NGKA Staff Exchange Programme

Articles from colleagues taking part in this year’s staff exchange trip

Amardeep Kalsi:

My trip with the NCC staff exchange programme to Karlsruhe was one memorable experience.  The welcome we got from both Karlsruhe colleagues and my host, Sabine, was very hospitable. 

The work experience day was very insightful of how Karlsruhe sheltered the homeless.  Homelessness is taken very seriously and citizens are welcomed and coached accordingly  to have them rehoused and support them with return to work.

My time spent with my host Sabine and her family was great.  I felt very welcomed and we had a great time discussing and sharing our work and personal life.  I got to experience both the city life and the great landscape at the foot of the Black Forest near Malsch where my host lived.  

I have made new friends via the staff exchange programme with both NCC and Karlsruhe colleagues and certainly recommend other NCC colleagues to support this programme.

Olivia Rowe:

I’d never taken part in the staff exchange before but it was always something I’d seen and was interested in doing. I took the plunge and stepped outside of my comfort zone, even though it was daunting and scared the life out of me, and went on the exchange to Germany.

The group from NCC that I travelled with were the nicest bunch and we all bonded instantly. I took part in the trip to form new friendships and that’s exactly what happened. I was looked after by my host in her home and was immersed into German life and culture. My host was such a lovely person and went out of her way to make sure I was happy.

I’d promised myself to keep an open mind about everything and I can’t explain how much of a life changing trip the KA-NG staff exchange is. Germany is a fantastic country and everyone I met was so friendly and accommodating. I cycled everywhere and tried foods I’d normally say no to.

The working day took me down into Die Kombilosung Hybrid Tram-Train System project which is set to overhaul the public transportation system in Karlsruhe once completed, by putting their public transport underground. I was measuring the levels of dust in the air during the construction phase and it was a brilliant experience.  

I enjoyed trips out and visits to nearby attractions like the Ritter Sport chocolate factory; as well as social events in the evenings, it was go go go, but really good fun!

Overall, the experience has given me new friendships, an insight into my job in Germany, but most of all the confidence to push out of my comfort zone every now and again. I can’t wait to take part next year!