How to Hochschule VOICES – Daniela Polensky & Wolfgang

Show notes

In dieser Folge von How to Hochschule VOICES erkunden wir das pulsierende Studentenleben in Kellen mit Daniela Polensky, Studentin der International Relations an der HSRW. Sie erzählt von ihren Erfahrungen in einer internationalen Wohngemeinschaft und diskutiert mit ihrem deutschen Nachbarn Wolfgang über gute Nachbarschaft.

Daniela Polensky studiert International Relations an der HSRW und wohnt neben ihren Nachbarn Wolfgang in einer sechsköpfigen WG in Kleve Kellen. Weiterführende Links: Studiengänge, International Relations, Stadt Kleve

In this episode of How to Hochschule VOICES we explore the vibrant student life in Kleve with Daniela Polensky, an International Relations student at HSRW. She shares her experiences of international shared accommodation and discusses the essence of good neighbourliness with her German neighbour, Wolfgang.

Daniela Polensky is studying International Relations at HSRW and lives next to her neighbor Wolfgang in a six-person WG in Kleve Kellen. Further links: Degree Programmes, International Relations, City Kleve

Show transcript

00:00:00: Stephan Hanf: Hey! A quick disclaimer: this episode of VOICES is entirely in german. So if you have any problems with the german language don't worry there is an english transcript available on our How to Hochschule blog.

00:00:15: Stephan Hanf: Welcome to How to Hochschule Voices! This monthly bonus feature to the main podcast features pre-length interviews, personal stories and a collection of conversations with people from Rhein Waal University of Applied Sciences, Kleve, Kamp Lintfort and the entire Lower Rhine region. Today's episode is about the vibrant student life in the heart of the charming Kleve district of Kellen. Daniela Polensky, International Relations student at Rhein Waal University gives us an insight into her experience in an international shared flat and talks to her German neighbour Wolfgang about the quintessence of good neighbourliness.

00:00:54: Daniela Polensky: I'm Daniela, I study International Relations at Rhein Waal University, and [00:01:00] I'm Wolfgang's neighbour. Wolfgang is a friend of ours and also a bit of a caretaker who always helps us out, and I found out about the WG from "" and moved in without looking at it, but it's great.

00:00:54: [Wolfgang: I'm Wolfgang and we've been here since 1984. There used to be an old building here, and we lived in it for 4-5 years and said we'd build a new house.

00:01:31: Wolfgang: But if you had built the house now, today, in this day and age, I paid 150,000 German marks for the construction of the house with windows, with heating, with a bathroom, and that's ...that was in 1989, but we were already here in 84 in the old house and that's here from the aunt, they were a bit more cheerful and unfortunately she's been dead [00:02:00] for at least 5, 6, 7 years. And they built the university there, on the Kleve side. And here we have this section and the industry in Kleve. We have the big multi-storey car park back there and behind it came the first FUJI came there earlier, and then came Nähr-Engel and so for various companies that then became more and more, but it's Kleve, they want to call Kleve and these here from the Spoy Ufer, the side is Kellen here from Ring is Kellen has already changed a lot over 20, 30 years. And we got the tax office here in 1995 and they always say Kleve tax office, okay, Kleve pays with it, but this is our tax office, it's in Kellen. You can also...

00:02:54: Daniela Polensky: I didn't know that...

00:02:55: Wolfgang: You can also, you can also turn up your nose.

00:02:58: Wolfgang: We have our own [00:03:00] tax office.

00:03:04: Wolfgang: No, but that's the way it is when you talk about Kellener and although we are Klever. Yes, I don't make any distinctions and say "We are Kelleners", I don't think I've said that for 20 or 30 years. Today, Kellen is also Kleve, which has already merged with the tax office.

00:03:26: Wolfgang: It's like saying in 1995, the people of Kleve build a tax office here and then it's ours. But today it's still called the Klever tax office.

00:03:40: Daniela Polensky: Exactly, there are seven of us, so the ones upstairs also have quite small rooms and we have a lot of students who come from abroad. I think it's because our prices are a bit higher in the house and that's usually felt towards the end, when many just get their visa.

