"Sinterklaas" and Father Christmas
The Seasonal Celebration at Münster University was held under a Dutch flag this year. The International Office and the Centre for Dutch Studies organized the traditional Christmas and End-of-Year Celebration jointly, with invitations being extended to both international and German academics, families and friends.
Prof. Cornelia Denz, Pro-Rector for International Affairs and Junior Academics, welcomed the guests in Alexander von Humboldt House on December 10. "Along with the International Summer Party, the Seasonal Celebration has been a part of our culture of welcome for many years now, and is a Münster University tradition," she emphasized, speaking before the celebration itself. "With it we want to underline the special importance which international academics and international cooperation have for the research and teaching profile of our University."
While the 80 grown-up guests learned something interesting about "Erasmus" mobility and the Dutch "Sinterklaas" (Santa Claus) and sang German and Dutch Christmas carols together, the 20 children also had their fun, which included an added dimension of internationality: a Congolese Father Christmas (Münster University alumnus Richard Nawezi) handed out presents to them. Support for the Seasonal Celebration was provided by the Humboldt Club Münsterland the InnerWheel Club Münster.
The annual Seasonal Celebration is one component of Münster University’s Welcome Offer. The Welcome Centre at the International Office provides support for international academics, both before and during their stay, by offering a range of advisory services as well as events such as the Seasonal Celebration and the "Monthly Academics" series of talks. These have the aim of offering international academics the opportunity to make contact with each other, as well as with German academics and non-academics.
Centre for Dutch Studies
Operating on a cross-disciplinary basis, Münster University’s Centre for Dutch Studies, established in 1989, deals with the Netherlands, Flanders and Germany, as well as with relations and exchange processes between the regions. Together with the Department of German Language and Culture at Radboud University in Nimwegen, the Centre offers an interdisciplinary masters course in Dutch-German Studies, with funding being provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), at the end of which students receive a joint (German-Dutch) degree.
Münster University international and "Erasmus"
Münster University has over 550 partnership agreements with universities and research institutes worldwide. Around 700 international academics work at the University. Every year around 3,200 international students come to Münster, and about 1,200 Münster students go abroad. The Erasmus Programme helps to finance stays abroad undertaken by Münster University students and staff, and the University is one of the most active German universities taking part in the scheme. With almost 960 people receiving financial assistance, Münster occupied second place, just behind the Technical University of Munich, in the statistics provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for the last university year of 2013/14. Münster University has Erasmus cooperation agreements with twelve universities in the Netherlands.