IA’s Romanian Representative

Anca Zaharia looks after pigs in Sønderborg – and is IA Sprog’s guide for other Romanian agricultural trainees


Anca with her piglets on the farm in Sønderborg

She’s 24 years old and has a university degree in public relations from her native Romania.

Today Anca looks after piglets on a huge farm in Sønderborg – and she’s quite happy to have made the switch.

In addition, she has a second job: she guides other agricultural trainees, primarily from Romania, into Sprogcenter IA’s online universe and introduces them to CDs, books, and the lesson system in order to prepare them for the Danish language instruction. This is done via Skype between the student (or two students) and a teacher from IA at times chosen to fit in with the students’ schedules.

“I think the Danish language instruction has been really fine; I’ve had three very good teachers and I don’t miss class tuition,” she says.

“I think it’s better to have my own teacher for the 45 minutes the lesson lasts,” says Anca, who, since November of last year, has passed her experiences on to approximately 30 of her compatriots, all of whom are trainees in the Danish agricultural sector.

“All material for the language instruction has been translated into English, but some of the Romanian students don’t understand English very well, and then it’s an advantage that I’m able to speak to them and help them.”

Once Anca has recorded the names of the students and has contacted them with a view to setting up an initial meeting, further assistance is also done via Skype, as the trainees live on farms all over Denmark. Distance is not a problem; Anca just holds up the book or CD she’s talking about in front of the camera, and everybody is good to go.

Anca herself is well on her way to completing her Danish language instruction; She’s currently enrolled in Danskuddannelse 3 (Danish level 3), module 5, and expects to be done by winter. Unfortunately she doesn’t get to practice her Danish skills very much, she says, apart from the sessions with her teacher and a Danish “conversation buddy” with whom she skypes once a week. The primary languages spoken on the farm are Romanian and English. But she’s more than satisfied with her job – it’s very diverse and includes everything from feeding to insemination, and now also administrative work. It may be a long way from Romanian PR to pig farming in Sønderborg, but Anca has no immediate plans for heading south again.