More than 100 participants from 17 countries attend preparatory events at Freie Universität Berlin
As part of the Welcome@FUBerlin preparatory program for refugees, more than 140 prospective students with a refugee background applied for language and preparatory courses at Freie Universität Berlin. Over 100 applicants were selected to attend this year. They are currently beginning the one-year preparatory program designed to help them apply to regular degree programs afterward. The participants come from 17 countries, including Syria, Turkey, Yemen, and Afghanistan. They are interested in starting or continuing degree programs in various subjects, including computer science, business administration, psychology, political science, chemistry, and pharmacy.
The Welcome@FUBerlin program started in October 2015 at Freie Universität Berlin as a way to help refugees in Berlin and Brandenburg to continue their studies without interruption or to start a degree program here. Each year more than 100 participants take part in the program. Numerous graduates of the program have now successfully started a regular degree program, and some have even completed their degrees. The program is sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service.
Due to the pandemic, courses last year had to be held online. This year, however, participants can take part in courses on site in small groups - of course, while still observing the appropriate hygiene and safety measures. In addition, the Welcome@FUBerlin program offers support from student partners, called buddies, as well as opportunities for language tandems, free computer courses, and special offers from the University Sports Center.
The Welcome@FUBerlin program is part of an extensive commitment by Freie Universität to support refugee and endangered students and scholars. Freie Universität is a member of the Scholars at Risk Network and co-hosts the Academy in Exile together with the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Forum Transnational Studies. The academy program gives researchers, who are being persecuted in their home countries because of their research or for other reasons, the opportunity to continue their academic work. In addition, a nationwide mentoring program, Academics in Solidarity, supports more than 100 refugee and endangered scholars throughout Germany. It provides support for them to resume their academic work and reintegrate into the academic job market.