The Team

The SeniorCitizen community consists of about 10 -12 seniors, some of whom are current students at the University. After a fulfilling career, they are now giving back to the community through volunteering in University-wide international projects.

Our team of SeniorCitizes receives support from Friedrich Wilckhaus (Academy of Continuing Education), Dr. Jutta Paal (kompass/International Office) and Julia Holz (U Bremen Research Alliance Welcome Center/International Office).

We are proud to introduce some of our Senior Citizens below:

Senior Citizens_Gromus

Jörg Gromus

Jörg has lived his life as a man of many talents. He worked in the quality assurance department of a brewery, where his job allowed him to travel around the world and live out his love for languages and cultures. Not only does Jörg speak different languages, but he also tries to learn new ones, among which are Russian, Spanish, English, Latin and French. Having been retired since the 90s, Jörg spends his days attending seminars, lectures and social groups. He enjoys spending time with the SeniorCitizens, as well as meeting with international researchers at Café International every Wednesday (4:00 - 6:00 p.m., GW2, floor 2A, red sofas).

Barbara Mangels

Barbara retired in the early 2000s after having worked for many years as an architect. She enrolled at the University of Bremen in the Faculty of Economics right after, and spent a lot of her time attending lectures and seminars related to economics. Barbara enjoys travelling and has a special interest in historical cities and buildings.
During her 2-year stay in Indonesia, her attitude towards developing nations was strongly influenced by the economic, political and social problems there. Barbara feels grateful to the locals who showed interest and took care of her, and would now like to show a similar hospitality to international guest students and researchers in Germany.
Barbara appreciates the opportunity to help students as part of the SeniorCitizen group, and she especially enjoys sharing information about traditions and interesting highlights of Bremen with international guests.

Matthias Mangels

Matthias is an electrical engineer by profession and has worked on multiple projects throughout his career. These included power plants, research facilities, hospitals, and even electrical installations on ships. He has done a lot of work-related travel in his lifetime, and some of his most favorite destinations are Scotland, Singapore and Indonesia.
Matthias has been retired for many years. Currently, Matthias takes part in two art seminars and is an active member of the University’s senior community. He enjoys visiting Café International to meet new people. Among his hobbies are collecting daggers from Indonesia and do-it-yourself projects for his children. He is also interested in the Pacific journeys of James Cook and his fellow traveler painters and naturalists; inspired by this, he visits museums throughout Europe whenever the opportunity arises.


Thomas Neumann

Up until his retirement a few years ago, Thomas was a high school teacher for German literature, politics and Protestant religion. Thomas enjoys a life full of culture and art, and wanted to remain active after retirement by spending his time on something inspiring, meaningful and fun. As part of the University’s SeniorCitizen community, Thomas supports the international students and researchers and helps them understand the peculiarities of German culture. Because of his empathy and willingness to listen, he is successfull ih helping international guests carry out their studies and research in Germany. He himself utilizes the University to further explore his interests and hobbies such as theatre and cultural involvement.

Gitta Lamping

Gitta Lamping

Gitta worked as a pharmacist and yoga teacher for many years until she retired a few years ago. Making new international contacts and exploring places around the world are among Gitta's passions. The weekly Café International of the Welcome Center of the U Bremen Research Alliance inspired Gitta to become a part of SeniorCitizens and support international researchers in Bremen. Not only the intercultural exchange inspires Gitta, but also the open exchange on different topics such as politics, philosophy and historical events in the different generations.

Gerhard Bethmann

Before his retirement a few years ago, Gerhard worked in business management at an international food company. Nowadays, he leads an active lifestyle and enjoys skiing, playing tennis, cycling, hiking and travelling. Gerhard enjoys English-language discussions about history, philosophy and geology that he has with the team of Senior Citizens. 
Gerhard finds that supporting international students and researchers is an interesting task and a great learning opportunity for both sides. He finds conversations and exchange with younger students especially rewarding.
When asked what makes him interested in international affairs, Gerhard’s answer is thorough: he says that globalization is a big 'trend' today, and that the things that used to happen abroad are now happening on our doorsteps. For this reason and more, he finds learning about other countries and cultures exciting and challenging at the same time.

Jürgen Lutz

Jürgen studied mechanical engineering and worked mainly as construction, development and test engineer. He spent about 7 years in Capital Goods Marketing, where he focused on product planning and product development control. Retired since the late 90s, Jürgen enjoys planning and organizing projects and often busies himself with do-it-yourself projects.
Jürgen joined the SeniorCitizens hoping to help international researchers enjoy their stay in Bremen. Although new to the SeniorCitizen community, Jürgen has been a senior student for a long time. Among seminars that he has attended here at the University are lectures on geography, geology, psychology, Egyptian history and neurobiology.

Heiner Cramer

Before his retirement in the late 2000s, Heiner worked in upper secondary school and taught basic and advanced courses, mainly, but not only, history. The last twelve years of his professional life, Heiner was head of an upper secondary school. Starting at an early age, he travelled abroad and visited foreign countries both professionally and privately. Now that he has more time at his hands, he continues to explore the world. Heiner says that the senior studies and the opportunity to travel a lot complement each other. Working with students from different countries, he enjoys the opportunity to contribute to a diverse society.

Jutta Clörs

For 19 years Jutta used to teach German, English and theater classes at a bilingual high school in Bremen. Having taught theater classes in English as well has grown her interest in theater and english-speaking countries. Since a few years she is retired and started studying again in 2016 visiting psychology and history lectures. 
She honorary works for the Bremen Shakespeare Company and the cinema City46 where the program includes many films in their original language, more than in any other cinema in Bremen. She would like to increase the awareness for these films in the International office, in the hopes to awaken international researchers and students interest for the program. In addition she would like to advertise the english language productions and events by the Shakespeare company and the Bremen English Theater.

Coordination of the SeniorCitizens

Julia Holz

Julia Holz

Together with the Welcome Center team Julia Holz supports the Senior Citizens.

They are advising international researchers (employees, fellows, guests) and their families before, during, and after their stay at the University of Bremen, with particular attention to the following questions:

  • Visa/ residency questions
  • Housing service
  • Insurance
  • Language programs
  • Childcare and schools
  • Events & Excursions
  • U Bremen Research Alliance
  • Alumni network



SFG 0330

Phone: +49 421 218 60381

Jutta Paal

Dr. Jutta Paal

Dr. Jutta Paal supports the SeniorCitizens together with the kompass international team.
The kompass-Program includes the following:

  • Head of the kompass team
  • Events focused on student success and postgraduate plans
  • International communities
  • International leisure activities



SFG 0300
Phone: +49 421 218-60363