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Can a German speaker help me out please?

(16 Posts)
DaisyBuchanon Mon 11-Aug-08 20:08:58

DS1 is spending a year at Humboldt (sp?) University in Berlin from the end of September (part of an EU Erasmus exchange thing). For complicated reasons it's all been a bit last minute and his German is far from good - he starts an intensive course 2 week in Berlin at the start of September.

He has been trying to confirm accommodation for the year through the Erasmus/Humboldt people and they have sent him a link to this site. We are baffled - please could someone tell us roughly what it's all about? Where does it say accommodation? Who are these people? Many, many thanks.

sophiaverloren Mon 11-Aug-08 20:51:25

Oh, I was hoping someone else would be along to help with this! But couldn't leave it unanswered. As far as I can see, the site has nothing to do with accommodation: it seems to give info about courses to help people into work - disabled, learning difficulties, etc. So I'm as baffled as you even though I do speak German! What was the context in which this link was sent?

CompletelyDotty Mon 11-Aug-08 21:01:26

i can't see anything on the site about accommodation! i agree with sophiaverloren it's about courses for people with disabilities. is this the only bit of info that you've got?

DaisyBuchanon Mon 11-Aug-08 21:01:45

Thank you so much for answering - the context was that they emailed DS1 saying we have some accommodation for you, he replied saying can you give me some more information, they sent back the link. Bizarre.

Maybe his German is so bad they assumed he had learning difficulties?

DaisyBuchanon Mon 11-Aug-08 21:04:45

Sorry - by "they" I mean Humboldt Uni, not the ISB people in the link.

CompletelyDotty Mon 11-Aug-08 21:05:20

lol! maybe it was just a mistake that they sent him that link!

DaisyBuchanon Mon 11-Aug-08 22:17:07

Thank you both for replying - if I'm not pushing my luck, can you spot what ISB stands for? I think maybe the apartment was in this place, if that makes sense. Do either of you (or anyone else) know if it;s a nice area of Berlin?

frogs Mon 11-Aug-08 22:21:02

ISB stands for 'Integration, Sozialforschung und Betriebspädagogik', as stated at the top of the website.

The site is nothing to do with accommodation, it's some organisation that are presumably tangentially involved with the courses he's doing. Or something.

The Gm word for accommodation is Unterkunft.

Useful terms will be

Studentenwohnheim (student accommodation)
Asta (Allgemeiner Studentischer Ausschuss iirc) -- equivalent of the Student Union.

Talk to the Erasmus people in the UK ands see if they can help.

DaisyBuchanon Mon 11-Aug-08 22:25:12

You're a star - thank you. I saw the top of the website, but what does "Sozialforschung und Betriebspädagogik'" mean?

I am cursing my laid-back DS1 for leaving it until mid-August to sort accommodation in another country where he barely knows the language for September. And he's 21, fgs.

DaisyBuchanon Mon 11-Aug-08 22:28:41

Belatedy occurred to me I have the internet at my disposal - google translates it as "Social Research and Education operating". Nothing to do with his course. Thank you anyway.

SSSandy2 Tue 12-Aug-08 15:13:51

Hi Daisy I live in Berlin but I am going on holiday now for 3 weeks. If there are any problems I am happy to try and help your son out when I get back (beginning of September).

The area that place is in is not really great, it's ok, central quite loud, not that close to his university. How can I describe the area, some nice cafes, quite a lot of Turkish immigrants, Potsdammer Platz in places - prosition strip. It's not Kensington but it isn't dangerous either.

Why have they not placed him in a Studentenwohnheim? THey are located all over Berlin, some nicer than others. Nicest I think are in Zehlendorf (Freie Universität - miles from the Humboldt), Schlachtensee (ditto south of BErlin, nice lake ,pain to get back to late at night) or Neuwestend (Sbahnhof Eichkampf, in the forest, used a lot by students at the TU but open to all). To be convenient for his course and a nice place to hang out in the evening, a Studentenwohnheim in Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg (where the Humboldt is or nearby) probably best.

He needs the housing officer at the Humboldt to find out which accommodation he has and where it is I should think.

I would write something like: Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren (of name if you know it), von (beginning date) bis (end date) werde ich an der Humboldt-Universität im Rahmen des Erasmus-Programs studieren. Man hat mir mitgeteilt, dass eine Unterkunft für mich bereitsteht. Ich bitte Sie darum, mir die Adresse und ggf. weitere Informationen dazu mitzuteilen.

Mit freundlichen Grüssen,
Joe Brown

Kind of thing, asking for the address and any more info they have on the accommodation. My mail is iskrennii at yahoo dot de if I can help him with anything when I get back

SSSandy2 Tue 12-Aug-08 15:14:59

oops meant to say prostitution (they won't bother anyone, you probably wouldn't even really notice it just one end of Potsdammer strasse)

MmeLindt Tue 12-Aug-08 15:25:14

If you need any help with translations while SSsandy is on holiday <<waves to SSsandy>>, let me know. Don't know much about Berlin but can help with writing/reading German

My email is: kindersurprise at t-online. de (without the gaps and with @ instead of at)

DaisyBuchanon Tue 12-Aug-08 15:47:47

Thank you so much - I will be in touch if we get stranded. DS1 is just so vague about it all - I'm panicking, he's not bothered . Many, many thanks (and Sandy have a great holiday).

SSSandy2 Tue 12-Aug-08 16:01:36

Daisy, he can (or you can) contact me any time during his stay if there is anything I can do. Unfortunately I won't be reading my mails on holiday though. I am sure he will be fine , Germany is really a very well organised country. I am quite sure they will take good care of him. I think possibly they sent him that link by mistake. I doubt there is accommodation there.

DaisyBuchanon Tue 12-Aug-08 17:46:49

Sandy - have emailed you and MMeLindt - will almost certainly be in touch

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