Rostand N. took a detour on his way to Germany and studied automotive engineering in Italy before his love for cars finally brought him to Germany. He never gave up on his dream and worked hard to achieve his goal. Now he is a successful engineer giving his career a new push in a new country. One thing Rostand wants to share with anyone interested in coming to Germany: Be patient and never give up!
Team: Why did you want to come to Germany especially? What was your motivation?
Rostand N.: I always wanted to study automotive engineering, since I was a kid. As you cannot really do that in Cameroon – my home country - my father suggested I should try to study in Germany. At that time however, it was too expensive for me to study in Germany so I decided to study in Italy. For cars all the big manufacturers are either in Germany, in France or in Italy. So, I started in Italy and also got my first job there. However, I always wanted to work in Germany. Especially after I did my Erasmus in Regensburg, I remembered how much I wanted to come here.
Team: How did you find information on living and working or even studying in Germany?
Rostand N.: I have many friends who studied in Germany in the end and they were a great help and told me a lot about living in Germany. I also used LinkedIn a lot, Xing and other social media. There are so many sources of information on the internet.
Team: How did you end up finding the ZAV and seeking their advice?
Rostand N.: I think I found them on LinkedIn, there was an ad for an event regarding working in Germany. During the event they asked us to send the CV, which I did and then they contacted me. It was a great help for me. My friends gave me practical information but their situation was different, they studied in Germany. For me, there were many individual factors with which they could not help me. With ZAV it was different, it was easy to find the right information. Especially with the visa process. My advisor always knew what to do and where to go to.
Team: Did you feel welcomed in Germany, or do you have any regrets?
Rostand N.: I arrived at the beginning of March, which in Italy feels like summer but here it was so much colder, that was quite a surprise. At the new company everybody is really nice and my colleagues and the HR people are really helpful. There are so many documents like health insurance, looking for a flat for example, but they helped me with all that.
Germans are very efficient, they try to avoid wasting time. You say what you want and they are very practical about getting it. I like that very much.
Sometimes, I miss my old colleagues from Italy, as I still have to make friends in Germany. I haven’t had time to make any but we go out with the colleagues and I can try new beers and get to see the town a little bit. That is very nice. And I have a very nice flat, I live in a green area with parcs. Personally, I am very happy here.
Team: What would you say is the biggest challenge?
Rostand N.: The hardest part for me was to get a visa I have to admit. They asked for so many documents, some of them are not listed on the website of the embassy and I don’t know why they asked for it. It was a very long process, I needed a lot of patience.
But it was easy when I arrived here. Everything is very straightforward in Germany. You make an appointment, you hand in your documents, sign maybe and then a few weeks later you get what you applied for.
Team: So what would you tell others who want to come to Germany? Do you have any piece of advice?
Rostand N.: The visa process can be very tough, you have to have patience with that. Sometimes they asked for a lot of documents, some not even on the list but when you give all the documents and have patience, it will work.
And don’t worry – the ZAV will provide you with the best support!
Thank you very much, Mr. N. for spending time with us today, telling us about your story. We wish you all the best for your future in Germany.