Not only the Student Admissions Office, the Student Advice and Counselling Centre and the Career Service at Münster University will be moving into the “Botanicum - The Centre for Student Affairs” behind the Schloss. So will the International Office. At the same time, the International Centre “Die Brücke” in Wilmergasse, set up in 1947 and run by the International Office, is to be closed down. The counselling services and the events they provided will in future be located in the “Botanicum”. In this interview with Norbert Robers, Dana Jacob - head of the “International Students and Student Mobility” department within the International Office, explains why the move was made.
What does the International Office moving into the “Botanicum” mean for “Die Brücke”’
It marks the beginning of an exciting new phase. “Die Brücke” and what it offers will be moving into new surroundings. These offers are now firmly rooted in the life of the University of Münster. One important element is the advisory and counselling services for international students. In the new building, for the first time, these will be merged with other such services offered by the International Office, on one floor. Another element in what we offer will be an open meeting place and location for events with an international focus for students. It will be an interesting time because the team will be able to reconfigure a lot of things in the new rooms in the “Botanicum”.
Why is this change necessary? And why does it make sense?
A lot of offers for students will be brought together in the “Botanicum”. For the University, of course, these also include all the offers aimed at international students. Up to now, these offers were always located a bit further away from the Schloss and the other central institutions. We now have an opportunity to merge these with all the other offers. There were some important requirements that we weren’t able to put into practice in the rooms of “Die Brücke” in Wilmergasse - for example barrier-free access. In the “Botanicum”, however, that’s no problem. As a result of the proximity to the student rooms in the new building - and of the merging of two sites of the International Office - we’ll be able to develop and expand more offers, which was not always possible in the past because of the site.
“Die Brücke” is an institution which stands for international meetings and get-togethers. How will the International Office organise this in future?
Naturally enough, this was constantly being taken into account when the move was being planned - and it’s still an important issue for us in the new rooms. As the various offers - advice, counselling, meetings and events - will now be located in different parts of the building, there won’t be “Die Brücke” in its old form anymore. In future, the new International Student Lounge will be made available by the International Office as a meeting place with an international orientation. The new name is unmistakeable for English-speaking students and makes clear which target group and which topics the focus is on. Here will be the first point of contact for international students, and it will be run by students themselves. Smaller-scale events and network meetings can be held in the Lounge. We’re also considering other things such as theme weeks on studying abroad. There are two function rooms we can use in the “Botanicum”for larger-scale offers such as the welcome events for new international students and information or cultural events. These rooms are always closely connected with other student rooms and, to that extent, promote discussion and networking.