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Dear Stammtisch Friends

We’re currently planning a few events here in the region and maybe there are some you would like to join in:

On Sunday, 30 June 2019, the Martin Luther Kirche is organising its annual Grillfest in Shieldfield, Newcastle. There is a family service from 3pm to 4pm, the bbq starts at 4pm to 7pm. Entrance donation is £1 per person (children under 10 are free) with the proceeds going to the North of England Child Cancer Research and the German Church. To get tickets – please call Oliver on: 07811 109 312

You may heard of the numerous sightings of dolphins at our coastline. I recently also met a lady through my consular work, who made me aware of the Dolphin Watch Association in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea. The next Dolphin Watch event will take place on Saturday, 6 July and I thought this may be good for a Stammtisch get-together at 11am at Church Point in Newbiggin. There is plenty of car parking next to the Marine Centre, where we can later head for refreshments. There is also the Newbiggin Dolphin Watch Group on Facebook, where you can follow the sightings, photos and videos. This event is open to all ages and if you have binoculars, bring them along! Please let me know if you’re planning to come so that I get an idea of numbers.

Other events I am currently considering are:

‘Vera’ Tour: to visit some of the film locations for this detective series
‘Project Auckland’: I was recently invited to a visit to this market town in County Durham and it is very impressive what is being developed there
– A Bavarian Movie with a short ‘language’ class

You may have also seen the news that Lufthansa has announced a new flight from Newcastle to Munich, not only connecting our region with the Bavarian capital, but also to a hub to another 140 destinations in 46 countries. You can already book the Munich flights now, which will commence in February 2020. Lufthansa will fly six days a week, leaving the North East at 1.40pm and arriving in Munich at 4.40pm. The inbound flight departs in Munich at 11.50am and arrives in Newcastle at 12:55. The German market is particularly important for business travellers as it’s the largest trading partner for the UK after the US.

The ferry service from Amsterdam to North Shields also brings many visitors to our region and hence DFDS Seaways are currently recruiting bi-lingual (German & English) travel advisors for their contact centre here at the Port of Tyne in North Shields.

I just returned from Germany and it is now my young nephews who keep me up to date of what’s going on there. This time I was introduced to Die Känguru-Chroniken (it was popular with my 10-year old nephew, but also the grown ups in the family). You can either buy a book, the audio book or watch some short YouTube videos. The author, Marc-Uwe Kling, who also reads the short stories, is a song-writer and comedian. It is difficult to explain, but it’s about Marc-Uwe sharing his Berlin flat with a very opinionated kangaroo. Here is a link to the episode ‘Theorie & Praxis’.

Make the most of the longest day of the year!

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DFDS Seaways are currently recruiting for bilingual travel advisors (German & English) for their Contact Centre – Customer Sales and Service – at the Port of Tyne in North Shields.

MAIN PURPOSE OF JOB

You’ll be in contact with lots of different people, so you should be able to quickly build a good rapport and make our guests feel great in a maritime atmosphere. As well as being comfortable working in a performance-driven contact centre environment with confidence. Ability to be communicate fluently in German and English language, both verbal and written.

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES

  • providing professional and efficient customer sales and service in all duties
  • making reservations and handling enquiries via: voice, email, chat and other web response solutions, in order to fulfil customer requirements
  • first contact resolution of customers and clients queries, requests, orders and complaints
  • proactively contact existing and potential customers with the aim of up-selling products
  • match and sell our products or services to our customers with confidence whenever possible, by cross or up-selling to appropriate product

COMPETENCIES / DESIRED EXPERIENCE

  • previous contact centre experience is ideal
  • good proficiency and navigation skills around a pc, excellent keyboard skills
  • good telephone manner with a clear speaking voice
  • good communication skills and the ability to build rapport with the customer
    ability to work well in a team
  • flexible to work at all times in the contact centre, including evenings and weekends

MEASUREMENT

  • delivery of targeted personal quality and performance scores
  • delivery of departmental KPI’s and SLA’s
  • manager observation
  • customer feedback (internal/external)
  • compliance delivery

If this is of interest to you, please send your CV directly to Joanne.Parker@dfds.com.

 

 

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

The German Embassy has just updated its FAQ section on Brexit and it is worthwhile checking this again when progress has been made. On the same website you will also find information videos as well as guidance from the EU Commission.

The ‘Bundesministerium fuer Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur‘ has also issued Brexit information based on the current status.

