More than 15.1 million people with a migration background live in Germany, accounting for 18.4% of the total population of 82 million. It is no wonder, then, that integration is a hotly debated topic. In 2005, the German government passed an Immigration Act, which among other things simplified residency regulations for non-EU nationals but also created federally-funded integration courses and language instruction...and made attendance mandatory in some cases.
If you have recently moved to Germany, it may be worth looking into these courses, which offer both language instruction and orientation on various aspects of German history, culture and government. The language component includes 600 hours of instruction at a local language school, and participants can attend anywhere from five to 25 hours per week. If you qualify for these courses, your cost is only 1 euro per hour and the government pays the rest. But not everyone qualifies, and there is a lot of fine print. For more information go to the website www.integration-in-deutschland.de, ask at your local language school or contact:
The Internationaler Bund (IB)
Stuttgarter Str. 19
Tel: 069 - 234 540