Goethe-Institut prepares young Vietnamese for working in Germany
Michael Flucht (2nd from left), Deputy Director of the Goethe-Institut Hanoi, with heads of partner schools at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) in Berlin.
Tuấn, Nam Anh and Tình.
Graduates of nurse training at the closing ceremony in Braunschweig.
Show of the Vietnamese graduates at the ceremony.
Many young Vietnamese dream of living and working in Germany. Two of those who made it are Tuấn and Tình (both 25 years old). In 2013, after Germany and Vietnam agreed on a common framework to train young Vietnamese as nurses in geriatric care in Germany, these two were among the first to sign up for the pilot project. The background: Because of its increasingly aging population, Germany has a large demand for labour force in geriatric nursing, which the national job market cannot meet. As a result, qualified staff from abroad is in great demand.
Tuấn had already worked in nursing, but in order to work in Germany, he first had to learn the language. As official cooperation partner, the Goethe-Institut’s responsibility is preparing the future trainees for their life in Germany. For this purpose, the Institut developed a special course, combining both intensive language classes and intercultural training. “We aim to communicate a comprehensive image of Germany, so that participants can start their training with realistic expectations and have a good start in their new country”, says Nguyen Nam Anh, who works in the field of pre-integration at the Goethe-Institut Hanoi. His commitment to the course participants goes well beyond the standard guidance: He created a Facebook group for the future nurses, so they can connect with each other and exchange their experiences. This way, he is kept up-to-date by the participants – and can intervene, should they receive a dubious job offer in Germany in exchange for a fee.
Tips for learning German
Tuấn, Nam Anh and Tình at the graduation ceremony in Braunschweig | © Goethe-Institut/Nguyen Nam Anh The participants of the first pilot project were led to the A2 language exam within six months. A challenging time, Tình tells us: „I made a point of learning five to ten German words every day, and also read a couple of short newspaper articles.” She also has some advice for her successors: “Audio books and online radio are great ways to practice, too”.
When Tuấn and Tình arrived in Braunschweig in early September of 2013, there were still plenty of new things for them to discover. The first two weeks, they got to know their new home, then the official training started. Next to studying in a nursing school, they also worked in nursing homes, and stationary and ambulatory care facilities. Once a week, the Vietnamese trainees continued to receive language classes in German.
Quite some work, but Tuấn draws a positive conclusion: “Both at school and at work we discovered that Germans are not only punctual, but also very kind. Whenever we have a problem, they are always helpful”. The biggest challenge for Tuấn was the language, but with a little help from his colleagues and teachers, his friends and a Vietnamese association in Braunschweig, he quickly progressed.
Conclusions from the pilot project: Goethe-Institut offers even more intensive German courses
Michael Flucht with Can Thi Dung, who has recently completed her training as a nurse in pediatric care, and representatives of partner schools in a nursing home in Germany. | © Goethe-Institut/Nguyen Nam Anh By now, in October 2015, already the second group of young Vietnamese has left for Germany. After the pilot project, it was decided to prolong the language courses in Vietnam to a whole year, so that participants can complete the B2 level and start their training in Germany with much better preparation. They are employed under the same conditions like their German colleagues and can freely decide for how long they wish to stay in Germany. What about Tuấn and Tính? They recently graduated with top marks. Their jobs in Germany are a done deal.
The pilot project „Training nurses from Vietnam to become geriatric nurses in Germany” is realised on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), and in cooperation with the Central Foreign and Specialist Placement Agency (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). Responsible for the selection of participants from Vietnam is Berlin-based Vivantes, the biggest municipal hospital group in Germany, and the Center for Overseas Labour (COLAB). In preparation for the training in Germany, participants provide a language certificate on B2 level accredited by the Goethe-Institut, then start a professional training in Germany for 2-3 years. The Goethe-Institut is an experienced and reliable provider of professional language courses.
Shared commitment for a fair acquisition of Vietnamese professionals for training in elderly care in Germany (PDF; 63 KB)