“I can be German and on time, too.”

a young Spanish Engineer dreams of a career in Germany


Manolo Alarcón Ther, 22 years old, from Madrid: He wants to come to Germany to study and work as a engineer

Hazardous half-truths: Unemployment has fallen by more than one percent in Spain since 2014. This is not only due to the policy, but also the emigration of mostly young people. The country is still struggling with low wages and temporary contracts. One reason for Manolo Alarcón Ther to plan his future in Germany.

 Spain is affected by youth unemployment within the EU the most. Around 53 percent of the under-25s are without a job. For Manolo it was definite early that he also wants to go to Germany. Because his mother is German and the 22-year-old is therefore raised with two languages, provides at least the language as no problems for him.

Big pressure of the labour market

car race in Spain

“When I was little, we built cars in our Spanish village and then we started races,” says Manolo. Of course he won. By Zwack via Wikimedia Commons

For four years now, the young German-Spanish has studied the bachelor in aerospace engineering at the University of Madrid. Reason for this very demanding subject was on the one hand his passion for technology: “When I was little, we built cars in our Spanish village and then we started races,” says Manolo, in jeans and T-shirt sitting in front of his beer. And he proudly adds: “Mine was of course always the fastest, because I wanted to improve it still further. So I’ve learned a lot. ”

But another reason for an engineering degree was also the pressure of the labour market. So he had the feeling that he has to study – even though the passionate tinkerer would have preferred a practical education. “We have to learn a lot of heavy theory, but without studies you have almost no chances of getting a job – at least no one, from which one can live”, says Manolo.

The only one with High School

From his former school class from a small village in the south of Spain the German-Spaniard, with his blond hairs and blue eyes from his mother, was the only young man with a High School degree. And the only one from his village, who moved away to Madrid to study. “My friends at home have started in agriculture. Or as a mechanic. Of course, not well-paid jobs. And not really sophisticated”, says Manolo.

So he has to study to get something better once. As an engineer, he has good chances: “In my business it looks quite good. Even in Spain almost all engineers with my study get a job.” 90% cope to start a career right after the Bachelor, others make a Master in Spain, says Manolo. But some of his friends also go abroad. “In Germany I will at least earn twice. I will not miss this chance”, says the budding engineer.

Germany – a paradise for engineers

Advantages and disadvantages of Germany and Spain. By korny.brot/flickr.com

Advantages and disadvantages of Germany and Spain. By korny.brot/flickr.com

To get a nice job later, Manolo plans in the moment to do a Master in Munich, after finishing his Bachelor in Madrid: He wants to specialize in vehicle technology. Finding a job later? He is not worried about that: “I will have a bachelor and a master, so a good education from Madrid and Munich. I can use the language. I think as an engineer in Germany I never will have fear of unemployment,” says Manolo.

But there are of course also some negative points: “I will miss the Spanish mentality. People in Spain are not so serious and more spontaneous than the Germans. They plan rather everything,” says the 22-year-old guy. And he has to get used to the German punctuality: “Here in Spain, I am often half an hour too late. But I’ll have to adapt myself. I can also be German and on time. If I want to”, he adds with a grin.

The big uncertainty

But Manolo also is facing a big uncertainty, a big adventure. He often wonders: “How will it be in Germany? Will everything work out the way I hope it? Will I miss Spain a lot? Where will I work? Will I be happy?” But on the other hand, he takes it relaxed and the uncertainty is just exciting for him, he says. “To be honest I have no plan how it will be. I just know that it will be different. Something new. And I am looking forward to everything. ”

And certainly incomprehensible to many other Europeans, Manolo is looking forward to the often cold and rainy weather in the south of Germany: “I do not like the heat! But I love snow and skiing. So there can be no better place than Munich for me.” So maybe it’s no wonder that Monolo is very pale for a Spaniard.


One that has already taken the step to Germany is Beatriz. Read here what she likes in Germany, but also what she misses. Why does she sees her paradise in Germany? What works better in Germany? We met her in Munich.