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  • Please state your name, your nationality and what is your profession?

  • Hello my name is Lioba Schmann and I’m from Germany and I’m like the promotions and

  • marketing officer. It is part of the volunteer service so actually I just graduated from

  • school so I have no real profession yet but that is the job I’m doing currently.

  • Why have you come to Cardiff?

  • I finished and I always wanted to go abroad and spend some time abroad and when I finished

  • school, I was 17 so it is quite difficult to find a project when you are 17 because

  • having no major and stuff (degree). So I took a look at various projects and EVS was like

  • the only things I could do, so I wrote loads of applications to different projects and

  • I got an offer in Cardiff and one someway in Norway and France. So yeah I decided to

  • go to Cardiff because I prefer it here. I didn’t really have a choice but I really

  • like it here so I can’t complain.

  • How do you find the Erasmus programme? Is it offering you loads of opportunities?

  • Yes its great! I have to say you won’t hear any complaints about this program from me

  • because I really love it to be honest. I think I learn many things here because I kind of

  • worked in a newspaper before so I made a little bit in this area, but like a real job but

  • I get a lot of experience here. And I know a lot of people who are volunteering like

  • for example gardening or more manual stuff if you know what I mean. Like real work experience

  • to help you in your future professional career. But I am sure this will definitely help me

  • and I am really appreciative about this project. Also it is very good because I can practice

  • my English and this is really important for me as well.

  • Being here has it made you speak English fluently or you still think that you have a lot to

  • learn speaking English that is not your mother tongue?

  • I would say I’ve learned a lot, maybe from my perspective you get used to speaking English,

  • so you don’t to think so much before speaking. But grammar and vocabulary is still challenging.

  • Actually I did an online course to learn this (English), but I tried it once or twice and

  • couldn’t do more. I live with international people who are not natively English and when

  • I go over from residential to work better because I am surrounded by the use of English.

  • It’s really interesting actually because when my sister was over here (Cardiff) last

  • week I just spoke German and tried to switch to English. It’s really weird but also you

  • forget a lot of stuff and takes a few days to pick it up again.

  • So having the Erasmus community with you, do you feel as if it’s a comfort zone for

  • you where you have other German people around you?

  • It’s funny actually I got to know so many German people here. I’d prefer to know more

  • British than international people to be honest. It’s great, I think it’s really interesting

  • especially because we live together in a house with international people, like you see the

  • way of life how they cook and I dunno how they eat. Because Spanish and Italian people

  • cut their pizzas with scissors and I have never seen this and I’m like wow I didn’t

  • know that it’s actually really clever, should try it as well. Like getting inside these

  • different cultures, and I quite happy living with international people and not just Germans.

  • Because I know how Germans more or less behave, but not these international students so that’s

  • great. Especially in Cardiff, there are so many international students here across the

  • universities and the city. So every time you go out you meet someone like I don’t know

  • Brazil, Greece, India from everywhere really. Which is great.

  • Do you like living in Cardiff?

  • No actually I really like it because my home town is small so I know a lot of people say

  • Cardiff is small so for me it’s quite big. It’s weird depending where you grow up.

  • Here there are so much opportunities always something going on because it is the capital

  • and really loads of activities. It has a good connection because you can go to London and

  • go to the rest of England very easily. But it is difficult to get to North Wales. I really

  • like Wales because its surreal, the landscape, it has something magical for me and I really

  • like nature. The Brecon Beacons, hiking.

  • When you meet people from Germany or from all over Europe, what do you tell them about

  • Cardiff?

  • There are different reasons. Firstly its free, I know a lot of people want to go abroad but

  • it is just really expensive. I know a lot of programs where it is really expensive,

  • but Erasmus makes it possible for you without paying a lot of money or not at all depending.

  • It is a life changing experience I would say because you just get totally different things.

  • So I’d finished school and I wanted to take a break and find out what I wanted to do.

  • It helped me to be away from home to find my

  • life more or less and to the relationship with my family and my friends. And you get

  • better job opportunities because a lot of people value this, living abroad, living independently,

  • experience other cultures, get languages skills to learn another language and all these opportunities.

  • As you may have heard, there is an EU Referendum in the UK and basically if the people who

  • want to leave the EU can potentially end the Erasmus programme. If this was the case, what

  • would be your reaction towards this?

  • I think it will be a shame and really sad because people who come here to have opportunities

  • can’t to do that anymore. The politicians say you spend a lot of money on the EU and

  • we could use the money better. But to be honest they wouldn’t use the money to support young

  • people. They would never help young people and sayThere you go here is £1000 and

  • go one year abroad and do work or one year of study. But they don’t see it important

  • anymore. The young people will miss so many good opportunities and I couldn’t understand it. There are

  • some people at work who think about the EU Referendum and they sayIt doesn’t matter

  • if we leave the EU because they don’t do a lot for usThey are probably not aware

  • what the EU are doing and now I just realized because I now work in an EU organisation and

  • they have many different projects. And most of them are funded by Erasmus. So we have

  • for example a project to teach people about politics. We had an event last week and there

  • were lots of young people coming but it was all funded by Erasmus and without Erasmus

  • we couldn’t do all these projects, residentials and stuff. And there are other things like

  • culture and the youth sector so I don’t know how they could manage it to finance any

  • project for young people to experience things and learn new skills. It would become impossible.

  • I couldn’t understand if the UK leaves the EU and I really hope they will stay

  • What are your career ambitions for the long term?

  • When I left Germany I was sure I was going to go back to Germany to do my degree. But

  • now that I have been abroad and seen the opportunities I could go anywhere. In today’s world there

  • are so many opportunities, so I haven’t decided yet but I would like to study in the

  • UK. I would also like to work abroad in the future because I really enjoy this experience.

  • So that’s why I think it is a life changing opportunity because at least my university

  • plans have not changed much due to this program.

  • Do you think speaking more than one language plays as an advantage in terms of finding work?

  • Yes definitely! Well at least because you can communicate with people from other countries,

  • especially when you speak English because I know a lot of people from France or Spain

  • who don’t speak much English. So if you go anywhere for holidays you can’t communicate

  • at all. I think you should learn at least two languages and the more the better. Because

  • I think it is really interesting to learn languages because not just the language but

  • the culture aspect and you learn about the history, the values and stuff. You have better

  • chances of getting a job afterwards because you can communicate with more people. So I

  • think it is very important.

  • Would you recommend anyone to do the Erasmus programme?

  • Actually with everyone who think about going abroad I tell themDo the Erasmus program!

  • Its great!” It’s really sad because it took me hours of research to find this on

  • the internet because it is not promoted anywhere. I know a lot of my friends are not really

  • interested in Europe, some prefer to go to South America. So I do my best to promote

  • it, it’s just a great opportunity and I hope in the future people will value it.

  • I’m actually afraid the UK leaving the EU concerning the whole of the EU. In

  • the last century there were 2 wars

  • in Europe and it was not a

  • long time ago. I think the EU should be like a shelter, like all countries are together

  • to keep the peace and help the weaker countries in bad situations and when other countries

  • are strong. When they are weak there is one system. I’m afraid because if the UK leaves

  • the EU, other people might sayAlright we are well off at the moment so we don’t

  • the EU or the money from other countries and we want to leave. So that’s why am afraid

  • if the UK leaves the EU, the whole EU is breaking and it is probably a matter of time. So that’s

  • why I want the UK to stay in the EU. The

  • wealthier countries. I don’t think Germany will, but I think other countries that are

  • in a better situation (economically) might leave too.

Please state your name, your nationality and what is your profession?

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A2 UK eu cardiff people lot young people germany

Lioba Scharmann Interview (Debate on EU Referendum & The Erasmus Program)

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