Skip to main content

Happy to be home again

This link opens a YouTube video. Please note the data protection regulations vaid for this site.


Happy to be home again

My name is Zagorka. I’m 28 years old and live in Knjaževac in Serbia. I am divorced with two children, and I spent a long time trying to establish a life for myself in Germany. But it never really felt like home there. Our asylum application was refused so we came back to Serbia, where a short course training as a beautician has allowed me to gain a foothold in the industry.

My career prospects were poor before I went to Germany with my mother and sister. I hadn’t finished high school or any training because my family simply couldn’t afford it at the time. We did seasonal work as harvesters in order to survive, and we were convinced we’d find a better life in Germany. But I felt out of place and unsure of myself there, and ultimately I was relieved to come back to Serbia. At the same time, I was also scared that I wouldn’t be able to find a job though.

A job in a beauty salon

A social worker who works with Roma told me about the German Information Centre for Migration, Training and Career (DIMAK). The advisory team there offered me career coaching and various courses. I decided on a three-month cosmetics course. I always wanted to go to a college for beauticians, but that sort of option wasn’t previously available in our town.

The course was held in a beauty salon, so I had the chance to practice directly with customers. I learned manicure and pedicure techniques, but I really enjoyed the cosmetic treatments like adding artificial eyelashes and nails, applying make-up and that sort of thing. I learned quickly, which also gave me confidence when dealing with the customers.

After finishing the course, I was fortunate to be able to start working in the beauty salon as a trainee. Then I filled in for a woman on maternity leave, and finally the boss offered me a permanent position. Now I even have a few regular customers. I still really enjoy the work, and would like to learn a lot more about it. I’m ambitious, and I always want to be up to speed with the latest treatments. My neighbours and relatives are happy to let me practice my massage techniques on them or try out the latest cosmetic trends. Although the corona pandemic has unfortunately put a lot of that on hold. I hope it's behind us soon, but overall I’m still happy to be back here in Serbia.

As of: 01/2021

The opportunities for advice and assistance described here are offered as part of “Returning to New Opportunities”.

Learn more >
I’m ambitious, and I always want to be up to speed with the latest treatments.

Other experiences