Hello, my name is Juergen and I'm primarily in charge of designing the Summer School Programme of the International Summer University. Thinking global matters to me, especially in a time of increasing nationalism, because only those who live across cultures can learn to understand themselves and the world better. With us, you'll have the opportunity to encounter other cultures in a relaxed way. Through our programmes, participants from the USA and Australia in particular, whose home countries are so large that they don’t often travel abroad, get the chance of meeting young people from completely different cultures for the first time.
We are constantly developing and expanding our programmes to offer you interesting options such as the Renewable Energy Summer School where you have four modules to choose from. It goes without saying that the academic quality of our programmes remains our top priority.
But above all, we offer unique experiences. You'll learn a lot because you'll have fun with the other students who will quickly become new friends. Over a short period of time you'll lead an exciting life rich in new experiences in your host families. You'll constantly gain new impressions, whether it be during the games night, on the excursion to medieval Marburg, when visiting a company, during your German classes or in personal contact with the others. You'll learn quickly and easily because everything is going to be varied and lively. And also because everyone of us will be committed.
After completing our programme, many students consider studying or working in Germany. And there are also students who, thanks to the International Summer/Winter University, have forged lifelong links. I personally look forward to welcoming every single student to each of our new programmes.
Contact Juergen by phone: +49-561 804-1869 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Agnes, I'm your matching manager in our international programmes. My role is to make sure that you and your host family are well suited. I make every effort to achieve this: I visit the families who have applied to be hosts in their own homes. I either know them personally already or I meet with new host parents. I look around their homes, asking myself if I would enjoy being their guest. The challenging academic programme we offer is something for the brain. But staying with host parents is an affair of the heart. I know what it's like to look for a home – or make one – in a foreign country. After all, I too once stayed with a French family in Paris as a guest. Through my own personal experience, but also because I have already accompanied some 1,000 guest students, I know how important it is to live in harmony and communicate closely when staying with host families.
By living with a German family, you will become aware of how different your own way of life is. It is both the greatest and most exciting way to experience Germany. Differences between cultures often shine through small everyday things: Do we close doors behind us inside the house? Or do we leave them open? Does a closed door mean that I want to be on my own? Or do I close the door because I want to save heating costs in the cold season and make my own small contribution to fighting climate change? And, of course, I also make sure that all the basics are in place so that you feel comfortable there. That's why we specifically ask whether you have any allergies and/or food intolerances, for example, but also what your hobbies and interests are. I look forward to meeting you personally and I promise that I will do my best to find the most suitable host family for you. Because what matters the most to us, the team who manages the International Short-Term Programmes for the University of Kassel, is that you, as our student, feel at ease in – and with – our programme.
Contact Agnes by phone: +49-561 804-3302 or email: email@example.com
Hello, my name is Maria and I'm first and foremost responsible for organising the International Winter University as well as numerous university-specific programmes for you. What matters the most to me, besides the academic side of the programme, is what you're going to experience with us. You'll witness how successful energy transition is in Germany, how we generate electricity from wind and sunlight right on our doorstep. And you'll live in the homeland of the Brothers Grimm and in a centre of modern art.
But, above all, you'll get to know yourself. Staying in Kassel, being on the university campus and living in a German family, as well as being part of a group of young people who come together from all over the world just for a few weeks to share experiences and activities, is bound to make you change your perspective again and again. In your host family you will learn a lot about the way Germans live – and about your own way of life, compared to that in Germany. Finally, within the group, you'll experience how young people from completely different countries live. While encountering German culture, you'll get to know the whole world in one place – Kassel.
When you return home after completing your programme, you'll be richer than ever. Rich in experience, knowledge and impressions, in new ideas and friends, in being part of an international network, in credit points and new opportunities to communicate in other cultures. You, the students of our programmes, will grow together as a team who will learn for life – together.
Contact Maria by phone: +49-561 804-1869 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello, my name is Dian and I am from Indonesia. In 2007 I came to Germany as a German teacher and studied at the University of Kassel. Currently I am writing my doctoral thesis.
For me, dealing with students from all over the world is a daily source of joy and enrichment. When you send us an e-mail enquiring about one of our programmes or simply ask us questions I am the one who receives, opens and processes it. I let you know, for example, which documents are required and help you apply for a visa, if necessary and do whatever is needed to ensure that your wishes and our offer are compatible. During your stay in Kassel you can, of course, also come to me if you have any questions or requests. I'm really committed to making sure that you'll feel comfortable and make the most of your stay in our programme. And I'm also here to answer the questions of any parents worried about their offspring being so far from home. From my own experience I can say that Europe and Germany, in particular, are the safest regions in the world.