00:03:59: Wolfgang: From [00:04:00] October onwards, they usually come, the new ones. They might study a little longer, go to university a little longer and maybe still want to do this and that and are OK, he dropped out early, even though he had to stay there until October, there were still contracts that were still charged, even though he was no longer there. The room was still free. There are always things like how he made the contracts. Is that still the case today, do you have to stay there until October?

00:04:36: Daniela Polensky: Yes, well, it always changes with us, you live with us for between one and three years and as far as I know, we then have, legally speaking, the contract cannot be terminated at all, so we can terminate it even earlier. So it has already been done.

00:04:51: Wolfgang: So at that time he already ...

00:04:54: Daniela Polensky: The flatmate who moved out did the same.

00:04:57: Wolfgang: Yes, I think that was already back then, [00:05:00] 6-7 years ago, that the Spaniard left and didn't wait until October.

00:05:05: Wolfgang: He couldn't do better in school and the parents said,

00:05:09: Wolfgang: "Why should I pay you, you're abroad? Come back to Spain..." We had already looked at who was coming, who was there? And there is already, are also, is also a Serbian and the Russian, is she still with you?

00:05:27: Daniela Polensky: No.

00:05:28: Wolfgang: And they also study here and get money from their parents and can afford to live here, even if they have a contract for a year, and even if it's not cheap here, this flat next door, there's also the shared flat, you're also friends with the others.

00:05:50: Daniela Polensky: Yes.

00:05:51: Wolfgang: But maybe one or two of them are not so friendly with you or with the others, then they say: "I want to leave here after a year," and then [00:06:00] they can move into another flat and they have back there, they have in the university here on Briener Straße and university houses everywhere, but they don't know each other.

00:06:10: Wolfgang: You're in the 24th room, room flat in there somewhere and you pay maybe 100 € less. But you don't know who's above you, you don't know who's below you, and you don't know them all at all, can only meet at school then, and here they have a kind of family reunion.

00:06:33: Daniela Polensky: We already say, we're like the Stein Straßen WG, we call ourselves...

00:06:38: Wolfgang: They're more friends, they also laugh together and they also cry. Here's one who also wanted to study somewhere else for a few months and Maxime and I saw them all standing there, 4 or 5 of them standing at the door and all hugging, "Bye, have fun and all the best! And so, he went somewhere else for 34 months.

00:07:04: Daniela Polensky: He's doing a semester abroad in Norway.

00:07:07: Wolfgang: And then I also thought, they don't know each other visually. They come from everywhere, but they are so, so familiar. You are also familiar.

00:07:18: Daniela Polensky: First of all, we don't know who is going to move in beforehand, so we are always the persons only when they come, when the landlord says that the room is only occupied now, and so the first month is always a month of getting used to each other.

00:07:29: Daniela Polensky: meanwhile, so we are all, so everybody is ...

00:07:33: Daniela Polensky: Actually, everyone in the shared flat gets along very well with each other. And yet it's definitely like being in a family,

00:07:39: Wolfgang: You're open, I'm also in the bathroom, breaking (renovating), doing, and then I first met a, I didn't know that he was a German offshoot, let's put it that way, and I spoke to him in English and he said, you don't need English, I can also speak German.

00:07:56: Wolfgang: Quite perfect, I said, quite perfect. "No, I was born [00:08:00] here." Sorry, I really thought they came from abroad. No, he came from somewhere. Where did he come from?

00:08:09: Daniela Polensky: I think the father is from Congo and the mother is from Germany.

00:08:13: Wolfgang: Which village are they from?

00:08:15: Daniela Polensky: I don't know.

00:08:16: Wolfgang: He didn't say that either. Yes, okay, you talk, you don't know afterwards, I don't want to investigate where they all come from. I only started because the Italian and the Spaniard came from there and there, they are a bit more open, in the back on the meadow and talk to me.

00:08:35: Wolfgang: Between the little garden houses back there I have a little path... Paths. Dings. And here in the front, here in the front I have a two metre passage with stones where the swimming pool is and I've covered it up with decorations because they shouldn't always be having parties here. They are also not so, what do you call it, too loud at parties. [00:09:00] Nope. Nope.

