With every step up to the fourth floor I am getting more excited. It takes a bit of time till I am finally standing in front of the door of my new »home for time«. I cannot believe that there are already four months that had passed since that day. I still can feel the excitement and nervousness on my first day in Trbovlje. All the questions that I had in my mind, that I now think to have an answer to.

I am volunteering in Trbovlje now for 4 months, all together my project will last for nine months. It is almost halftime for me, which means it is time to reflect!

For now, I can just say that the project fulfilled my expectations to 100 percent. I am working in the local high school, helping out in the German lessons. Before I went here my goal was it to get an impression of the life of a teacher and this is what I definitely got. I am well integrated at school and can even prepare presentations or tasks for the students on my own and stand in front of the class and teach them something. During my time in school I got to know what is the hardest part of being a teacher: the hardest part for me is, that the job is continuously going on. There is no certain point when you have “quitting time”. You take your work home with you and sometimes even have more to do home than actually in school. Being a teacher means so much more than just teaching and it is also not just a job with a lot of school holidays. I think this year abroad and this experience in Slovenia thought me more about the job as a teacher than I could ever gain in Germany.

Another big fear of mine before I came here was the lack of social contacts. But also this fear disappeared really quick, when I got to know my flatmates. We are a really great team and I think sometimes it is even surprising how good we work together. Even after being and living together for four months there was still no real argument between us. Getting in contact with locals is another thing. For all of us volunteers this was the hardest point. By working in the high school and being in the students age I probably had a big advantage with that and had better opportunities to get in contact with locals.

All together reflecting on the last four months for me just shows positive aspects. I am really glad that I found the right project for me and at the same time have such a great community, too. I am looking forward to the rest of the project, stay excited and cross the fingers that everything stays the same.

Tatjana Thüner

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