Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Akademie

The Akademie

For participants to seminars conducted by the International Academy for Leadership (IAF) in Gummersbach, the Theodor Heuss Academy a.k.a. the Akademie will always be a home filled with beautiful memories.

There's nothing grand about the place. It's a piece of L-shaped block that sits atop a hill. The oldest center of the FNF was named after Theodor Heuss, the first president of the Federal Republic Germany after World War II. But the industrial and drab look of its facade belies the warmth and the enriching experiences of the people inside it.

Getting in and out of the Akademie is literally a major workout. Because it is somewhere up on a hill, you really have to sweat it out. But if you're feeling bit rich, then there's no harm spending some euros for a cab.

This way to Theodor Heuss Academy

Let me give you a tour of the Akademie. And for the alumni, let us take a trip down memory lane.

Getting past the main door, you'll be greeted by this big hall which has several sets of couches, a piano and a fireplace. This was where we had our welcome night and joint world cafe session.

The Hall at Theodor Heuss Academy

To the left is the Reception Desk where we checked in and got our room keys. The staff were friendly and accommodating, ready to be of help till they retire for the night at around 8 or 9 in the evening. If you're in the mood to do some laundry and ironing of clothes, then tokens for the washing machine and the iron may be availed of here at the reception desk. And everyday, you'll find a bowl of goodies on the desk.   


Somewhere on the right is the computer area. In case you forgot your laptops or tablets, there are several computers in this area and a printer, too. 

The computer area

Next to the big hall is the sun deck/terrace where we would laze around and have some chit chat while getting some doze of sun. But when the sky is overcast or come night time, it gets a bit chilly outside. 

sun deck

And this is the dining hall where we have our buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Dining Hall

For breakfast, we would usually have loaves of bread, cereals, muesli, cold cuts, yogurt, fruits, veggies and juice. For lunch and dinner, there would be pasta, rice (though not the kind of rice that we normally have for our meals), meat dish, garden salad, fruits and dessert.

Guten Appetit

Every table has this pot-like chiller that can hold drinks enough for six people. It comes with a bottle opener.

 Chilled drinks

This is THE BAR by the day but it is the place to be at night. At the start of the seminar, we were given blue chips so we can buy our drinks at the bar. But since I seldom drink, I pooled my chips and gave it to my co-participants. Pretzels overflow to pair it with wine, beer or cocktail drinks.

Akademie Bar

This is our main session hall that can accommodate around thirty people. We have our permanent seats marked by our respective national flags. What is nice about this room is the view of the greens beyond the glass windows.


Tools of the seminar. Isn't it neat? Everything you need like metacards, manila paper, markers, glue, pair of scissors,  push pins and more are neatly stacked in this collapsible case. Very convenient. How I wish our public school teachers can have something like this.


During our coffee break, we would all congregate in this room to have our caffeine fix (I usually had peppermint tea) and sugar rush. Most of the pastries and cakes they served were yummy. 


This is how a typical bedroom at the Akademie looks like. This was my room on the fifth floor. A room with a view (mine had a view of the town center), it has a single bed, a study desk, a television, a two-door closet and own bath and shower. Wifi connection is very strong inside the room. A lady comes to clean the room at 9 in the morning. This room reminded me of a smaller version of my Lappis room in Stockholm except for the television which I didn't have in my dorm room. 

Akademie Room

The Akademie has a laundry area, sauna room, gym as well as pool and table tennis areas. There is an elevator that services all floors. 

Know more about the Theodor Heuss Academy here.

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