DAAD Profis Projekt "InterViadrina"
In the founding documents of the European University Viadrina, guidelines were set to promote internationalization with a focus on the university serving as a bridge to the East. An official agreement between the federal governments of Poland and Germany outlining the exceptional role the European University Viadrina would play in German-Polish relations was declared at a later date. The large percentage of Polish students, representing one-quarter of the student body, the model character of the Collegium Polonicum as a jointly-run institution of Viadrina and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, and the countless cooperations and projects between these institutions are all witness to the first internationalization. Since that time, the concept of internationalization has been more greatly aligned and defined as a result of the ideas of Viadrina's President and the political goals set forth by the Weimar Triangle.
This second stage of internationalization, with the goal of creating a charitable trust, requires a pronounced expansion and deepening of the existing push for inernationalization. The accentuation of internationalism, the attributes such as "European University", and the large percentage of Polish students at the university, however, do not automatically guarantee the development of a true international community within the student body. Although many interesting cultural projects exist, and although student groups, instructors and other individuals have taken up the cause of improved German-Polish relations, true dialogue and interest in the other culture are still missing. Because of these reasons, and because Viadrina exists as a beacon for the positive development of German-Polish relations, projects should be implemented that allow Viadrina to realize its calling by explicitly protecting and deepening its goals. These projects should encourage dialogue, encounters and cultural exchange between Germans and Poles with the goal of improving the basic conditions of studying as a foreign student.
The goal of the project InterViadrina is to improve the success of foreign students studying at European University Viadrina. Emphasis will be placed on the complete integration of foreign students. In particular, the following measures are to be implemented:
Increased Advisement for Polish students via the introduction of native-language advising in each faculty. At the center of InterViadrina lie structured workshops and continued education in Intercultural Communication. In addition, orientation workshops for international students, especially for polish students, will be offered each semester. These workshops are to serve the purpose of reducing cultural barriers and make the transformation to the German educational system found at Viadrina easier. Yet another element is an intercultural living project . The goal of this project is to create an environment designated for German-Polish interaction with the goal of facilitating cohabitation through financial support. New web-based tools will offer assistance in language learning (i.e. online placement tests for language courses and online preparation for DSH).
All of the building blocks defined in the framework of this project are of great importance to the European University Viadrina's internationalization strategy. Therefore, this project will contribute greatly in making the second stage of internationalization--the trilateral expansion--a reality. In particular, the detailed focus on improving German-Polish relations is a pre-requisite for the success of a German-French-Polish project, a project of much larger scale.