At my own expense I arrived in Germany a few weeks before my internship began. I spent my first week in Berlin and arranged a meeting at FNF to meet my new colleagues. My timing couldn’t have been better, as it was my supervisor’s Birthday and thus a less formal introduction to the team over coffee and cake.
The unfortunate and tragic attack on a Christmas market in the following days cast a sombre shadow over the city, at a time usually so full of joy. Public debate on migrant flows and deportation as well as the discussion on the centralisation of Germany’s police forces are still in full swing, the heightened security is being felt across Europe.
From Berlin I travelled further north to spend Christmas with my girlfriend’s family in a small German town near the border of the Netherlands called Papenburg. Christmas in the winter time seems to be steeped in far more traditions than the melted chocolate and BBQ’s by the pool that I’m used to in Perth. That having been said though, my body began to struggle acclimatising to the cold and alas I was bedridden with a severe cold for a few days.
Then it was back to Berlin for New Year’s Eve! The following days were spent getting my new apartment in order and preparing for my first day at FNF on the 3rd of January. My direct supervisor did not return from leave until later in the week but there was no shortage of topics to begin researching in the meantime.
The opportunities that increased skilled migration could offer to curtail Germany’s prominent skills shortage was a topic I couldn’t resist. And, the discussion has led me to assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of implementing a point based assessment system, similar to those evident in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Debate has been high in this area for some time now, so I’m hoping that with some hometown knowledge and after a lot of reading, I can put in my two cents worth.