International Center


Approach across pots and pans


For the first time, the Senior Service has offered a cooking event for international students. Cooking together is a great activity to get to know another culture and to get in contact with each other.

On Friday evening, eight senior citizens from Offenburg meet seven young pleople from Brazil, India, Colombia, Nigeria and Russia in the training kitchen of the "Ernährungszentrum Ortenau". Under the guidance of Ingrid Vollmer-Haug, "Hauswirtschaftsmeisterin" and freelance lecturer, they cook and bake specialities of Baden and German cuisine.

First, Ingrid Vollmer-Haug explained the essential processes in the kitchen. Some foreign students find it somewhat difficult to follow their German explanations, but at the latest when washing their hands and tying on aprons, everyone is back at the same level thanks to the translation help of the members of the Senior Service.

And then Infanta Maria Steffi Thomas and Brigitte Fredenhagen peel the potatoes for the potato soup with "Kracherle". Next door, Monisha Jayaker and Frederic Ehret are already forming the "Fleischküchle" out or the minced meet. One place further on, Isabela Costa Campos and Eva Maria Geisler rub the ingredients for the potato and zucchini pancakes. Hubert Wörner, who came up with the idea for the cooking course, and his wife Monika prepare the salmon fillet with the oven vegetables in the stove together with Darima Motta and Camila Wolfram. With all her baking experience gathered over decades, Eva Schneider explains to David Vargas how an apple pie with yoghurt icing is made, while Franz Roser fills the brittle layered dish. Meanwhile, Martins Divine Okoi and Peter Wallmeier, who quickly finished their lamb's lettuce salad with walnuts and pears, are already setting the table in the next room. There is still enough time for everyone to talk about waste separation, Christmas markets and customs in the respective home countries of the international students.

When all dishes are cooked, roasted or baked, senior citizens and international students work together to clean up the kitchen and do the inevitable washing up. As a reward, they enjoy, of course, the prepared dishes afterwards. They sit together for a long time on this evening, enjoying the time together, the successfully prepared German delicacies and being able to take a few quick simple recipes for their own kitchen with them. They are all already looking forward to the next cooking event.


The Senior Service is a joint project of the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg and the "Seniorenbüro" of the City of Offenburg. They organise various events, such as a "Kaffeeklatsch", a convivial evening at the beginning of the winter semester, an afternoon of miniature golf or a Christmas Get-Together. At these, international students and members of the Senior Service have the chance to get in contact with each other. The senior citizens offer international students city tours in Offenburg and Gengenbach, a hike in the Black Forest, support in learning German, family support and, in particular, individual and personal assistance and accompaniment. This often leads to close friendships that last far beyond the studies. In addition to these individual offers, the Senior Service now also offers various activities for smaller groups, such as the cooking course described above or a choir performing at the Christmas get-together of the "International" in Gengenbach. Senior citizens who are also interested in becoming involved in the Senior Service can contact project manager Franz Roser, phone 0781/561 58, e-mail