Exchange Students as Ambassadors of the RegionDistrict Chief Executive Klaus Pavel has now given the first ceremonial presentation of the certificates
Honorary Ambassador for the East Württemberg Region: District Chief Executive Klaus Pavel ceremonially gave this distinction to foreign students in the East Württemberg region at the District Office in Aalen.
This is a joint project between the Regional Economic Development Corporation in Ostwürttemberg (WiRO) and the international offices at Aalen University, DHBW Heidenheim, University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd, and University for Design Schwäbisch Gmünd. The project is also being supported by the districts, the district capitals, and business networks and organizations through the professional campaign “Ostwürttemberg is Exciting”. The goal is to train foreign students to be ambassadors for the region by giving them hands-on experience.
The 900 foreign students from the four state universities in the region have enormous potential as professionals for the numerous international businesses in the area, and many foreign students are attracted to the East Württemberg region with its job opportunities, appealing international climate and strong welcome culture. They often decide to start their career at a local business.
Even if the student decides to go back home, they can still help the region of East Württemberg develop in a very special way: as honorary ambassadors for the East Württemberg region. They can share with the whole world their experiences of the culture, free time and sports in the area, as well as knowledge about the strong economy, job opportunities and careers. It is also entirely possible that they will decide to come take a position at regional business in East Württemberg, either in the area or at a foreign location.
The program has been going since early 2017 – since then about 20 foreign students from Belgium, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Colombia, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and the USA have completed the requirements for the certificate. The District Chief Executive Klaus Pavel, WiRO´s Managing Director Dr. Ursula Bilger and representatives of the international offices now have 11 certificates to give out. Pavel noted that during his time in college, foreign exchange was exceedingly rare. Nowadays in our globalized world, the students have amazing opportunities for experiences abroad. “These possibilities have to be used to develop your own personality further” said the District Chief Executive Administrator.
The Ambassador Passport
The diplomat program in the East Württemberg region is based on the knowledge that foreign students want to integrate themselves as quickly as possible into their new academic and living situation and have to feel comfortable in order to learn effectively. This is where the East Württemberg Ambassador Passport, which the four universities put into action in early 2017, comes into play. In the same way you gather stamps when you go abroad, students can gather stamps in the passport by participating in university, city and regional activities in the areas of culture, free time, sports, business, or their field of study. They can also use tickets, selfies, or other evidence to verify the activities they participated in when they hand the passport off at the end of the semester. Anyone who can prove they participated in 6 out of 8 required activities gets to go to a ceremonial event held by the District Chief Executive, where they get a certificate designating them an Honorary Ambassador of East Württemberg.
Foreign students can integrate themselves faster by doing these various activities because they meet people from the region. They get a deeper appreciation for the region by learning to appreciate the academic and living situation, which is why they get the distinction of Honorary Ambassador. You can find more information about the project here.
Photo Credit: © Hochschule Aalen/ Pascal Cromm