Álvaro Valera Sosa

Design Researcher, Architecture for Health Department, TU-Berlin | From Caracas, Venezuela | Moved to Berlin in 2009

What’s it like working in Berlin?

I’m a founding member of the European Network Architecture for Health. The headquarters are here in Berlin and it’s difficult to persuade the others to meet anywhere else. They love it here because of the architecture. And because everyone speaks English in Berlin, it’s easy to get around the city.

Has Berlin helped you along the way?

The city of Berlin has been very supportive over the years. Initially when I was a student, I was given emergency assistance with my rent, later I needed help looking for a new job, and most recently as an entrepreneur I have been granted six months support for my startup.

What do you think of berliners?

Berliners are very open, relaxed and laid back. It has been very helpful. Also, I’ve never seen a similar attitude to academia anywhere else in Germany. I think this attitude makes it more acceptable for newcomers to interrupt or to be spontaneous. People here are very approachable, and happy to help.

What’s the standard of living like?

The quality of life in Germany in general is excellent. And in Berlin I think it’s even better. This is a city where I don’t need a car. I can move everywhere and there are a lot of parks, which is very important now that my family is growing.

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