An offer from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training Further info
Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani, Bachelor in Psychology

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.

My advice
Just give it a go and fight for it!
Profile
Name
Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani
Age
30
Reference occupation
Bachelor in Psychology
Country of origin of qualification
Iraq
Current job
Psychologist

My story

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).

My procedure in brief

  1. Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani comes to Germany from Iraq in December 2014 as a refugee.
  2. Since the Iraqi speaks no German, he completes two language courses.
  3. In February 2017 he applies to the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB) for the certificate assessment of his bachelor's degree in psychology.
  4. The Iraqi completes a bridging measure with the Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (f-bb) and two placements. In the course of this he acquires specialist knowledge relating to professional practice as a psychologist.
  5. Following a positive certificate assessment, Salam Omer Mussttaf Al-Gailani finds a position as a psychologist in a refugee accommodation centre.