Vincent Chi Zhang
Infineon Technologies Austria AG, Villach
In order to be settled, you need bubbles. When you arrive, the first bubble is your work environment, work colleagues, work friends. Next comes the bubble with people from the same nationality or the same cultural background. When my family and I moved to Villach in 2005, our bubble was very small. Then, meeting the small number of other families with the same cultural background was a matter of pure coincidence. It took a year. There was no platform to let the people know each other or provide information and services.
Since then, a lot has changed. More Chinese people have moved to Villach, attracted by Infineon and the Carinthian University of Applied Studies (CUAS). The foundation of the CIC in 2009 was another boost for our Chinese communities. As a result, we opened a Chinese Sunday School in 2010. The CIC helped us borrow rooms from the ISC (International School Carinthia) and advertises the school to all newcomers. Our Chinese communities are now well connected.
And lastly, “Vereine” (clubs) are a very important bubble to interact with locals. I have several pastimes, but my favorite one is badminton. I play badminton in a Verein and I also teach children how to play. In the Verein you can find people with the same hobby and also you learn the language. It helps a lot with integration.
Culture, hobby and family can create very stable bubbles. The more you increase the dimension of a bubble or the number of bubbles, the more you feel at home.
Interview: Dr.in Birgit Stegbauer