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Emigration stories

Study in Berlin

Egor Muhin, 25

We publish real stories of emigration to Germany to make it easier for you to understand how the move actually happens.
The idea of emigrating to Germany
I decided to go to Germany to study because of my friends. When I finished my bachelor's degree in IT in Kazan, most of my acquaintances started telling me that they were going to continue their studies in Europe. Before that I had no thoughts about moving, I was working remotely and, on the whole, I was making good money: developing and designing websites, setting up SMM, writing some content, going on vacation to Europe, but I had never thought about emigrating.

Germany interested me the most in terms of studies - first of all, the free education, which is available even to foreigners if they can pass the entrance exams and the German language test. I knew English, so I decided that I would also learn German. I studied on my own, using video lessons and then I found a teacher on Skype, but still my level was clearly not good enough for university, so I decided to go to Germany to improve my language skills.
Berlin, Germany

Problems and solutions when moving to Germany

In order to study in Germany, I had to get a visa and show 9,000 euros in my account, and this money could not be spent - it was like a guarantee that when I arrived in Germany I would have something to live on and would not go begging or, even worse, working illegally. I could only get 750 out of the 9,000 a month, but I somehow managed to get by, I didn't go hungry.

The language courses were full of people - guys from Ukraine, Belarus, China, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, and Spain! We became very good friends, and often skipped classes to go to a club or a party. Immediately after the graduation, which helped me to improve my language skills, I entered the Technical University Wildau, majoring in Business Computing, and, surprisingly, I did not have to pass any entrance exams, my bachelor's degree from Kazan University came up, translated into German. The only thing was that it had to be notarized, but I did not have to produce any other documents or take any exams. And all this - almost for free!

I don't pay for the course itself, but once a semester I pay a student fee of 290 euros, which includes a transport card, museum tickets and other "goodies".
My parents approved of my desire to develop and helped with the payment of immigration specialists - I wanted to do everything right and without unnecessary problems, in the end - everything was done very quickly, I received a study visa and flew to Berlin.
Egor Muhin
Documents, price, final
The first year at university there was a lot of theory, we were constantly tested, given some programming projects, taught the languages C, C# and Java, web technologies and frameworks. At some point I realized that my Russian knowledge is too general and outdated by 10 years, I realized how much cooler I would be after graduation than those who stayed to complete their studies in Russia!

From the second year we were advised to get a part-time job by specialty, but I continued to make sites and was in no hurry to find a place, because I wanted more time to devote to study, the more that began steep discipline: data protection, project management, finance, marketing, IT markets in Europe and the United States. By the end of the fourth semester I realized that they were training people who could manage both programmers and designers, and other specialists in all areas of IT - and it was cool!

I only studied for three years, although I had almost finished my graduation work - long before the defense. Here in general there is no Russian tradition of writing a diploma in the last couple of nights before the defense, the training is built so that you do everything gradually, quietly and accurately, without fuss. Another difference is the practical application of the diploma. In Germany, any project must be based on reality, existing market research, current data and so on. And, by the way, if the admissions committee likes a graduation project, they can allocate money for its implementation.

I want to have an internship in one of the IT-companies in Berlin, and I plan to work in the banking sector - in Germany it is much outdated, but there are already serious investors, so this direction is promising. Although after Russia the German banking sector seems a village, with cheque books and without cards. Germans hardly ever use VISA and Mastercard, and kiosks, stores and cafes accept only cash. All in all, I will have something to do.
I live together with two other guys - also students, we rent a three-bedroom apartment, I pay 350 euros per month. For the Internet the three of us pay 25 euros a month, but it's terrible, the electricity is about 100 euros for all of us. I personally spend about 250 euros on food. So far, I continue to work remotely, make websites, from time to time I go with friends to other European cities: Warsaw, Paris, Amsterdam. It's cool that everything is near here!

Will I go back to Russia? I do not know yet. I have never had any thoughts of leaving for good, but so far I feel quite comfortable in Germany and am glad I am here.