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German
Robert Schwamborn

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I’m from Germany and I was born in Dusseldorf which is at the river Rhine in north Rhine of Germany. Apart from German and English, I speak other languages but not fluently; I learnt Spanish and a bit of French but I was never good enough to have the practice to speak it fluently.

I didn’t want to go as far as America, South Africa or even Australia so in that way it was England, Scotland, or Ireland or Wales. Basically I chose Ireland one reason was that a student that studied bio-chemistry as well and was a year or two above me, she had been to Ireland and to Dublin and she had really liked it and that it was easier to get funding instead of going to New Zealand for example...

It was also because it was the stage where Europe was growing more and more together. I mean it still is but the whole sense of Europe came up and basically Ireland is part of the European Union but a country I hardly knew anything about. All we learned in school about Irealnd was well, about northern Ireland and so basically I was kinda curious to see what this country which is at the western shore of Europe.

Obviously there are a few things like being in an Irish pub in Germany and in a way there would have contact that way but in school it was mostly jokes where the Irish were depicted....Irish strength, their fighting, their not so much loving relationship with the English...the rest was all about the northern Ireland conflict.

That’s not Ireland although people tend to mix that up because when I basically had the decision set that I was going over to Ireland, I was telling friends about it and they thought that I was going to England and thought that it was dangerous there...I’m not going to Belfast but to Dublin which is the capital of the Republic of Ireland.

I mean it (my perceptions of Irish people) have changed a lot. I have learnt a lot while I was here. I learnt a lot about the country, about the people. I also learnt a lot about Germany and what it is to be German just by seeing how things are different here.

I was kind of amazed and a bit dumbfounded in the beginning about how different things are...because in a way I was thinking, yeah, different country, different language, same currency by now but apart from that everything is more or less the same. No there are loads of differences...how people behave, how people are getting on with each other. What struck me from the beginning was that the Irish are very friendly and it was very easy to get help...people were very open and in that way it was very nice.

Robert Robert

 

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