20. March 2023 | Magazine:

Welcome Week for international students New cooperation with the Association of Chinese Students and Scientists Braunschweig

From 03 April, TU Braunschweig welcomes its new international students in the Welcome Week. At info events, campus tours, and workshops, students get to know their new university and can socialise at the same time. A new constituent of the Welcome Week in this semester are special offers for Chinese students in cooperation with the Association of Chinese Students and Scientists Braunschweig.

The Welcome Week offers many opportunities to network with other students. Photo: International House/TU Braunschweig

For all new international students, the Welcome Week is a wonderful opportunity to get an orientation around TU Braunschweig and to come to know Braunschweig as their new home. At the Kick off Event on 03 April at 10:00 at the Haus der Wissenschaft, the International Student Support team welcomes all newcomers and gives an overview of the events of the following days. Students will also have the chance to start a conversation with the most important service facilities and contact persons here.

Colourful array of events for networking and information

The programme is a colourful mix of information events, workshops, and offers which focus on getting to know the university and fellow students. “It is important to us that the students feel comfortable during their first days at TU Braunschweig already, and that they receive all the information that they need.”, explains Dr. Eika Auschner of the International Student Support team. “That is the first important step towards successful studies in Germany.“

The first semester excursion to the Harz Mountains is also on the programme again this year. Photo: International House/TU Braunschweig

First opportunities to get in contact with fellow students are, for example, is the Start your Day event at International House or the daily Lunch Breaks at Mensa 1. Further networking events will be offered by student initiatives such as the Erasmus Student Network Braunschweig. To ensure a successful start into their studies, though, it is just as important for international students to become familiar with the German higher education system and to further develop their German skills. The International Student Support team provides info events and workshops for these areas. Other facilities of TU Braunschweig, like the Sports Centre and the University Library, make use of the Welcome Week to introduce their services. In order to let the students also become acquainted with the city Braunschweig and its surroundings, guided city tours and a first year students’ trip to the Harz mountains are part of the programme, too.

New offers for Chinese students

The Welcome Week is organised by the International House in cooperation with student initiatives and facilities of TU Braunschweig. Since many years, the collaboration between the International House and the Erasmus Student Network has been particularly close. This Welcome Week, the cooperation with the Association of Chinese Students and Scientists Braunschweig is novel; they are offering an orientation event and networking opportunities designed especially for Chinese students. Chinese students form the largest group of international students at TU Braunschweig, and yet simultaneously face particular challenges, as Chen Yu, president of the Association of Chinese Students and Scientists Braunschweig, knows: “On one hand, it is a long and demanding process for many Chinese students until they can communicate in German without barriers. On the other hand, cultural expectations in Germany often vary from those in China. In Chinese culture, introversion and modesty are of particular importance, whereas in Germany, activity and initiative are required.”

Dr. Lili Jiang came to Germany more than ten years ago as an exchange student from China and helps Chinese students to integrate into the German higher education system. Photo: Simone Fürst/TU Braunschweig

Therefore, not only during Welcome Week but also throughout the semester, there will be an increase of support offers for Chinese students and of events on the topic of China competence for the lecturers and the staff of TU Braunschweig. Responsible for strengthening the topic of China competence at TU Braunschweig is Dr. Lili Jiang, who came to Germany as a student from China herself more than ten years ago, and who is researching the situation of Chinese students in Germany. “We want to improve the integration of Chinese students on Campus, and to help them study successfully.”, explains Jiang. “My personal experiences also help me in understanding the needs of the students better, and in creating suitable services for them.”

Dragon Boat Festival as highlight

In the summer semester, intercultural workshops are planned, among other events, in which German staff and students at TU Braunschweig will be sensitised to the special challenges of Chinese students. Furthermore, from the beginning of the semester onwards, there will be a “Chinese Lunch Break” at Mensa 1 every Tuesday, at which local and Chinese-speaking students can connect and socialise. A very special highlight is the Dragon Boat Festival on 21 June, which the International Student Support team and the Association of Chinese Students and Scientists Braunschweig plan as a cultural event. President Chen Yu is looking forward to the joint projects: “TU Braunschweig is a leading TU9 university with a broad spectrum of offers for engineering disciplines and outstanding research opportunities. Some fields of study have a nationwide presence and the research and work environment around Braunschweig is an attractive reason for many Chinese students to decide to study at TU Braunschweig. Together with the International House, we want to help the students to find their way around Germany and the university better.”

TU Braunschweig wishes all international students a good start into their studies!