aeWorldwide (academic experience Worldwide) is an organisation that helps refugees with academic background integrate into an academic environment here in Germany.
We coordinate a university tandemprogram for students and asylum seekers which aims to promote exchange among equals. Asylum seekers profit from their student partner’s cultural and linguistic expertise, while students receive subjectspecific academic help from their refugee tandem partner.
The program includes regular meetings of all the members together 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. We are also organising an art workshop in cooperation with the historical museum of Frankfurt am Main for the upcoming summer term (2016).
Currently we are fundraising to finance German classes for the international participants in the aeWorldwide program. By doing so, we are attempting to compensate for a gap in German legislation, whereby German classes for refugees are governmentfunded only up to a language level of B1. At the same time, it is only refugees with residential approval that are provided with this service, it does not extend to whomever is 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, 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 an academic carreer gain a personal mentor to accompany them through their studies.
aeWorldwide was founded in 2013 in Frankfurt and has met with great success. Now it has extended to many cities across Germany including: Berlin and Munich.