"If you are going to invest something for yourself. Invest it in German Language. I remember the secretary from my previous school, she mentioned once to me 'Syempre kung mag iinvest ka nalang, invest it on your Career. Ano ba naman yung magsikripisyo ka para dito sa pag aaral mo, eh in the future naman ang laki ng balik sayo nito'.” - Nurse Anthony, 27
BY: Anthony Foronda
My name is Anthony Jay L. Foronda. I’m currently 27 years old, a registered nurse here in the Philippines and also an NCLEX passer last February 2016 in New York State and I’m writing this Article for the aspiring Nurses who wants to undergo and learn the German Language.I already had dreams of working outside of the Philippines. My main goal was to go to United States, specifically New York and that is the reason why I took the NCLEX examination as a stepping stone for my Big Apple dream. As I was able to pass the exam and would want to have my Visa processed. I went to a talk/seminar for nurses who wanted to go to the US in Dusit Hotel. It came to my attention that the processing time would take for at least 5 years in order for me to have an Immigrant Visa. I was in awe when I heard about this during the seminar. I was doubtful that time and also indecisive whether to go for it and take the risk or not anymore. That was when I thought of having an alternative plan, but still clueless of what and how to pursue my Nursing career.
Way back early October of 2016, a close friend of mine called and asked me if ever I have interest on studying the German Language. She told me that we will undergo German Language schooling for 8 months to 1 year and the employer will shoulder everything, in conclusion all expenses paid. It was all overwhelming and too good to be true for me, so I told my friend I needed to clear my mind first, but my friend was insistent that I should decide on it fast as this offer is only for a limited time. I did my research and found out that what my friend was telling me was all true.I then realized that this may be the alternative plan that I was waiting for, to study the German Language and pursue my Nursing career in Germany. I was terrified but thrilled of what this may bring me. I have no idea of what to expect, but still I kept my optimism and decided to start my German Language Journey.
Classes began late October of the same year. Me, two of my college friends and three other classmates were there. My first school was located at Makati that time. We had to undergo 4 levels of the German Language. Namely those were A1, A2, B1 and B2 levels. B2 is the requirement for aspiring nurses who wanted to work in Germany. We have to finish the entire course in the span of 8 months to 1 year. After which, we take the Exam Certification for the German Language when we think we are ready. The German language proficiency exam is just like any other Language exams except for the fact that everything written in it is in German Language.
A1 & A2 levels are the beginning foundation for the Levels B1 & B2. As it is a must, that a student should have a good grammar familiarization or should I say at least master the Grammar rules of levels A1 to A2 for the reason that B1 & B2 are the continuation and advanced grammar rules of the German Language.Initially, I was still able to cope up with the lectures and activities given by the school. I could still balance work, studies and family time. I was never the kind of student who is studious. I was never competitive most especially when it comes to studying because I always believe that I’m only competing with myself and nobody else. In short, I was a
happy go lucky student. Until such time during my 3rd to 4th month of studying the language, that’s where things are starting to heat up. Lessons were getting more difficult, I sometimes couldn’t understand the lectures given to us anymore. I was almost failing on my activities and quizzes. Although I never fail with my Mock Exams every time we reach the end of each course, still something was actually wrong with my learning process.
As B1 level is fast approaching, I decided to push myself a little further I needed to put extra effort on studying the language as things are getting more difficult and confusing. I started making my own chart cards, tables of information, learning materials that would be essential for me while studying the language and had it all laminated as I will be needing it up until I go to Germany. Yes you heard it right. Downloaded useful applications on my smartphone, listening to audio-books & nursery rhymes, news in YouTube.
I thought what I did was already enough, not until we had new classmates / transferees from other German Language Schools. During my B1 level, I noticed my classmates were way ahead of me in all aspects. I noticed I was not able to neither speak the language nor even make simple sentences. I would always hear my classmates that they were conversing in German. Sometimes I do shy away just to not be involved with having conversations with them.
Problems kept on coming and hitting me hard, i wasn’t able to focus anymore, struggling just to pass everything as my grades and attendance at school were strictly monitored by the employer, owner of the school and teachers. I was late almost every day at school. I already quit my Job, as I feel that, I don’t have enough time for it. Everything that I do with school was becoming extremely strenuous. The metro manila traffic was stressful as every time I get home, instead of going straight to bed I had to do a lot of assignments and reports not to mention house chores as well. I was almost at the edge of giving up my German Language Journey as I never thought that it would this be difficult.
Surprisingly, I was able to finish the B2 level, but honestly I never learned anything as I was extremely preoccupied by so many things. Now the question is am I ready to take the exam? Of course I did not take the exam, for the reason that I wasn’t B2 Level ready and I know myself and my capacity. Me and my college friends (who were also my future co-workers) decided to talk to our Employer to ask for help and advice. Luckily enough our Employer was really kind and considerate they then enrolled us again to another school in Manila. This was now our turning point to finally make things right again. We were then enrolled again back to B1 level and then B2 Level.
Everything went well throughout the two courses of B1 and B2. A lot of new things were introduced to us. We learned a lot of vital information, the lessons, lectures and activities done during classes were more clear and well understood. I was really happy with the big progress we made during this time. Our group then decided to take the exam last November 2017 as we knew that we are ready to take the German Language examination.
