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"This mentoring-program is dramatically helpful to me! It made my stay in Bielefeld perfect."

-a Chinese student

"The Brother-Sister-Program contributed to my well-being at the university and in Bielefeld. Simply being able to talk to someone when I needed help was very convenient."

- a Czech student

You can watch more Podcast's here: Brother-Sister Podcast's

The idea behind the program

The Brother-Sister-Program was founded at Bielefeld University in the Wintersemester of 1998/99. It was based on the idea of an Egyptian student who had experienced the difficulties of studying abroad. He wanted to develop a program which offers a one-on-one mentoring to international students.

Next to the valueable experiences and great fun, studying abroad also brings along many challenges. Whoever has experienced this can most certainly agree: language barriers can lead to insecurity, and everything takes more time to do - gathering and understanding information, organizing one's studies, simple every day tasks and meeting new people. In other words: you might have trouble finding a flat or a job, taking notes during class, understanding the library system etc.. And when you're insecure, it can also be quite an effort to talk to strangers and make new friends - i.e. to simply feel at home.

The Brother-Sister-Program wants to support international students by finding a mentor who will help meet all these challenges.

Having a mentor means:

  • you'll meet experienced students
  • you'll know someone who will show you around town and around the campus
  • you'll have someone to ask questions to about your studies or the university
  • you'll be given information on where the post office, the municipality, a good physician, the nearst bank or the best pub in town is
  • you'll know where you can go when you get homesick or are bored
  • you'll be able to practice your German

Being a mentor means:

  • you'll get to know people from different countries and cultures
  • you'll acquire interpersonal and intercultural skills
  • you'll have fun with international students
  • you'll make international students' stay in Germany and Bielefeld worth while


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