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Marisa Janku, Tirana, Albania

Name: Marisa Janku
Lives in: Tirana, Albania
Period in Germany: 2009-2011 on a DAAD scholarship
Research facility: Friedrich Schiller University of Jena
Job: German teacher

After I completed my degree in German studies, majoring in translating and interpreting at the faculty of foreign languages, I wanted to continue my education. I obtained a scholarship supported by the DAAD, and completed the Master’s degree ‘International Master in German for foreigners – German as a foreign language – German as a second language’ with German for foreigners as my main subject/elective, at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.

Throughout my studies from 2009 to 2011 I stayed in Germany and was able to gain a lot of experience. In addition to the theory and practice of learning German as a foreign language, I also learned a lot about dealing with German culture as a foreign culture. So my studies helped me to compare languages and cultures. In the core part of my study I gained knowledge and abilities in various disciplines such as language description, language comparison, language skills, testing and examining, media didactics and media research. Alongside many varied cultural encounters, multilingualism, professional competence and planning skills were also boosted.

In addition to that, as a graduate of a practical module I have gained knowledge and experience in various fields of research and practice within my subject. The way of thinking that I learned during my studies still influences my professional life: I follow developments in the field of German as a foreign language every day, but I also do research myself and write academic works.

‘Even as a schoolgirl I dreamed of studying in Germany’

The DAAD scholarship supported me throughout my studies. In the classes in other languages and in German as a foreign language I learned to think in a different way, which still sits in the foreground of my professional life. Graduates in Tirana know that the DAAD scholarship is an objective success scholarship. That has had a positive influence on my professional life.

Even as a schoolgirl I dreamed of studying in Germany. In my home country Germany has a very good reputation as a place to study. My education was greatly enhanced by studying in Germany and I am very proud of this. I was not taught just from the textbook, but received first-hand knowledge from top-level lecturers in German as a foreign language and experienced practitioners. It was my internships that enabled me to properly understand as a teacher of German how the acquired theory functions in practice.

My stay in Germany brought me very many advantages, professionally and personally, which I have certainly been able to use in my country. Now I work as a German teacher in the German Centre in Tirana, which is supported by the Goethe Institute and the Robert Schwarz German-Albanian Cultural Society. I am also a freelance member of the academic staff at the faculty of foreign languages in Tirana.

‘I found my job as a German teacher at the German Centre in Tirana through the adverts on the Alumniportal’

Our Master’s degree in German as a foreign language is a relatively new course which, however, is very popular. As soon as I returned I tried my luck on the job market. And it really was good luck, because despite the great difficulties you can have when finding a job in our country, I found my job as a German teacher at the German Centre in Tirana through the adverts on the Alumniportal.

I think that the ‘Jobs & Careers’ section is a core element within the Alumniportal. Nowadays the social networks are very widespread. Despite this I don’t think anyone needs yet another one where everyone can simply post their own profiles so that they remain in contact with friends. However, as a user of the Alumniportal Deutschland most importantly you have the possibility of finding an interesting job that has something to do with your education. This was the case with me, too.

Marisa Janku on the Alumniportal Deutschland

During my studies in Jena, the Alumniportal always informed me about the new developments relating to the DAAD programmes and social networks. The DAAD has also set up its own alumni group there. In addition, within this portal there is the group of Albanian alumni. Since then I have been a member of the Alumniportal community.

The Alumniportal offers alumni a broad, spread-out network of contacts. You have the possibility of making new contacts and at the same time you can become actively involved in a range of different relevant topics. As a DAAD alumna I try, for example, to have good contacts with the other scholars. I find it very interesting that under ‘Jobs & Careers’ I can obtain information at a glance about the organisations and companies that are open to the idea of cooperating with alumni from German educational institutions.

I also hope that with time the Alumniportal will become more important to employers and that our career profiles will become better known and better used. Because that can then generate an even greater number of interesting job offers.

See Marisa Janku’s profile in the Community

October 2012

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