I received considerable support from the CIC on my way to finding self-employed work. I hadn’t actually planned that path; it just grew bit by bit. When my partner started to work in Villach, he received a CIC welcome package from his employer that made us curious. I remember that, to begin with, I had a talk with the CIC. She asked who I am and what I do. Then she made suggestions: you could apply to the BFI, also to this school, etc. Following her suggestions I started to apply for work as an Italian teacher and trainer. Nowadays, I teach children as well as adults for several education providers.
My second foothold as a freelancer is my training and consulting activities in the field of multilingualism, one of my research fields during my PhD studies. Thanks to Rosi’s immeasurable network I was able to cooperate at a big conference on “Infant pedagogics and migration”. That was my first paid commission as a freelancer. It was followed by a series of eight articles on different aspects of multilingualism, published on the CIC homepage (Kolumn Multilingualism). This resulted in little conferences on multilingualism for parents and pedagogues, which I developed further into workshops with diversified contents right through to professional training sessions, and which I have now been able to give at several educational institutions throughout Carinthia.
I embrace challenges. As a freelancer I have to seek work myself, approach new clients, speak about my expertise and submit proposals. I had some advantages when I started out, because I came to Villach with positive international experiences and I had already learnt German at university. Yet, especially during the initial phase of my self-employed work, I was extremely grateful for the many impulses from the CIC and their aid in advertising my events.
Interview Birgit Stegbauer