Personal Stories

Some people from other countries already found a second home in Baden-Württemberg. Read their stories and find out, how they settled here step by step.

  • Jesus B.
    "I've always wanted to come back to Germany!"
    Jesus B. Spain, employee
    Read Jesus's story

    I was doing ERASMUS in east Germany, Dresden, and afterwards I had to choose between going back to Spain or staying in Germany. I felt certain I wanted to stay and do some work experience. I had talked to some professors at uni in Dresden and they advised me to go to Baden-Württemberg as there is work there and it would be easiest for me to apply for a job there. On the internet I found a list with the names of companies in Baden-Württemberg and I applied. At first it didn't work. I had to keep looking but in the end I found a work placement in Baden-Württemberg. 

    After 6 months of work experience in Stuttgart I still wasn't tired of it. I wanted to stay and so I talked to my boss and he said I could stay for another 6 months and work on my diploma. And of course I was happy. 

    When arriving in Baden-Württemberg in the first place I had some troubles with the language as the dialect differed from the accent in Dresden. However, after a few weeks it was done and I didn't have any troubles any more. I've learned German a little at school in Spain. My parents had sent me to Germany for 3 months when I was a child. I liked that. Once again, they sent me here for another 3 months. I've always wanted to come back. Dresden was the place where I learnt to speak German properly for the first time. Looking back I'd learn more German before moving here. You think that English is enough. This is not the case. Almost everybody speaks English but if you want to work here, you've got to speak German. 

    In the beginning I didn't have any expectations on Baden-Württemberg. The situation in Spain is that bad right now that I simply wanted to have a good position. Obviously, same as everybody else, I wanted a good life, friends and fun. I am very happy here and I want to stay. 

    What was difficult for me was life in winter time. Compared to Spain you hardly ever see the sun. By now I've got used to it. Whenever I've got some free time I go skiing. Finding a flat was difficult as well. I had to look for 3 months and couldn't find anything. My friends in Stuttgart had equal problems. 

    All in all, you've got to be brave and patient. We always imagine that when we go somewhere we just come quickly to everything we want. That is not the case. You have to work for the matter. You can't just sit and send in applications: You've got to learn German, you've got to prepare a good CV, you've got to prepare job interviews. Jobs don't just fall into your lap. 

  • Ahmad K.
    "I've come to Baden-Württemberg, as it gave me a prospect."
    Ahmad K. Syria, apprentice
    Read Ahmad's story

    Well, I'm from Aleppo in Syria and I came to Germany to have a prospect, because at home there is war. I first came to Turkey and worked there. But Turkey didn't give me a prospect, I remain a simple worker, I remain at the same place, at the same work place. And I couldn't do anything about it, as I found the language difficult - I learned it at work. 

    Then an opportunity arouse for me to travel to Germany and that's what I did. I can learn the language here, I have a prospect of ascending in my job and I can do what I like. However, this takes strength and time. You have to want to do it. Motivation is the key. 

    The language was difficult for me at first. Initially I thought: "I can't make it." But my teacher supported us brilliantly. At church I was able to meet Germans. Whenever I couldn't answer a question, I've learned the missing words at home. If someone asked me the same question again one week after, I was able to answer it. 

    Ultimately, I've come to Baden-Württemberg, as it gave me a better prospect and as I wanted to live in a peaceful place. 

    In September I will start vocational training to become an industrial mechanic. I've worked for 2.5 years in the company of my brother-in-law and I could gather many experiences there. It helped me get the apprenticeship placement. I'm really looking forward to start it. 

    What surprised me about Germany was the multicultural society. I didn't only meet Germans, but Frenchmen, Russians, Poles, people from Costa Rica and Italy. In that way you get to know many more cultures. It helps to feel at home. I might be a foreigner but time makes you live here like a German. You have to want to do it though. If you want it, it will work. 

    The German culture was a hurdle for me in the beginning. In Syria, our culture is quite different. You may be able to forget a part of your culture and adopt yourself but you will never to do it wholly. Looking back I'd say I'd want to know the language and culture better in advance. Altogether I'd say that language is the key. Principally, German is same as Arabic: not that difficult to speak but with a difficult grammar.