Image
CEO, Founder, Lecturer
Email
mitar.pitzek(at)innesvienna.net

Mitar Pitzek

Hello! Have a minute of time to share with me? Let me introduce myself and tell you something about me, about home and about learning German with passion (it is possible!).

I grew up with my lovely grandparents in the suburb of Belgrade (Zemun) and spend my childhood in my garden on the threes or playing football with my friends. I was first break dancer in Belgrade at the end of 80ties and my "gang" TaffStaffCrew painted first graffiti there. I was educated as an airplane mechanic. I think nobody expected much from me. In the age of 17 a good friend (TaffStaffCrew member of course!) forced me to read a book ... Siddharta  from Hermann Hesse and poems from Rainer Maria Rilke.

A right book red at the right time can change completely your whole life! The very next day I found a book "German in 100 lessons" and I had a plan: I wanted to read Hesse and Rilke in original. I was almost 18 when I started learning German on my own: der, die, das, den .... Akkusativ... what is that!? Just a year later I was admitted to the University of Belgrade and very soon I was the best student... reading everything and diving deep into the world of literature and language. That was the time when I discovered the beauty of German language and of course myself. At the end of my studies of German Literature and Linguistics at the University of Belgrade in 1991, only five years after I red Siddharta first time, I was sent for an exchange semester to Berlin. Exactly in that semester my home country, the only one I had, disappeared in a long brutal war. Loosing home country is a huge step in everybody life. You need to learn defining yourself on other levels, not on national, religious, ideological, political or sexual level - it is so easy diffing oneself with a group. How did I finance my life in Berlin? By working at McDonalds and two years later in the International Office of the Humboldt University in Berlin.

Today I hold an MA and PhD in German Linguistics, Serbo-Croat Language and Literature, and German as a Foreign Language from the Humboldt University, Berlin. I also held a teaching position at the University of Belgrade German Department where I was at the end of the 90ties for several months searching again for my home country. The place was there, the street and the house were there ... but it was not my home any more. All my friends left - home, that are people, not coordinates. 1999 in the morning I escaped with my small family to Vienna, my daughter was only 6 months old. Two hours later the border was closed and the same day in the evening bombs fall over Belgrade.

New life in Vienna stared. I know, when you are abroad as a refugee, you do not start at zero, you start at minus 1000. In 2002, after a two year trainee program with McDonalds (today one of my clients), I started working for the Vienna University of Technology International Office. I continued to teach technical German there for international students. Soon I become also the chief editor of Fachsprache - an International Journal of Specialized Communications.

Later I started my own German language school, Kulturimpuls, before finally in 2012 founding INNES - International Network for Educational Support in Higher Education (INNES Institute Vienna) as a high quality educational platform supporting and implementing creative ideas. That year, I also became President of an international university network for higher education institutions known as Ge4--Global Education: Exchanges for Engineers and Entrepreneurs Network: www.ge4.org

Hobbies? No hobbies, only passions .... Growing, reflecting, sailing, reading Alan Ford, and travelling. I´m a fan of the music of Goran Bregovic and Van Morrison and of Star Trek character Jean Luc Picard. My left brain draws my favorite quote from Back to the Future: Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads. My right brain: choose love! (Michael Roads).

Is there more? Deep message for you? There is always more! You are welcome to visit me at the best place to learn German with passionate teachers and motivated students and discuss about everything. And if you are really lucky, you will be in my class and you might learn some cool break dance moves.

Thank you for your time!

Mitar