Four participants from Ireland, Croatia and Switzerland, with their trainers Valya and Thorsten, shared 20 hours of information, discussion and fun.  
It was last autumn in the Nature Park „Biosfera Val Müstair’, when I took the first CIG course, led by Thorsten Ludwig. That course was intense. Not like other courses where you sit and listen and drift away with your thoughts after a certain number of slides. It was a course made of exercises, discussions, reflections and evaluation, with Thorsten weaving in bits and pieces of his own experiences, tailored to the participants questions and needs. 
How to become a trainer?
When I had the opportunity during Spring to join the upgrade course to become a guide trainer, I had some question marks in my mind: How would this work? How can a 20-hour upgrade course provide the knowledge and wealth of experience I originally observed when taking the first CIG course? 
I was curious to find out and signed up for the course (not least because it was conveniently timed just before Interpret Europe’s Spring event 2017 in Prague).
To tell you the truth; the course cannot provide you with all the knowledge and experience of decades of giving training. However, the course can help you reflect on the qualities of the good training that you have experienced during your life and can give you a deeper understanding on how the different parts of an interpretive talk fit together. It can also help trigger discussion on what values you want to promote and can give you advice on how to deal with challenging situations. The course analyses the tools that are used and whether it is justified to use (or abuse?) emotions to convey a message. It makes you think about how we learn and whether our education system is adapted to facilitate that.  
Following various lines of thought, discussions, sharing experiences and impressions, the course makes you do some very practical homework – where you set up your own course and exercise. With these tools, it is now my turn to start collecting decades of experience and I’m sure that the thoughts and discussions we had will come in handy when doing so.
However, before this, I will be able to attend another CIG course led by Thorsten Ludwig. This time from a different point of view – a trainer’s not a trainee’s. The course will take place in Val Müstair, Switzerland from 16th-18th September 2017 (first part) and 28th/29th October 2017 (second part). The course language is German and there are still a few free spaces left. If you are interested in joining, please get in contact with me.
Franziska Peter is an environmental scientist and working in education for the regional nature park „Biosfera Val Müstair’ in Switzerland ( You can get in touch with her at:
To cite this article: 
Peter, Fransiska (2017) ‘Insights from the upgrade course to become a CIG Trainer’. In Interpret Eu-rope Newsletter 2-2017, 13-14.
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