In August, a woman named Lorenz from Hong Kong visited us at the Self-Directed Learning Centre in Novo mesto, wanting greater involvement in the local community. The clean air and abundant untouched nature amidst beautiful valleys, mountains and the sea attracted her to move to Slovenia.

Lorenz has been visiting us for more than six months now. During this time, we have gotten to know her better. We can describe her as someone who loves to learn. She is incredibly courageous. Her energy, determination and enthusiasm for learning Slovenian are immediately noticeable. On every visit to the centre, she likes to show us what she has learned and what she knows. The progress in her knowledge is noticeable from week to week.

In addition to her active personal life, she also finds time to learn Slovenian. Through her knowledge of the language, she can better connect with people. Initially, she had a lot of difficulties making connections, but then it became easier and easier.

What Lorenz said about the Self-Directed Learning Centre

My name is Lorenz, and I come from Hong Kong. Several different reasons led me to move to Slovenia.

I am a person who loves nature and a peaceful environment, which is why I like Slovenia. I want to explore different cultures, especially of small developing countries. I do not find large and developed countries attractive. Many people from neighbouring countries such as Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia live in Slovenia, which helps me to understand different cultures. It broadens my horizons and reminds me to look at problems from different perspectives.

Culture shocks

English can be heard in different countries around the world. However, it is interesting to me that not everyone in Novo mesto speaks this language. This is a big problem for me because communicating is challenging, which leads to misunderstandings. This is also the reason for my proactivity in learning Slovenian.

The other thing where I experienced a culture shock was the working hours. In Hong Kong, most employees officially work from 9 am to 6 pm. I am surprised that many people in Slovenia work from 7 am to 3 pm. Many get up at 5 am, which completely shocks me.

Interesting fact

I find it interesting that many people in Slovenia have their own vineyards and produce beer or wine. I like handmade things and traditional approaches.


As a city girl from Hong Kong, I am amazed that I can forage for food in the forest in Slovenia, such as mushrooms and chestnuts in autumn. What amazing forests and natural resources you have! This reminds me of living in harmony with nature and the need to respect everything it gives us.

I have been living in Novo mesto for about six months. Before I arrived, I was afraid I would have difficulty finding a suitable language centre to help me learn Slovenian faster. However, my life became easier when I met Ana Marija from the ISIO Centre Novo mesto. She supports me in learning Slovenian and kindly advises me on life in the town and the local area. In the centre, I have free opportunities to learn Slovenian with the help of a computer. There is also free internet available to me. Thanks to all this support, although I must point out that Slovenian is tough for me, I now have a greater passion and will to learn it.


I really appreciate what Ana Marija has done for me. We plan our future work, review learning materials and content and search for opportunities for self-directed learning.

我在Novo Mesto居住已經4個月,在我到達這小鎮前,我曾擔心很難找到合適的語言學習中心。 然而,當我遇上Novo Mesto 諮詢中心的 Ana Marija 之後,我在這裡的生活變得輕鬆一點。 因為Ana Marija給了我很大的支援,不僅教導我斯洛文尼亞語,還給了我在這裡生活的貼心建議。 在中心,我有免費機會透過電腦網絡學習斯洛文尼亞語,同時也可免費上網。 雖然當地語言對我來說很難,但因為這些支援,讓我現在更有熱情去學習。 我由衷感激她為我所做的一切,在未來,我也會在這裡學習新知識,及回顧已學習的資料,同時我也會尋找自主學習的種種機會。

除了跟 Ana Marija 學習外,我每週還與 RIC 的另一位老師上語言小組課。 它讓我有更多機會聆聽斯洛文尼亞語,從而提高我對這種當地語言的聽說能力。 同時,我也可以和我的同學交朋友,在這裡建立人脈。 因此,這個小組課對我也很有幫助。

In addition to the Self-Directed Learning Centre, I participate in a weekly language group with another teacher at the AEC. The latter gives me more opportunities to listen to Slovenian, which improves my listening and speaking skills. In the meantime, I have also made friends with classmates in the group. This is how I am building my network in Novo mesto. Therefore, this group course is also beneficial for me.

Ana Marija Blažič (, ISIO Centre Novo mesto, Novo mesto AEC

© 2017-2024 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

​The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Education.

ISSN 2630-2926

Slovenian Institute for Adult Education
Ministry of Education

Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, dr Nataša Potočnik, Directress of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MSc and dr Tanja Rupnik Vec | Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: | Translation/proofreading: Mesto znanja, izobraževanje in svetovanje za osebno rast, Petra Cvek, s. p.  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: