You do not need to have lived very long in Germany to find out that there are terrains more difficult to trek than the Amazon rainforest, the jungles of Borneo or the forests of Kipling in India: German bureaucratic institutions.
German bureaucratic institutions, such as the Foreigners’ Authority (Ausländerbehörde) and the Revenue Service (Finanzamt), are known for regulating your very existence. They are also known, unsurprisingly, for making your legs tremble and your hands sweat.
However, some institutions may actually be there to help you and make your life as an international in Germany a lot easier. You just gotta get to know them a little better, perhaps meeting them in a less formal environment than their offices to start with. We’re definitely going to give this a try ourselves.
The occasion for this is coming up in less than a month, on 3 May: The Integration Fair (Integrationsmesse) in the Zoo Congress Hall.
At the Integration Fair, you will have the chance to meet about 70 exhibitors face-to-face and ask them questions about, say, how to find a suitable job – which as you probably know, involves a lot of steps. Here’s your chance to find them all in one place, hearing you out.
You may have heard of some of the participating institutions, like the Labor Agency (Agentur für Arbeit), the Job Center Leipzig, the Federal Office for Migrants and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge), the Craftspersons Chamber of Leipzig (Handwerkskammer zu Leipzig), the Welcome Centre of the City of Leipzig, and Arbeit und Leben Sachsen e.V. The latter two participated in our first job fair back in November, and that’s how they came up with the idea to invite us to join in. They had so much fun that they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hang out with us again.
No party is ever complete without us in the mix! That was self-indulgent, sorry.
For the first time ever, LeipGlo is participating as a partner of the annual Integration Fair, now in its 12th consecutive year.
And this gives us the opportunity to address the issues that matter to you, our readers, at the city level. To serve as a sort of bridge between the international community in Leipzig and the City of Leipzig. Sounds ambitious, we know, but this partnership is already an important step.
Besides having a stand there where you can come and say hi, we’ll have a “suggestions box” where you can express your questions and concerns to city institutions indirectly through us, if you feel more comfortable with that. But of course, you can also pop by their stands and just talk to them directly.
Officials from Leipzig’s mayoral office and the Ministry of Migration and Integration from Saxony will also be at the fair. They’ll give talks. We’ll talk a bit, too – actually, at 1 pm, we’ll be telling you about our web magazine and the events we organize, like our job fair coming up later in May. (We never get tired of talking about those.)
But enough about us for now. What do some of the organizations we mentioned do, and how can they help you?
Arbeit und Leben, for example, is an NGO helping people integrate into the job market, and has helped organize this year’s Integration Fair. The Craftspersons Chamber of Leipzig is the place where technical professionals get their certifications. This also includes validating the certificates of foreign craftspersons who moved to Germany, from mechanics to biomedical technicians.
The Welcome Centre is a part of the Department for Migration and Integration of the City of Leipzig, and there you can get a lot of questions answered regarding local administration.
These are just a few examples of organizations that will be present at the fair. Many other state institutions, representatives, NGOs, and some companies will bring by their services and educational opportunities. Some of them will even be advertising their open positions, if you’d like to start a career with them.
“Gemeinsam Zukunft Gestalten,” or “forging a common future,” is the motto of this year’s Integration Fair.
The motto summarizes the goal of the event: to help people of all backgrounds to stay in Leipzig and enjoy better and more productive lives.
The main language of the Integration Fair will be German. However, the Welcome Centre and the Craftspersons Chamber will be providing helpers fluent in these languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, and Russian.
We hope to see you there!
12. Integrationsmesse Leipzig
Friday, 3 May 2019, 10 am to 3 pm
Kongresshalle am Zoo Leipzig, Pfaffendorfer Straße 31
Free entry – no pre-registration necessary