Yesterday afternoon, we Germans at LPC – Michael, Abraham, Lucas and I – received a high visit from the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Hong Kong at Li Po Chun UWC. Andreas Otto, the Consul for Culture and Press Affairs, Anna Bartels, the Deputy Consul General and Antonia Rojahn, a temporary Legal Trainee, came to Li Po Chun UWC to take a look at our school, meet Arnett and us Germans and introduce us to their work in the Foreign Office of Germany. At first, we Germans took the three representatives around campus. We explained the IB, as well as the concept of Cultural Evenings at LPC and the admission process for UWC in Germany. The young Legal Trainee had absolved the IB herself in England and now studied Law. The Deputy Consul General, who was a little older already, told us, how her parents had worked in the Foreign Office already and hence sparked her interest for this kind of work very early.
We lead the three around our sports facilities and told them about our CAS(S) Program. Michael introduced them to Lion Dance, Lucas explained our new Quan Cai Dragon Boat and I acquainted our visitors with the general CAS concept and how it is part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Our guests were fascinated by the great amount of opportunities that we students have outside of the classroom, and our vivid descriptions of Quan Cais and other leisure groups surely supported that impression. We also showed the Consulate representatives the residential buildings. In the morning, I had sent an urgent email to my roommates, explaining that we might receive visitors after lunch and should hence make our beds and clean the floor before their arrival. Therefore our room was even neater than usual, when we let our guests enter. We described daily life together with three different people from different cultures, religions and countries and explained the dorm system. Our visitors were quite surprised that even though we have great differences in room sizes, we all live together with three other people. We clarified that we change the room in our second year according to the room size we had before. This way, nobody is stuck in a tiny room for two years or lives in mere ‘luxury’ in a gigantic room for his whole LPC life.
Eventually, after our long campus tour, the seven of us sat together in Arnett’s office for a couple more minutes, and the three representatives of the Consulate General told us more about their work at the Foreign Office in Hong Kong. Mr. Otto for example explained to us, how the work often varied and was not all about simple administration, as I had expected. He said, that you could effectively “switch” the job every four years, working alternately on economic, culture, press or administrative issues in different countries. Mrs. Bartels explained, that this was one of the main things that impressed her so much about this job: the constant flexibility and great range of experiences one could achieve in so many different countries. She also added that especially ‘less interesting’ or important countries could be most interesting as you would be able to see much more from the country itself. Mrs. Bartels had told us, how she had been responsible for cultural affairs in Syria for her first job. As Syria wasn’t yet of great importance for Germany back then, she could explore the country to a great extend and e.g. visit German archeologists at their excavation sites. Now she became a little more settled, due to the fact that she is a mother of three children. She explained, that the way families dealt with foreign work was very different and that she had seen both well- and bad-working families involved in the Foreign Office. “In the end it always comes down to your personal needs and interests”, she said.
After this visit, I am highly interested in the work in the Foreign Office. I definitely want to study first, so that I would be eligible for the highest rank in the Foreign Office. But still, this work really intrigues me and I find it fascinating that I would be practically ‘changing’ my job and environment every four years. This would perfectly match my UWC life – on a global level! This feels like a dream job and I will definitely not forget about this unique career opportunity. Michael and I were so impressed by it, that we spent the rest of the evening reading through the information brochures that our guests had left behind for us.
Note: More information about the German Consulate General Hong Kong can be found on their website, which also promotes special German events occurring in Hong Kong. Take a look!