Providing assistance to people who have fled from war and political persecution in their native country and helping them to realize their potential: The University of Freiburg is taking on responsibility by developing new programs for refugees interested in studying and coordinating existing faculty and student initiatives and projects for refugees.
Central University Services
Advising and review of higher education entrance qualifications
The first point of contact at the University of Freiburg for refugees interested in studying is the Department of International Admissions and Services (IAS) at the Student Service Center (SCS). It provides support and advising for all international students before, during, and after a course of study and also reviews the higher education entrance qualifications of refugees interested in taking up a course of study.
Guest student program
Refugees interested in taking up a course of study are eligible to register at the University of Freiburg as guest students. This gives them the opportunity to familiarize themselves with Baden-Württemberg’s university system. Guest students have a wide variety of courses to choose from and also receive free access to the university’s independent language learning area, where they can use learning materials and computer programs to practice German and other foreign languages. The University of Freiburg is waiving the 50-euro guest student registration fee for refugees in winter semester 2016/2017.
Scholars at Risk
The University of Freiburg has joined the “Scholars at Risk” network. The organization aims each year to make possible guest fellowships abroad for researchers who are threatened with war and political persecution in their homelands. More than 400 universities from around 40 countries belong to the network. The first visiting fellow from the program has already arrived. The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute for Socio-Cultural Research (ABI) has successfully applied for a fellowship stipend for a researcher from Burundi. The grant came from the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, which was started by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation together with Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was established by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation together with the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. It enables universities, colleges and other research institutions in Germany to provide guest fellowships for scholars from abroad who are at risk. This initiative is financed by the Foreign Ministry, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator.
Services of the Studierendenwerk Freiburg (SWFR)
The SWFR is responsible for providing social counseling to students in the Freiburg region. The SWFR counseling services are also open to prospective refugee students who have questions on social, health, or financial issues. Furthermore the website offers detailed information about studying for refugees.
The website Refugees Welcome provides a comprehensive overview on the topic studying for refugees, including answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), as well as information sheets about the coordinators for refugees at the different universities or German course providers in the Freiburg region. Furthermore you can find information about special offers, like preparatory courses at the universities.
Refugees with guest student status receive reduced guest prices at all cafeterias run by the SWFR. Those who fulfill certain conditions can even apply with the social counseling service to receive free meals.
The SWFR International Club Freiburg provides many opportunities to meet other students from different cultures. It is a forum for students and prospective students from Germany and abroad who wish to meet new people and learn about other cultures. The many events and services organized by the club include the following:
- a buddy program for students who are new to Freiburg,
- a search service for language tandems,
- the “Walking Dialogs” offer an interactive way to learn German
- small-scale intercultural encounters and events at the Hofcafé in Herderbau
In the students group “Yalla Orient” students of German and Arabic origin work together on integration concepts and organise events, like the Arabic Cultural Days. Moreover, the picture-dictionary Pic Me for students is available in Arabic.
Visit www.swfr.de for information on all social services for students, including financial aid, living, child care, and counseling services. The website Refugees Welcome is particularly interesting for refugees who would like to start or continue their studies.
Follow our Facebook page to receive up-to-date information on all of our events and services. www.facbook.com/studierendenwerk.freiburg
Our blog provides a look behind the scenes. For example, students can read about how other new students in Freiburg are getting on. studierendenwerkfreiburg.wordpress.com
First contact point at the University of Fribourg is the International Admissions and Services (IAS) department of the Service Center Studium (SCS). It supports and advises all international students on questions before, during and after their studies. It also checks the university entrance qualification of refugees who are interested in studying.
In Baden-Württemberg, taking up or continuing studies is not linked to a specific residence title. This means that those who have been granted permission and those who have been granted toleration can also study, as long as the requirements under higher education law are met. The university is currently developing a toolbox for a simplified admission procedure for those refugees who cannot prove their university entrance qualification with documents.