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As a contribution to our Comenius project „We are like you, we are European too“, some students in year nine wrote integration stories.


Story 1

He opened the right door for me

My name is Ignaz I'm eighteen years old. I have lived in Germany for five years now. At the age of 13 I came with my family full of hope and curious to get to know this country. My parents dreamed of a better future for their children and wanted to start a new life.
On my first school day I saw that my clothes, my hair were different. The girls and the boys at school were dressed in a modern style and they were very self confident. Some girls were wearing makeup. They stared at me, giggled, and called me names because of my language problem.
During the breaks I stood alone in a corner watching the others. I envied them, wishing to belong to them.
The following day some boys started to laugh at me and bullied me. From now on they didn't give me a minute's peace. I was desperate and terribly lonely. I feared every new school day, but couldn't talk about it at home.
One day one of the girls talked to me in a friendly way and invited me to a party in her parents' house. I couldn't believe my good luck.
When I arrived there they seemed to accept me in their group. I was extremely happy. The next weekend we organized some activities and had a lot of fun. When they offered me alcoholic drinks I didn't have the courage to refuse it. That was the beginning of a bad period of time. After a short while we drank regularly and started to play truant. My German was still poor and my marks were bad.
When my parents got a letter from school they were disappointed and upset. We talked a lot and step by step I began to understand that this was the wrong way to integrate myself. I had opened the wrong door and had to turn back.
How could I find the key to the right door on the way to integration?
My old friends ignored me and again I was an outsider. When my PE teacher asked me to join the sports club, I was surprised, because I was not very good at sport. But I happily accepted to get out of my loneliness. The teacher introduced me and I was accepted immediately. I quickly found real friends and we still do a lot of activities together. One of them even teaches me German once a week. My marks are getting better; I don't feel like an outsider any more. This year I was invited to Christmas in a German family. I liked it very much. Next year I will bake some German Christmas biscuits for my family.
After all I had found the key to the right door.

Matthias Reinert, form 9a


Story 2

If you find the right key you can open a door for somebody

About a year ago our form teacher introduced a new classmate, a fourteen-year old boy called Peter. He was small, very shy. and never laughed.
When we tried to talk to him he turned away and wouldn't answer. He never spoke in lessons, but he had excellent marks in classtests. Nobody really liked him. He didn't seem to be interested in us. So we ignored him.

One day when he had to answer a teacher's question he stuttered. Peter was nervous and ashamed. Some boys couldn't help laughing until our teacher stopped them. Nobody wanted to have anything to do with a stutterer. We didn't care about him.

I was not good at Science and got a very bad mark in a test. I needed extra help. The best pupil in Science was Peter. Could I ask him? Would he help me?
My parents adviced me to ask him in a very friendly way.

I did so and to my surprise he nodded. We met several times and my marks got  better and better. I didn't mind his stuttering, it was not important. Little by little we found out that we have many things in common. Peter was a typical fourteen-year-old  boy like me and my friends and I really started to like him. But at school he was still discriminated against.

How could I help him to be accepted by the others?
We went to our form teacher and discussed the situation. He had an idea.
The next morning I started to tell the class everything  about my friend Peter, all the things he is interested in and he is good at. Our classmates were surprised.
The form teacher helped Peter's parents to find a nearby speech therapist to help him.
It took some time before he made a progress. At the end of the school year he really belonges to us. Peter has become a friendly, good-humoured boy.
From time to time he says how happy he is that we could open the right door for him.

