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Refugee support services at universities: Support in every situation

German universities offer numerous counselling services, most of which focus on academic advising, legal counselling and support with finding suitable accommodation. The “Refugee Law Clinics” at the universities provide legal counselling. Many organisations can help with everyday problems, for example, accompanying you to appointments with the municipal authorities.

by the Editors

 Advising at the university © Hagenguth/DAAD
Advising at the university . © Hagenguth/DAAD

Universities, student groups and other organisations offer numerous services which can help you get started in Germany. For example, you can receive advising, take advantage of mentoring programmes or participate in recreational activities.

DAAD support measures for refugees at German universities

With its programme Welcome – Students Helping Refugees, the DAAD funds student projects which help refugees gain orientation at the beginning of their studies at a German university. They provide a broad range of services, such as information seminars, academic advising, campus tours, language partners and much more.
In addition to offering seminars on academic working methods, the German students can help you make social contacts even outside the university.
If you happen to need advice on legal issues, you can receive help from so-called “Refugee Law Clinics” which are also funded through the programme.

The programme Integra – Integrating Refugees in Degree Programmes creates the ideal conditions for getting you ready for university study. Universities and preparatory colleges offer academic advising, verify certificates of refugees interested in studying and offer language and preparatory courses which prepare you for university study in Germany.
The preparatory colleges are specialised to help you gain the technical knowledge you need to immediately begin a degree programme.

Currently 158 universities offer services through the Welcome programme and 160 universities and preparatory colleges in the Integra programme.

University contact partners and advising services

There are many advising services available to you at German universities. These services generally focus on academic advising, legal counselling, help with finding an apartment, and psychological support for traumatised refugees. Many universities cooperate with local and private interest groups. For more details about these services, we recommend inquiring at the university where you wish to study.

The Refugee Law Clinics were initiated by German law students. They offer free legal counselling to refugees. Currently, there are Refugee Law Clinics in Berlin, Cologne, Giessen, Leipzig, Regensburg, Saarbrücken and Munich.

Organisations, mentoring, support services

Volunteer interpreters, help with university assignments or having someone accompany you to the municipal authorities – there are many organisations which offer a variety of services. Many of them organise recreational activities, such as sport events and parties.

Many German states provide lists of their university organisations. Unfortunately, a comprehensive list of all university organisations in Germany does not yet exist. You can receive detailed information about the organisations at the university of your choice.