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The Welcome Center of U Bremen Research Alliance - Welcome to Bremen

Julia Holz and Janna Rodi.

In the framework of the Excellence Initiative of Bremen University, the Welcome Center initiated as well. Since October 2012, the services of the research alliance have been bundled. Being an active marketing tool, the Welcome Center as a new service point is given special attention – and for a good reason! Not only the university but also eleven university-affiliated institutes use this excellent service for their scientific staff members, lecturers, doctoral candidates, and guests from all over the world. The world at home in Bremen – and a dynamic team makes sure that they feel right at home here. The motto for the Welcome Center’s task is arrive well – start successfully. And those are the aspirations that it means to fulfil in minute detail.

The Welcome Center of the U Bremen Research Alliance supports international researchers as well as their families. This help begins long before moving here. The team members already get involved at the stage of planning and for first considerations. One’s time in Bremen is well-organized in all aspects and for the entire duration of stay – professionally, independent of duration and financing of the stay, and above all for truly ALL aspects of life.

They are particularly good at answering practical questions to allow for a stay that is enjoyable and made as easy as possible. Its broad network comprised of internal and external partners makes various administrative and social services possible.

No matter if it is about a place in daycare, health insurance, the birth of a child, an intercultural wedding, or school enrollment for the kids – nothing is a problem. A holistic approach makes it possible. It is absolutely essential that everyone feels truly welcome. This is realized with passion and enthusiasm. There really are only challenges at the Welcome Center – and a solution for everything in a Hanseatic manner: pragmatic, helpful, and caring. The respective partners are equally taken care of – because a stay abroad can only become a success if everybody is happy.

In order to do that, the network keeps expanding both in Bremen and its surroundings. Additionally, trainings and national conferences provide its staff members with opportunities to exchange experiences with colleagues. In large businesses, this method has been a standard procedure for a long time – at universities, it is used more and more often, thanks to globalization.

Welcome and Goodbye

Both welcoming and saying goodbye to guests are important and have to be organized professionally.

It is not surprising that bizarre situations occur sometimes – for example, when one’s pet has to make the move as well, when falling in love unexpectedly, when the spouse needs a job as well, or children will join the parents at a later point.

Cheerful serenity is the term that comes to mind right away. Everything seems possible. There is time and attention enough for everyone. Empathetic employees are the most essential part but also one’s own life experiences play a role. All-rounders are particularly sought-for. Additionally, the form of the Research Alliance is a clear advantage: All partners of the alliance complement each other due to their specific highlights and specialties. While the Fraunhofer Institute offers car sharing and provides electric cars, the Max Planck Institute can offer an internal apartment, and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) has its own daycare. All strengths are pooled to the advantage of the guests.

Mutual support is much more than the sum of its parts.

Finances are secured by the support of donors such as Santander Bank and the experience of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Networking and inspiring cooperations are lived. Bremen appears as a friendly and attractive home – thus, a long-term partnership is established far beyond Bremen’s borders.

Living in Bremen is like living among friends. One can pursue one’s career without failing at practical questions. One is cared for, looked after, and supported.

These are ideal starting conditions, leaving space for one’s own life.

The often-quoted and highly sought-for work-life balance is the highest goal of the Welcome Center team. Success is when guests can settle well. Not bureaucracy but sharing life lies at the heart of the center’s work – an incredible team effort given the 300 contacts annually. Supported by Senior Citizen (committed senior helpers) and the power of all alliance partners around campus, coming to Bremen is made easy as pie.

Members of the U Bremen Research Alliance are:

  • Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
  • German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Space Systems (IRS)
  • German Maritime Museum – Leibniz Institute for German Marine History (DSM)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS
  • Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS GmbH
  • Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research – ZMT
  • Leibniz Institute for Materials Science – IWT
  • Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
  • University of Bremen