Alasdair Wood

Why did you join SWS?

I joined SWS to play hockey, learn German and meet new people.


When and for how long?

I started with the foundation in 2012 and did 2 spells of 5 months, for the outdoor hockey season.


Where were you located

I was located in Hamburg, Germany


Where were you playing hockey? Which team? …

I played for the mighty Flottbek 2 team!


Apart from playing hockey, what were you doing with SWS? (Studying? Working? … )

Apart from playing hockey I also coached for GTHGC. I also worked at the multinational Norevo GmbH as a Sample Manager. It was through Norevo and GTHGC that I improved my German, I still use my language skills to this day!

I worked 3.5 days a week at Norevo. This allowed me to do all my training and coaching throughout the week.


What did you learn during this experience?

During my time in Hamburg I learnt to; speak German; to cook; to live on my own; to navigate a big city and to drink beer!


What difference did it make for your life / career

My time in Hamburg has made a massive influence on who I am. Being able to speak a second language is obviously invaluable, but it is the perspective I gained from living in a different country and the lessons I learned from the German way of thinking that are most precious to me.

In terms of my career every job I have applied for has asked me how I was able to and why I did work in Germany, my answer is always that I had help from the foundation, nonetheless they are always impressed, interested and want to know more.


Do you have a funny story / experience to share about your experience with SWS?

When I first went to Germany I didn’t realise that crossing the road without the green man is illegal. On my first night out I walked straight across the road in front of 2 Policemen. On getting to the otherside they told me of my mistake. I was so scared I ran back across the road to wait and cross the road ‘properly’. In my panic I had forgotten that it still wasn’t green. I don’t think I have ever seen 2 Policemen laugh so hard!


Do you still play hockey?



If yes, where?

I play for the Edinburgh University Men’s 1 and 2 Teams. We compete nationally in British Universities Sport and in the Scottish National League.


What would you like to say to Hinrich and Doni (Basti’s parents)?

Put simply I would like to say thank you. My time in Hamburg was amazing, so far the best year I have ever had. The novelty of everything was amazing, learning German was a challenge but fantastic fun at the same time. They helped me gain life experience, language skill and have a great time, I’ll always be in their debt.

Thanks again! :)