Are you thinking, "What is the Integration Course?"?
Well, it is a government-mandated course for immigrants to Germany. Germany does not have a long history of immigration, so there was not an official framework for creating new citizens. Until very recently, a German citizen was someone who was born in Germany of German parents.
In the 1950s, Germany needed help rebuilding the nation, so it invited the world to come work. Turkish people heeded the call. Instead of assimilation, they made their own communities within the country. Many people who have been there for decades maintain the same lifestyle they had in Turkey. Of course, some pretty bad inequalities surfaced. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement knows that separate is not equal. Turkish people have high rates of dropping out of school, crime rates, etc., etc. etc. All the gangsta rappers in Germany are Turkish. They are pretty angry people.
To ease some tensions, the government created a framework that required new immigrants to be officially integrated into the country. All foreign-born people, regardless of how long they have been in Germany, can take the course. The newer ones must take it if they want to get a settlement visa.
So I sit in a classroom from 8:50 am until 1 pm every weekday learning Germany language and culture. This lasts for six months. At the end of the course, there is a test. I must pass the test to get a settlement visa.
The diverse buffet created by students who hail from countries around the world. I brought the American-style Pringles chips and Doritos. I worked the night before class and did not have time to cook anything. Of course, a few people made fun of me.
The course is all in German and moves pretty fast. The European Union has a classification of language understanding that goes A1 for beginners to A2, then B1, B2, and then C1 and C2. C2 means you talk like a native speaker. I need to be at B1 at the end of six months. There are tests about twice a week and our progress is monitored. People who are not doing well are asked to leave. Three people disappeared from my class. I don't mind learning German. I want to learn German. I just wish it wasn't so regimented. Things could much faster if there was a class for people who understand some English. Because the class is filled with people from all over the world, it is taught only in German. So there is lots of drawing, exaggerated acting and pointing. I have done two months. I have four months to go.
I also wish a few people would leave. There was a man who stank. There were the two women who always called out answers. There was another guy who liked to criticize me. A whole group of people snickered if you gave a wrong answer or pronounced a word incorrectly. I have found that many people lack the grace that America instills in its people. I was silent at first [See. I am graceful.], then I had to tell people to back off [Although, I never told H that he needed deodorant. More evidence of my grace.].
I missed a month of class while living in London. I cannot join the third module of the course until March. I will not miss my rude, pushy classmates but I will miss their constant company. As immigrants, we are all in the same second-class boat.