This week, we are introducing one of our interns at the German Embassy. Our Q&A with Lukas sheds light on his experience as a German in the US – and the Embassy!
Name: Lukas David Hoffmann
Where you’re from: I am from the heart of the Ruhr area, which everyone from the Ruhr area claims to be from. The area, often referred to as “Revier”, is historically known as an industrial location, especially for coal and steel. Supposedly the air is thin, but people are self-confident and down-to-earth. As a result of structural change, much of the former industry has given way to an industrial culture.
Where and what you’re studying: I studied law in Hamburg and Rome. Internships have taken me to Frankfurt and Brussels, among other places. Meanwhile I am completing my legal traineeship in Düsseldorf, which has led me to the colorful Rhineland.
What is one project or activity you enjoyed at the Embassy?
From an academic point of view, the research on mobile work forms in the USA was certainly exciting: home office, telework, telecommuting and more. Overall, however, the visit to the many think tank events was the most instructive. Most of the events I personally went to were related to Russia, so that one learned a lot about the country and its people, which certainly provided a better understanding. Most of the time there was also an opportunity to talk to other participants, which often resulted in a closer exchange.
What has been your biggest surprise with regard to living in Washington?
Washington is even more international than I imagined it to be. In this city you really get everything you know from all over the world, if you are only willing to spend money on it. The city’s restaurant scene offers a great variety of international cuisine, too.
What do you miss about Germany?
The constantly bad, but predictable weather. Seriously, the weather in Washington is so changeable that you would have to take a whole wardrobe with you to cope with any type of weather.
What has been your biggest lesson learnt during your internship?
Law does not always have to be hard, but can also be very “soft”. International law as one of the (legal) foundations of diplomacy deals with the most important questions of human coexistence in this world. At the same time, no legal matter may be as dependent on the interpretation of the individual who seeks to apply.
What has been your biggest challenge living here?
Trying not to gain too much weight and not to spend too much money. Unfortunately, the prices for many healthy and fresh foods are very high, so these two challenges are not always easy to balance out.
Where do you plan to go or what do you plan to do after your internship?
In the short term, I will return to Düsseldorf to complete another station of my legal traineeship in an international law firm. In the long term, I definitely want to work in an international environment as well.