The Winter Course is an all day course with a healthy mix of mandatory program and time for personal needs. The team of Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hermannsburg dictates certain topics that seem important to them. In addition external experts are consulted and invited to visit the course. The group decides about further topics together. This makes the program of the course very multifaceted. It varies from course to course depending on where the interests of the group lie and how strongly they introduce their ideas.
Characteristic are the methods of experiential education: a lot of practical experience, training, learning projects, scenic play, exercises, experiments, and excursions.
The general concept of the course invites the participants to actively contribute to the course with their skills and abilities. An example: with “Peer-Teaching” the participants can offer voluntary working groups, which they also lead – a guitar course, Spanish for beginners, creative writing, or whatever they can provide. The responsibility for the diversity and the success of the course lies with all the participants.
Conflicts that may arise while living together will not be bracketed out but will be seen as chances to learn.
In a one-on-one interview you will have the chance to agree upon individual goals and activities and discuss personal topics.
The following topics and activities are normally scheduled:
Job and application
- qualified vocational aptitude test (Geva Institute) and career guidance
- coaching for apprenticeship and job search
- excursion to the Leuphana University of Lüneburg
- possibility of trial days in companies and universities
- application training including assessment centre simulation
- acquiring of knowledge about occupational fields
- job-related legal topics
- information about different possibilities of staying abroad
Politics and social affairs
- current affairs
- political, social and economical background themes
- social project
- conversations with committed people
- intensive schooling in conflict mediation and conflict management
- de-escalation and self-defence training
- rhetoric exercises
Psychology and communication
- psychological topics
- biography and relationships
- team training
- communication and conversational skills
Meaningful living and spirituality
- current topics from a christian standpoint
- personal faith
- devotions and special worship services
- other religions
- days in a monastery
Culture and adventure
- realisation of your own theatre play
- sport in a gym, swimming
- outdoor activities (e.g.: high and low rope courses, maybe trekking)
- artistic practice
- singing and rhythm, music, dance
- „English conversation“ – working group
- depending on the current situation: visiting an art exhibition, a concert, a performance etc.
- as a project: jointly organised study trip
Program in personal responsibility of the group
- course plenum
- „My World“ lectures about a personally important topic of individual choice
- „Peer-Teaching“, meaning participants educate each other in working groups, e.g. learning guitar, creative writing, languages etc.
Contrary to the school, the Winter Course has no 45 minute intervals and no school bell. Many activities take place over a full forenoon or afternoon, so that it is possible to delve into a subject.
Through fixed mealtimes the daily routine in the Bildungszentrum gains a clear structure. The weekly plan, on the other hand, is very variable and different nearly every week, because some activities are full-time or stretch out over several days in blocks.
There is a pause of about two weeks over Christmas and New Year.
„Moving Times“ is only offered in the winter season. The course starts in the beginning of November and ends in March. For all those interested in participating, there are information days in July, September, and October.
„Moving Times” costs, including full board, lodging and program, 3.100, – EUR. That is about 180, – EUR per course week. For some this is a lot of money. But in comparison to what is offered, the equity ratio is low. The course can only reach this favourable price-performance-ratio, because it is financed through public funds, donations, and endowments as well.
To this, individual expenses have to be added, e.g. for work materials (normally not more than 50, – EUR), calls, washing etc. A possible study trip will be accounted for separately. The amount of pocket money needed beyond that is very individual and differs from person to person.
Fundamentally finances should not hinder participation. Relevant discounts are possible in justified cases. Please get into contact with us about this in due time. The course fee should be paid in two rates if possible: the first rate at the beginning of the course, the second one at the beginning of the new year. The details about the terms of payment are regulated in the participation contract that is signed by both parts at the registration.
The Winter Course is open to all 18 to 25 year-olds. Prerequisite for the participation are high motivation as well as health and personal suitability. The course language is German.
A small application process makes sure that the course program and the participants fit together:
The first step is a written application (in German). It is composed of
- a short cover letter,
- a curriculum vitae in tabular form sheet with your picture and all contact details (phone, mobile number, E-Mail),
- a 1-2 pages long presentation about your own motivation to participate (in German).
- Please send all of this to Evangelisches Bildungszentrum Hermannsburg. As soon as the application has arrived, a place for the course is reserved – unless another short-term message follows.
In a second step a get-to-know visit in Hermannsburg is planned. Especially suited for this are the information days, where you get a certain impression how living in a “Moving Times” group feels like. It is also possible to arrange an individual date. If you have a long journey, you are welcome to take meals here or even stay over the night. Some arrive with a parent or a friend, who are welcome as well. Every applicant will have a counselling interview in confidence. Here is important (which is maybe different to other counselling interviews when applying for an apprenticeship): be open and honest, so we can clarify, if our Winter Course is the right option in your current situation.
When both sides have decided that they suit each other (by the way, most of the time we agree with the participant), the third step is the signing of the participation contract, in which every legal detail is regulated. With this, the application is set.
There is no official application deadline. The 20 places for the Winter Course are simply given out in order of the applications. In the past, there were still places available in September/October – but it could be different this year. It is therefore better to register in time! Also: the earlier the application arrives, the better personal wishes can be taken into account.