GERMAN-SWISS HIGHER EDUCATION FAIR (GSHEF) 2020
On Sunday, 4th of October 2020, Wisma Jerman hosted the German-Swiss Higher Education Fair 2020. As part of the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and in order to protect all involved parties, but still accommodate the high interest in higher education in Germany and Switzerland, the exhibition was held online by using the Zoom application. This year’s GSHEF expanded the scope and in addition to the topics studying and living in Germany also included the topic vocational education or Ausbildung. The number of registered participants was proof for the unbroken enthusiasm of the public despite the virtual format. More than 850 people had registered in order to find out more about options for studying in Germany, learn about student life and scholarships, how to participate in an Ausbildung and more. Not to forget the opportunity to try the German language in a Schnupperkurs (trial course) conducted by the Wisma Jerman team and to win exciting prices as part of a variety of activities and mini games.
The objective was to provide an inclusive space for everybody with an interest in comprehensive information regarding studying and vocational education in Germany which to addresses questions like: What are the requirements to enter the European Union?; How to find the right university or a company for an Ausbildung?; How to find a scholarship?; How is student life like in Germany or Switzerland? and many more.
The Wisma Jerman team greeted visitors of GSHEF 2020 when they entered the fair via a virtual lobby. From there the team guided them to several other virtual rooms where they could engage in personal consultation or just obtain some general information about a specific topic. Prior to the fair, each visitor had already received a virtual brochure with background information concerning the setup of the event and the participating exhibitors. Therefore, most visitors already had a good picture of what to expect.
Besides the lobby, the setup consisted of 12 additional virtual rooms. One of them functioned as a virtual stage where the participating exhibitors presented themselves and in between presentations, the visitors were invited to participate in funny and entertaining activities. The remaining 11 rooms functioned as virtual booths for the 11 exhibiting organizations. All the rooms were named after German or Swiss cities in order to make it easier for visitors to navigate through the virtual fair.
Each of the 11 exhibiting organizations covered their own specific field and offered different services. Wisma Jerman itself was situated in “Weimar”. Visitors to “Weimar” could then choose from one of three sub-rooms and receive either personal consultation about German language courses and exams, study consultation or submit a testimonial and have the chance to win one of two free courses at Wisma Jerman. On top of that, beginners were offered a 10 % discount during the fair.
Two programs under the umbrella of the Goethe-Institut, i.e. AMIF and Studienbrücke, served the topics “Living and Working in Germany” as well as “Studying in Germany without Studienkolleg” in “Frankfurt”. Visitors who were specifically interested in the topic Ausbildung could move to “Magdeburg” and meet with Ausbildung in Deutschland (AuLiD), an organization specialized in the facilitation of Indonesian Azubis that had joined directly from Germany. In “Nürnberg” the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) awaited visitors with information about scholarships and in high demand during the event. The Freshman Institute of the University of Duisburg-Essen was fittingly located in “Duisburg” ready to explain curious visitors about its Fast Track Program, which promises another direct option to begin studying without the need to visit a Studienkolleg beforehand.
In “München” the International University Liaison Indonesia (IULI) introduced its study program which is conducted in partnership with a selection of international universities, among them several well-known German universities like TU München and RWTH Aachen. SEE Uni for Swiss Education Expert specializes in the hospitality and tourism industry and offered consultation to its visitors in “Zürich” while the Swiss-German University (SGU), the first international campus in Indonesia, informed about its study offer in “Köln”. For those who aim to move to Germany sometime soon after the event Techniker Krankenkasse Indonesia provided information on administrative requirements like health insurance, bank account and more in “Bremen”. The World University Komitee Indonesia (WUSKI), in “Stuttgart”, was another organization that catered for prospective students, with information all around the student experience in Germany. Finally yet importantly in “Mainz” the Yayasan Indonesia Jerman (YIJ) served visitors who were interested in taking Studienkolleg in Indonesia, prior to their departure to Germany.
Besides being accessible via Zoom this years GSHEF stage program was also streamed live on the Wisma Jerman Youtube channel and thus offered another option for the public to participate and experience the fair.
Owing to the ongoing support of all parties involved and the promotion efforts of the fair’s media partner SheRadio, which advertised the event to its listeners in advance, GSHEF 2020 turned out highly successful with a large number of visitors. The feedback from visitors and exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive and many expressed their excitement for the next German-Swiss Higher Education Fair. We would like to express our strong gratitude for all exhibitors and visitors for their support and we look forward with high spirits to welcome you back when GSHEF opens its (virtual) doors once again next year.