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No. 181/2016

August 3, 2016

International Summer Schools 2017

Hosting Students From All Over The World

Students of the Summer School „Intercultural Competencies“ at the lecture of Prof. Kate Hattrup (San Diego State University).  Copyright: Osnabrück University / Malte Paolo Benjamins

Students of the Summer School „Intercultural Competencies“ at the lecture of Prof. Kate Hattrup (San Diego State University). Copyright: Osnabrück University / Malte Paolo Benjamins

The 8th International Summer Schools are currently taking place at Osnabrück University. From July 7 until July 30, twenty-nine selected students from all over the world are taking part in challenging programmes of the Department of Biology and Chemistry and the Institute for Psychology.

“Intercultural Competencies“ are in the focus of the programme designed by the Institute of Psychology: “We are pleased to be able to offer 16 students from Costa Rica, the USA, Syria, India and Turkey an international learning atmosphere“, says Prof. Dr. Julia Becker, Managing Director of the Institute of Psychology of Osnabrück University. Questions like “What is culture?“, “What does intercultural competence mean?“, and “How can intercultural competencies be developed systematically?“ are jointly discussed with renowned national and international scientists such as Prof. Dr. Michael Bond (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Prof. Dr. Kate Hattrup (San Diego State University) or Dr. George Simon (founder of the consultancy „Diversophy“).

“Biomembrances and Cellular Microcompartments“ in general, and the physiological meaning of the existence of spatio-temporal defined structures within cells in particular are examined in the Department of Biology and Chemistry. “The fact that cellular fields are segmented into functionally specialized microcompartments complicates the analysis and demands mutual efforts of natural scientists from various specialist fields. In the course of the summer school, these coherences are exemplified in detail“, says Dr. Heiko Harten (Osnabrück University).

Vinay Vaddadi, currently enrolled in the “Intercultural Competencies” course, emphasizes the high quality of both the academic content and cultural program of the Summer Schools: “I really liked the hospitality and overall course structure, and I think the Summer Schools should be expanded further.”

The International Summer Schools at Osnabrück University combine ambitious specialized courses of the performing departments and institutes with a cultural and leisure programme organized by the International Office. Apart from academic challenges, the students will have the possibility to take part in a walk across the mudflats to the Isle of Baltrum, a nightwatchman tour through Osnabrück’s Old Town and excursions to Bremen and Berlin.

Special focus is set on the personal support of the participants. “Small groups and a purposeful choice of the participants enable us to create a well-structured, service orientated support“, explains Stephanie Selina Vohlken, coordinator of Osnabrück University’s international short-term programmes.

In order to further entrench the personal support, the International Office is assisted by a team of voluntary student tutors. Within this “International Face Time Initiative“ (IFT), these tutors reveal a very personal student perspective on learning and living in Osnabrück. Malte Paolo Benjamins, also coordinator of the short-term programmes, points out: “Due to the innovative networking approach and commitment of Osnabrück students, the IFT programme has already proved a recipe for constantly high evaluation results of the university’s short-term programmes.“

The success of the international summer schools also lies in the considerable number of scholarships which could be granted. While the Sievert Foundation for Science and Culture supports six talented students from Costa Rica, the Institute of Psychology sponsors four students from Turkey, India and Syria due to their academic performances. The Lomonosov University in Moscow, Osnabrück University’s Department of Biology and Chemistry, the Department of Physics and the Collaborative Research Center 944 (Physiology and Dynamics of Cellular Microcompartments) honor seven students with a scholarship, thus enabling them to participate in the summer school of the biology department.

Dr. Stephanie Schröder, head of the International Office at Osnabrück University is looking very positively at the future prospects of the short-term programmes: “At the moment we are planning the curricular embedding of our programmes in order to offer an international learning atmosphere also to Osnabrück students at their home campus. This initiative is based on a continuously increasing worldwide demand in our short-term programmes, which will enable us to extend and intensify our offer.“