Interview with the Welcome Services of Paderborn University
Support for international researchers and employees at the Paderborn University
In this interview with Davina Stiller and Anna-Marina Vogt from the International Relations Office, we gain exciting and informative insights into the work of Welcome Services for international researchers and employees. The aim of the service is to welcome international researchers and employees, to support them in their everyday life and to facilitate their integration at the university and in the city of Paderborn. Through individual counseling and support, they help to promote the welcoming culture and to strengthen the Paderborn University as an attractive research location for scientists and specialists from all over the world.
1. What are the Welcome Services of the Paderborn University and why do they exist?
The Paderborn University is an attractive research location for scientists and specialists from all over the world. Currently, more than 200 people with foreign citizenship work here. In addition, there are international scholarship holders and guests. The Paderborn University would like to welcome its international members and their families, support them in questions concerning the organization of everyday life and facilitate their arrival and integration at the university. In addition, networking opportunities for international researchers and employees are to be created. For this reason, the Welcome Services were established as a central point of contact. In the long term, the attractiveness of the Paderborn University for international researchers and specialists is to be further increased through more extensive support and networking offers. The Paderborn University has also set this goal in its university development plan and in its internationalization strategy.
2. Who is behind the Welcome Services?
Welcome Services is part of the International Relations Office and is managed by a team. Davina Stiller, officer of the Vice President for International Relations is responsible for the coordination of the Welcome Services. Since the beginning of the year, she has been supported by Anna-Marina Vogt, who is responsible for advising and supporting international researchers and staff.
3. How do I get in touch and when should I do so?
In addition to registration via a form on our website, we can also be reached by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone +49 5251 60-5085. If desired, a personal consultation or a consultation via Zoom is also possible. The form can be found on our website upb.de/welcome and is available in German and English. The registration enables us to provide individual counseling and to add international researchers to our mailing list upon request. Via this list we inform about events and news.
There is no fixed time when international researchers should contact us. However, we recommend that you register with us as early as possible so that we can provide you with the best possible support. Of course, we are also happy when hosts inform us that they are expecting an international guest soon and point out a registration at the Welcome Services. In addition, we also support international colleagues who already live in Paderborn.
4. Is there a direct contact point at the university?
Yes, there is. The office of Welcome Services is O4.116 and we are available there for questions, consultations and an exchange. We are happy to personally welcome international researchers and staff members after their arrival in Paderborn and provide them with welcome folders.
5. What do you understand by "everyday organization"?
We provide support, for example, in communicating with authorities and landlords and give tips on finding a place to live. The support is individualized and tailored to the needs of the international colleagues. The spectrum ranges from inquiries at embassies to arranging contacts with the road traffic office in Paderborn. The Welcome Services have a pilot function and are therefore networked within and outside the university with contact points on a variety of topics. We help to overcome hurdles and find answers to the questions of our international colleagues.
6. Do the Welcome Services also help with the bureaucratic hurdles?
The extent of our support depends on whether researchers come to the Paderborn University with or without an employment contract.
When preparing the stay of international employees, e.g. professors, research assistants, non-scientific employees and visiting scientists with whom an employment contract is concluded, the Human Resources Department also provides support.
For international researchers without an employment/fee contract, e.g. scholarship holders and independent doctoral candidates, the Welcome Services offer individual advice on bureaucratic issues concerning the organization of the stay.
We offer all international researchers and staff members support in organizing their everyday life.
We are in contact with the authorities of the city of Paderborn and are happy to help our international colleagues to find the right contact persons and to communicate with them.
We also provide special assistance in the admission of researchers at risk. Here, we provide support, for example, in applying for funding and throughout the entire period of the stay.
7. What is my task as a host?
In our experience, international researchers come to the Paderborn University in many different ways, e.g. as scholarship holders, by applying for a regular position or even self-financed. Accordingly, the role of the host is very diverse. We are therefore happy to support you with individual questions or to put you in touch with suitable contact persons.
8. What are the goals of Welcome Services and what are you currently working on?
In the long term, we would like to establish a service that supports and advises our international colleagues as well as hosts and networks them within the university. In this way, we would like to strengthen the welcoming culture at the Paderborn University and further increase our attractiveness for international researchers and specialists.
Currently, we are in the process of increasing our visibility within the university to inform as many hosts and international researchers and employees as possible about our offer and to get in contact with them. We are also always happy to receive further ideas and suggestions.
We also offer networking opportunities such as the "International Coffee Break" and want to further expand these offers. Further information can be found on our website.
9. What else would you like to tell us?
Thanks to the CEM marketing team for the opportunity to present and explain our offer in this format.
Are you hosting international researchers soon? Coming to UPB soon? Feel free to contact us! We welcome questions, suggestions and a lively exchange.