From the Kazakh steppe to Braunau

From the Kazakh steppe to Braunau
From the Kazakh steppe to Braunau

The students delighted with traditional dances in Braunau, Vöcklabruck and Peilstein
Kazakh students dancing in Braunau

“Come and see for yourself.” With this answer from Father Karl to the question of what it is like in Austria and Germany, a project began in 2009 that has continued ever since: Students from the St. Lorenz High School in Kazakhstan travel to Europe every year for language trips lasting several weeks. They come primarily to improve their German language skills and subsequently to obtain the German Language Diploma (B2/C1). For two weeks, eight students from the steppes of Kazakhstan, the village of Korneevka, Braunau, neighboring Bavaria and Vienna explored. Yesterday they traveled on to northern Germany. They were accommodated in host families. “You notice the difference in speaking after just two weeks. In Kazakhstan, the students lack practice; in the host families they have to speak German,” says Sister Agnes Mairhofer from the Franciscan sisters in Vöcklabruck. The school in Kazakhstan is supported together with the Community of the Servants of Jesus and Mary from Blindenmarkt. It was founded by the Berlin priest Father Lorenz Gawol, who worked as a pastor in post-Soviet Kazakhstan from 1991 to 2001.

Thanks to his efforts, what is probably the only village high school in Kazakhstan has been running for 28 years. In the spirit of the priest who died in 2001: “On the one hand, education is important to us, and on the other, we need to teach students to think outside the box, to think for themselves and to form their own opinions,” says Sister Agnes. She herself lived in Kazakhstan for many years and taught German there.

Kazakh students dancing in Braunau


Kazakh students dancing in Braunau

Source: Nachrichten

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