Mirela (doctor)

"I've made lots of close friends in Germany."

Mirela, doctor (Cyprus)
Mirela, doctor (Cyprus)

You’re from Cyprus originally. What was the path that brought you to Germany?

I’ve known Germany for a long time, through my uncle who's worked in Berlin for the past 20 years. What I've always loved about here is that everything is bigger – the towns and the choice of recreational activities. I realised early on that in Germany I’d have better opportunities for training as a specialist doctor. Moreover, there are more places available to study medicine, and it has a good reputation internationally. So I applied for a place at a German university and was accepted at Düsseldorf. I finished this year and now work as a junior doctor at the LVR Clinic in Düsseldorf.

How did you prepare for university?

I did a German course lasting several months in Leipzig. Languages are a hobby of mine anyway, so here in Düsseldorf I had no trouble coping in everyday life. The difficult part was in the first semester, having to listen and at the same time write during lectures. Often, the German students helped me then. It was much easier for me from the second semester.

Looking back at your studies in Germany, how did they help you?

Medical degrees in Germany are of high quality and the specialist medical training is highly regarded internationally. What's more, there are plenty of possibilities: when I’d finished studying, it was easy to find a place on a specialist training course. In the clinic where I work now, I was offered a job while I was doing my internship. Moreover, I had other positive replies too, so staying in Germany was an easy decision for me.

What are your feelings about your day-to-day work in Germany?

The work at the clinic is demanding and very interesting. Right after completing my studies, I was already allowed to do a lot under the supervision of experienced doctors because they trusted me from the beginning. That allowed me to learn a lot.

And how do you relax after all that hard work?

In my spare time I pay regular visits to the gym to keep fit. Also, I like to visit exhibitions, for example, I’m really interested in twentieth-century art. Besides that, I love watching short films from France in the original language. I’m always able to find screenings here in Düsseldorf. I travel as much as I can with my girl friends. Recently, we went to Luxembourg. I think it’s wonderful to be able to travel so quickly to other European countries from here.

Mirela, doctor (Cyprus)

How you feel about living in Germany?

I feel very much at home. I like the opportunities there are here. I can do all kinds of things in my spare time. For example, there’s so much literature in Germany – for work, but for recreation too. Only once did I look for a title that hadn’t been translated into German.

What does your family say about your new life in Germany?

My family is happy for me. Of course they miss me. I travel regularly to my parents’ and visit my old friends.

Is there anything that surprised you here?

At first I wondered why people here are so distant But I soon learned that it’s nothing personal, it’s just another mentality. In the meantime, I've made lots of close friends. When you have close friendships here, they usually last a lifetime. I find that very enriching.

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