At the beginning of December, three institutions of higher learning in Hamburg — Kühne Logistics University (KLU), Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW), and the Northern Business School (NBS) — organized and hosted a four-day long international conference for university staff. Thirty participants from such diverse locations as Portugal, Estonia, Mexico and Turkey came to Hamburg to exchange ideas, network and explore the city.
After several months of preparation, by the beginning of December the time had finally come for the first International Staff Week of KLU, HAW, and NBS. Conference participants came to Hamburg for four days to tour the three institutions and meet on-site staff and co-workers. What is more, they were able to explore Hamburg and experience what it has to offer as a tourist destination and university town.
The roughly 30 participants were mostly from departments of internationalization, but professors, student advisors, and other university representatives were also present. Many came from partner institutions of KLU, HAW, and/or NBS, but there were also several new faces, representing 11 countries: Finland, Turkey, Latvia, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Scotland, Poland, Greece and Germany. Participants were promised an action-packed program: KLU, HAW, and NBS organized and led one day each in which the participants were given a tour of the respective institutions and facilities and were presented with the academic programs and courses on offer. They also took part in workshops on such topics as “Small International Office — but big tasks”, “Quality Assurance” and “Intercultural Communication”. Furthermore, the guests were able to tour Hamburg’s HafenCity and visit the platform of the new concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, allowing them to take in the city in all its pre-Christmas glory. Another highlight of the trip was an invitation to an official reception for international students held in the opulent Banquet Room at Hamburg City Hall, hosted by Deputy Mayor and Senator for Science, Research and Equal Rights, Katharina Fegebank.
The four days together were filled with vim and vigor. The participants showed a great deal of mutual interest and cooperation, helping to strengthen the ties between the departments of internationalization and proving that Hamburg really is the Gate to the World.