Full name Nicolas Sebastian Brand
Nationality Deutsch and Français
Your experience with SWS
Why did you join SWS?
I met Torben Ziegert – we lived together in Lübeck and started playing hockey in the same club – and he told me about the SWS and studies in France. I contacted the foundation and after some meetings I was allowed to join the IFI in Rouen. I wanted to continue my studies in France and SWS was a great opportunity to study and play hockey.
When and for how long?
I started studying in September 2002 and stayed in Rouen for 3 years.
Where were you located?
First, I stayed 7 nights in Guillaume and Julien`s apartment, but then we found a room to rent at a family house in Mont St Aignan for the rest of the year. Years 2 and 3, I lived in a private apartment in Rouen.
Where were you playing hockey? Which team? …
AS Rouen UC in the first men’s team
Apart from playing hockey, what were you doing with SWS? (Studying? Working? … ) Please give as many details as possible.
I lived in Rouen and enjoyed the French touch of life. I have family and friends in France, so I did some travelling too. However, I spent most of my time at IFI - the first year as an “International Exchange Student”. After a successful exam in June 2003, I joined the real student program for the last two years. I received my Bachelor exam in 2005.
What did you learn during this experience?
I learnt a lot about living in another country: habits, language, culture…but also a lot about working in an international context with lots of students coming from other countries.
I discovered many things about management, marketing, financial analyzing, international trade…
And enough about French vocabulary that I decided to stay living in France.
What difference did it make for your life / career?
I still live and work in France, so it was a very good experience for my life and career.
Do you have a funny story / experience to share about your experience with SWS?
I was coach for the Rouen junior team for an indoor tournament at Caen. No parents are able to accompany their sons to their hockey game, so I was nominated to drive the club bus for this journey. IT WAS JUST HORRIBLE! I couldn’t drive normally with the 25 year old Renault: there were problems to start the engine, smoke, and it stalled every 50 meters. It took 15 minutes to get out of the club car park! We made 2 km in nearly 30 minutes. On the motorway it was better, but we still sent a lot of smoke on the road. And then, the old problems reappeared at every stop, and naturally at every toll! But we found a super and rapid solution: 4 or 5 boys got out of the bus and helped to push the car. Then when the bus started moving, they jumped quickly into the rolling bus: Unimaginable and totally crazy!
On the road I thought first that this is my fault, that I am unable to drive a bus anymore: what’s going on?
Later I realized that it was a gasoline problem and that it was the fault of the users before, who entered the wrong gasoline into the tank. I never saw this old car again.
Do you still play hockey?
If yes, where?
Active Player at HCG: Hockey Club de Grenoble (Nationale 2 Zone 4)
And I have created a new club in march 2015: the HC3G
HCGGG: Hockey Club Guilherand-Granges Grizzlies (Valence, Drôme-Ardèche)
Did you ever come to the SWS tournament? Which ones?
SWS Youth tournament in Rouen (Summer 2003)
Adult Easter Tournament Flottbek, Hamburg 2004
Final important question
What would you like to say to Hinrich and Doni (Basti’s parents)?
Dear Doni and dear Hinrich,
First I hope that you have still the image of your lovely son in your memories: Love and Hope are the most important.
Second, I will say “Thanks, Merci und Dankeschön”. Offering life experiences and life opportunities by creating the foundation is a very enriching way to bear fruits. I hope you are bearing the fruits every day. I wish that Basti is happy during all his study program, and that his joy reflects on all the SWS Hockey People. Thank you very much,