The Martin-Luther-Church in Newcastle will also host an information event for EU citizens on Thursday, 28 February from 7pm. If you would like to attend, please register here (limited places). Speakers will include representatives of the German Consulate in Edinburgh, an immigration lawyer from Derbyshire Law Centre and the CEO of Newcastle’s Citizens Advice Bureau.

The German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) also issues a monthly Brexit newsletter for businesses – here is a link to the latest and previous editions.

German citizens in the UK will be able to participate in the forthcoming European Parliament Elections in Mayclick here for further information on how to register.

I have also been contacted to promote an information event for German speakers interested in training as Blue Badge Tourist Guides for North East England. This event will take place in Newcastle city centre on Monday 25 February between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

UK German Connections currently invites applications for the German Pupil Courses (deadline 1 March 2019). These are two-week courses in Germany for UK pupils studying German. There are three courses every summer for 12 pupils and one accompanying teacher each.

Comedian Henning Wehn is again in the region and added another date – 20 February – to his tour dates at the Whitley Bay Playhouse, with some tickets still being available.

And while on the lighter subjects – you may enjoy two of the stars of the Bafta winning ‘The Favourite’: Rachel Weisz & Emma Stone are having some fun with some British sayings, which may not be well-known by Americans (never mind non-English native speakers!).

Have a great week & see you soon!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

With the weather starting to feel a bit more like spring time, I thought I might just let you know about a couple of German-related events, which will happen here in the region.

On Saturday, 31 March 2018 there will be a Beer & Food Festival in the Buck Inn in Chop Gate, Teesside. You will be able to enjoy a BBQ, 10 German and English beers and plus live music and even an Oompah band. The Beer Festival will start at 2pm and last until 10pm.

In April, on Saturday the 21st, the Discovery Museum in Newcastle will host an event entitled: “Hope, Pork’s Glory and Decline – The Story of German immigration on Tyneside”. Historian Karl-Heinz Wuestner will take you back in time and tell the story of those immigrants from southern Germany. Northern Cultural Projects will also be in attendance, displaying information from their ‘Hunting the Hun‘ project.

And as we’re always on the look out for German food places, here’s another tip for you. But if you are regularly travelling to London, you may have already discovered the ‘German Gymnasium next to Kings Cross?

Brexit is still on many people’s mind and one EU citizen, Annette Dittert – decided to publish her thoughts: ‘London Calling – Als Deutsche auf der Brexit Insel

With regards to Brexit, you may also find the FAQ section on the German Embassy‘s website useful. The European Commission has also issued some more guidance for EU citizens on this website.

Businesses may also be interested in Brexit related events organised by:

The North of England Chamber of Commerce – Thursday, 29 March @ Crown Plaza
Institute of Directors – Thursday, 29 March – Webinar
Institute of Export – Post-Brexit Planning Workshops – various dates

I am also currently looking for an experienced ‘Synchrondolmetscher‘ English/German for a client in the North East. Please contact me directly.

On the education side, the German Embassy is inviting again nominations for the Annual German Teacher Award. If you know any outstanding teachers at a school here in the North East or somewhere within the UK, please click here for the nomination form. The deadline for submissions is 7 May 2018.

And I’ve just seen an article about a study, which highlighted Franconian city, which apparently beats San Francisco, Paris or Rome with regards to quality of life 🙂

I hope you enjoyed our update and I will soon let you know about our next Stammtisch.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends,

Next Monday, 15 May 2017 the Language Cafe at the Tyneside Cinema will host a joint French and German event, following the film Frantz. The film will start at around 6.15pm and there will be a discussion in French or German after the film. There are usually three groups, arranged by language level, so that everyone from beginners to fluent speakers can participate.

Also the Martin Luther Church in Shieldfield, Newcastle invites you again to their annual German Grillfest on Saturday, 24 June 2017. The event will start in the afternoon at 4pm and finish around 7pm. There is an entrance donation of £1 per person (children under 10 are free) in aid of the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund. To help the organisers plan ahead, please get tickets by either calling Oliver on07811 109 312, email him oliverheidrich@yahoo.com or simply turn up on the day.

If you’re still wondering what to do at the next bank holiday weekend, maybe the Northumberland Show at Bywell Hall near Stocksfield could just be up your street? On Monday, 29 May the finest livestock in the country is on show, there will be ‘bake off’ classes, Cumberland & Westmorland wrestling, a tug of war and Britains Strong Man Challenge Qualifier.

