Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani - Recognition as psychologist

Portrait photograph whilst standing in front of book shelves and looking into the camera in a friendly manner.
Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani

I am so happy!


Thanks to the assessment of my course of study I am now working as a psychologist and can help other people.


Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani came to Germany from Iraq in 2014 as a refugee. The assessment of his Bachelor degree helped him to realise his dream of working as a psychologist.


Name Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani
Age 30
Reference occupation Bachelor in Psychology
Country of origin of qualification Iraq
Current job Psychologist

What recognition means for me …

... a new start, as this is how I was able to build a future for myself in Germany!


My advice

Just give it a go and fight for it!


When Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani came to Germany from Iraq in December 2014 he was, linguistically speaking, lost. “I couldn’t speak a word of German. Compared to Arabic, everything is completely different. It was very hard for me and I thought I’d never learn it.” A little over 3 years later, he has managed to clear not only this hurdle, but also obtained a positive assessment of his Bachelor degree in Psychology and a permanent job.

That he has managed all this is largely down to his own initiative and ambition. First of all, the 30-year-old got to grips with the German language with the help of 2 language courses. In a second step he applied for assessment of his Bachelor degree at the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). He hoped that this would improve his chances when entering the German labour market. Mr Al-Gailani researched the necessary information and points of contact online. With support from his neighbours, who from the very beginning provided advice and assistance, he submitted his documents in February 2017.

He did not want the waiting period to simply drift by unproductively. “I looked into what possibilities there were for me in the meantime. I didn’t want to waste valuable time.” In the end Mr Al-Gailani applied for virtual bridge training offered by the IQ “Counselling and Qualification” Agency at the Forschungsinstitut Betriebliche Bildung [Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training], which he had come across during his internet research. The dissemination of content that is important for practising one’s own occupation was the focal point of this qualification. In a combination of independent learning phases, tutorials and 5 events at which attendance was mandatory, Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani obtained specialist knowledge relating to diagnostics, sociocultural didactics and developmental psychology, as well as counselling and coaching. “That was a great help to me and it was important that I did it.”

In May 2017 the assessment of his higher education certificates arrived, and it confirmed the comparability of the Iraqi with the German qualification in the field of psychology. With this confirmation and the certificate of his participation in the virtual bridge training, the ambitious young man applied for a Master course of study in Psychology at the University of Regensburg, and for work throughout Germany as a psychologist. In February 2018 his application met with a positive response in Neuss. He now provides support there for people living in the newly-opened accommodation centre for refugees. In this job he can make use of experience gained from practical placements undertaken in psychiatry and in a psychotherapy practice. He can also draw on very personal experience: “I also came to Germany as a refugee and am grateful for the support I have received. It has always been my dream to work with people and help them. Now I can give something back.”

Photo: © Portal “Recognition in Deutschland”/BIBB: Robert Funke

The conversation with Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani took place in December 2017. The assessment of his higher education certificates was carried out by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB). The bridge training for academics is offered by the Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (f-bb). f-bb is part of the Integration through Training (IQ) Network, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the European Social Fund (ESF).