In the autumn/winter semester, starting in September, volkshochschule (vhs) stuttgart is reaching out to the English-speaking community in Stuttgart. For the first time the institution for adult education has put together a special program in English. So if your English is better than your German, the program vhs international is just right for you.
I am a huge fan of the new English-speaking courses because I know that it is hard for some of you guys to act out your hobbies, learn something new or make new friends when everything is always offered in German. That’s why I reached out to vhs stuttgart and teamed up with them. In an interview Daniele Nuccetelli, supervisor of the international program, told me all about the new program and pointed out several fun English-speaking courses for us.
Daniele, vhs stuttgart is launching a very new program for the international community in Stuttgart. What motivated you to do so?
The English-speaking program is a further step to making our institution more open and appealing for new residents and visitors who don’t speak German or are not fluent yet. And the truth is… our city is really international! Did you know that Stuttgart is home to people from over 180 countries and around 40 percent of the total population have some foreign background? It’s quite impressive, isn’it?
It really is! Who can attend the new courses? And who benefits from them the most?
The program is specifically aimed at expats and foreign students and professionals who maybe don’t speak German yet but don’t want to miss the chance to learn something new or stay healthy. More generally, the program is open to everyone comfortable taking classes in English – regardless of their nationality or native language. We’d love to see new and local residents get together, exchange ideas and opinions, and learn more from each other.
What type of courses does vhs stuttgart offer with the new international program?
The program is very diverse and interdisciplinary. This semester, we’re offering courses and events in 10 categories: meditation, yoga, qigong, and pilates classes in Body & Mind, zumba classes in Move it!, regional and international cooking classes in Taste the world, city tours in Exploring Stuttgart, special language courses for international learners in the category Languages, Literature & Film, singing classes and music workshops in Rhythm & Music, thought-provoking seminars for women in Style & Personality, practical courses for creative minds in Arts & Crafts, computer courses for work and leisure in Go digital, inspiring travel talks in the category Talks. And there’s much more to come in 2019!
A lot of expats who are new to Stuttgart want to learn more about their new hometown, the Swabian culture and history. What courses would you recommend them?
I would definitely recommend the city tour Pearls of Architecture in the Swabian Metropolis to all those who want to know more about the fascinating urban developments of Stuttgart over the centuries till now. And for the ones who want to learn how to cook local specialties: Classics of Swabian Cuisine and Veganese Schwabinese for vegans.
A lot of my readers are passionate foodies. Are there any other classes you would recommend?
Absolutely! If they love Italian food as much as I do, then they should learn how to make Pasta Amatriciana with an experienced chef from Rome. The Lebanese cooking class and Korean cooking class are not to be missed either! Needless to say, at the end of each class the participants will sit together with the teacher and savor their self-cooked specialties in a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
When I want to be creative, which courses can I choose from?
If you want to create your unique style and learn how to make your own clothes, you should take one of our sewing classes for beginners and intermediate learners. Children can create their personal greeting cards with Hand Lettering for Kids. And for art enthusiasts we offer a Watercolor Painting course.
What courses are best for meeting new people and making new friends?
We know it can be really hard moving to a country where the language and culture are so different. That’s why all the courses in the English-speaking program focus on bringing people together and helping them build new meaningful relationships. Besides the cooking classes and fitness courses, I would suggest joining our international choir led by a trained opera singer: music has this magic power of bringing people together. And we’re also planning a special Christmas choir for the Advent Season!
Apart from the courses you just named, what other highlights await us this semester?
The Whisky Tasting is definitely not to be missed! It’s going to be an entertaining and educational evening about Scotland’s favorite drink with live music, snacks and… whisky, of course! For the category Music & Rhythm, I can recommend a seminar on K-Pop, the world sensation from South Korea. And for those who have wanderlust, the speaker of the travel talk Camino de Santiago will explain how to follow the pilgrim route from Germany down to Santiago de Compostela.
Can you tell us a bit more about volkshochschule stuttgart? What type of school is it? What is its goal?
volkshochschule stuttgart, or vhs stuttgart, is one of the largest centers for adult education in Germany. It was founded in 1919 during the Weimar Republic, the first democratic phase in the history of Germany. And now that we’re approaching an important milestone – our 100th anniversary in 2019 –, we believe that although things have changed and evolved dramatically in Europe and the world over the years, vhs stuttgart will stick to its original credo: making education and culture accessible and affordable for everyone.
Thank you very much for all this information, Daniele! And see you soon at vhs stuttgart 🙂