Leipzig: a home for world travellers.
South Africa, England, Ireland, Spain: Nicola and Peter Seaton-Clark have lived in lots of different places. But the former globetrotters have made their new home in Saxony. “We feel really settled here,” they say. “I’ve never lived in the same place for so long. When I was a child, we moved around a lot whenever my father was posted to a new job,” says Nicola. The Seaton-Clarks have lived in Leipzig since 2003. They made a conscious decision to stay despite a rather shaky start. When the two English teachers arrived in the city eleven years ago, they had no job, nowhere to live and very little money. At the language school where they had originally planned to work, nobody knew anything about them. “So we went to another language school and got a job straight away,” explains 41-year-old Nicola.
Amazingly green: Leipzig’s city centre
They found a flat via a colleague. “‘Nachmieter’, or follow-on tenant, was one of the first German words I learnt,” says Nicola. Colleagues and students helped them furnish their empty flat. One person gave them a sink, while someone else had a pile of crockery to spare. “We were overwhelmed by the Saxons’ openness and willingness to help others,” says 41-year-old Peter. “And the city is really green, with so many parks even in the city centre,” adds his wife. “I’d never seen that before. Not in my native South Africa or in Spain, where we lived before we came here.”
Successful Saxon entrepreneurs with British roots
The Seaton-Clarks felt that they were welcome in Saxony, even though they didn’t speak a word of German. They learnt how to deal with all the necessary paperwork and worked hard on the language. Now they are bringing up two children in Leipzig and have become successful entrepreneurs. In 2008, Nicola and Peter set up their company “Offstimme” which specialises in providing voice-overs for television films, adverts, educational software and apps. Whenever German companies need their corporate videos in another language – such as for a trade show, for example – they call on Offstimme. The Leipzig-based company organises the translation and finds the right voice-over artist for any language. Offstimme works for large media companies such as MDR, ARTE, KIKA and the BBC and also for well-known firms like Siemens, Mercedes-Benz and Tchibo. You will also hear Offstimme in action if you travel on the tram in Leipzig. It was Nicola, a trained actor and singer, who recorded the English announcements.
Important documents: RB season ticket and German passport
This summer, the passionate RB Leipzig fans (who even have season tickets!) will take the next major step towards becoming true Saxons. They have already applied for dual citizenship. “We’re also doing it for our children,” say the couple. Robert (8) and Charley (7) will be able to decide where they want to live when they get older. A German passport will make it easier. “And Leipzig is our home. We love it here,” say the Seaton-Clarks.