... with Lennart Hellmessen
Getting Involved in Community Work in the Heimathafen
Lennart loves studying in Greifswald, his Heimathafen. But, since life is not all lectures and exams, a year ago, he wondered how he could use the rest of his time wisely. "I could watch Netflix and sit at home, or I could do something meaningful with my time," he says. After a lecture, he came across the building belonging to Tafel Greifswald (the local food bank) in the Wollweberstraße. He asked if they needed any help and has been supporting the organisation regularly ever since. Especially in his first semester, he spent a lot of time there.
"Giving up six hours once a weekend isn’t that big a deal."
Nowadays, he helps out about once a month, mostly on Saturdays. "Giving up six hours once a weekend isn’t that big a deal," says Lennart. Tafel Greifswald receives food donations from local supermarkets and bakeries that would otherwise be thrown away. The volunteers sort the fruit and vegetables and wash and clean them. Then everything is brought to the salesroom at the front. "People usually come in," Lennart explains. They can choose which food they want and then pay two euros for two bags.
"That caused a lot of problems for lots of people”
At the moment, the Tafel’s volunteers have to pre-pack the bags and hand them out to customers as people are no longer allowed into the building. But it is very important that the work continues despite the pandemic. In spring, the Tafel was closed for a while and Lennart believes "that caused a lot of problems for lots of people". In his opinion, something would have to change fundamentally in society in order to ensure that everyone has enough food. But until then, the Tafel offers important short-term help to the people of Greifswald.
Video Portrait Lennart
Video Portrait Pia
... with Pia Hemkemeier
Head off and Running Shoes On
To balance her studies, Pia loves to spend time outdoors. In her Heimathafen Greifswald, she is close to nature and the sea. The harbour in the town is "just perfect" too, says Pia. From there, she starts her regular run along the Ryck. It's especially fun when the sun is shining. She often meets up with a fellow student for mutual motivation. Running helps her to clear her mind.
Kubb and Walks along the Ramparts
Pia’s enthusiasm for exercise does not stop at running. She plays sports several times a week and regularly goes to the gym or does home workouts. She has also tried out courses at University Sports and says: "There are always great offers, even rowing and sailing." When Pia is not doing sports, she is often out and about. "I also like to just walk along the ramparts," she says. Summer of course provides many opportunities to spend time outside. Pia enjoys playing a game of Kubb with her friends, barbecuing at the harbour or reading outside. But even when the temperatures drop, it is important to get some fresh air. "I have to go outside once a day," says Pia. A walk in autumn requires appropriate clothing – i.e. a raincoat and Wellington boots.
... with Anika Plischke
By Students for Students
Anika is studying medicine in Greifswald. For the past two and a half years, she has also been working in the Teaching and Learning Centre [de] at University Medicine Greifswald. Medical students can come to this facility every evening during the week to practise practical tasks, borrow models and study in groups. "This is very popular," Anika is pleased to say. Courses by students for students are also nearly always fully booked. For example, student tutors provide practical training in ultrasound. These are students "who have previously trained in the healthcare sector and nursing or are OR assistants," Anika explains. This gives the medical students the opportunity to practise under professional guidance. Since these courses are offered on the side of the degree course, there is no final exam. "It's all voluntary, really. And it's also fun," says Anika.
A lot of Practice
The relaxed atmosphere allows students to learn the skills in a safe environment before they actually work in the hospital. Anika works at the reception desk once a week and coordinates the courses. She enjoys working with her team: "You also get a lot in return. Especially when people come to us before their big state examinations, you can help reduce their fear". Furthermore, by practising at the Teaching and Learning Centre, medical students are well prepared for the practical side of their studies: "I think we have quite a lot of practice in Greifswald. I was actually at the hospital for a whole half year. That's something really special about studying medicine in Greifswald," Anika says. She is at the end of her studies. When she has finished her doctoral thesis, she plans to start her practical year in spring.
Video Portrait Anika
Video Portrait Sofia
... with Sofia Zharinova
Nature and the Beach in the Summer of COVID-19
Sofia usually loves to travel. In the evenings, she regularly looks for interesting destinations and offers. If you book in time, travelling is possible even on a student budget. "However, spontaneous trips are the best!" says the student. She is passionate about meeting new people and cultures. "My favourite country is Italy," she says. She has already been to Sicily, Rome and Milan and is looking forward to travelling there again. Due to the current restrictions caused by the pandemic, Sofia has not really been able to follow her desire to travel this year. Especially in spring and summer, she had to stay home a lot. "I tried to spend a lot of time outside and go to the beach more often in the summer," she recalls.
Longing for the Heimathafen
She is now spending a semester abroad in Sweden and enjoying her time there. "Fortunately, the situation here is very relaxed," Sofia reports, so that despite the unusual circumstances, she has still been able to get to know the country and the culture through short trips. However, she is already very much looking forward to returning to her Heimathafen Greifswald in a few months' time. Sofia especially misses the short distances and the fact that she only needs a few minutes to the university. She is already excited about the summer and late sunsets with her friends at the harbour. "And affordable German beer," she adds, "that's what everyone who comes back from Sweden is looking forward to."
... with Wolf Kammerer
Peace & Quiet in the Midst of Nature
Wolf has been living in Greifswald for half a year and during this time has got to know various aspects of his new Heimathafen. He personally finds the tranquillity of nature particularly important and it can be experienced in many different places. He points out the Eldena abbey ruins. "It's such a cool interaction between something really old and nature," he says. He also likes being at the beach in Ludwigsburg. From there, you can see Greifswald from a different perspective and be by yourself. "I think that this is something really special in Greifswald when you compare it to other study locations," says Wolf. It is much more difficult to find a place to be by yourself in larger cities.
Helpfulness in the Heimathafen
But you don't always want to spend time alone. Community life is always part of the experience in the Heimathafen Greifswald. Wolf is impressed by the numerous number of different and authentic bars. Furthermore, you always meet new people "I appreciate people's open-mindedness. It's very easy to start up a conversation," says the student. In summer, the Museum Harbour also often serves as a meeting place. Here, Wolf enjoys the relaxed atmosphere where people like to meet their friends, enjoy a drink and round off the evening together. Wolf also experiences Greifswald as a town in which the inhabitants are there for one another. He works in a social project run by GreifBar, which is aimed specifically at people living in the Ostseeviertel. "Especially in the high-rise housing estates there is a lot of anonymity," Wolf reports. This is where the projects kick in and try to get people out of their loneliness. He himself is involved in the football project, where they meet up once a week to play football. People from very different milieus and backgrounds get together. Wolf thinks that "otherwise you very often tend to stick to your own contexts". Between games, he enjoys talking to his teammates. When they sit on the bench, they talk about everything and anything that is currently on their minds. "And about football of course," Wolf laughs.
His final words about his new hometown? "Greifswald is awesome, I can recommend it to everyone".
Video Portrait Wolf
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