No day goes by and there is another ‘Brexit’ story in the papers and, of course, EU nationals are currently living a little bit in limbo. The German Embassy recently released some FAQs regarding Brexit and the impact on German nationals after the referendum, which you may find informative.

Here is also the lastest DIHK Brexit newsletter, which collates information on the latest events and news on this topic.

Also if somebody has recently taken on British citizienship or applies for the permanent residence status and are happy to share this with others, please let me know. I would also be interested in hearing from people who are planning to return to the EU and the challenges that brings.

However, if you are just planning your holidays, one quick piece of advice! Have a quick at your European Health Card, to make sure it is still valid as they expire and you have to renew them. The process is very simple via the NHS website and you should receive your new card promptly.

Honeywell have also shared information about new roles that have opened recently, both here in the North East and in Scotland. They are careers, requiring German in both Customer Service Administration and Technical Support:

Customer Service Administrator
Customer Care Specialist
Technical Support Specialist

Like many of you, I pick up German books when in the country and I can highly recommend these three – coincidentally, they all had as a common theme leaving a home and settling in a new country:

In ‘33 Bogen und ein Teehaus‘, author Mehrnousch Zaeri-Esfahani describes the journey she made as a 10-year old, when her family fled Iran via Turkey before they arrived first in East and then West Germany.

Dörte Hansen’s first novel ‘Altes Land‘ is based a bit closer to home. It follows the lives of two women – one makes a life for herself in Northern Germany after fleeing East Prussia as a child at the end of the war; another ‘escapes’ her life in Hamburg with her young son.

Bella Italia‘ is the first novel for author Daniel Speck, who already has a successful career as a script writer. The book is all about family, Italy (Sicily, Milan, Naples), Munich, cars, fashion, ‘Gastarbeiter’ and takes you on a journey through time, starting in the mid 1950s to today.

If you have books you would like to recommend to our Stammtisch group, then please forward this to me and I’m happy to share.

All the very best on this sunny day!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends

The fifth season has now come to an end and I assume you all enjoyed some ‘Krapfen’ or pancakes yesterday (fried, microwaved, or added to soup?).

So if you’re looking for some events in the next couple of weeks, here are some suggestions:

The last of the winter walks in Northumberland National Park will be this Sunday, 5th March between 10:30am and 3:30pm. This month’s 8 mile walk will focus on Tarsetdale and give you the chance to explore one of the lesser known areas of Northumberland National Park. This requires a reasonable level of fitness and starts in Greenhaugh just a few miles out from Bellingham. Click here to register.

InterNations Newcastle Group will then meet next week on Thursday, 9th March from 6pm in the Redhouse at Newcastle’s Quayside. To find out who’s going and register, simply go directly to the InterNations site.

Bernhard is also tempting you with with some Austrian cakes & coffee on Sunday, 12th March  from 2.30pm for another German Stammtisch in the Kaffeehaus Amadeus in Lanchester. Please RSVP him directly so he can make sure he’s got enough spaces as I think it’s always a very popular event. And Lanchester is also very nice for a little spring walk: servus@kaffeehaus-amadeus.co.uk.

Honeywell in Newcastle have also been in contact about vacancies for German speakers in both Newcastle and Motherwell. The customer services roles – such as a customer services administrator or a customer care specialist. Honeywell’s core businesses are Aerospace, Home and Building Technologies, Safety and Productivity Solutions, and Performance Materials and Technologies. If you would like to find out more about these opportunities at Honeywell, please contact Małgorzata Rdest directly by email and she will be able to provide you with a lot more information.

Another request has come in from Med con team GmbH, who provide global medical services and travel safety. They are a partner, for example, of TUI Cruises GmbH and AIDA Cruises and support passengers that have fallen ill.

If passengers need to leave at the Port of Tyne, they would like for German speakers to support them in such a case of need (for example with interpreting, organisation of a taxi or hotel, hospital visit etc). There is a day rate of around €80 (variable, dependent on intensity of the care) and on average requires around 1 1/2 hours per day. Med con team expect around 1 – 3 cases per year, but expect this to increase. If this is of interest to you, please contact Heike Dorn for further information.

Businesses in the North East are also asked to complete a short survey about EU support for business. This gives you also a chance to win a three course meal for FOUR at Finbarr’s, Durham with wine AND champagne.

Europe Direct North East England is undertaking this piece of work on behalf of the European Commission to share news about European Investment Bank funding initiatives for business. They will organise a half day seminar later in the year but a first step is to better understand knowledge of existing projects and programmes.

