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Expat in Germany: Immigrants to Germany

Friday, September 17, 2010

Immigrants to Germany

Immigrants to Germany are a diverse bunch as I'm finding out from my Intensive German Language Course.  Many of the immigrants to Germany in my course had sky rocketing careers in their home country.  We have a doctor from Guatemala who moved to Germany to be with her German husband.  She would need to do two additional years of schooling in Germany to practice medicine here so is exploring other career options.
 We also have an engineer from Russia, who told me that he is famous in Russia, but wouldn't tell me what he was famous for when I asked.   He wrote down his name and told me to Google it.  The anticipation was killing me as I rushed home to do so - only to find out that there were several people with his name and no photos.  I narrowed it down to:  a figure skating choreographer, a professional football player or an I.T. guy   (most likely given that he was an engineer).  I reported this to him the next day.  The next day he did not seem amused when I asked him if he was a figure skating choreographer, but still gave in and said that he was THE top technical trainer in Russia for a well known computer software company.  Admirable yes, but I was secretly hoping he was the figure skating choreographer, who really was "famous". 

There is also a Brazilian immigrant to Germany who moved her with her German husband but despite her good career in Brazil says that in Germany "she is just a haus frau" (house wife).  While many immigrants to Germany have moved here because of a German spouse, and now find themselves creating a new identity for themselves, myself included, the immigrant to Germany story I find the most endearing is that of a 57 year old Ukrainian man.  He moved his entire family to Germany, because his youngest son suffers from a serious illness and Germany has the best doctors in the world to treat this particular illness.  When I asked him how long he and his family will be here, his shoulders slumped and he said it depends on his son....he left the sentence unfinished but the meaning couldn't have been clearer.  Despite his worries, he always has a smile on his face and a joke ready at hand.  Of all the immigrants to Germany in my class, I admire him the most. 

Being an immigrant to Germany, or to anywhere else for that matter means that everything you were in your home country becomes forgotten as you struggle to order a meal in a restaurant or read the sign saying the washroom is closed.  With a university graduate education, I would never have thought as myself as illiterate, but in Germany I am gulp...illiterate.   Being an immigrant to Germany is the most humbling experience I have ever had (including being an immigrant in S.Korea and Thailand as well), but also the most character building.  I'm finding that the lives of immigrants to Germany are beyond fascinating as are the reasons people immigrate to Germany.   Feel free to share your immigrant experience in the comments below



At September 17, 2010 at 9:57 AM , Blogger MissEmy said...

I once met a "rockstar" from Australia. :P He wasn't anyone super famous, but he had played with a few bands I really like, hehe. It's fun to meet people from all walks of life.

Enjoying your posts, Stuttgartgirl! :D You're an excellent writer.

At September 17, 2010 at 10:21 AM , Blogger Redruby said...

this is a wonderful also remind me being an expat in Germany...sad to say like the Brazilian Frau, my bachelor's degree and work experience as a banker in my home country is also not recognized in Germany.....thanks to blogging that I never find a dull moment in Deutschland...

Ich liebe Deutschland though!keep posting and thanks for the comment in one of my blogs....

would love to meet you one!
how I wish I can write more about Germany but having too much sites just keep me busy...take care..

At September 17, 2010 at 10:25 AM , Blogger Redruby said...

me and my blogs are following you now...


At September 20, 2010 at 11:24 AM , Anonymous K1 Visa said...

wow....! Its a very nice post. Thanks for sharing it.

At November 29, 2010 at 8:08 AM , Blogger Morgenmuffel said...

Hi StuttgartGirl. I will be an immigrant to Esslingen - not too far from you - from England next July, because I too fell in love with a great German guy. By that time we will have been together but apart for about 3 years, luckily I at least live within a 2 hour flight so we see each other quite regularly, about every 6 weeks. I shall be coming over for a month at Christmas and can't wait.

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, it is really making me feel more confident that I am making the correct decision!

At November 29, 2010 at 10:51 AM , Blogger Expat in Germany said...

Hi Morgenmuffel, I haven't been to Esslingen, but have heard it's nice and I've heard the Christmas market there is beautiful! I hope your move goes really well for you. I love seeing J.P. everyday (for us we saw each other every 2-4 months) and our transition has been relatively smooth. I look forward to hearing about your adventures!


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