Said E. is a trained mechatronic technician from Morocco. After starting to learn German in 2019 and being slowed down by the Corona pandemic, he has arrived in Germany this summer (in 2023) and has achieved his big goal. During the pandemic, all language schools were closed and he didn't know what to do next. However, together with a friend, he decided to continue to pursue his goal. After a few rejections from employers, he found his way to the ZAV and got the support he had been missing. He was advised to apply for professional recognition first and to continue learning German. With the partial recognition, a language certificate and a work contract in his luggage, he now travelled to Germany.
Team: What was your motivation to work in Germany? Have you already been to Germany before?
Said E: No, this is my first time in Germany. I knew I wanted to leave my home country and work somewhere else. When I was researching my career opportunities, there weren't many alternatives for me. There was Canada and then Germany, which was a new opportunity for me. I watched a lot of YouTube videos, searched Facebook groups, googled and got information through the language school. I also got to know ZAV and contacted them through Google and Facebook. After a lot of research, I decided to go to Germany.
Team: You've only been here for a month now, how do you like it so far?
Said E: It varies a bit to be honest. I miss my friends and family of course, but I try to move on here and build a life in Germany. I am so proud that I have achieved my goal and am here now. That motivates me. I'm still missing the social aspect, but I'm sure that will come with time.
Also, I like the nature here very much and the people from work are also very nice. At my company, there are other employees from different countries as well. We all face the same challenges.
Team: What were the biggest challenges on your way to Germany?
Said E: It is especially difficult to find the right information and also the waiting. In Morocco it is not easy to find information about Germany and there are people who spread wrong information or make impossible promises. It is sometimes difficult to know what is correct and whether you have a chance at all. Also, with the language, many people doubt whether they should learn the language because they don't know if they can find a job later. Then there are the high costs and the long duration of the recognition process - again accompanied by doubts. On top of it, the recognition is very expensive, especially by Moroccan standards.
I mean, I am 33 years old and of course there were doubts. You ask yourself, how long should you wait? Do you even have a chance? Is it a waste of time and effort? At the end of the day the most important thing is to have your goal in mind and I was very motivated to reach that goal. In the end it worked out and is something very positive in my life.
Team: How did ZAV help you with these difficulties? From your point of view, what was the biggest support from your advisor?
Said E: It was easy to communicate with him. I was learning German at the time and my English was not good enough. He spoke to me in simple words so I could understand him very well. He had painted me a positive picture of my chances, he said "you can do it". We worked together on my CV and improved my motivation letter. As I mentioned, I was full of doubts at the time - he helped me to overcome them. In the end he was right and it worked. He showed me my options and sent me job offers - one of them worked out and I got a work contract. The employer applied for a pre-approval from the Federal Employment Agency and then everything fell into place. I am really happy to work in my field and with my employer. A mechatronic technician in a mechanical engineering company - that's like paradise.
Team: Based on your own experiences, what would be your personal advice to other interested professionals?
Said E: My advice would be to be patient and fight against your own doubts. You have to be willing to learn the language and you should not lose sight of your goal. Going to Germany is a goal and if you work well and plan well, you can reach it. Also, you should contact the right people and trust the official authorities. There you can find the correct information. Because, unfortunately, there is also a lot of false information and dubious offers. I have met many people from abroad here, those who have continued and believed in their goal are in Germany now and many who still have doubts about whether this is the right path are still in Morocco.
Team: Thank you very much for sharing your story with us, Said. All the best to you.