20 October 2021, by Christina Krätzig
Jan Kochanowski studied socioeconomics. The knowledge he gained in law, business administration, and social psychology has proven useful to supporting international researchers.
Starting in Winter Semester 2021/2022, the staff of the new Welcome Service will be helping international researchers organize their stay in Hamburg. The Welcome Service is financed from the Excellence Strategy of the Federal and State Governments funding. Service head Jan Kochanowsi introduces their offers.
Mr. Kochanowski, what exactly will your team do?
My 3 colleagues and I will help international researchers get oriented in their new environment. There are many issues here, for example, questions about residence permits, health insurance, or the search for housing. Our advising services target international doctoral researchers, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scholars. Newly appointed professors from abroad, however, will continue to be supported by the Service for Newly Appointed Professors and International Visiting Scholars.
Previously, you worked for 3 1/2 years as an advisor at the Welcome Centre at the university in Göttingen and the southern Lower Saxony region, so you know the job well. What were the most difficult situations you had to deal with?
For example, families with children who have impairments or special needs are a challenge. To reach the goal together, we often need to think about social, cultural, and structural differences in a very special way.
Where do your obligations end?
There is a lot we cannot solve ourselves, so we refer people to the right places and work with numerous municipal authorities and organizations. We help people help themselves, as it were. We can’t provide concrete legal advice or actively search for and find housing for researchers. We do give pointers, however, that increase the chances of success.
How does the University profit from your work?
With this new service, we are pursuing one of our central goals in our Excellence grant application: to make Hamburg more attractive for top researchers from all over the world. Within the University, the Welcome Service has been warmly received. Previously, international researchers had to get support directly from the faculties or other University bodies. Now we can relieve them of these duties.
The Welcome Service is situated in Section 52: International Student Services and Mobility. Advising is taking place digitally to start with. See the Welcome Service website for more information.