Why I do what I do…
Foreign languages always fascinated me. Being able to communicate with someone in a different language sparks my curiosity and helps me connect with that person on a different level. It also taught me so much about my own language, my way of thinking and myself as a person.
I love learning languages and immerse myself into new cultures and experiences. The beauty that comes with experiencing a new country sometimes becomes a little difficult to fully enjoy without the local language. I have lived and worked as an expat myself in several different countries (and counting) but my own language learning journey has been a roller-coaster. When I look at myself now, I fully embrace my own passion of languages and this is what I now share with the world. I wanted to love what I do and not just be O.K. with it, so I decided to not only pass on my experience, topped up with a couple of university degrees and a teaching qualification, but also to help other people learn German, understand the culture and deal with all the situations expat life throws at you.
But teaching and learning a new language goes beyond that. It also teaches you to be open to new experiences, new people, different ways of thinking and doing things. It means being comfortable with the uncomfortable, having your boundaries pushed, your worldview challenged and your prejudice and stereotype thinking – whether or not you knew you had it – uncovered and slowly but surely eliminated. It means growing as a person, learning about yourself and looking beyond the label of your nationality and the color of your passport.
The first step, of course, is always speaking the same language! Your effort will enable you to feel like you belong there. It will help you to leave the tourist line and fully step into the expat adventure. You will truly live and make it a first hand experience rather than observe it from the sidelines. If you don’t figure out how to speak enough German with the locals, you’ll always feel like an outsider looking in. With English, you’ll be able to make friends with other expats but will have trouble getting to know the people who live there.
We only fear what we don’t know. This is even more important today where people around the world find it important to distance themselves from other nationalities. The feeling of ‘them versus us‘ is based on fear. Fear of the unknown. I believe that the world will be a better place if we truly connect with one another – especially across cultures – with clear communication and sincere relationships. That’s why I teach German. It’s my part of my mission in life – to bring more understanding, happiness, and love to the planet.
Because the best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve seen, and the memories you’ve made along the way. The invest is a truly rewarding experience no one will ever take from you.
About the author:
Karin Raffa is a language learning expert for people who want to step out of the tourist line and into an adventurous life in a German speaking country. Through her blog posts, on demand class and 1-on-1 coaching, she’s here to teach and inspire you to start your new life in the German language — while making it all fun (as much as possible), brain-friendly and totally do-able. And when she’s not teaching, you can find her indulging in family fun, yoga, crime novels and dark spicy chocolate- everything. Meet her and get ready to conquer the German language at www.mygermanology.com.