To establish exchanges on an equal footing, we set up a tandem programme between university students and asylum seekers. The asylum seekers profit from the cultural and linguistic expertise of the students, while the latter get academic and subject-specific help from the former.
In each tandem partnership, one participant is usually a student and the other is an asylum seeker with an academic background in the same or similar subject area. One of the members of our Tandem Team is always present the first time a tandem pair meet up, but from then on both meet on their own accord. They both decide if they want to go together to seminars and lectures, exchange tutoring lessons or just drink a pint of beer together. Cultural and academic exchange is key. There can be some help offered with official transitions and similar concerns too. We, the aeWorldwide team, are always there to help if there are any problems, because of course each tandem pair must also get along in a friendly manner. We are always available to listen to any of your concerns!
Our experience shows that the tandem programme is always perceived positively from both sides, and that a lot of friendships emerge from these tandems.