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An Intercultural Meeting Place "YOU@HCU " and Integration as an Integral Part of the Learning and Teaching Experience at the HCU

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) sponsors two important projects at the HafenCity University Hamburg:

The International Office of the HafenCity University (HCU) has been awarded over  €200,000 by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to be used over the course of three years (2010 - 2013) to financially support two very important intercultural projects: 

- Model Project “Intercultural Networking-, Employability- and Teamwork-oriented Teaching“ (InterNETT) and

- Adaptation Project  "YOU@HCU - Intercultural Meeting Place and Integration Program"

The financial support is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). 

The capital was granted within the scope of the DAAD-Program to promote the integration of foreign students (PROFIN ). This program is designed to stimulate projects which encourage foreign students and German students to engage in joint activities and therefore actively improve the internationalization of their universities.

Intercultural Networking-, Employability- and Teamwork-oriented Teaching“ (InterNETT)

InterNETT, a model project created by the HCU, focuses on the intercultural dimension of teamwork as a part of the learning process. For most degree programs offered by the HCU, teamwork plays an extremely important role. How well each student works within their team is often part of their final grade. While working on class projects in small teams, students acquire the interpersonal skills required to succeed in their aspired profession. Project management, time management, the ability to work well in a team and effective communication are just some of the soft skills which greatly improve during this learning process.

Cross-cultural competence is unfortunately still seldom taught in universities today. The InterNETT model compensates for this lack by encouraging the formation of intercultural teams to study and work together during standard curricular classes. InterNETT fosters cultural competence by mixing foreign students with German students in teams instead of allowing all-foreign or all-German teams to form. Diversity promotes cultural awareness and contributes to this innovative approach to teaching. All students at the HCU have the ability to gather international experience within the school itself. 

Goals of the InterNETT Project:

• Strengthen the network between international students and German students at the HCU.
• Support the concept "teams who learn together grow together."
• Provide all students at the HCU the opportunity to acquire international experience.
• Improve the success rate of international students studying at the HCU.
• Raise the success level for all students competing in the national and international job market.


Further information and publications:

InterNETT in den Campus News (edition 22, published 11/10/2010)

InterNETT in der PROFIN-Broschüre „Vielfalt in der Praxis - die zweite Zwischenbilanz“, Page 40 (published May 2011)

"YOU@HCU - Intercultural Meeting Place and Integration Program"

"YOU@HCU" is a project focused on networking as a means of adaptation. Classes and seminars at the HCU orient themselves internationally to support the social and cultural integration of all students whether they are from Germany or from abroad.

The YOU@HCU Center for Intercultural Meetings will be operated mostly by students. The center will serve multiple purposes. It will provide a meeting point for HCU Welcome Buddies, local ERASMUS initiatives, language tandem partners, incoming international students, as well as former and future outgoing exchange students, IAESTE consultants and representatives for internships overseas, excursion organizers, and AStA and FSR Student Council Teams offering social and legal counseling or introducing special-interest groups like "Studying while Parenting". Additionally, the YOU@HCU center will host special events like the International Welcome Week, language classes, as well as soft skill seminars like Intercultural Competence, Conflict Management, Team Competence, and Social Competence. To support the fun side of social integration, YOU@HCU will organize international cooking events, cultural fairs and foreign movie nights.

By providing a common place for both incoming and outgoing exchange students to meet, contacts and networking is encouraged while experience and insights are exchanged. As a result, international students have a smoother start and the overall integration process is improved. International students take active roles in the organization of what the YOU@HCU has to offer. This is a positive and self-propagating process because it creates role models for new international students. When local and international students participate in common activities through the YOU@HCU project, they automatically improve their social competence, minimize their insecurities and pave their way towards a successful future.

Current events in the International House can be found here.

More information and publications:

YOU@HCU in der Hauspost, pages 8-8b (No. 1, published 20.01.2011)

YOU@HCU in der PROFIN-Broschüre „Vielfalt in der Praxis - die zweite Zwischenbilanz“, Page 41 (published May 2011)

YOU@HCU in der Hauspost, pages 9-9b (No. 2, published 22.06.2011)

YOU@HCU in der Hauspost, pages 6-6c (No. 3, published 3.11.2011)


Benthack International House

On April 11th, 2011, the HafenCity University Hamburg opened up the Benthack International Club House located in the courtyard of the Averhoffstraße Campus in Uhlenhorst. Our sponsor, a representative from the Hamburg Henri Benthack Fund, joined in on the event to cut the ribbon.

Generous donations from the Henri Benthack Fund made it possible to develop such a successful meeting point. The building was formerly an on-campus apartment in use by the then live-in janitor and maintenance personnel. It has been remodelled into an intercultural center for cross-cultural encounters and serves to intermingle and internationalize the students and faculty of the HCU.

The idea to create the Benthack International Club House was born out of impromptu brainstorming seminars conducted by the students of the Architecture Department.  They conducted structural repair seminars and interior design seminars to come up with the best possible plans for the club house. International students found a new home for their study-related services, administrative needs and social events.

More information and publications:

PPP_Projects and Initiatives in the Benthack International House

Impressions of the inauguration of the "Benthack International House"

HCU Campus Newsletter_ No.1_May 2011

Inauguration of the Benthack International House, Announcement in the Hauspost, Page 9b (No. 2, published 22.06.2011)
















InterNETT-Tutoren Team SoSe 2011
InterNETT-Tutorentraining WiSe11/12 (konzepiert und durchgeführt bei Dr. Marijke van Oppen, F.i. by van Oppen International NL)
InterNETT-Tutorentraining SoSe12 (Dr. Marijke van Oppen und InterNETT-TutorInnen)
InterNETT-Tutorentraining SoSe12
Round table: TutorInenn und internationale Studierende im Gespräch