Paper plays a very special role in Germany. Just about everything that happens here is written down, a full letterbox every day is common. I had to get used to this when I came to Germany, because what is the natural order here is completely unknown in other countries.

I like being in Germany. The country is very well organized. If a product in Syria is labeled “Made in Germany”, it gets bought, because we know: Germany stands for high quality. I want to be a part of this society, but it is hard for me to find my way around here. Shortly after my arrival, a whole drawer was filled with papers, and I was afraid that soon I would have to set up an extra room only for the letters from the offices. It is very difficult for me to understand the content of these papers, and when I asked Germans to explain the content to me, I was often surprised because they do not understand the content either.

What I did understand was that all this paperwork is a cornerstone of the organization in Germany, and used so that things can take their regular course. Therefore, you should not try to escape the bureaucracy or to fight against it, but see this as an incentive to adapt to the German society.

Bürokratie und Sprache
Now I would like to find work here. But I cannot go to a company and ask if they have work for me, which I’m used to doing in my home country and in the countries on my way to Germany. Now, I have to write an application with a cover letter, curriculum vitae and certificates, all well arranged in a nice folder, and send it in by mail to the company and wait for a response.
I successfully passed the B1 exam. However, my German is not perfect and therefore my application is not perfect. I have gained some experience and qualifications, but my lack of language skills bothers me, because usually a flawless application is expected.
Of course, the employers want to hire someone who can understand and implement the work orders. However, for many refugees work is the only way to intensively interact with other Germans and thus are able to better learn the German language. If you are a refugee – even with good qualifications and work experience – you are in a vicious cycle: No German= no job, no job= no better German.

Therefore, we can’t expect too much from our refugee counterparts. Learning German takes time, and for as long as we do not find work, there are other ways to practice speaking. You will find some offers below.


Café Paletti

Das Sozialraumprojekt Kiel-Mitte, angegliedert an das Café Paletti, hat verschiedene Angebote für Menschen mit und ohne Migrationshintergrund im Angebot. In gemütlicher Atmosphäre und unter freundlicher Anleitung gibt es Deutschunterricht und Möglichkeiten, Kontakte zu knüpfen.

Café Paletti
Muhliusstr. 38
24103 Kiel
Tel.: 0431/97994499

Café Paletti


Kulturgrenzenlos e.V.

Ein Tandemprojekt zwischen Geflüchteten und Kieler_innen. Mit einem/einer festen Tandempartner_in sind hier gemeinsame Freizeitgestaltung und Kulturaustausch möglich.

Anmeldung und weitere Informationen unter



Auch im Internet gibt es Angebote, in welchem kostenloser Deutschunterricht möglich ist. So gibt es bei Youtube verschiedene Kanäle wie

mit praktischen Lektionen zu täglichen Situationen und umfassenden Informationen über das Leben in Deutschland.

Text und Fotos:  Mohamed Alabboud, Max Ihle