Torben Ziegert

Why did you join SWS?

I met Sebastian in Person beginning of 1997. We both loved playing hockey and his enthusiastic talk and experience he had in France at that time seemed like the perfect match for myself. Going to a business school while playing hockey was the an ideal way to find what I would like to do in life.


When and for how long?

3 years in Rouen


Where were you located?

1st I lived at the house of Christine Paloume, then I moved to an apartment in the town center of Rouen


Where were you playing hockey? Which team? …

I played the 1st team of Rouen, we were playing première league at that time


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

While learning French I started studying at IFI at the ESC Rouen (Neoam now) international business. I was a sort of Bachelor (BAC +4, Fachhochschulabschluss) that I started and continued until final exams.


What did you learn during this experience?

I learned that languages and sport is a wonderful fit. While not being brilliant at school in languages I experienced an intensive and valuable style of learning languages. I quickly learned to interact with different cultures and people which I really enjoy. I learned that French people in Rouen are like a big family. I met hundreds of French and English people and enjoyed the time with friends.


What difference did it make for your life / career?

1. SWS was a truly international experience that completely changed my life. Playing international hockey in France and England on a high level brings you a lot of good communication skills and experience.

2. Being with SWS and living in France and England changed my life. I got better and better in French, I finished my studies in English and French. I enjoy being with different people, cultures and languages. I started learning Spanish at that time and I am now married to wonderful woman form Peru. She speaks 5 languages and I only could communicate with her thanks to SWS. We have two children now who start learning languages from the beginning

3. I am now a Sales Manager at IBM, a true Global company. Being with SWS at the beginning of my career, helps me being in a Global company. It made the difference in my CV, being abroad and having the international Profile.


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

Coming to France, I was used to “Kalte Muschi” (This is red wine with Coke). I really do enjoy now good red wine and cheese. I still remember my face when we watched a football match at Antoine Francins house and he offered a camembert with the phrase “is has been out of the fridge for a week to be in good shape”. My thoughts were “Die spinnen die Gallier”.


Do you still play hockey?

I pause right now but would like to start again with my daughter


If yes, where?



If no, why?

I will start playing again as even in a senior team it is good fun.


Did you ever come to the SWS tournament? Which ones?

1997 - 2005


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

Thank you for all what you have done for me. Thinking back about this time is wonderful!