Our group took the exam at Cebu City, luckily the same examination center offers review classes before examination. Hence, our group decided to enroll ourselves to further enhance our skills, knowledge and chance to pass the examination. We had two weeks preparation time. It felt like it was never enough due to those sleepless nights, tearful moments, difficult test drills and some personal issues were taking its toll on us. There are times during this event, where I wasn’t able to comprehend and focus anymore due to anxiety and stress. But then I told myself “ngayon ka pa ba susuko ton-ton? Ang lapit mo na oh eto kana malapit mo na makamit yan” I would still keep pushing myself. Although my family and partner were very supportive, still It felt like I was alone due to the fact that I’m far away from them so I constantly had to pat my back myself.
Then comes the examination day. November 11 & 12, 2017. Normally the exam would be two days. 1st day are the listening, reading & writing parts of the exam. 2nd day would be the speaking part and it has three categories depending on the examination institution where you would want to take your German Language Proficiency Examination. But apparently & unexpectedly, all parts of the exam was done in one day only. First part of the exam was really hard although our examination center allows the usage of dictionary written in books/booklets it felt like it had not helped me at all. Everything was vague, the words written there were nothing compared to the ones we are trying to answer in school. But I had to keep my cool & focus in order for me to still answer the examination correctly with all my might.
The 2nd part of the examination then took place on the same day after lunch. This part includes a spontaneous conversation with your partner depending on the given situation. You’ll need also to describe a picture in German as if the one you are speaking to is a blind person and lastly the Debate part of the speaking exam. Everything went well I was able to answer question from the examiner, was able to express what I had or wanted to. I was certain that I could pass this part of the exam but for the first part I was doubtful. We still had to endure the stress of waiting, as it will only take two days for the examiners to release the result of the examination. Our group decided to get drunk, Visited 4 bars and had fun while we still can, anyway why waste so much emotions and stress on waiting. Since we are already in Cebu, we decided to not take away the fun of being there because for whatever the result may be, it can never be changed anymore.November 13, 2017, Monday was the judgment day, results will be out by morning, everyone from the group was drunk including me, stayed at our apartment and drunk ourselves out again, but I wasn’t able to sleep that night due to stress, fear and excitement although we were drinking up until the wee hours, I decided to just stay wide awake. Everyone was sleeping and I was there on my bed, lying and waiting and at exactly 7:02 a.m. I heard a notification sound on my iPad and it was a sign that the email was already there, hence results are already out. I told myself “its now or never, hindi mo na mababago ang resulta” I opened my email, and Yes, it was from the examination center. Its says there “Gesamtbeurteilung: bestanden” it means Overall evaluation: Passed.
I sobbed really hard, my intoxication alleviated suddenly. I wasn’t really expecting this as I already thought and was in the process of accepting that either of the two parts of the exam, I’ll only pass with one part. But no, God was really good to me. He made me pass the entire exam with one take only. I called immediately my family and partner, they were really proud and happy with what I have accomplished, all of the pain, stress and hardships were really worth it. I left Cebu City with a happy heart and soul and arrived in Manila with a hopeful future.Currently, I’m waiting for my recognition to be approved. Hopefully, I would be able to leave and pursue my nursing career in Germany by the end of the year. While waiting also for my recognition, I was able to teach the German
Language in a school in Manila for 10 months for the levels A1 & A2. I decided to teach, because I felt the urge and enthusiasm to share the knowledge I gained while learning the German language. Not only that I was able to impart the knowledge and skills I have in learning the Language, I was able to share the good and bad experiences/practices I had while I was studying and kept on reminding my students to never resort with giving up.I’m writing this to those aspiring nurses to give ideas of what to expect and not to give fear nor make them doubt about their decisions in learning the German Language. I want you to prepare for what comes ahead of you. The German Language is not an easy language to learn as it requires specific and fixed grammar rules while using it. It is a must that you study hard most especially at the beginning of the two levels of A1 and A2 as this would be the foundation. When you master the foundation of the grammar, trust me, 100%, you will do good when you get to the levels B1 and B2 and won’t end up like me, where I repeated two courses again and that would be a waste of your precious time and effort.
Never hesitate on what you want, if you wanted to take it to the next level and you want challenges in your life and pursue your career to the next level, go and study for the German Language, but of course no choices in life are left without sacrificing something at all. Your time, effort and skills will be used during the course. I would suggest you keep your guard up at all times. Stay humble, learn how to accept defeat and failure during your studies but never ever give up. Learn to stand up and step it up a notch. I believe every student has their own way of studying. Do what best fits you as you know yourself well. Be assertive when it comes to studying and never hesitate to ask your teachers if something is not clear with your lectures or lessons, because I firmly believe that a person who never asks questions are more ignorant than those who did.
If you are going to invest something for yourself. Invest it for German Language. I remember the secretary from my previous school, she mentioned once to me “Syempre kung mag iinvest ka nalang, invest it on your Career. Ano ba naman yung magsikripisyo ka para dito sa pag aaral mo, eh in the future naman ang laki ng balik sayo nito.” Again, never hesitate, as the lyrics mentioned in the song of Lady Gaga entitled Born this Way “You’re on the right track baby.”Before I end my article, my one last advice is to trust everything to God. The pains in life will cut you deep. The night will keep you from sleeping and when the world seems cruel, I promise, you will see, that God will be your remedy. Viel Glück und ich wünsche euch eine bessere Zukunft! (Good luck and I wish you all a better future!)