At the same time, I know how it feels to go abroad for the first time. You leave your comfort zone, you have doubts about what life will be like for you in a foreign country and you might even get homesick. But once we've welcomed you, you'll make plenty of new friends and discover a lot of new things. And you'll come across things that are not available anywhere else, such as German bread. There are countless varieties of it and they all taste differently. You'll be amazed at how sustainable and ecological things are over here.
For me, Germany is a great country, and Kassel is right in the middle of Germany and Europe. You can do a lot from here: train connections are excellent and you can get to Paris, Prague or Amsterdam in no time.
Hello, I am Johannes, a student assistant on the organisers’ team of the IUKassel, and you will probably first meet me at the airport when you arrive in Germany. My main role in the programmes is to take care of you, while you are here. Since I also manage our social media channels, I'm looking forward to receiving lots of photos and videos from yourselves. I also accompany you on excursions and am actively involved in leisure activities.
What I can promise is that you'll have the unique experience of getting to know not only another country in the company of other fellow students, but also of meeting a variety of people from across the globe by engaging with them. Things will go smoothly for you, because we run the programme in a relaxed atmosphere. As everyone else is new to the city, you'll all be on an equal footing right from the start, and we and the host families will be there to support you. Besides, you'll learn a lot, for example about engineering and how we in Germany successfully deal with renewable energies. We already generate more than a quarter of our electricity demand from wind and sunlight.
But to be sure, the real difference in our programmes are the leisure activities we offer. Not only in Berlin, but also throughout the entire programme, we arrange various pastimes for you, such as the Night of Games, the Movie Night or the German folk dance workshop. Here you'll build your own team, and we, the organisers' team, will always be on hand. You can contact and talk to us at any time. We might also come along if you have to go to the dentist. Don't worry; this has only ever happened once before. But, when and where it matters, we'll be at your side.
Our host families also belong to us. Two families introduce themselves here:
Hello, I am Patricia Steinmetz, my husband Arild, our Jack Russell terrier Lara, and I are looking forward to welcoming you when you come to attend one of the short-term programmes at the University of Kassel. We are one of the many German host families who have been selected in and around Kassel. Since 2014 we have been hosting more than 20 students. And more of them are to come! We are also happy to put up two students at a time. Typically, you come from different countries and continents and not only do you learn a thing or two about Germany, but also about the country and culture of the other guest.
As far as we have got to know you so far you all are eager to learn a lot and enjoy staying with us. We can speak English together if you like. But if you wish to practise your German, I can speak my mother tongue very slowly to help you understand better. You'll be surprised: many students tend to think that we Germans are stiff and humourless. In our family at least, they soon find out that this is not at all the case. We love laughing, playing games together – and showing you around!
Many of you have left home for the first time to travel to Kassel. We do our best to replace your family. On your first day at university, we'll take you to campus by bus and tram so that you get there safe and sound. We'll give you our phone numbers and keep in touch via WhatsApp. That should make you feel safe. Once I even took one of you who had slept in to the tram stop so he could still catch the tram: in Germany people and public transport tend to be rather punctual.
After studying in Kassel most of you say that they want to come back to Germany one day. Last summer we had a student who got an internship in Bavaria, South Germany, in autumn and came back for Christmas. He even stayed until New Year while new guests were arriving to study at the International Winter University and occupy our rooms. But that was no problem for us, we're flexible: our Christmas guest just slept in the living room!
Hello, my name is Silke Lückhardt. My husband Markus and I love hosting guests; young people from all over the world. Our three children have grown up and moved out. That's when we started sharing our home with other people. For many years we have been hosting young people from across the globe. Talking to young people like yourself is always a pleasure. We enjoy sitting with you in the garden by the pond, having barbecues or playing various games, or doing something together with you at the weekend – but only if you feel like it – and we'll help you with your German homework too! If you have a particular request or you need anything, you can always come to us and ask for help. When you have three children of your own, all this goes without saying. In addition, I have a good feeling if someone feels at ease or not.
Usually there are several guest students staying with us at the same time, and they also help each other out. This way you'll get to know people from other countries – not just us Germans. Or rather: you'll get to know us as citizens of an open country whose people like to engage with other cultures. After staying with us, most of our guests are able to say that Germans are very helpful. No one is ever left behind. We have a big house and everyone has a room of their own, which most guest students very much appreciate. We have a good public transport network with buses, trams and trains, so that you can get around easily. And if you have any questions when you’re on the road, just send a message to the WhatsApp group, which we host parents set up with our young guests.
We won't have you starve, either! As a family, we're able to offer you several kinds of diets including vegetarian and vegan. But honestly: everybody loves a German Schnitzel! On the other hand, we really love it when our guest students return the favour by cooking meals from their home countries – just like the Nepalese and American students who took turns to cook for us. Having you as guests is a truly wonderful experience! And people who are open to other people and other cultures get on well!