Where is the nearest doctor’s office, which schools offer German courses, and what is the deadline for submitting particular applications? Finding answers to such questions is vitally important to refugees arriving in Germany. Students and staff at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a free app that provides key information. "Integreat" went online for Augsburg last week.
For several years, the "Tür an Tür" (door to door) association in Augsburg has been compiling key information in a brochure for refugees in Augsburg that is updated every two years. However, address details and contact partners change quickly, which means that some information can be out-of-date after just a few weeks. Daniel Kehne, a student on the "Finance and Information Management" elite program at the University and the University of Augsburg, is involved in the "Tür an Tür" project. He tackled the idea of digitalizing the brochure in Professor Helmut Krcmar’s Chair for Information Systems. There, he found great support for the initiative.
Students and staff at TUM - in cooperation with "Tür an Tür" and Augsburg’s social services department - developed the app known as "Integreat" within eight months. The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth provided financial support for the project. The app is available in five languages: German, English, French, Arabic and Farsi.
In addition, the University is making its courses available to refugees in an immediate action program. Since October they have been able to attend course modules in German or English free-of-charge as guest students to gain access to the German education system. A mentoring program provides the newcomers with support on the path to taking up studies. The refugees receive advice and help from the TUM Student Service Centre and have access to TUM’s services and facilities as part of the guest student program.