„International Students are an important potential“ A „Welcome Office for International Students in East Württemberg“ is getting established at Aalen University.
The Baden Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing is supporting the two-year project, the “Welcome Office for International Students in East Württemberg,” with around 200,000 Euros. The goal is to win over international graduates from the four state universities in East Württemberg as specialists for the regional job market. The “Welcome Office” is being established at Aalen University. It serves as a coordination point for the project and as a point of contact for the businesses in East Württemberg.
The “Welcome Office for International Students in East Württemberg” is running as of the beginning of Summer Semester 2018. The initiators of the project are the Regional Economic Development Corporation in East Württemberg (WiRO) and the consortium of international offices at Aalen University, DHBW Heidenheim, University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd and the University of Education Schwäbisch Gmünd (referred to as „TIE“ or Talents-International East Württemberg). The project is being implemented by the WiRO and specialist groups in East Württemberg that are tied closely to business, like chambers of commerce, unions, and employment agencies for cities and counties.
Securing Specialized Labor
The project is embedded in the strategy of the Skilled Professionals Alliance Baden-Württemberg to win over international specialists. During the two-year lifespan of the project, the project partners should develop sustainable structures that will help international students to learn the processes and possibilities of the regional job market and the regional businesses to win over international specialists. “International students are an important potential to secure specialists in our companies,” says ‘Commerce Minister Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut.
Point of contact for businesses in East Württemberg
The WISO project systematically introduces international students and graduates to the regional job market. Through intensive contact with business, company excursions, and efforts in support, advising and training, the students should get early experience of on-site occupational perspectives. They are sensitized to the German job market and work culture through intercultural training. In the future, the universities in Aalen, Heidenheim and Schwäbisch Gmünd will offer job-related German courses and application training. There will also be special informational meetings and seminars offered for students and interested companies to answer potential questions they might have about things like the right to live and work in Germany. Using this approach, businesses in East Württemberg can learn about chances to recruit international graduates and get into contact with them. The welcome office at Aalen University will be used as a coordination point and point of contact for the businesses in East Württemberg.
Working with the International Offices
The WISO project establishes a seamless continuation of the cooperation between the four state universities in East Württemberg and the WiRO. The TIE consortium and the WiRO have already produced multiple joint projects to help integrate international students. “After we put the emphasis of the cooperation on integration of students into the universities and community in past and currently still running projects, we are lucky that with the WISO project we can now put emphasis on the integration into the job market,” says Pascal Cromm, project leader and Head of the Aalen University’s International Relations Office. “To attract internationals to a region like East Württemberg, which has been very successful in establishing high economic and quality of life standards, but does not have the advantages of a big city, it is necessary to provide them with unconventional offers,” explains WiRO Director Dr. Ursula Bilger. “We are very excited to be able to add a new component to our portfolio of current offers with this WISO project,” Cromm adds.