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“Wonderful“ Weather, but the Black Bread Isn’t
Tom Murray, an intern from Scotland, gets to know the workplace of the University of Siegen printing plant - and Germany, by way of the "Erasmus + Program".
"Schwarzbrot," (black bread) says Tom Murray, pulling a slight grimace. He is really enthusiastic about Germany and what he has learned in the past days. But black bread for breakfast? No, the Scotsman says, thanks but no thanks. For a week he worked as an intern at the print shop of the University of Siegen (UniPrint) and got to know the working life there.
His usual workplace is at the University of St. Andrews, a well-known college on the Scottish east coast. But when last year bookbinder Frauke Baldus of UniPrint did an internship at the local print shop there, Murray was immediately inspired by the idea of a return visit. These stays are made possible by the European Union’s "Erasmus + Program" for further education and training purposes. It is open to all employees of the university. Stays abroad of 2 to 60 days are sponsored. Frauke Baldus was the first employee of the University of Siegen, who took the opportunity. "Tom Murray is now the first foreign participant in this program at our university," explains Andree Klann, Erasmus University Coordinator at the University of Siegen.
"Such a job shadowing (accompanying another person on the job, editor’s note) must, of course, fit well with the work processes", emphasizes Christine Müller of the International Office of the University of Siegen. "Superiors and colleagues at both participating partner universities must support the project." Tom Murray nods. His boss had accepted his application immediately. "Also because our experiences with Frauke were so positive," emphasizes the printer. "I have never been in Germany. To see how the colleagues, work here is a valuable experience, "says the 55-year-old. "Everyone helps me and want to explain as much possible to me." He is particularly interested in the technical equipment at UniPrint. "I would like to have such machines in St. Andrews." Above all, the binding machine and the three-tail cutter impressed him greatly.
Murray is fully integrated into the working day. "This is a special week for the whole team," says Frauke Baldus. "We speak English, explain Tom our tasks, show him the university, talk about differences and similarities - that gives everyone joy." She herself experienced her time in St. Andrews as very rewarding and would like to show as much as possible of Siegen and the surrounding area to the guest from Scotland. "Wonderful" Tom finds the Obere Schloss (upper castle) with the park and the beautiful flowers. The cities of Cologne and Koblenz, and the weather is also "wonderful". He has already heard that it rains frequently in the Siegerland. "But hey, I am Scot. Do not tell me about rain, "he says, laughing. He can only recommend an internship abroad. "I take home a lot of nice and good impressions from Siegen and the university," says Tom Murray. Only this thing about the black bread - that he can do without.
Tom Murray (2nd from the right), print worker from the University of St. Andrews, got to know the work in the Siegen university printing shop. In the picture (from left): Stefan Pracht, Frauke Baldus, Karl-Heinz Söhngen, intern Tom Murray, and Michael Hoffmann.