Katharina and Clemens Stemmer tell of their return.
© MÜNSTER PICTURES

Katharina and Clemens Stemmer: The Münsterland as New and Old Home

Sometimes you first have to go away to learn to love your homeland. This was the case for Clemens Stemmer from Havixbeck. The 30-year-old grew up in Münsterland, went to school, studied here and played football in a club for years. Nevertheless, he decided to set off again with his Bachelor's degree in his pocket. "I just had to get out," he says. See other places, meet new people. Now the industrial engineer has returned - together with his wife Katharina. A native of Thuringia, with no roots in the region, she has never set foot in Münsterland for most of her life. Now she does every day. And the Onboarding@Münsterland service has helped her arrive in the region.

Like a holiday village

"The first time I was in Havixbeck, it felt like I was in a holiday village," says Katharina Stemmer. The 28-year-old thinks of the homely farms, the beautiful clinker brick, the many cycling and riding routes. "Where I come from, this doesn't exist in this form." Katharina grew up almost 400 kilometres away in Sülzenbrücken, a place with just under 600 inhabitants. She finally left Thuringia for an internship - and met Clemens in Stuttgart.

When Clemens went to Paderborn to study for his Master's degree, Katharina joined him a little later. But they did not want to settle down there. They wanted to be close to at least one family and live in the countryside again. "As the saying goes, you get the child out of the village, but you don't get the village out of the child," says Clemens - "there's a bit of truth in that."

And so Havixbeck was also to become Katharina's new home. A thought with which the 28-year-old quickly warmed up. "Of course I miss my parents here. But almost all my friends have moved away from my old home," says Katharina. "And Havixbeck is only a relatively small place, but you still have everything here: supermarkets, doctors, proximity to the big city of Münster. And we both like the countryside." They had already said "I do" at the Kolvenburg in Billerbeck. But before the move, another hurdle awaited the couple: finding a job.

Service helps with arrival

Clemens was sitting in a conversation at Ernsting's family when he first heard about the new Onboarding@Münsterland service of Münsterland e.V.. A service made precisely for people like Clemens or Katharina: it supports newcomers as well as returnees in arriving in Münsterland, answers questions about living and working, and connects like-minded people. "We want to give the professionals a first feeling of Münsterland. They should feel at home here," says Monika Leiking, head of the Onboarding@Münsterland service at Münsterland e.V. There is information about the region and interesting employers, welcome events, and "very important: personal advice," explains Leiking.

While Clemens had received an acceptance letter from Ernsting's family in the meantime, Katharina contacted the onboarding service without further ado. With success. The media scientist not only learned more about the region, but also about possible employers. And finally landed herself a job at Münsterland e.V. as a project employee in the start-up department.

The Münsterlander: down-to-earth, honest and cordial

"I also think the welcome events are a really good thing," she says. "There I can meet people who are in the same situation as me." In any case, Katharina has a lot to like about the people here. "The people of Münsterland are down-to-earth, honest and warm. Here the glass is often half full rather than half empty," she thinks. Clemens nods. "Once the Münsterlanders have taken you to their hearts, they are uncomplicated and fun-loving." That's exactly what makes home for him. And now also for his wife Katharina.

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