I always tell my friends and family here and in my country that meeting Carola and Get-in-Touch is itself the most excellent chance for me in the Netherlands. Another exciting opportunity, again related to GiT is the Dutch lessons with our teacher, Karin and my friends, Etsuko, Fariba, Foad, Fereshteh, Javad, Leila, Anita, Thuy and Yolanda.
I was busy with my studies in summer in my country. When I turned back, I learnt that GiT initiated Dutch lessons for beginners, which was great for me as an absolute beginner. However, they had already started several weeks before. When I told my friend Yolanda about regretting being late, she encouraged me to join and she told me I could catch up with what they had done so far. She sent an e-mail to Karin and asked if I could join, and I became a part of the group with a very welcoming reply from Karin.
In the lessons, we really got in touch with Dutch, and it was learning by doing, not only with the language in the class, but also with the culture, customs and habits of the country. All the lessons were in a very friendly atmosphere. We sometimes went to each other’s houses, carrying the white board on the bike; we had mini snacks during the break, sharing the latest news, celebrating birthdays and achievements of our friends. Besides, we learnt the customs in real environment.
Once, we went to a supermarket. It was a group work, and Karin gave us a list and task to complete: “Find what is written in my shopping list, and speak only Dutch”. We, supposed to be grown-ups, were like children, running in the market to find out what we should take, asking questions in Dutch (though it was mostly body language J) to workers there and completing the list. It was so enjoyable. Then we went to an open market, trying to find the best cheese, fruits and vegetables for our teacher, again speaking Dutch with the sellers there. Similarly, once we were in a shop and we were supposed to find some clothes for ourselves by asking questions to shop assistants for the best size and color for us. Again, we had wonderful time in Karin’s house while cooking Dutch food and enjoying eating them together. These were all unique experiences which had not been possible for me if I had not met GiT, and of course, one of the best teachers and the most sincere people I have met here: Karin with her positive energy and motivation, and of course her understanding of our feelings.
Even if we had totally different backgrounds and we came from various parts of the world, this group brought us together so that we had something in common. I can define what is common as the good-will. All good-willed and kind people who wish the best for each other, feel happy together and sad when one of us is sad.
These 2-hour-classes made a huge difference in my life. After each lesson, I was full of energy, with the feeling of understanding the culture and language around me as well as the joy of socializing and being a part of a group abroad. Even my husband realized and told me that I looked much happier the day I had Dutch with our group.
Today was the last lesson, and I am writing this post just after the lesson, outside the classroom, with feeling of sadness for coming to an end, but with the joy of meeting great people and sensing a unique atmosphere which gives me the power to go on.
İrem Bezcioğlu Göktolga