“EURES TMS has been a unique opportunity for me, a way to get out of my comfort zone and look at the many opportunities that Europe offers to citizens.” We start the story of Besim Brijani with a quote from the interview he did last March 2022. An important and indicative statement, confirming how much Europe and its programmes represent an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
Moving to Italy
Besim’s life proves how mobility, work related and not, might represent an opportunity. Besim arrived in Italy at the age of 6 but was born in Serbia. He tells us that moving to Italy, specifically to Verona, where he grew up and studied, was a very positive experience. Thanks to his family, school, and friends, his integration into a new system was immediate. He immediately learns the Italian language, meets new people, and falls in love with the city he calls home, Verona. Verona, he says, is “a perfect place to grow up, rich in stimuli, people, and life”.
His education and training
Always determined, Besim tells us about his education: “It was clear to me from the beginning that I wanted to do something useful with my life. I wanted to work with people and do something that was more than just a job, something that helped others, and had an impact on reality. When I graduated from high school, I knew exactly what I wanted, so I decided to enrol in university and to pursue a nursing degree.” A path that he describes as “challenging, with lessons to follow, internships, and exams. University has been a very positive experience for me. When you decide to pursue this profession, you should be aware of how much time and effort you will need to commit to it. As a student, you realise the meaning of your role in a hospital.”
The first job and the Covid-19 experience
He had planned to spend some time abroad while at university, but after graduating, he began his career in a hospital near Verona. Here, he worked for 9 years, changing unit, and improving his skills. He experienced also the Covid-19 pandemic, which he describes: “It was a very reflective period for me, in which I started to have many ideas and became more aware of the value of time. How many things can I do and how many am I putting off because of this situation (Covid-19)? All the simple things had become difficult.”
EURES TMS and the job mobility
Besim has started looking for job opportunities abroad as a nurse man as a result of these motivations: “Italian nurses are highly sought for their level of preparation and training, an aspect that is much appreciated.” Sweden was the first country he looked at. The choice and the search, however, were conditioned by Buck, his beloved dog, without whom he would never have left. After giving up on Sweden and northern Europe, he turned his attention to other European countries, including Germany. His interest was immediately caught by a job offer in Trier, a city in southwest Germany, located in the Mosel wine region near the border with Luxembourg. What struck him were the city’s features, which reminded him of Verona: “Trier is a Roman city, rich in history. But it is also a university town, surrounded by greenery vinery, and crossed by the Mosel river, briefly a city that reminds me of Verona.” Within a few days, he had his first online interview with a EURES TMS programme – a registered clinic. Besim informs us: “Clinics and hospitals are increasingly looking to recruit candidates through European projects. These projects are an opportunity for them to have a wider range of good candidates, with a rich, varied and unique experience, both at work and at a cultural level”. The first interview made a positive impression to Besim: “All the representatives of the clinic were present, they introduced themselves and talked about the clinic and the work offered.”
The clinic required a B2 German language certificate before starting the job. As a result, Besim started taking the first course to learn German: “It was challenging, I was working during the day and taking classes and studying in the evenings. But I had enthusiasm and determination on my side!” And so, on September 27, 2021, Besim accepted the offer of a contract as a nurse’s aide (while waiting for the B2 certificate) and left Verona for Trier, with Buck. During the interview, he explains how the hospital, despite the difficulties (flooding, ed.), found him a suitable accommodation for Buck as well. The new experience had an immediate positive impact: “One thing that surprised me about the hospital is the international environment. There are doctors and nurses from all over Europe, a nice atmosphere. So many Italian colleagues, so many different stories and so many possibilities. The German colleagues were immediately very welcoming, I think this is also because Trier is a border town, close to Luxembourg, France, and a few hours from Netherlands and Belgium. You can feel that a lot.”
EURES TMS benefits
“It was difficult to communicate in the beginning because not everyone spoke English, and speaking German is hard, I was still following a course to achieve the required B2. After the first course, thanks to Virginia Mazzi, my Adviser, I applied for a second German class through EURES TMS. This option, as well as other financial benefits offered by EURES TMS, was hugely helpful. The project focuses on areas where there is a need to be met: relocation, language courses, and recognition of qualifications“. And indeed, the Relocation is one of the financial benefits from which he benefited, and that he describes as fundamental: “This benefit is very useful, it really gives you the freedom to leave with a lot of help. Often people do not pay attention to these programmes, but Europe is truly a world to be discovered, with so many opportunities.”
The present and the future
Today Besim works in the department of internal medicine: “It’s a tough unit, there is a lot to do, and learn. However, my experience in Italy is helping me. I passed the B2 German exam in January, and now I’m waiting for the certificate to renew my contract as a nurse. I believe my story proves that when you have a clear goal in your mind, no one can stop you, and if you really want something, you can get it.”
We thank Besim for his words and testimony, and we hope his experience will inspire other people, and we wish him and Buck a fantastic stay in Germany!