International faces of TU Braunschweig Meet Hussein Sahyouni
TU Braunschweig is an open-minded university that welcomes students, researchers and staff from all over the world to its campus. One of them is Hussein Sahyouni, who has been working in the position of Administrator IT and Digitalisation Projects at the International House since February 2021.
Hussein Sahyouni’s career at TU Braunschweig began with a surprise: He had initially applied for an opening with a different job profile — but when the International House offered him the position of Administrator IT and Digitalisation Projects, he looked at this from a different perspective. “The position involves more responsibility and is more demanding. At the beginning, I had my doubts about whether I would be able to meet these demands, but after the interview, I was convinced to definitely give it a try,” he recalls.
From Damascus via Clausthal-Zellerfeld to Braunschweig
Sahyouni came to Germany as a refugee from Syria in the summer of 2014. Within nine months, he passed the German language examination for university entrance (DHS) in Clausthal-Zellerfeld. “Actually, my goal was to enrol in a Master’s programme in informatics. But as is often the case, things turned out differently than planned and I decided to pick up a job straight away for family reasons,” Sahyouni explains.
The 34-year-old was born in the Syrian harbour city of Latakia and trained there as a computer scientist at first before moving to Damascus to study informatics. But with the outbreak of the civil war in Syria in 2011, the life of the then student was turned upside down and he was unable to finish his studies. “I am very glad that I later had the opportunity to take the last exams at my university online from Germany and in this way successfully complete my Bachelor’s degree after all,” Sahyouni says. “With the degree and the German language skills I had acquired, I found a job in Germany quite quickly.” He worked in the automotive sector in Clausthal-Zellerfeld for six years before stumbling across TU Braunschweig’s job advertisement online last year. “Compared to my previous position, the job profile appealed much more to me because of my IT background. In addition, I was excited about working at the University with its international focus,” Sahyouni points out.
New experiences: Berlin dialect, potato salad from Lower Saxony and German football
The IT administrator now feels very much at home at TU Braunschweig, even though there were some challenges at the beginning: “One of my colleagues has a very strong Berlin dialect, so I had some communication difficulties at first,” Sahyouni laughs. Furthermore, the then completely new IT department at the International House still had to grow together as a team and get to know their new tasks.
Sahyouni and his colleagues were supported by other teams of the International House: “Everyone was very friendly and offered us their support. I felt very welcome from the very beginning.” In addition to his job, Sahyouni completed another German course at TU Braunschweig to further improve his technical German. He greatly appreciates the opportunities offered by TU Braunschweig to its international employees when it comes to further training. At the same time, he would like to see more networking in other areas of the University: “I would like to network more and also get to know colleagues outside my own area of work. That is definitely a goal for the next few months,” he says, looking ahead. “Maybe then I will also find time to try out other TU Braunschweig benefits, such as the university sports programme, because sport always brings people together,” adds the self-described fan of the German national football team.
In private life, too, Hussein Sahyouni and his family feel very much at home in the “Lion City”. Together, they also discover German traditions: Potato salad from Lower Saxony, for example, was found to be very good and has been added to the family menu. Yet, a special visit is still on their agenda: “My wife and I would definitely like to see a football match at the Eintracht stadium. We haven’t had the chance yet, but you always have to have goals,” Sahyouni laughs.