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    Program introduces community members to their new home

    Program introduces community members to their new home

    Photo By Sgt. Austin Baker | Irmgard Goebel, Relocation Readiness contractor, Army Community Service, introduces...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Austin Baker 

    AFN Wiesbaden

    WIESBADEN, Germany - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Army Community Service’s Host Nation Orientation to constantly adjust the rules and mitigations to keep all newcomers safe. In U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, restrictions have been dropped so the program has taken a turn for a brighter future.

    Leading from the front is Relocation Readiness Program Manager, Gigi Wilson. Wilson’s passion and desire to integrate newcomers into German culture is shown throughout Host Nation Orientation.
    “The Host Nation Orientation starts in the classroom and introduces newcomers to the differences of German and American culture,” said Wilson. “We teach them public transportation and one of the things we tell them is after this tour, you will be confident enough to take a bus on your own.”

    Host Nation Orientation features information about German traditions and how to navigate your way through Wiesbaden. Building self-confidence to take on the new culture is the goal of the Host Nation Orientation. Historically Wiesbaden is known as a spa town dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. In the capital city of Hessen, there are many sites such as the “White House of Wiesbaden,” the Marktkirche, as well as many shopping and dining choices.

    “This is the only program in the community where you can connect with the local culture in Wiesbaden,” said Wilson. “This program gives newcomers that link, to fill the gap between two different cultures. We want to get them excited and let them know it is ok to be in a foreign country.”

    Currently ACS has a local national who introduces newly arrived service members and their families to the German culture.

    “The Host Nation Orientation tour and class is led by Relocation Readiness Contractor Irmgard Goebel. Goebel,” said Wilson. “ Believe it or not she has been working with ACS for over 20 years doing the same thing welcoming newcomers, this gives the program the authenticity it needs.”

    ACS offers Host Nation Orientation every Monday starting at 9 a.m. in the ACS Multipurpose Room on Hainerberg. The walking tour begins in the afternoon when the classroom portion of the program ends.

    “It is another country and another language we want newcomers to be able to take on a new language and enjoy it,” said Wilson. “When they finish class and tour, it’s just that smile on their faces that they are now more confident that gives me satisfaction at the end of the day.”



    Date Taken: 03.14.2022
    Date Posted: 05.06.2022 08:38
    Story ID: 419593
    Location: WIESBADEN, HE, DE 

    Web Views: 17
    Downloads: 0