He has 37 years of experience teaching Fabrication and Welding at North West Regional College, she’s a 20 year-old apprentice from Germany about to dip her toe in the field of Engineering.
But during a recent Erasmus + exchange programme, student Stefanie Seitlinger from Engelsberg and NWRC lecturer at the college’s Springtown Campus, Gerry Burke, found they had something to teach each other.
Stefanie got to try her hand at welding for the first time, while Gerry got to refine his already accomplished skills in speaking the German language.
Every year through Erasmus+ funding, staff and students from NWRC have the opportunity to visit European countries undertaking study or completing traineeships across all areas of the curriculum, and in return welcome students from across Europe to experience education and training programmes in the North West.
Stefanie is currently studying to become a Mechanical Engineer at Staatliche Berufsschule Traunstein and works as an apprentice with Heideehain.
“I applied to Erasmus because I always wanted to visit Ireland. The trip has been an opportunity to improve my English and to see how the work is done in Ireland.
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet Gerry Burke at Springtown who has given me great help and guidance. Welding is a skill that’s very new to me and at Springtown I’ve been able to get hands on experience.
“Like Ireland, in my country there are not a lot of women working in this field, but it is improving.”
Gerry Burke, Lecturer, said: “Stefanie has shown good understanding and is a quick learner, once she grabs a concept that is it. She’s been helping me with my German.”