My name is Giorgio, I am 22 years old and I am originally from San Cataldo, Sicily. I came to Munich – a fairytale city in the south of Germany – for the first time two years ago in October during the Oktoberfest. During those two weeks I simply fell in love with the city, and three months after my trip a cousin of mine, who was actually born and raised in Germany, contacted me to tell that there was a job as a bartender available in an Italian restaurant in Munich.
Leaving everything and everyone in Italy was not easy, but I put my feelings and emotions aside and moved here also because I love to be independent and did not want to rely only on my family, like many people of my age do in Sicily. I had always thought Germans were not so nice – rather grumpy – but I must say it is really far from the reality. I have never had a single problem with the Germans. In fact, I have always received a lot of help and support from them.
Life here, I must admit, is much better than in Italy. There is efficiency in everything and everywhere: from a bank to a post office, at the city hall, on the streets…. If you need a document or a piece of information, you are most likely to get an answer within a day or maximum the next day.
I still follow a course of German, recently obtained the B1 certificate, but I plan to continue! It is definitely not easy to work 12 hours, then attend a German class for three hours and barely get five to six hours of sleep, but if the desire is there, the person will succeed. An advice I can give to a newcomer to Germany is to learn the German language, if possible, even before moving. And even before learning German, learn English. Before moving from Sicily I did not understand the importance of the English language and at school, where I actually could study it, I did not do it 🙁 and now I follow TV series in English to master it!
The best experience in Germany so far was to rent a room in a house of an elderly German lady. I don’t know how many Italians would have done the same thing…. I could barely say a few words in German and that lady was only speaking German to me! Even though I was a foreigner and she did not know me at all, I was accepted into her home and she treats me like her son: she helps me wash my stuff, cleans my room and takes care of me when I am sick… just like a mother to her child!
The worst experience in Germany was, sadly, meeting some dishonest Italians here in Munich… oh well, but we cannot put everyone into the same basket!