Volunteers are an integral part of everyday life at Sprogcenter Midt, where they make an indispensable contribution to accomplishing a significant collective task. Around 30 enthusiastic local citizens daily make a valuable impact across our three departments by supporting students in their efforts to learn Danish.
The volunteers come to help and share their knowledge, but it is also evident that they are all driven by the desire and willingness to learn new things and be inspired themselves. It is this motivation to both give and receive that makes their contribution so essential and valuable.
They participate in conversation cafés, are involved in the study center, assist students in navigating the public system, act as individual conversation partners, or provide extra support in class. Naturally, it is of great value for the students to receive this special attention and additional assistance in learning the language. They experience the interaction as authentic because it is fueled by the volunteers’ immediate commitment and ability to help.
Sprogcenter Midt’s volunteers also make a significant difference when it comes to meeting and supporting foreigners in settling in Denmark. This applies whether the students are here to work for Danish companies, function as specialists in our healthcare system, or have fled from war and dictatorship. “I volunteer because I want to give refugees something that the public system doesn’t provide,” says Peter. “And I often experience overwhelming gratitude in return,” he continues.
The other day, some of our volunteers from our Horsens department gathered to wish each other a Merry Christmas, sparking a small conversation about what drives them in their work. It is clear that they are very open and curious about other people and different cultures, viewing language as the connecting factor between people. “It’s always exciting to hear about how culture and society are in the countries the students come from,” says Bjarne, who has been a volunteer at Sprogcenter Midt for almost nine years. Ria, who has been here for almost as long, agrees and emphasizes the central role that language plays. “It’s also fascinating how you learn languages, and I’ve gained a good understanding of what the students are saying, even if they don’t always speak Danish very well.”
So, for the volunteers, supporting students at Sprogcenter Midt is a genuine “win-win situation.” And a big thank you for that❤.