Welcome Buddy Program
With the Welcome Buddy Program, we'd like to warmly welcome all international students to Universität Hamburg.
Whether you're in Hamburg for just one or two semesters or if you're doing your whole degree program here, a Universität Hamburg welcome buddy can help you navigate the start of your studies. Welcome buddies are higher-semester students who already know their way around the University and enjoy meeting people from all over the world.
You and your welcome buddy will be in regular contact and will get to know each other. Welcome buddies not only help you find your feet more quickly at the University and in the city of Hamburg, but also help with bureaucratic affairs concerning the start of your studies.
Step 1: Who can apply?
• New international students who would like support for the start of their studies from a Universität Hamburg student
• Universität Hamburg students in at least their second semester who would like to help international students get their studies off to a successful start and who are interested in intercultural exchange
In March–April and September–October, we try to pair suitable buddies within 2 weeks of receiving the online registration forms. On occasion, this process can take a little longer. Be sure to register on time.
Step 2: To-dos for new students and training for welcome buddies
While waiting to be paired with a suitable buddy, as a new international student, you can read up on what you have to take care of in Hamburg and at the University. You can find a checklist and all other relevant information in the brochure To-Dos for New Students.
As a welcome buddy, you are expected to take part in one of our short digital training sessions so that you are best prepared to support new international students starting their studies. During training, you will receive all the information required for your role as a buddy. You can ask questions about the Welcome Buddy Program and get to know other welcome buddies. You can also learn about what you have to take care of as a new international student with the brochure To-Dos for New Students. We are happy to answer questions during training.
Step 3: Get in touch with each other
As soon as we have found a suitable partner for you, you will receive a welcome email with further information and your buddy's email address. Just take the first step and send an email!
After that, you can decide together how you want to communicate with each other and plan your first welcome meeting. Whether this meeting can take place virtually or face-to-face depends on the coronavirus regulations. Virtual meetings via Zoom are a good way to get to know each other if the international student is not yet in Hamburg but already has questions while preparing for their period of study abroad.
Current coronavirus regulations
What if we do not get along? What if we have nothing to talk about? It is always possible that the match between buddies just doesn't work. Don't worry, it's not a problem. Just send us an email so that we can match you up with a new buddy, if that's what you'd like. piasta-buddy"AT"uni-hamburg.de
Step 4: Welcome Week
Before the semester starts, the PIASTA team organizes its Welcome Week, which takes place at the beginning of the Winter Semester in late September / early October and at the beginning of the Summer Semester in late March / early April. The Welcome Week is a good opportunity for all new students to prepare for the start of their studies at Universität Hamburg, to explore the campus and the city, and to get to know other students. As a new international student, you shouldn't miss this!
Step 5: In the thick of it: the semester is underway!
Before you know it, you will be in the thick of the semester and will have an array of leisure activities to choose from.
- As buddies, you can participate together in our PIASTA events. Take a look at our current program — you're certain to find something suitable!
- You can also subscribe to our newsletter.
- You can participate in our buddy meetings. We will let you know about the dates by email. This is a great opportunity to meet other buddy pairs and chat about your experiences.
Recognition of your involvement as a welcome buddy
Welcome buddies who want to receive confirmation of their intercultural engagement at the end of the semester can contact the Welcome Buddy Program coordination team at piasta-buddy"AT"uni-hamburg.de. Before receiving confirmation, you must first complete a short online survey about the welcome buddy experience.
Successful participation in the Welcome Buddy Program can also be recognized as Component C, International Campus of the Certificate Intercultural Competence (CIC). German and international students at Universität Hamburg can receive the CIC free of charge. It serves as recognition of intercultural involvement and is an additional distinction for students. Successful participation in 3 of the 4 components is required to earn the certificate. Find more information on the certificate: https://www.uni-hamburg.de/en/internationales/cic.html
Brochure for New Students
Are you new to Universität Hamburg? Welcome!
We recommend the To-Dos for New Students brochure to answer important questions about starting your studies.