Participants in the TalentOrange program spend around seven months learning German until they pass the B2 exam. Meanwhile, the TalentOrange team looks for the right vacancy for their profile at a hospital in Germany. After successfully completing the German course, the talents will travel from their country of origin to Germany. Andrea (A), Angie Juliana (AJ), Karen (K) and Manuela (M) are four of them; graduated healthcare and nursing professionals from Colombia with the desire to gain professional experience abroad. Despite pandemic-related entry restrictions, they arrived in good health at Frankfurt Airport on January 4, 2021.
Why did you decide to study nursing after school?
M: The healthcare sector has always appealed to me. Actually, I wanted to study medicine, but after I started studying nursing, I quickly realized that everything I was interested in was offered here: helping others, listening to them, accompanying them - taking care of the physical health and the soul of many people.
AJ: My decision was influenced by my perception that being a nurse was my calling. I always wanted to be just like them.
A: Yes, my reasoning is similar: even as a child, I liked going to hospitals. All aspects of illnesses, medications, the entire health sector were of interest to me already even back then.
K: For me, my passion was to gain an even better understanding of the human body, and beyond that, to help and be there for others.
Where and what kind of work did you do besides your studies? On which ward in the hospital?
A: My studies lasted 10 semesters and since the 3rd semester I did internships in different areas of high-complexity hospitals. Among them: emergency, surgery, internal medicine, childbirth, postpartum and pediatrics. I focused on oncology and intensive care.
M: I also gained experience in various wards of several well-known hospitals in Medellín.
AJ: Among other things, I completed internships in psychiatry, the intensive care unit and in surgery.
K: I was able to gain practical experience in the emergency room of Valle University Hospital (Cali).
Why did you look for job opportunities abroad after you graduated?
AJ: My gut told me that Germany would give me the opportunity to grow professionally. The country had fascinated me for a long time, and when I learned about this opportunity, I felt like I could not miss it.
K: I wanted to see the world, to gain new experiences. That is why I was always open to the idea of practicing my profession in different and enriching environments.
M: For me, one of the motivators was the desire for a better future. Although I love my country, I know that the working conditions are not the best. I wanted to have an experience that would enrich my knowledge but also allow me to become more open to the world.
A: I primarily wanted to learn about the healthcare system in a first-world country.
How did you discover TalentOrange (then Capitalent Medical)?
Everyone: For all of us, it was primarily fellow students, faculty, and close friends who made us aware of the program.
K: And the company's social media (Instagram)!
K: The feelings before departure were multifaceted. Excitement and joy because of the new beginning, but also heartache because of saying goodbye to family and friends. I felt "numb". I could not believe that the moment I had been waiting for so long had finally arrived, after so many challenges had been overcome.
A: I felt the same way. It seemed unbelievable to me that after so much waiting and during a pandemic, we could finally travel.
AJ: Many emotions: happiness, anticipation, jitters, and sorrow of parting. Thousands of miles away from our loved ones and our beautiful country, unbelievable. Despite everything, we knew we were coming here to fulfill our biggest and longest dream.
M: Yes, exactly. The pain of saying goodbye was a bit difficult, but the anticipations were much greater. Getting into the country was easier than we thought. After a stopover in Amsterdam, we finally arrived in Germany. I just had to pick up my bags and I was ready to start my new life.
How did you cope with learning German during this exceptional situation around the world?
M: Learning German in record time was one of the most challenging phases of my life. I always wanted to know many languages, so I thought it would be easier for me to learn something I liked. But it was definitely not like that, it was a huge challenge. German is so different. And the corona virus did not make it any easier either. Online courses are much more complex and very tiring. But our teacher at the language school supported and motivated us enormously. And it helps to talk to friends who also speak or are learning German.
AJ: The teachers are excellent and made learning this beautiful language not so tedious. I must admit that due to the pandemic it became a bit difficult to virtualize classes. Those who supported us were the teachers in Colombia and the teachers from TalentOrange language school in Germany.
K: The German classes were a challenge from beginning to end, they involved a lot of commitment, discipline, and motivation throughout the entire course.
A: When we started face-to-face classes, it was very difficult but also exciting and fun. When the pandemic necessitated virtual classes, I was very worried and sometimes doubted whether I would be able to manage everything. It took a lot of extra time, patience, and concentration, but in the end everything went well. The support of family and friends was important not to give up.
And how are you doing now?
M: Now I am in my apartment, living alone for the first time in my life, sharing everything with my family and friends in Colombia, whom I miss a lot. But I am happy to be here, also a bit nervous and lost, but it's all part of the process of adjustment, I think.
AJ: The two project managers from TalentOrange were very friendly and helpful when we arrived, welcoming us to our new home and making sure everything was in good shape. We had to go into quarantine for a while as a precaution, which we survived well taken care of.
K: I still see everything through the eyes of a child. It reassured me that I was also accompanied by someone from the team up to arrival in Germany. Now I am in an apartment near the hospital, where I will soon be working. I am happy to be here.
A: I am in the apartment that the hospital kindly rented for us. I was greeted by two people from TalentOrange who were there throughout the entire process. They made sure we were taken care of during the quarantine. Now I am looking forward to learning more about my new home.
Andrea’s (A), Angie Juliana’s (AJ), Karen’s (K) and Manuela’s (M) wishes for 2021:
Welcome to the Talents! We have our fingers crossed!