The most important thing is to persevere! <<

From June 1 to July 31, HFT Stuttgart gave refugees with an interest in studying a construction-related subject the chance to take part in a two-month preparatory course. The course was aimed at refugees with a good command of German who hold a university entrance qualification or have been enrolled in a construction-related programme in the past. Applications were received from over 30 refugees, 22 of whom were granted places. The entire course was funded by DAAD as part of the INTEGRA programme.

The course was designed by Dr Michael Geiger (Head of the International Relations Office) and Prof.Dr Thomas Benz (Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Building Physics and Business Management).

The course timetable included lectures, informational events, intercultural training, German for Construction Engineers and visits to companies. All events were organized by professors and employees from HFT Stuttgart in addition to their normal duties. Almost all events took place in the afternoon, thus ensuring that participants were still able to attend their language or integration courses in the mornings.

The refugees received insights into the university’s bachelor programmes in the fields of Civil Engineering, Building Physics, Civil Engineering and Business Management and Infrastructure Management. A number of participants had already completed a course of study in their home country, and were therefore particularly interested in the university’s master’s programmes in Civil Engineering/Tunnel Building, Structural Engineering, SENCE, Environmental Protection and Transportation Infrastructure Management. Graduates from those programmes are in high demand both in Germany and in the refugees’ home countries.
Visits to Züblin, Transsolar and Drees&Sommer represented further highlights, and enabled the refugees to gain valuable contacts with a view to future internships. Excursions to construction sites and interesting buildings in and around Stuttgart were also organized by the university’s professors. The refugees were particularly enthusiastic about the “Intercultural Skills” and “German for Construction Engineers” modules. Each participant also received individual advice on their study options.

“The course contains a number of highly motivational elements which place strong emphasis on both specialist knowledge and interpersonal contact” explains Dr Michael Geiger, Head of the International Relations Office and Project Leader for HFT Stuttgart’s preparatory course for refugees. “I hope very much that, having persevered during a difficult initial period and gained recognition for their existing qualifications, refugees are able to use their in many cases already excellent German to continue and complete their studies. The path will then be clear for them to work as engineers in Germany or perhaps, at some point, return home and help rebuild their countries.”

A second preparatory course focusing on construction-related programmes is set to begin at the start of the winter semester on October 17, 2016. Potential applicants are invited to contact the university for further details.


Dr Michael Geiger
Phone +49 (0)711 8926 2868

Petra Dabelstein (