Welcome initiatives for refugees


Student support programmes

In many HU faculties, student initiatives support refugees in the early stages of student life as well as with issues regarding asylum law. Thanks to funding from the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) programme “Welcome - Students Helping Refugees“, Humboldt-Universität is able to focus on strengthening these initiatives and monitoring them on an interdisciplinary level.


Zukunft gestalten ("Shaping Future") Initiative

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Geography Department

The project "Zukunft gestalten" ("Shaping future") offers monthly workshops about studying and working in Germany. In the mentoring programme, the initiative looks for "student buddies" who will assist refugees interested in study with both university-related and everyday issues. The intitiative also offers counselling and support services - especially for the university degrees at the faculty, i.e. Chemistry, Geography, Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Physics.

Website: Refugee Welcome Geography Department
Contact: zukunft.gestalten@hu-berlin.de
Flyer: Zukunft gestalten (Jan 2019)


Refugee Law Clinic e.V.

Faculty of Law

Refugee Law Clinic Berlin e.V. is an initiative of HU students and doctoral candidates from various fields. It aims to provide students with knowledge of asylum and immigration law, while, at the same time, offering free, competent and multilingual legal advice for refugees and migrants in Berlin.

Website: Refugee Law Clinic
Contact: info@rlc-berlin.org
Flyer: Refugee Law Clinic (Jan 2019)


Wiwi Welcome

School of Business and Economics

The Wiwi Welcome initiative aims to promote the integration of refugees at the School of Business and Economics on both an academic and social level. To achieve this, a project is being developed that accounts for the refugees’ needs, offers short-term solutions, while, at the same time, develops long-term prospects. Some of the things offered include tutorials subject-specific and linguistic support as well as a buddy programme.

Website: WiWi-Welcome
Contact: wiwi-welcome@hu-berlin.de
Flyer: Wiwi Welcome (Jan 2019)


LeWi Welcome

Faculty of Life Sciences

The LeWi Welcome initiative focuses on providing refugees with an easier entry into studies and on supporting them with the integration into university life as well as into the student community. For this purpose, the initiative offers a weekly Language Café, a mentoring programme and joint cultural activities.

Website: LeWi-Welcome
Contact: welcome.lewi@hu-berlin.de
Flyer: LeWi Welcome (Jan 2019)


Welcome Tandems

Faculties of Humanities & Social Sciences, Berlin Institute for Integration and Migration Research

The programme Welcome Tandems facilitates an exchange of knowledge and experience on an equal footage, with the aim to create supporting and personal contacts, to deconstruct stereotypes and to simplify the access for refugees to institutions of higher education. The exchange and with each other shall be provided on two levels: on the one hand by building up tandems – composed of students of Humboldt-Universität and refugees – and on the other hand by regularly organised seminars.

Website: Welcome Tandems
Contact: welcome-tandems-bim@hu-berlin.de
Facebook: HUWelcomeTandems
Instagram: huwelcometandems
Flyer: Welcome Tandems (June 2020)


Student Conference for Welcome Programmes

On the initiative of its own Welcome projects, HU organised the first nation-wide student conference for the Welcome programmes (Welcome-StudiKon) in October 2017. More than 100 engaged participants from all over Germany used the conference as a platform to exchange their experiences of the past two years. The conference also enabled the students to extend their expert knowledge in the field of refugee support in Higher Education and to enforce the development of a common network.

Documentation of results (only available in German): Ergebnisbroschüre of Welcome-StudiKon


Further HU initiatives for refugees


Project "Language mediation in the legal asylum case"

Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities

This project aims at educating students to professionalise their language interpreting skills because of the increasing demand for lay persons who are able to translate during asylum procedures in German institutions. In this course students will learn about the specific characteristics of translating in asylum procedures, such as the understanding of each person’s role, trauma prevention, stress management, professional ethics, intercultural communication and semiotics.

Refugees are encouraged to participate in the course (also as guest auditors) if they have a C1 German level. At the end of the semester, participants will receive a certificate which will qualify them to work as lay interpreters with the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees). 

Link to the course (availabe only in German)

Contact: Nina Bauer


Promoting an interest in the sciences among refugee youth

Cross-faculty project

A programme designed to promote an interest in the sciences among refugee youth is being piloted at Campus Adlershof of Humboldt-Universität. The programme is carried out at UniLab Adlershof whose years of expertise as a teaching and learning laboratory will be put at our disposal in the form of modules. These tried and tested UniLab modules are adapted for refugee youth in teacher training classes for general studies and then carried out with refugee children.

Website: Promoting scientific interest among refugee youth (only in German)
Contact: sabine.erbstoesser@hu-berlin.de and jurik.stiller@hu-berlin.de


Devugees – web developer training

Venture Service of Humboldt-Universität

The HU Venture Service supports the start-up “Digital Career Institute”. With Devugees, this startup company runs an advanced training programme for refugees and recognised asylum seekers interested in entering the German job market with a technical qualification. In no more than 12 weeks, they can be trained as web developers and enter a professional field within the Berlin startup and tech scene that will open doors for them all over the world. The start-up is based at the HU Venture Service Adlershof.

Website: Devugees





Ulrike Spangenberg

International Department

Main Contact HU initiatives “Refugees Welcome”

Tel.: +49 (0)30 2093-46712