Soccer brings people together

Mohammed B. from Morocco started a training as a warehouse logistics specialist and loves the SC Paderborn

Mohammed B. from Morocco has started his apprenticeship as a warehouse logistics specialist last summer (2023). Despite all the difficulties, he is happy with his decision and has had many positive experiences here so far. Last but not least, his love of football has helped him to feel at home in Germany.


Team: What was your motivation to come to Germany in particular?

Mohammed: There are various reasons why I decided to come to Germany: Firstly, the strong economy, competent professionals, the work mentality and the many opportunities for further training. I also have friends here in Germany who are always very positive about life in Germany when they come to Morocco on holiday. Studying, working, living in Germany - they only say good things. That motivated me to start learning German.

Another reason for me was the proximity to home. There are many affordable ways to travel to and from Morocco and it's only a three-hour flight. That means I can visit my family there regularly.

Team: You have started an apprenticeship as a warehouse logistics specialist, how do you like the training?

Mohammed: I am very happy with my training so far. From the very beginning, I have felt the support, attention and good treatment of my superiors, colleagues, teachers and fellow students. Whenever I ask questions, I always get a good answer. I am also constantly learning new things from professionals, which helps me to improve my skills and develop my personality. I have had very good experiences so far. 

The training in Morocco was very different, in Germany it is much more structured. I can apply what I learn at school directly to my day to day work in the company. I find that very important.

Team: You said you receive a lot of support from your employer. How do you like working there so far?

Mohammed: Exactly, I've had a lot of support since day one. That was important for me. My employer even organized a flat for me.

There has also been a soccer tournament organized by the company and we have played soccer together, I really feel the support everywhere: at school, at work, even when we play football together, really everywhere.

Team: What is your favorite thing about Germany so far? You've been here for six months now, have you settled in well?

Mohammed: I don't feel alienated, the people are really very nice, helpful and educated. Public transport is almost always on time and I find the weather pleasant and healthy. I've already made new friends at school and at work. I get on very well with the Germans.

So yes, overall, I am very happy in Germany.

Team: Do you already have a favorite German soccer team?

Mohammed: I watch the games of SC Paderborn, which is in the second Bundesliga. But also, FC Bayern and the Bundesliga in general. I actually watch soccer everywhere in the world, in Germany, in Morocco. It's my favorite sport. It's great that the Germans also like soccer so much.

Team: Your German language skills are already very good, how long before coming here did you start learning German and preparing yourself?

Mohammed: I started learning German at the end of 2018. I've been studying regularly since then. I took the B1 and B2 exams at the Goethe Institute in Morocco before I came to Germany.

Team: Was that also one of the biggest challenges for you or what would you say was particularly difficult on your way to Germany?

Mohammed: As you know, it takes time to learn the language well. Therefore, you definitely need perseverance.

However, the biggest challenge was just before I came here. I had to do a lot of things at the same time. I was working full-time in Morocco, studying for the B2 exam, preparing the documents for my visa application and communicating with my future employer. A lot of things came together, but I was able to overcome these challenges. I tried to remain steadfast through perseverance, faith and concentration.

I also sent out a lot of applications, which was a bit difficult from Morocco. It just takes a bit of time. I tried to keep improving and developing my application documents. Apart from language skills, I would say that one of the most important things is to have a good application.

Team: How has the ZAV been able to support you on your journey? How did you get in touch with ZAV?

Mohammed: The ZAV supported me along the way with accurate first-hand information and a detailed understanding of my qualifications and experiences. The support was prompt and precise. I was able to receive new job offers from my counsellor at any time. We also spoke several times online to improve and correct my application.

For me, accurate first-hand information, personal counselling and the connection to the employer are important. The counselling was good from start to finish and I always felt that I was in capable hands.

I found the ZAV through a Facebook group. I then looked up their website and sent in my CV. After a while, my counsellor contacted me and offered to help.

Team: Do you have any tips for others who are interested in coming to Germany?

Mohammed: Well, my tip for others would be to learn the German language well and to choose a favorite subject in which they can develop best. I think to find a profession in which you can be productive plays a big role.

Honesty, seriousness, perseverance and faith should also be in the mix. That is very important.

Team: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today. We wish you all the best for your future in Germany.

We used the expression “apprenticeship” here to talk about an “Ausbildung” in Germany, in many resources you will also find “vocational training” is being used instead. Both are used to describe the same thing.

In Germany a vocational training or apprenticeship is usually a dual system, where you go to a special school to gain theoretical knowledge and also work in a company to gain practical knowledge and experience. However, there are also some trainings which are only done at a school. More information about the differences can be found here.