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The migration of Greek Scientists abroad the phenomenon of Brain Drain , which has emerged in the recent years , because of the problem of high unemployment especially for young people. This is the phenomenon of people who have completed higher education. There are several stories of those young gifted people.
“Greece is where I should be” says Maritina Roppa , 28 , a trainee doctor who left Greece three years ago for Minden , north-west Germany. “It’s such a pity that people like me, in their 20s, have had to go. The north German town of Minden was not on my radar when I elected to study medicine at Athens University. I made the move when it bacame clear the alternative was years on a waiting list for a position as a specialist dermatologist. At first it was hard , but the funny thing is there are two thousand Greek dotoctors just in this region of Germany, but a lot of us would like to go back someday.”
I had never studied or worked abroad and longed to experience something new. I was looking for ways to better establish myself in Greece. I came to a point where I realised there is nothing my country does to improve my salary or work environment; I really didn’t see myself affording to buy a car or an apartment with my salary. Depending on my parents or a future boyfriend was not an option for me. I had to do something. Moving abroad and earning a better salary was the plan I came up with.
I planned to stay in Norway no longer than two years. As I came with a job agency I really had no choice about where I will be living and working in Norway. I was informed that my first stay shall be in the north, in Vadsø.
Northern Norway is nothing like the South or East of Norway; I find it extremely beautiful and calm. My first impression was – ‘this place has a lot of immigrants already!’ Also, I quickly learned that Norway is way too expensive and Norwegians are really nice and easy-going people. I have been here for a year and a half now. I work as a nurse and in spare time engage in my hobbies – taking long walks, going for picnics, driving a snow scooter, looking at aurora borealis and enjoying life in the Norwegian way.
My plans took an unexpected twist. I met the man of my dreams, my boyfriend, and my plans have changed, I am hoping to stay here now.
As a result of living abroad I have become thankful for what I have. More than before, I appreciate my time with family and friends. My family means the world to me. Now, I have more opportunities to help my family. Also, I am completely independent, making my own decisions, paying my own bills and spending my own money. I think it’s important for a young adult to experience hard times, which prepare one for life. It can happen either at home or abroad, as long as it’s happening.
In my experience language is important for good integration. It is extremely difficult to live in another country even if the cultures do not feel that different. One needs to be open-minded about accepting the culture, habits and traditions of the host society. For integration to work, people of the host society have to tolerate you and have the desire to help you integrate. It is an effort on both sides, the newcomer and the host society.
I hope to come back to Greece one day, but more than anything, I want my family to do well, feel safe and cared for. I really want Greece to do well. Fixing up a post-Soviet country is not easy, but it is possible. I hope Greece takes in more immigrants, because it will create a good balance between emigration and immigration, the brain drain and the talent gain. I hope Greece heals its weak points and makes Greeks happier people.
GIARIMAGA Maritina Roppa a young Greek emigrant
Some 35,000 Greek doctors – the biggest foreign group of its kind – have emigrated to Germany, according to German statistics cited in media reports. In sharp contrast to gastarbeiter (guest workers) who flocked to the country’s factories in the 1950s, the emigres are highly qualified.
One of the Greek young emigrants was Maritina Roopa
“Greece is where I should be,” says Maritina Roppa, 28, a trainee doctor who left Greece three years ago for Minden, north-west Germany. “It’s such a pity that people like me, in their 20s, have had to go.”
The north German town of Minden was not on Roppa’s radar when she elected to study medicine at Athens University in the late 1990s. She made the move when it became clear the alternative was years on a waiting list for a position as a specialist dermatologist. The omens did not bode well when the health service was among the sectors worst affected by budget cuts demanded in return for the EU-IMF sponsored bailouts that have kept the Greek economy afloat. “In Greece, hospitals were being shut and jobs axed,” she said. “In Germany, where there is a huge demand for doctors, you have the opportunity to thrive personally and professionally in a system that is very good, very structured, very modern.”
“At first it was hard,” said Roppa, describing her €3,000 (£2,300) monthly wage as the stuff of dreams in Greece. “There was a lot in the papers about ‘lazy Greeks’, a lot of prejudice, but the funny thing is there are around 2,000 Greek doctors, alone, just in this region of Germany.”
Maritina in the end told us that there might be a possibility not to return to her country because she considers Germany as a potential country to accomplish her dreams and be well at her financials
While she was still in Greece, Archodi Korka was a translator and a literary critic. Once she moved to London in March 2011, she worked in translation companies as Project Manager and now she is working as Senior Account Manager in a big marketing agency.
The first times when she visited Greece for holidays, they were emotionally difficult for her. Every now and then, she considered to return. But after a while, she realized that, even if she was still living there, she would have still missed the way Greece was when she left. She does not know whether she will return in the near future. It is not just a matter of work or remuneration, but it is mostly the different way of living that she has learned throughout all these years abroad. Her daily life is more organized in the slightest things without any depreciation and disorganization. She is not positive that she will return to Greece any time soon.