In the summer of 2015, TUM responded to the challenging situation of the migration of people who reached Munich on their way from their crisis-ridden homeland with a guest auditor program for refugees. In a few days, several 10,000 refugees arrived at the main train station. Civil society was extremely committed at all levels. Right from the start, the TUM: Junge Akademie was involved in the successful implementation of the guest student program, participated in planning of the concept, and added another important element to the TUM initiative: the mentoring program "Buddy for Refugees", in which every guest student had to participate.
Students, doctoral candidates, or employees from research or administration got involved as personal mentors and actively dealt with the situation of the refugees. In addition to providing support in the chosen course, they were language trainers, interpreters, facilitators, motivators, mediators, and, in many cases, simply friends. In numerous formats of the encounter developed as part of the mentoring program, the more than 600 refugees were prepared for social challenges in the academic education system and in Germany over the three years of the duration.
Here are some numbers:
- Duration: winter semester 2015/16 to summer semester 2018
- Mentoring tandem: 640
- Subjects: all (with the exception of medicine)
- Volunteer mentors in the pool: 850
- Buddy for Refugees coordination team: 65 volunteers over six semesters
- Hours of volunteering: 35,000 !!!!! (We say thank you)
On July 26, 2018, the official closing event of the guest student program for refugees at TUM took place. This presentation about the exceptional mentoring iniciative was shown!