“I Made Good Friends” - a German Medical Student Plays American Football in Pécs




The Medical School in Pécs is famous for its vibrant student life, which extends beyond the walls of the campus: many future doctors and dentists indulge in some kind of hobby or sport in the Baranya county seat. Lukas Geisler, who came from Germany, is one of them: while studying medicine, he joined the Pécs Legioners, an American football team from Mecsekalja, where he found a great community and language barriers were no obstacle.

Written by Viktor Harta

The 23-year-old medical student came from Saxony to the prestigious Medical School in Pécs. According to him, he chose to study medicine because he saw it as a career that would give him the chance to fulfil his professional potential and make the most of his talents. After high school, he trained as a nurse and then went on to study at the University of Pécs Medical School. So far, he has passed every hurdle, and this September he will start his third year at the UP MS.

"I really enjoy my studies in Pécs. I love the city, the pleasant climate, the buzz of the community of young people from all over the world. It's nice to meet people from Norway, Iran, for example, and to get to know how they see the world,” says Lukas Geisler.

"But sometimes this is a little difficult, because we Germans tend to stay inside our own bubble. This was one of the reasons why I decided to join the Pécs Legioners American football team. I came across their advertisement quite by chance, I saw that they were recruiting. I had never played American football before, but I decided to give it a try.”

"I joined the Pécs Legioners in October 2019,” continues the medical student, “It was a bit strange at first that I was the only German in the team for a long time, but I never felt uncomfortable for a moment. Everyone was very nice and supportive. Most people spoke English, only a few spoke German. But one guy, Ákos, spoke fluent German and helped me a lot, for example with filling in documents.”

"However, the language barrier was sometimes a challenge, especially during matches, when there was hardly time to translate the instructions, but fortunately most plays are announced in English. At training sessions there was always someone to ask for help if I didn’t understand something. When the coaches wanted us Germans to understand important things, they always translated what they were saying. I have now got to the point where I can pretty much understand what is going on around me without translation, depending on the context.”

"A year and a half after joining the team, I can say that I have made friends in the Pécs Legioners, I have become friends with people who speak less English. The first season has brought the community together and I feel that a strong bond has been formed between the team members. Everyone is joking around, having fun, and enjoying ourselves is more important than the result itself. Of course, that doesn't mean we're not ambitious, we all hate to lose,” he added. He also revealed that they are currently waiting for new members to join the Pécs Legioners.

Photos: Lukas Geisler

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