building in Florida with elevators bringing you and your car right to the doorsteps of your home.

Mr. Heiler, Managing Director of Porsche Design Studio in Austria,  has a long history with Porsche and was director in the Porsche styling studio in Huntington Beach. He was the perfect authority to give an oversight not only of Porsche Design but also the brand Porsche itself.

The latest fashion and luxury design items can be seen and purchased at the Porsche Design Stores in South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa) or at the stores in Beverly Hills or San Francisco. They are also available online on the Porsche Design website.

Porsche Driver’s Selection products on the other hand are only available at Porsche dealerships or on the website and feature lifestyle items like a Porsche car computer mouse or memory stick, little model cars and also clothing, all related to the car Porsche and Porsche Motorsports rather than to the exclusive designer lines at Porsche Design.