aeWorldwide stands for Academic Experience Worldwide. It is an organisation that helps asylum seeking academics integrate into an academic environment here in Germany.
We coordinate a university tandem-program for students and asylum seeakers which aims to promote exchange among equals. Asylum seekers profit from their student partner’s cultural and linguistic expertise, while students receive subject-specific academic help from their refugee tandem partner.
The program includes regular meetings of all the members together with other interested people from a range of academic areas. The meetings are known on campus as “seminars” and are used to discuss postcolonial theories, the image of asylum seekers in the media, international conflicts, and asylum policy in general. Moreover, all participants are invited to present their research or to talk about topics that interest them. We are also organising an art workshop in cooperation with the historical museum of Frankfurt am Main for the upcoming summer term (2015).
Currently we are fundraising to finance German classes for the international participants in the aeWorldwide program. By doing so, we are attempting to compensate for a gap in German legislation, whereby German classes for refugees are government-funded only up to a language level of B1. This is a problem, since in order to work, study and research in Germany, level C1 is a standard requirement.
aeWorldwide facilitates the qualification based integration of refugees in German universities while helping students discover new cultures, ways of life, as well as research and working methods in other countries. This broadening of horizons reduces prejudices and barriers, and students striving for an academic carreer gain a personal mentor to accompany them through their studies.
aeWorldwide was founded in 2013 at Frankfurt University and has met with great success. At present aeWorldwide is considered a pilot project at Frankfurt University. In the near future, it will be adapted and transferred to as many other universities as possible.
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