The prize will be awarded to the first name drawn on 17 March 2017. All respondents will be notified of the outcome by email and agree to Europe Direct forwarding further information about European Investment Bank funding opportunities. Recipients of news updates can unsubscribe from the mailing at any time.

The German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DIHK) has just published its latest newsletter re Brexit. Click here for a copy of the German language newsletter..

And on the issue of Brexit – you all are probably aware that Jo Chexal is the Honorary German Consul here in the North East & Cumbria and assists German nationals with a number of different tasks, such as passport renewals. Obviously it is always important, but even more today to check that your current passport is still valid, even if you’re not planning to travel in the near future. When renewing your passport, you also need a number of key documents, such as your birth certificates. You then should allow between 6 to 8 weeks to receive your new German passport.

If you are thinking of applying for UK residence/citizenship, the British authorities insist that your German passport is in your married name (if that is what you go by). If you haven’t changed it yet, you need to do a married name declaration (under German law, if you were married after 1986). The married name declaration and new passport together can take around 4 to 6 months.

And while you are checking your passport, you may also want to check your UK driving licence. If you have a photo UK licence, they expire after 10 years (again check that you have your correct name & address on it). If you are driving on your German driving licence, the German Consulate website provides more information about legal requirements here in the UK and what you need to do.

Enjoy this lovely spring day & I look forward to seeing you soon!

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Dear Stammtisch Friends!

I hope you are ready for the festive days and are enjoying quieter days at the end of 2016. There were a few messages that I thought I could still share, that may be of interest to you:

Following the tragic events in Berlin earlier this month, Newcastle City Council opened a book of condolence at the Customer Service Centre at the Civic Centre. This will be there until after Christmas.

2016 – 2017 is the 800th anniversary of the creation, by King John, of Newcastle’s Mayoralty, and of Newcastle’s Burgesses (Freemen). The city will continue to celebrate this with a number of events in 2017, including an exhibition in the City Library (until the end of January) and a major lecture and symposium on civic leadership at Northumbria University on 9 February. For more information on the anniversary and the events, click here.

We also have a request from Northumbria University for an Erasmus student work placement for a period of 4 months from early February 2017. Victoria, who is in the final lap of her applied Bachelor studies in Business Management with a major in Marketing from Belgium, is fluent in French and Dutch, but also has very good in English and some German skills. If you have an opportunity to offer Victoria work experience in a North East organisation between February and May next year, please get in touch with Richard Kotter (richard.kotter@northumbria.ac.uk), who will be able to provide you with more details.

Deutsche Welle, Germany’s public international broadcaster,  are also advertising their new journalism traineeship for English and German native speakers. They are looking for young people from all over the world, who are interested in a comprehensive, exceptional quality journalism programme with an international broadcaster. Candidates should have journalism experience or be passionate about switching to journalism from technology/IT, economics or the sciences. We are looking for open-minded people full of creative ideas.

The DW editorial traineeship is paid, with a gross starting salary of approx. 1,600 Euros per month. As full-time employees, DW trainees are automatically eligible for German public health insurance. As trainees move to Germany from abroad, they are assisted at every step of the visa process.The traineeship can lead to employment in one of the DW departments in Bonn or Berlin. Click here for further information.

Living overseas often means that unfortuntately we lose some of our native language ability. Earlier this year, I learnt that the 2015 ‘Word of the Year’ in Oberfranken was ‘Wischkästla‘ (Smartphone), which I had never heard before. The 2016 winner was a bit more familar – ‘a weng weng‘ (ein ein bisschen wenig) and other popular words were apparently ‘Herrgottsmuggala‘ (Marienkäfer) and ‘etzatla‘ (jetzt). So if you would like to expand your Bavarian vocabulary, a good source is this article in the
Süddeutsche Zeitung.

But if you are new to the British Isles and are still trying to work out what the locals are saying to you – Babbel’s ‘School of British Accents’ may help – here you can follow, for example, a German’s progress of learning Geordie.

Back to the Stammtisch – in the new year, I would like to explore your interest in walks around our region. We are planning to do one along the coast (Whitley Bay/St Mary’s Island) and another one in Hexham/Corbridge. But if you would like to show us your favourite area of the North East, why not become our expert guide for the day?

Anyhow, this is it now from the Stammtisch for 2016!

Have a lovely Christmas break and ‘einen guten Rutsch’ into the New Year.

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