Skilled professionals from abroad report on their start in the TRK. You are planning to move to the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion for a new professional start? On this page you will find five individual testimonials of skilled professionals from India, Serbia, Pakistan, Spain, Columbia and Cameroon.
- Shital Khaladkar
- Vesna Prelevic
- Dr. Saquib Sarfraz
- Iñigo Sesar
- Elsa Patricia Martínez Uribe
- Sylvain Djikam Tchale
Software Developer from India
For us, having our children grow up speaking three languages – German, English, and our native language, Marathi – was never even a question. This is possible thanks to the European School Karlsruhe, which is the reason why we moved to the city before our son's first day of school. It was very important to my husband and me because we don't know where his job will take us in the future. That's why I'm happy that our son can go to school here.
Now that his little sister is going to kindergarten at the ESK, I've found part-time employment again as a working mom in the IT industry. I've also entered a master's program that allows me to work parallel to my studies. Without reliable all-day childcare, none of this would even be conceivable. For that reason alone, I'd choose Karlsruhe again any day.
Its forest and castle gardens are two things I really love about the city. As a software developer, I also like its technological flair, of course – KIT, the ZKM, and the list goes on. We've also found the community really welcoming. One of my husband's colleagues helped us find our apartment in Waldstadt, for example; we couldn't have found a better place to live! At the same time, I have to say that we've also had less pleasant experiences in Germany. With landlords, for instance – in one of our apartments, we initially paid too much rent. Now we're members of a tenant association, which provides very helpful advice when you don't know much about the subject. I'd recommend taking advantage of such services to anyone who has just arrived in the country. It just makes daily life easier!
Internist from Serbia
During my medical studies in Serbia, I'd already heard that there was a shortage of doctors in Germany. I found the idea of working there really interesting, so I started learning German at the Goethe-Institut in Novi Sad.
After passing my exams, my heart was set on working in Germany and I started applying to specific clinics. To keep improving my German – when you work with patients, you just have to know the language – I used some vacation time to attend an intensive course at the Volkshochschule in Karlsruhe. That was when Klinikum Karlsbad Langensteinbach (which was practically just around the corner) responded to my application. What can I tell you – the rest is history! Having spent two years in Karlsbad now, I can say that it was a happy coincidence.
Since the equivalence of my degree still had to be verified, I initially worked as a trainee and studied for the required examination. It was a lot of work, but it paid off: After I passed, I received my official German medical license. Now I can work just like any other doctor here.
I was fortunate enough to have the clinic’s active support in getting credit for my previous studies. And that's just one example – everyone here has been so welcoming! There are also German courses for doctors at the clinic, for instance; many of my colleagues are from international backgrounds, as well. Things like that make it a lot easier to get settled in, if you ask me. I actually never had to experience anything like culture shock; I find I can get by step by step. My next project now is my driver's license – I still need to get that converted for Germany, too!
Scientist from Pakistan
The Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion is my gateway to the rest of Europe. It only takes an hour to reach all kinds of places: France (including beautiful Alsace), Switzerland, and of course, the Black Forest and the Palatinate. It’s wonderful! And let’s not forget the outstanding quality of life right here in the region. “High tech meets the good life” – I couldn’t have said it better myself!
My scientific career has taken me all around the world, so I also have plenty to compare to. Besides Pakistan, my family and I lived in Great Britain for a time, and I completed my doctorate in Berlin. Only Karlsruhe has become our second home, though.
What actually brought me to the city was a job at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). I already held an excellent position at my university in Pakistan, but when I read that posting, I knew right away that I had to apply. My research is centered on human-computer interaction, and the working conditions the region offers in this field are ideal. The support structures in place in Germany really are unique; as a scientist, I just have more opportunities here. Since I lecture and supervise dissertations in addition to my research, my work at KIT is also very diverse, which I very much enjoy.
I’ve been here for more than two years now, and I can’t believe how time as flown by. At first, the fact that my wife and our three children couldn’t directly come with me to Germany was somewhat inconvenient; and the process of getting them residence permits was fairly complex, too. As soon as everything was done, however, we soon realized that we wanted to stay!
Student of Electrical Engineering from Spain
Buying a bike was pretty much the first thing I did after arriving in Karlsruhe. For an enthusiast like me, the area and all of the paths it offers are ideal – Bilbao can't even compare. I then started using the bike to explore my new surroundings. The city's fan-like layout is really fascinating! But you'd expect an engineer to say something like that, wouldn't you?
I'm actually an exchange student at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) right now, pursuing a master's in electrical engineering. I came here because the university has a great reputation. Back home at the University of the Basque Country, some of my fellow students who had already done an Erasmus semester here told me that I definitely had to see it for myself.
Finding an apartment in Karlsruhe was anything but easy, though. I almost lost hope at one point and thought I'd have to live in a hostel for the whole semester. With a little luck, however, everything worked out in the end – I found a shared apartment in Karlsruhe Südstadt.
As far as the rest goes, I received a very warm welcome: KIT made sure to take care of everything for the other exchange students and me. That was really helpful, especially in the first couple of weeks. The Erasmus work group and the people from the International Students Office did an outstanding job. With all the events, parties, and excursions, how could you get homesick?
As soon as my master's is in the bag, I can definitely see myself moving here for a job in the future. I want to give the idea a try by getting an internship somewhere in the region. For an engineer, there are just so many exciting companies in the Karlsruhe TechnologyRegion. When you look at it that way, the German weather doesn't seem so bad!
Graduate from Columbia
When I first arrived in the region, it was like – how do you say it here? – like “jumping into cold water”. In my home country of Colombia, many things are much different, of course. I’d never lived in Germany before; my husband is German, and I joined him here after we got married. Through him, I’ve already learned a bit about German culture, but living here is something else entirely.
For me, the city of Baden-Baden represents a new beginning – especially in terms of working. That’s why I’ve been doing a language course in occupational German for the past several months. Along with the language itself, I’ve learned plenty about professional life in Germany – about contracts, taxes, and all the other things you need to know. It’s been a big help!
Part of the course also involved a four-week internship that we had to arrange ourselves, which was a great exercise. The course is almost over, but now I know that I can make it. I feel like I’m ready to look for a job here.
We really want to stay in the region; we’ve settled down in Baden-Baden and like living here. The city has a very special atmosphere, and everything is so refined – even on the bus, I meet ladies who look like the Queen of England!
Mechanical engineer from Cameroon
As a passionate mechanical engineer, I knew I wanted to go and live in Germany one day even back in my grammar school days in Cameroon. For us Cameroonians, Germany is the world champion when it comes to mechanical engineering. So I chose January of all months to move from sunny Africa to icy Germany to take a language course first. That was an important step for my future career. After six months I started a pre-study internship.
In the meantime I had received offers of places at several universities. Accommodation was easy to find in Karlsruhe, so I decided to come here - and it was definitely the right decision. The help I received from my many new friends and their families was soon to be surpassed, both inside and outside the lecture theatres of the University of Karlsruhe (today: KIT).
I also met my wife at university. After I graduated we decided to stay in Karlsruhe. The career opportunities, the diversity of the population, the wonderful geographic location with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures and its proximity to France were irresistible for us. Our daughter also seems to be very happy with our choice!
I work as a mechanical engineer in the engineering department at Mann + Hummel GmbH and have been living in the region for more than 20 years. I very much appreciate how welcoming the people here are. Of course, I haven't only had positive experiences and encounters. It would be unfair towards my many German and foreign friends to only concentrate on that. But when I look back on everything I have experienced and achieved, for the most part it has all been extremely positive.