Hybrid Welcome Weeks for 276 new international students

HAW Hamburg is welcoming a total of 276 new international students this semester, some for an entire degree with us, some for a shorter stay. Between 7 and 18 March 2022, the International Office is holding two Welcome Weeks in hybrid format to help the students settle in before they join their OE sessions. The team that runs the weBuddy scheme for international students is helping the International Office with the Welcome Weeks, which also feature events held by the faculties’ student exchange coordinators.

151 new Bachelor's and Master's students from around the globe

In total, 151 students from 47 countries worldwide are commencing degree courses at HAW Hamburg this semester; 123 of them are taking Bachelor’s and 28 Master’s degrees (figures correct as of 3 March 2022). The countries from which the most students come are India (15 students), Vietnam (12), Iran (12), Bangladesh (11), Syria (10), Nigeria (8), Yemen (5), Cameroon (5), Morocco (5), Afghanistan (4), Indonesia (4), Malaysia (4), Columbia (4), Ecuador (3), Nepal (3) and Sri Lanka (3). The most popular degree courses are the Bachelor’s degree in Information Engineering with 42 international new starters, the Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology with 11, and the Master of Public Health with 10.

An alphabet of nations: 125 new exchange students

As well as those doing full degrees with us, 125 students from our partner institutions in Europe and further afield have arrived to spend one or two semesters at HAW Hamburg. They call a total of 31 countries home: Austria (2 students), Belgium (6), Bolivia (1), Chile (1), China (2), Denmark (1), Egypt (1), Finland (4), France (9), Germany (2), Greece (2), India (1), Ireland (6), Israel (5), Italy (4), Kazakhstan (1), Mexico (3), Nepal (1), The Netherlands (7), Philippines (2), Portugal (1), Romania (1), Russian Federation (1), South Korea (5), Spain (21), Switzerland (3), Thailand (1), Turkey (6), UK (1), USA (21), Venezuela (1) and Vietnam (2). Their top degree courses are Aeronautical Engineering (studied by 17 visiting students), Media Technology (14), Social Work (14), Nutrition and Home Economics (11) and Communication Design (10).

The Welcome Weeks

The International Office’s Welcome Weeks give international students a great head start in getting to know Hamburg and settling in. As well as attending online events with a wealth of information about formalities and paperwork (‘Get Organised’) and virtual faculty tours, students get to go on a real-life tour of Hamburg and take part in a scavenger hunt out in the city. Small-group meet-and-greet events kick off the Welcome Weeks, with students taking rapid antigen tests beforehand to stay Covid-safe. There are also cultural and sport events and trips to enjoy – including ice-skating, climbing and an online presentation all about Germany. The Hofbräuhaus Night brings a little bit of Bavaria up north to Hamburg for students and their weBuddy buddies. The international students are looking forward to their time at HAW Hamburg. ‘I study aeronautics and chose the HAW Hamburg because of its good programme. It is a nice place and I was welcomed by lovely people,’ says Rohan Kachru, a visiting student from the US. Aysenur Sozeri from Turkey is spending a semester studying Biotechnology in Hamburg: ‘I am looking forward to discovering different types of courses and other majors.’ The students are also keen to make the most of all that Hamburg and Germany have to offer. ‘I am excited about discovering the city and getting to know the German culture,’ says Rohan Kachru.

Help for international students affected by the war in the Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic

The current war in Ukraine and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may have a particularly severe impact on international students, who generally don’t have local support networks; the war may make it impossible for some of them to receive funds from home. As a rule, international students are not entitled to BAföG funding; only around half of them receive any financial help from their families, as compared to about 88 per cent of students from Germany. Approximately 75 per cent of all students in Hamburg need to do paid work to fund their studies. This is the case for German and international students alike; the difference is that international students rarely have access to longer-term, better-paid student jobs.

If you would like to support international students who may be struggling financially, you can donate to the Verein der Förderer Ausländischer Studierender e. V. (V.D.F.A.S.), the purpose of which is to help students from around the world who find themselves in financial difficulties. The V.D.F.A.S. provides these students with one-off grants of up to €400, which they can access quickly and with little red tape, freeing them up to focus on their studies. The International Office manages the V.D.F.A.S. hardship fund on a voluntary basis. You can support this vital work by joining V.D.F.A.S. for €5 a month or giving a donation. All of your money goes directly to students who need a helping hand.

By Emma Koerting und Martina Schulze, International Office

More photos from the Welcome Weeks Facebook

Information about the weBuddy Programme

Information about the Verein der Förderer Ausländischer Studierender (VDFAS)


Martina Schulze
Leitung International Office