aeWorldwide (academic experience Worldwide) is an organisation that helps refugees with academic backgrounds integrate into academic environments here in Germany. We coordinate a university tandem programme for students and academic refugees which aims to promote exchange among equals. Refugees profit from their student partner’scultural and linguistic expertise, while students receive subject-specific academic help from their refugee tandem partner.
The programme includes regular meetings of all the tandem programme participants 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.
Currently we are fundraising to finance German classes for the international participants in the aeWorldwide programme. In doing so, we are attempting to compensate for a gap in German legislation, whereby German classes for refugees are government-funded only up to language level B1.In addition to that, only refugees with residential approval are provided with this service It does not extend to those still waiting for his approval. 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 and 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 academic careers gain a personal mentor to accompany them through their studies.
aeWorldwide was founded in 2013 in Frankfurt and has achieved great success. It has now expanded to many cities across Germany, including Berlin and Munich.