Translated by Herbert Meck

Today we introduce you to the director of ClubIn, Ulrike. Ulrike is a social pedagogue and has been working at ClubIn for many years. She told us more about herself in this interview:

What three words come to mind spontaneously about ClubIn? 

Ulrike: Encounter, counselling and education come to mind.

Can you explain what they mean to you in connection with ClubIn?

Ulrike: With pleasure. I’ll start with Encounter.

Encounter: That is the heart of the club. People can meet, make contacts, have a relaxed evening here and make friends. Encounter is the door opener to everything else that goes on in the club. 

Education: We have educational programmes. We do a lot of things here, for example, offers to practise the German language and to exchange ideas. We also have art programmes, or film discussions, intercultural evenings where you learn more about yourself and others.

That sounds really exciting, can you tell us more about the counselling?

Yes, counselling is a focus for people who come from abroad and are new to Munich. The aim is to see what is possible for them here. This is especially educational counselling on how you can do an apprenticeship or study here in Germany even as a non-EU citizen. 

That sounds like an important activity. What does ClubIn mean to you personally?

Ulrike: From a personal point of view, ClubIn is actually also a part of my life. When I was young, I travelled a lot myself. I also spent two years abroad. Now I have a job where I accompany young people who are abroad or staying here and make it possible for them to arrive here and get ahead. It’s a nice and fulfilling job.   

It’s nice that you have found an activity that gives you such joy. To what extent has ClubIn changed your personal life, your everyday life, even outside the workplace? 

Ulrike: Actually, after all the years I have been working here, ClubIn is still for me an opportunity to get to know people from very different backgrounds, to learn their stories and to learn more by questioning myself again and again and not just saying: “This is how it is”. It is important to look at who is standing in front of me, who is this person, what they bring with them. This keeps me in motion. I am always encouraged to question my own stereotypes and pigeonholes.  

As we know, you have been part of ClubIn for a very long time and have experienced many good times, but also – as recently in the pandemic – challenging times. So we would like to know what you would like to see for ClubIn in the future?

Ulrike: I wish that ClubIn always remains a place of well-being and welcome for the people who come here. A place where you can switch off from everyday life and relax. In addition, I would like ClubIn to open up even more to the outside world and to network, so that young people new to Munich can make more contacts with young people who grew up here. 

Thank you very much for the interview, dear Ulrike! 

Ulrike: With pleasure!

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