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Auditor program and internship support for refugees at TUM

Over 350 people have taken part in the auditor program for refugees at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) since 2015. They have been able to familiarize themselves with various fields of study, improved their German language skills and have gained first-hand experience of how a German university works. Mentors support them throughout the process. The first participants have already been able to transition to regular courses of study.

Approximately 250 auditors are currently attending the program for refugees. Two thirds of them are from Syria, one sixth from Afghanistan, with the remainder coming from twelve other countries. For many of them the program is more than just a short-term option: Approximately 150 participants were also registered to participate in the previous semester, many of them even longer than that. The first eight auditors have been able to immatriculate in a conventional course of study at TUM for the current semester, and several others have begun their studies at other universities.

TUM launched the free program in the fall of 2015 for people who had interrupted their studies, or were not able to begin their studies, because they had to flee their home countries. Participants can prepare for a university curriculum in conventional courses or receive consultation on other possible courses of study. TUM has continuously modified the range offered to reflect experience gained. For example, it turns out that the great majority of the participants are only beginning their studies. Thus the program was designed so that they can improve the level of their German skills in two semesters in order to fulfill the prerequisites for a Bachelor’s degree program.

 

STUDENTS HELP AS “BUDDIES”

TUM helps the auditors gain a perspective on the German educational system and assists them with all the formalities. In doing so TUM invites other educational institutions, artisans’ organizations, initiatives and a variety of specialists to the university on a regular basis. TUM students and employees help the refugees with everyday tasks as personal “Buddies”.

Further support is received from initiatives both within and outside of TUM. For example, the student team of the IKOM career fair helps participants write applications, while the charitable organization AsylPlus has lent the program 40 laptops. And volunteers have organized a lecture series on immigration, “Insights into Immigration”, featuring for example the Afghan author Hassan Ali Djan and the journalist Dunja Hayali and spotlighting the topic of migration.

 

New initiative: cooperation between tum auditor program and bmw program “Work here”

Driven by this success story a new initiative has been founded between the TUM auditor program, the BMW group with their program ‘WORK HERE’ (a six-month program, in which refugees get a look at different departments of BMW, including a language course) The new initiative is again aimed at refugee auditors. TUM, the BMW Group and the Agentur für Arbeit with its Jobcenter closed a collaboration in March 2017. The participants will gain experience in various departments at BMW in a six-month preparation program – including a language course.

The overall goal is to refer refugees from the TUM auditor program, for whom the attendance at a regular study program at TUM is unlikely to be possible in the near future, specifically to the ‘WORK HERE’ program of BMW, with the possiblity  to start an internship there subsequently.

 

This news was first published on www.tum.de

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