Lasting Connections: Olivia, Lukas & Lawrence
Between them Olivia (19, Belfast), Lukas (20, Saarland) and Lawrence (19, Fife) took part in a host of UK-German Connection programmes, youth seminars and events. They have stayed in touch since meeting at our Alumni event in December 2018 and let us eavesdrop on their recent video chat…
What is your favourite memory from your UK-German Connection experience?
Olivia: I have so many! I think one of the greatest highlights was when Lawrence and I went to the Queen’s Birthday Party at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Berlin as part of the ‘Young Voices’ event, where we met Prince William and Kate!
Lawrence: Agreed! It was amazing to see how UK-German youth relations are represented at such a high level.
Olivia: Lukas, I don’t know if you would agree but a close second is definitely the Christmas Ceilidh at the Alumni Seminar in Berlin!
Lukas: That was really cool! There was another moment in Berlin when a huge group of participants were standing on the train and someone jokingly said, ‘we could all sing Bohemian Rhapsody together!’ Someone started singing and we really did all sing it together.
Olivia: That sounds like a fake story.
Lukas: That’s the cool thing about it, it’s not fake!
Lawrence: I’m pretty sure I was there. I think that might be real.
What is the most important thing you learned during the programme?
Lukas: Das Wichtigste, das wir während des Programms gelernt haben… so viel! Es ist super cool, so viele verschiedene Leute und Perspektiven auf der Welt kennenzulernen. Man erkennt Unterschiede zwischen Menschen und Kulturen, mit denen man nie gerechnet hätte.
Lawrence: For me, the most important thing I’ve learnt is how valuable it can be to get different perspectives from different people all over the world.
Olivia: What’s that phrase, we are greater than the sum of our parts?
How did your experience influence your decisions with regards to study, work & travel?
Olivia: This one’s easy for me. I definitely would not be studying languages if it weren’t for UK-German Connection, and the support of my great German teacher who encouraged me to get involved. It introduced me to lots of people who use languages in their careers and daily lives and it showed me the value of communication and cultural exchange.
Lukas: Bezüglich der Wahl meines Studienfachs kann ich sagen, dass meine Teilnahme am ‘Seas und Oceans Seminar’ mein Interesse an Naturwissenschaften noch bestärkt hat. In Sachen Reisen hat meine Erfahrung einiges verändert, und zwar möchte ich jetzt unbedingt während meines Studiums ein Auslandssemester irgendwo einbauen.
Lawrence: Before UK-German Connection I never would have considered doing modern languages at university. After the programmes I came round to the idea and I’m extremely grateful for that because I’m really enjoying it.
Do you have a UK-German story that you’d like to share? Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org