00:09:01: Wolfgang: In itself, the...

00:09:03: Daniela Polensky: We have already had complaints, the police have already been there.

00:09:07: Wolfgang: No, it's here under the roof, it reverberates a bit, the roof is closed to us from our side and the back roof is then open, because a bit of air has to get out, otherwise you can only expect stuffy air and there is, you can also barbecue and it goes right to the neighbour and that's a meanie, he's a new tenant and he really grumbles! He complains about everything and then of course they are closer and of course they have more conversations and under the roof and then it resounds a bit, maybe sometimes 10, 11, 12 o'clock in the evening and then they said OK, we can go into the wooden house at the back, then you ... but he didn't complain any more.

00:09:49: Daniela Polensky: Our landlord on the left, he is not so willing to compromise, he is also, there is no hello, no please, no thank you. He's always very much at the door. And I can also, well, I didn't find it [00:10:00] bad that they called the police, because we were loud and we also turned it down, which was no problem at all, but of course on that side, yes, it's not quite as great as here!

00:10:09: Daniela Polensky: Well, the contact came from Wolfgang in the beginning. But I'm a bit shy, but when we just arrived, he said, "Oh, did you just come from home? Then we started talking, I also know that he talks to the others, even on his own initiative, whereas from the side, from the left, from our house, he doesn't talk at all.

00:10:09: [Wolfgang: And they also have a laundry cellar here, which used to be a workshop, where the laundry was always done, because of the water connections, the heating is also built in and there were also enough water connections and I got my old washing machine and dryer, got a dryer. I gave them a dryer and they still do their laundry. You didn't know that either, you only knew about the fridge, the dryer...

00:10:55: Daniela Polensky: The dryer was already there when I moved in...

00:10:58: Daniela Polensky: But would you rather have [00:11:00] us living next door to you as flatmates or normal neighbours?

00:11:04: Wolfgang: No, no, no. I'm already satisfied, there are also very, very nice, nice people who are next door and even you said the Ukrainian woman is also nice and are different, I even had her to the barbecue, we also had a barbecue there and she was also with us in the garden party, because she also and these are always such friendships then comes over and so, yes the Khan was also there and so, but she has also not eaten everything, she also does not know everything with

00:11:40: Daniela Polensky: But you are particularly friendly with Khan, I always hear.

00:11:45: Wolfgang: Yes, yes, he's also always quite cool, yes, he's very nice. I am perhaps a helper type from my father, who can help with everything from, what's it called...? Of bicycles, for example, the handbrake, the aluminium is broken here, [00:12:00] with someone at your place, after the bicycle and I've got maybe 2 or 3 screws in the back, I unscrew it, I put it on and so that he gets back on again, "Huh? The brake is on again. Who did that? Wolfgang!" There are things like that that, what's the name of it, make me happy when they're happy too.

00:12:20: Wolfgang: I'm also glad that you're glad, then I'm also open and glad. There we are not so the,, there we are not so the fang of neighbours. And that we sometimes think that she could also have a piece of cake, that I then give her four or six pieces. I always ask, how many are you today, four okay, then against the four pieces of cake and also a tasty meal, which is a bit too much here, that they then also get the tasty meal from our, let's say, we have a friend who is a cook, and then they all said: "That was tasty and so".

00:12:59: Daniela Polensky: [00:13:00] What was really nice was that not everyone can go home so easily around Christmas, for example Daniel comes from Vietnam, I can just fly home like that, then Wolfgang, you told me that and it is still very much appreciated here today, you brought over something from your Christmas dinner. I don't remember what they served, but that is one example of what was very much appreciated.

00:13:19: Wolfgang: Yes.

00:13:31: Stephan Hanf: Thank you for listening, we appreciate all feedback and are always open to suggestions for improvement. You can reach us directly at In the show notes you can find links and more information about today's topics and guests. My name is Stephan Hanf, thanks for listening, see you next time! Bye.

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