New Support Structures for International Students at TU Braunschweig Comprehensive offers provide support in daily university life
International students who study at TU Braunschweig as exchange or degree-seeking students often face particular challenges. In order to provide them with even better support in the future, the International House joined forces with a number of university and student partners at the beginning of the year to set up a cross-departmental support concept for international students. The goal was to create holistic and complementary support services that provide even more benefits for the students. The first milestones of the newly developed concept will be implemented in the winter semester 2021/22.
TU Braunschweig has been offering its 3,300 international students a large number of integration services and support programmes for a long time now. The programmes and services offered by the faculties, student groups, representatives and associations and the International House provide support for challenges related to language and subject learning, orientation within the German university system, and help students to quickly feel at home at TU Braunschweig. The large number of parties involved shows the great importance of international student support at TU Braunschweig. For the students themselves, however, it is not always easy to keep track of the many decentralised offers and to find the right programme or contact person for their concerns.
In order to make the wide range of services more transparent and to continue to develop them, the International House set up a working group on International Student Support at the beginning of 2021. Here, all participating central and decentralised university institutions and programmes as well as student groups work closely together. The aim is to ensure that everyone involved is aware of the services being offered by other institutions and thus better coordinate all of the offers. At the moment, the AStA (General Student Council), the Erasmus Student Network (ESN), AIESEC, faculty programmes and projects such as “SCOUT” (Fac. 2), “inTU” (Fac. 3/4), or “Braunschweig and the World” (Fac. 6), as well as the involved teams in the International House (Incoming Office, Mobility Office, Language Centre, S.o.S. programme) collaborate in the working group.
For the realignment of the International Student Support, the existing offers were evaluated, gaps were identified and proposals for new measures were developed. The new concept is particularly focused on competent, personal advice for students and cooperation between all those involved. In addition, a central coordinating position for the area of International Student Support was created in the International House using study quality funds. This position is expected to be occupied from the beginning of October and will then be responsible for further developing the services.
Francesco Ducatelli, Head of Mobility Office and Incoming Office, emphasises: “Providing excellent support for international students is one of the central internationalisation goals of TU Braunschweig. With the new concept, the central coordination position, and especially thanks to the great commitment of everyone involved, we are on a great path here.”
Welcome to TU Braunschweig: Welcome Week starts on 18 October
The redesigned Welcome Week, which begins on 18 October, is a cornerstone of the support services for international students. During this week, newly enrolled international students can obtain detailed information on topics such as borrowing from the university library, using the y-number and registering for language and sports courses offered at TU Braunschweig. They also get an overview of central topics in German university life, are introduced to the most important contact persons and get the opportunity to make friends with their fellow students. In addition to the International House as the central contact point for international students, central institutions, programmes from the faculties and student groups are involved. At the Welcome Reception on Thursday, 21 October, the students will also be officially welcomed by the President of TU Braunschweig, Professor Angela Ittel, and the Internationalisation Officer, Professor Rüdiger Heinze.
All Services at a Glance
International students can already find a compact overview of all offers online: The International House has compiled information and contacts on topics such as application and visa, student financing, campus life, learning languages, or health and well-being. Students can also find everything they need to know about the Buddy Programme and the events of the Erasmus Student Network. The website is available in both German and English.
Apart from that, the social media offers for international students at TU Braunschweig will be further expanded. In addition to the central channels of TU Braunschweig, which will have a stronger focus on international topics, there will be more exchange formats in the future, such as groups and live advice events, which are specifically aimed at international students.
Text: Daniel Götjen / International House