Everybody who comes to Germany must learn German – not only to be able to grapple with everyday life, but also to receive social support. The language school is a first point of contact for many migrants, no matter their origin or story. Learning the language is key to their life in another country, city and culture. Teachers not only help with the language, but also often enough with administrative issues and everyday problems.

This portrait series shows 21 students and three teachers of a German language school in Berlin. Every student was asked the same questions for a short interview: name, origin and age; how long they have been in Germany and how long they have been learning and studying German; what they like about their life in Germany, and what they dislike.

Their stories and backgrounds could not be more diverse (with the exception of some Syrian refugees). One thing they have in common: The wish to better learn the German language to take a first step towards integration and normal everyday life.

The language school represents a microcosm for people who have come to Germany to stay: they want to stay, they want to learn, they want to integrate.

 

Click on images to view them larger and read the interviews (English translation coming soon)