Laura Oehling, 9a

Story 3

Friends are like a light on a long and dark way

I was sad to leave my grand-mother in our little village in Russia.
My father couldn't find work and so my parents decided to move to Germany where you can find a job more easily. I was afraid of the life in the foreign country. But there was no choice.
We arrived late in the evening and found two rooms in an old block of flats. There were also two families from Turkey and other foreigners, no Germans.
At the end of the summer holidays my father still hadn't found a job. It was very difficult, we didn't understand the German language and there was nobody we could ask.
 The night before the first school day I was so nervous, I couldn't sleep. The next day I felt completely lost at school, didn't understand what they were saying and asked a young teacher for help.
At home the atmosphere was bad, my parents were unhappy about the situation and we were all homesick. In the afternoons I never left the room. I didn't know what to do. The whole family was lonely. We didn't know the neighbours and were not able to invite them. We had to be very economical as both my parents didn't have a job. We already regretted to have left our home country.
Turkan, the daughter of one of the Turkish family, was at the same school than I was. One day on our way home she started to talk to me in English, the only language we were both learning. The next morning I looked for her to walk the way together with her. Turkan was two years older than I and very friendly. She told me about their first problems here in Germany and how they solved them. At the weekend she introduced me to her family and showed me her room. Sometimes it was really difficult to understand each other but we managed.

I was so happy to have a friend. One Sunday Turkan's parents invited us to tea and Turkish sweets.
My parents were very nervous because of the language problem, but Turkan and I tried to translate.
Our two families soon became friends. Today everybody takes part in the other family's customs and festivals. Without Turkan and her family we would perhaps have decided to go back to Russia. They helped us to solve all problems. Turkan's father managed to find a job for my father in his building firm. We will always be very grateful to them.

Janine Schmidt, form 9a


Story 4

There is no point in opening a door for somebody when he doesn't want to go through

We were all happy to hear that there would be a new member in our football team. Miguel was quiet and didn't laugh, but he was an excellent player.
Of course we wanted to treat him friendly and help him to integrate himself.
But that was more difficult than I thought.

Miguel's passion was football. He was not at all interested in the team and didn't want to stay with us after a match. We tried to talk to him again and again but his answers were short.
Finally we gave up and our coach told us to accept him as he was.

After a while two players who lived in Miguel's neighbourhood found out, that he lived with his mum and his little sister in two rooms. Their father had left them a year before and they seem to have problems with money.
His mum was an alcoholic. When he couldn't stand the situation at home he often went to the park to be alone. Then he started to steal all sorts of things in the supermarket.
There were days when he didn't go to school. Nobody seemed to care for him.
He also stopped to come to the training.

I looked for Miguel in the park to talk to him. I saw him lying on a bench. He was drunk and sent me away.
Later we often saw him in the park sleeping or drinking. But he always refused to talk to us.
One day we realized that we had not seen him for some time.
After two weeks we went to his flat and rang at the door. We heard that the family had moved away in another town.

We have never heard anything about him.
Unfortunately he didn't let us open a door for him. He must have been sad, lonely and desperate, but he was too shy and too ashamed to ask for help. Let's hope he will be able to integrate himself somewhere else.

Jèrôme Laponche, form 9b


Story 5

Common interests can help to integrate

The girl from Albania looked frightened when she arrived at our school. Her German was very poor. Nobody talked to her. She took a seat in the first row and didn't look at us. During the next months nothing changed.

When we planned our carnival school party she seemed to be interested for the first time. Our group wanted to show a dance, but nobody was able to dance. When she saw our problems she started to dance, alone. We were fascinated. She trained us every Friday after the lessons. Our dance was a great success and we thanked her for her help.

From now on she was no longer alone. In a German lesson she told us about her traditions, customs and festivals in Albania. The next day she brought an Alanian cake to school.

She had a wonderful voice. When we asked her to sing in the church on Christmas Day she said yes. Parents, teachers and pupils liked it very much.
We can learn a lot from one another. She takes part in our festivals and we celebrate her festivals with her.

Anna Laubenthal, 9a


Year 5 6 7 8 9 10 percent total
Age (10-11) (11-12) (12-13) (13-14) (14-15) (15-16)    
Germany 62 75 69 64 75 58   403
Italy   1   1       2
Türkey   1           1
Lebanon   1           1
India     1         1
Kurdistan       1       1
Portugal       1       1
Kasakhstan         1 1   2

Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 20:23