For this Scholarship Program, a Year Unlike Any Other
Deutschlandstipendium celebrates its tenth anniversary as it continues to grow and explore new avenues
Oct 07, 2021
The Deutschlandstipendium scholarship program turns ten this year, but because of the pandemic a big celebration was out of the question. Under normal circumstances, all program participants at Freie Universität would come together for an annual meeting with other scholarship recipients, the sponsors, as well as the program coordinators.
“We kept postponing the event because of the pandemic – and finally decided to divide it up into two separate events,” says Sonja Janositz, who coordinates the Deutschlandstipendium program at Freie Universität together with Viola Neukam. In early September, Professor Günter M. Ziegler, president of Freie Universität Berlin, invited the donors to join him on a walk around campus. It was a great chance to enjoy the late summer weather and learn more about the university.
Stefanie Hardick led the tour. In under two hours, she guided participants around to ten different stations that offered unique glimpses into Freie Universität’s past and present.
A Sense of Independence in Difficult Times
President Ziegler thanked the sponsors at a reception in Ristorante Galileo, that overlooks the roofs of two of the university’s main buildings, the Rostlaube and Silberlaube. Ziegler noted that the number of scholarship recipients increased again during this last funding period (2020/2021). Thirty-seven individuals and companies provided support for 144 Deutschlandstipendium scholarships.
Scholarship recipients are characterized by their strong academic performance and dedication to social or community causes. They receive 300 euros a month, half of which comes from private donors, the other half from the German federal government.
“Thanks to your active contributions to the Deutschlandstipendium at Freie Universität Berlin,” Ziegler told the sponsors, “young talents feel that they have a bit more independence during difficult times. Your support allows them to concentrate on their studies while still being able to develop their talents and interests beyond their specific degree program.”
An Unbroken Chain
The scholarship recipients got together a few weeks later at an online conference to mark the end of the 2020/2021 funding year. Four Deutschlandstipendium graduates attended the event as speakers and shared insights from their experiences in the professional world, including advice on looking for internships and jobs. The scholarship recipients all received their program certificates by mail in advance, so they could proudly hold them up before the camera during the event. Usually, the certificates are handed out in person as part of the closing event.
“Like most other students, they hardly spent any time on campus during these past months,” Viola Neukam says, “which makes it all the more exciting for them to get to attend the #yeswecampus week from October 4 to 7.” The week of activities gives students an opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with classmates.
The Deutschlandstipendium coordinators want to make sure that the continuity and sense of community that connects former scholarship recipients and new ones remains intact by offering them a variety of activities, including workshops and a mentoring program.
This article originally appeared in German on October 5, 2021, in campus.leben, the online magazine of Freie Universität Berlin.
- Website: https://www.fu-berlin.de/en/sites/deutschlandstipendium/index.html
- Contact: Sonja Janositz, Email: email@example.com; Viola Neukam, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org