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Prem A. Xavier: When Life as a Nomad leads to Germany

ProRecognition: Hi Prem, thank you for speaking with us today. As you will be flying to Germany this week and starting your new job in Germany, can I ask you what advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar part like you?

Prem: If you aspire to migrate to Germany, the first thing you should do is  enroll into a German course and learn the language. If you want to work there as a professional, you’re expected to speak German fluently.

For a person like me who is a physiotherapist, it’s B2 or C1. Try and achieve that. The best place to learn would be the Goethe Institute and once you clear the exams, the next thing you do is contact ProRecognition to get advice, then get your credentials recognized so that you can work in Germany.

Career so far

ProRec: Great, thanks for that crisp advice for other candidates. Let’s go back to the beginning. Could you tell us more about your educational background?

Prem: I started with a diploma in computer engineering. I did advanced physics. I did the diploma and then I shifted from physics and math to physical therapy. What motivated me to pursue a career in physiotherapy is how it is related to surgery. A lot of your ailments do not need to go under the knife. You don’t need to have surgery. You can actually help yourself cure your own ailments, and that’s where physical therapy plays a role. Physiotherapists teach patients and of course, we also do some manual therapies. But mainly we teach patients how to help themselves.

So, I joined physical therapy. It was exciting because it became a full-fledged degree. And then I did my internship in Chennai. I initially went to Australia for some experience and then I came back, set up a department in India. Then I headed to the United States.

I did my masters over there. I finished a few years of work experience in the US before I was in the Middle East for some time and eventually come back to India.

And I set up my own practice because of my family here. I’ve got my old parents, you know, so those were the reasons. And I also did a diploma in Yoga and naturopathy, to continue the learning process.

The Recognition process

ProRec: That sounds like an eventful and global career. So what prompted you to seek assistance from ProRecognition and how did you first come to know about our services?

Prem: The reason I was looking for help on how to get my qualifications recognized was because I wanted to work as a physiotherapist in Germany. So after I finished my B2, I Google-searched what was the process and I found out from the government website ‘make it in Germany’ that you have to get your qualifications recognized.

I was searching for a place in Pune. I did some more research and by providence I found ProRecognition in Pune and I called the office and there was a quick and immediate response.

I expected it to be professional and it lived up to this expectation because as soon as I entered the office, I was met with a very polite counselor who was very patient, understanding, and very professional.

My advisor knew the recognition process with respect to my profession, because sometimes people don’t get the professions right. She knew what was required and guided me systematically. It was a very smooth process. It took a bit of time, but I think that’s got to do with my decision to shift my application from one state to another, and extrinsic factors like that, but the guidance was very timely and effective.

ProRec: How did our team guide you through the recognition process?

Prem: The guidance was quite detailed and very one-on-one. So as someone who’s a physiotherapist, it would differ a bit from an engineer or another professional. So, with respect to my profession, there was very individualized counseling and guidance as to what documents are really required.

What sets ProRec apart is the fact that you’re dealing with counselors and professional staff who seem to embody German efficiency in the sense that they know the professional working environment. What’s the culture? What’s the language? What are the expectations of living in Germany, or how to integrate into the society successfully.

And so you get a lot of tips and a lot of helpful advice.

ProRec: Can you help us understand how long it took for you from the time you started the process until now?

Prem: I started at the end of 2021 with my language learning. It was May of 2022 when I contacted ProRecognition. It took me almost a year for the recognition process because I moved my application from Baden-Wuerttemberg to NRW in between due to documentation requirements. So, by February 2023, I got my full recognition from NRW.

Then I got back in touch with ProRecognition and with the guidance I received, I started searching for jobs, so I sent out a lot of job applications. Initially I rejected a few job offers from NRW because I didn’t feel that they were the best fit, and then I got a very good job offer in Hessen, which is a different state compared to where I got my recognition done. I discussed with the hospital HR and with ProRecognition advisors, and decided to take the job offer in Hessen. ProRecognition supported me with transferring my recognition documents and process to Hessen, and though it took a bit of time, it was a smooth process.

Job Search

ProRec: Were there specific strategies or resources provided, that you found particularly helpful in securing a job offer?

Prem: Yes, ProRec helped me to tailor my applications. So how do you Address your employer, what are the details you need to write in your cover letter so that you don’t sound too flamboyant nor do you  Undersell yourself. How to make it very optimum, which is appealing to your prospective employer, and how to write with respect to German culture.

These factors are very important to consider when you’re applying for job applications. That’s when your ProRecognition counselor would be of immense help.

The counsellor at ProRecognition had also suggested a few professional job websites and those websites helped because I started applying there and on one of them I hit the jackpot. I got a few interviews and was able to finalise a job offer.


ProRec: How was your experience with applying for the visa? Did it take long for you? Could ProRecognition, guide you and prepare you for your visa appointment?

Prem: Again, like with the job interview at every step of the way, ProRecognition helped with the visa application, you know, like a sort of documents list checklist, which is very important for your visa interview. In my case, I had to go to Mumbai consulate because I live in Pune so they guided me on how to apply for  an appointment, which is the correct visa category and so on, and How to fill the visa form online as well as how do you go about with the interview. I received support from ProRecognition with all those questions.


ProRec: What are you going to miss most about India?

Prem: I consider any new place I go as a home because I’m a nomad.

ProRec: What are you most excited about going to Germany?

Prem: I’ve heard a lot about the German Christmas markets. Trying their Glühwein will be a new experience. And Bavaria, I am looking forward to seeing the Bavarian culture and celebrations. You know, the Oktoberfest and dirndls and the Leder Hosen, I look forward to seeing their festivals.

ProRec: Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Prem.