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Successful Integration - New Horizons for Migrants in Berlin, Germany

Berlin - center of different cultures.

The EVS project is something I did not regret for a minute. It is the 3rd month of my stay in Berlin.

The first thing that draw my attention was bicycles. They are everywhere! I knew bikes were popular here, but I did not expect that to be almost the same as in Amsterdam. Expensive public transport is one of the reasons for such popularity as even with a student card, public transport is still expensive. Bikes are also very convenient and every time when I travel to countries with developed cycling infrastructure I dream that one day Kiev will also become bicycle-friendly.



If I had to describe Berlin in one word, I’d choose ‘multiculturalism’. This definition accurately describes Berlin and its specific atmosphere. Here are people from everywhere. At the street, in the subway, in the coffeeshop, within ten square meters you can meet representatives of different countries and cultures. And it is worth mentioning that all foreigners (both tourists and migrants) coexist quite well, with such an interaction of different cultures being a great example of a multicultural society.

My project is about integration of migrants in Berlin and the topic is very close and interesting to me. Every day I have an opportunity to communicate with migrants, hearing the stories about their integration into a new society directly and not from the Internet or television. It is very valuable for me to get the information from the initial source instead of the processed one. My knowledge of Arabic is very helpful in the process of communication, since not all migrants speak English or German.



I am lucky to work with my colleagues who helped me to settle in the new place from the very first day of my arrival. They are also very experienced in the area of education, the education of migrants in particular, so I am studying enthusiastically every new bits and pieces as well as sharing my experience.



And how can one do without trips! Having a free weekend and staying at home is very difficult. I started exploring Germany from the nearby cities - Potsdam and Dresden. Potsdam impressed me with its magnificent architecture and a huge park. Dresden is nice, but, unfortunately, it was badly destroyed during the war and today's look is the result of a careful reconstruction. Also, I managed to plan in advance a trip to the north of Poland, which was even better than I expected it to be: kayaking in Gdansk, swimming in the Baltic Sea in the city of Hel, cycling along the peninsula and an exciting trip to the sand dunes in Leba.

Railway is very expensive, thus buses are the most suitable mean of travel.

Last week I returned from EVS on-arrival training in Munich. In total, we had 19 participants from 12 different countries, including exotic Greenland. It was a great opportunity to communicate with those who are taking part in other projects united by common EVS goals and ideas. The training program was intense and interesting, and for leisure time there was a wide range of sports activities (football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, swimming pool, etc.).



Although we had some time for sightseeing, I decided to stay over the week-end to explore the city in detail, to have a long walk enjoying the views and the atmosphere. One of my dreams came true –I visited Neuschwansteinne castle, which is as fabulous as the pictures.


Another 10 months are ahead and I hope they will be great in all respects.

Maiia Govorukha, 29 years old, Kyiv