Refugees gain HFU language certificate

Getting their certificate of German language proficiency is an important milestone for the men and women in the first university prep course for refugees run by Furtwangen University.

Some of the participants in the preparation course with Prof. Dr. Edgar Jäger (centre), Andrew McDoual (Language Center) and Helga Fleig (Student Affairs) (back row).

The certificates were awarded by the Vice President for Academics, Prof. Dr. Edgar Jäger. "It is incredible what they have achieved with hard work in such a short time," said Professor Jäger. The refugees have been attending the course on the Schwenningen Campus twice a week since October 2016 to prepare themselves for an academic education in Germany. A high level of German is a prerequisite.

Twelve men and five women between 20 and 48 started the course in October and twelve have now been awarded the German language certificate. Most of the participants are from Syria, but there are also 2 Iranians and one Afghani. During the course the students received instruction in German, English and intercultural skills, as well as an introduction to the academic system in Germany. Some of the participants have been to university in their home country and some are already graduates.

The second preparation course started in March and has 18 participants. The students all want the same thing - to learn German well enough to be able to work in Germany - for example, the pharmacist from Syria who would like to work in his own field again, or the young men who want to study mechanical engineering. Another would like to gain further academic qualifications at HFU in Schwenningen based on a background in the automobile industry, and one young woman is planning to study Computer Science in Furtwangen. Some have already taken advantage of the university's offer to sit in as a guest student in some of the science, engineering and business lectures to prepare themselves for their future courses.