The GC and the GCBA Visit UBC


The German Business Association (GCBA) has the mission to “promote cultural, business & professional interests in the German-speaking Community in Vancouver, British Columbia.” Part of this mission is to support institutions that teach the German Language, such as UBC, SFU or BCIT and they are proud that the Surrey German Language School and the Vancouver Westside German School are longtime members.

Beatrice Schreiber, President of the GCBA, contacted Dr. David Gramling and set up an in-class event for GCBA members, giving them an opportunity to “audit” a class and see how students are taught beginner German.

The General Consul of Germany, Dr. Klaus Schmidt and his assistant Tamara Barduhn also attended as they were hoping to designate April or May as “German Language Month”. Plus they were able to answer a lot of the questions that the students had!

Afterwards, Axel Rechlin, President of the Surrey German Language School, as well as Beatrice Schreiber, and myself, Elke Porter, secretary of the GCBA, had coffee with Dr. Gramling in the beautiful courtyard.

During the event, the students had prepared a list of questions they could ask any of the class visitors and learned about things like the “16 Bundesländer”, “the best seasons of the year to travel in Germany, the best flavour of beer in Germany, the soccer “Group E” now comprised of Germany, Spain, Japan and either Costa Rica or New Zealand, where the best universities are and what is the best “Bundesland” to visit. One student asked about thatched roofs. Another wondered where to study biotechnology in Germany.

There were some beautiful sites on my way to Buchanan Building D when I was dropped off by the #84 bus on the Chancellor Boulevard at Allison Road. The bus driver assured me that the Chan Centre was only about 1 km down the road, and I knew that the Buchanan Building was behind it. So I enjoyed my early morning walk past the beautiful houses and gardens and came across this spectacular building.

The “Iona Building” is located at 6000 Iona Drive near UBC’s Faculty of Arts. You are able to see some amazing views of Burrard Inlet and beyond, and it includes two large modern conference rooms, four seminar rooms, offices, residential rooms, a chapel, and a library

The GCBA will definitely be back again to continue exploring this amazing campus, founded in 1908. The GCBA had the opportunity to visit the TRIUMF Research Lab June 11, 2014 in the past and way before that, Monika Redekop, organized a “Trade Show” type of event with the German Chamber of Commerce in the C.K. Choi Building. When the German Chamber in Vancouver shut down, Monika spent a few years as Board Member of the GCBA. Finally we also saw a presentation on BC & Canada through Arriving Eyes in the UBC Library on November 18, 2016.

Sadly, it was soon time to go, although we thought of a few ways that the GCBA could collaborate and work with David Gramling, who is Professor of German Studies and Head of the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies at UBC and our host today.

Some GCBA events to look forward to are the 50th Anniversary of the Surrey German School featuring the S-Bahn (Oktoberfest) Band on April 23rd and the Champagne Reception soon to be held for the Departing Consul General on May 5th. There will also be a dinner meeting and speaker in June.

Students can join the GCBA at no charge and have opportunities to volunteer for events or just to attend the Zoom meetings and pub nights. We can all work together to keep the German Language alive.

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