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Summer school 2016 – an intensive language course with accompanying cultural program in Paderborn

At the CDTF, they studied German intensively for one academic year. Following a multi-level selection process, twenty mechanical engineering students from Qingdao with excellent language skills accepted an invitation to a DAAD-funded summer school in Paderborn. More than 100 hundred lessons of a German language course taught by experienced DaF-experts were at the core of this four-week program. The participants aim for a 4 x 4 = 16 points in their next TestDaF. Parallel to the language course, the cultural program provided the Chinese guests with the option to explore some of the tourist highlights in and around Paderborn. During a city tour, the group learned about the peculiarities of the Three-Hare window in the Paderborn Cathedral, the purpose of the watch towers and the city wall, and that the city was named after the Pader springs. The spring water was used for extinguishing fires in the city, doing laundry in the springs themselves and for driving a corn mill which is still in operation today. The Chinese students were particularly impressed by the castle in Schloss Neuhaus, former seat of the bishops of Paderborn, with its baroque gardens.

While only having talked about the background of the Libori Festival in their language course, students actually experienced “Paderborn’s fifth season” during a stroll with members of the “Society of Chinese students”. Meeting with older fellow students for bowling and for a barbecue at the Paderborn Youth Hostel gave them an impression of student life at their future place of study. This also provided them with the opportunity to make contact with German students who will spend the winter semester in Qingdao. The students learned about every-day life of a student on tours of the campus, visits to the library, the lab of the Chair of Particle Technology Group and the dining hall. A day trip took them to the Autostadt at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg. A native tour guide imparted extensive knowledge on the design and manufacturing of modern automobiles. The students had to take a seat in the exhibits, especially those of Audi and Porsche. Hundreds of photos and long videos were taken to capture these grand moments and quickly send them back home via social media. The mechanical engineering students were also impressed by a
tour of selected assembly areas of the plant with the visitor bus. As a result, quite a few students started thinking about practical training at Volkswagen. The important role of the automotive industry in Paderborn was brought to their attention during a corporate tour of Benteler. They got an insight into the production of lightweight aluminum and steel products as well as complete chassis. At a visit of the Karl-May festival in Elspe the students felt the fascination of the German
culture by cowboys and Native Americans.

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