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How to integrate successfully in Germany

You are thinking about moving to Germany and want to give yourself every opportunity to fit in rapidly and successfully? Here are a few tips for you.

How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: Markus Ram

It is no big secret: if you want to fit in, you need to master the local language. If your German language skills are lacking, it is necessary to devote time to learning the language.

Accept the idea that you are a foreigner in the country and that you will have a lot to take in, once you’ve settled.

You need to understand that, in Germany like anywhere else in the world, becoming integrated requires effort to adapt to the daily, cultural, social, and even political life of the host country. This is still the ideal that every immigrant wishes to achieve. In order to reach this goal, don’t isolate yourself too much from local people. Talking with them is a great way of improving your level of German and at the same time, it is the key to fitting in naturally. Try to make as many contacts as you can, whether with English-speaking people who have been living in Germany for a shorter or longer time, with people from foreign countries or else with Germans, who are very welcoming towards international expatriates.

In order to speed up the integration process and gain self-confidence, you should also take a language course. German courses are especially designed for an international, non German-speaking clientele and are suitable for individual students, groups or professionals who wish to develop skills specific to their work. They will help you to achieve considerable progress in little time. Soon, you will be more comfortable with talking to local people; the course will allow you to become familiar with the German language and give you the means to communicate in everyday life. Taking a German course is an enjoyable way of meeting other foreigners who wish to fit successfully into German society, just like you!

Elected best language travel agency in Europe in 2010, ESL – Language Studies Abroad is the specialist in the organisation of language courses abroad, offering courses in more than 20 languages, 200 destinations in 45 countries on 5 continents! In order to meet the needs and expectations of German learners in Germany, ESL has purchased the established IH schools in Berlin and Freiburg.

If you have children, you have a critical choice to make: choosing their new school. Most institutions apply the German system. This method will undoubtedly help your children to make rapid progress in German and to understand the country from the inside.

However, you should consider sending your children to a summer camp to learn German. Thus, any fears about moving to a foreign country with a different language will be dispelled before you even settle in Germany. It is a judicious way of reassuring them while ensuring easier integration.

In the workplace, the major cultural difference resides in the place of the individual and the collective. In Germany, collective success is more important than individual success. Performance is held in high esteem. As for time management, it is very different to some other European countries. For instance, it is important for Germans to build a project step by step, after having discussed it with all of the collaborators first.

In order to get ready for your professional career in Germany, business German courses are the perfect solution for acquiring knowledge specific to your sector of activity and then making a career in Germany.

Finally, knowing that Germany is one of the countries where expatriates integrate best – according to a survey carried out by Expat Explorer1 – may reinforce your decision to move there. 65% of expatriates join a local association, which helps their integration. And still according to the survey, three quarters of expatriates learn German.

Find out more about the language programmes offered by ESL – Language Studies Abroad and ESL Schools online and do not hesitate to contact them in order to get a free quote for your tailor-made programme.

ESL Schools

Grand-Rue 42

Po Box 1206

1820 Montreux 1

Telephone : +41 (0) 21.621.88.88

Fax : +41 (0) 21.621.88.89

E-mail : [email protected]

Website : www.esl-schools.org

ESL – Language studies abroad (Head Office)

Grand-Rue 50

Case postale 1204

1820 Montreux 1

Telephone : +41 (0) 21.962.88.80

Fax : +41 (0) 21.962.88.81

E-Mail : [email protected]

Website : www.esl-languages.com

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EDUCATION

Why are the Swiss getting worse at speaking English?

Swiss command of the English language is continuing to decline, according to a worldwide report that ranks diff the ability of different nationalities to speak the language of Shakespeare. Here's how the Switzerland compares.

Why are the Swiss getting worse at speaking English?
Photo: Depositphotos

The report, released on Monday, shows that Switzerland has fallen to 19th on the global rankings, down from 15th in 2018 and 12th in 2017. 

One of the reasons for Switzerland sliding down the list may be that more and more countries are being included year after year, although this year’s points tally of 60.23 is lower than 2018’s 61.77.

A total of 100 countries were included on the list, up from 88 in 2018 and 32 in 2017. Holland came out on top, overtaking Sweden for first place. 

READ: Switzerland's 2018 ranking

Where do the Swiss speak English best?

This may not be news to anyone who’s spent much time in Switzerland’s different linguistic regions, but German-speaking Switzerland significantly outranks French and Italian-speaking Switzerland when it comes to English ability. 

With a score of 63.52, Zurich ranks as the region with the best English, roughly the same as Germany and Austria. The two cantons with the worst English are the Italian-speaking region of Ticino and the French-speaking Geneva. 

Image: Education First

Swiss men buck the trend

Another finding was that men are gradually catching up to women when it comes to English proficiency worldwide and across Europe – although the figures from Switzerland suggest that this began a long time ago. 

While across Europe and the globe women tend to have a better command of English, the opposite is true in Switzerland.

Swiss men rank half a point higher for English than Swiss women. 

Image: Education First

With four national languages, why aren't the Swiss doing better? 

One of the major reasons for Switzerland having a lower level of English the country's significant linguistic diversity. While this does prep the Swiss for learning English generally, it's often superseded by the requirement to learn another language. 

As Sue Wood, the President of the English Teachers Association of Switzerland, told The Local previously.

“There are four national languages here, and while English is the first foreign language taught in many cantons, there is also a requirement for primary school children to learn another national language,” she said. 

Swiss students all are required to learn two foreign languages, with the requirement that at least one of them is a national language. 

Wood told The Local that while Switzerland may be sliding down the rankings now, improvements were on the horizon. 

“Switzerland has invested a lot in English teaching in the last ten to 15 years. The newer teachers coming through now have had full in-depth teacher training and we are now waiting to see the results,” she said. 

The best – and the rest?

Switzerland is considered to be in the second tier of countries according to their ESL skills, with a ranking of ‘High’. Other countries in the ‘High’ bracket included Romania, Argentina and the Philippines. 

As could probably be expected, countries in the north of Europe were among the best in the world for their ESL (English as a Second Language) skills. 

The Netherlands topped the poll, taking first place from Sweden. Norway and Denmark came third and fourth respectively. 

The top bracket – ‘Very High’ – included 14 countries, 12 of which are in Europe. South Africa and Singapore were the only non-European countries to make the top tier. 

Switzerland’s low ranking may be somewhat surprising – particularly considering neighbouring Germany and Austria were in the top tier – but the Swiss still rank higher than a number of larger European nations. 

France, Spain and Italy all rank in the third tier as having a ‘Moderate’ comprehension of English. 

The report

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The report was compiled by Education First, an international education company founded in Sweden but ironically now headquartered in Lucerne.

The study is compiled by more than 2.3 million tests which take place across the globe – a 77 percent increase from 2018. 

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