Bringing Talent to this Country

A thousand more examples of successful integration in Germany

Stuttgart, October 2012 - In 2002, Irina Maryash came to Germany from the Ukraine. She did well in high school and at the age of 17 she was accepted into the Robert Bosch Stiftung's "Talent im Land" (Talent in the Country) scholarship program. "I was so happy to finally feel like I had all the advantages," Maryash recalls. "And that there was someone who believed in young people like me, who trusted us to achieve something."

For three years, Irina received money for books, computer equipment, and courses. She also took part in seminars, creativity programs and summer academies on a range of scientific and research topics. And she could always turn to the leaders of the Talent in the Nation program if she had any questions. Irina passed her final exams in 2011 and is now studying industrial engineering in Karlsruhe.

The same program that helped Maryash has helped around a thousand others from 60 different countries to graduate. Over 95 percent have gone onto tertiary study. Simply put, they are a thousand examples of successful integration in Germany.

The "Talent im Land" program helps gifted children from immigrant families where difficult living conditions or lack of money or support stand in the way of scholastic success. The program is run in association with the Baden-Württemberg Foundation and Bavaria's Ministry of Education and Culture.

Ten years of expanding horizons

This fall, the tenth batch of students in Baden-Württemberg was welcomed to the program. "Originally, the most important thing for the students was the financial aid," program head Andreas Germann says. "Since then, though, the networking, the seminars and the support have increasingly come to the fore as real benefits of the program."

The students themselves have seen the strengths of the program and say they have benefited from them. "As well as being a big financial support, the program also expanded my horizons - through a whole series of stimulating seminars," Irina notes. "For instance, a seminar on Interculturality as an Opportunity really taught me how to deal with my origins in a completely different way and to be more self assured and open."

(Klaus Voßmeyer, Bosch Zünder, October 2012)
Photos: KD Busch
The tenth batch of 50 students in Baden-Württemberg was welcomed to the program at Neues Schloss, Stuttgart