Welcome Centre  

Welcome Centre

Network Welcome Centre

The Network Welcome Centre aims to bring visiting academics from outside of Germany together with university members from the faculties and the administration team in order to make it easier for our international guests to settle into the university and Leipzig. It offers a wide spectrum of different opportunities for the integration of international visiting academics ranging from group lunches through to concert visits and right through to jogging in the park. When running these activities, the network always focuses on its motto of “Everything is an option but nothing is a must”. 

What does being a member involve?

The Welcome Centre informs the members of the network about the arrival of new international visiting academics. It also provides short profiles that give you an initial overview of the new guests. If you are interested in meeting up with a visiting academic, simply contact Dr Annemone Fabricius, the Head of the Welcome Centre, and she will put you directly in touch with our international guests. The Welcome Centre also sends out e-mails inviting you to events such as the annual Summer Festival at the International Meeting Centre (IBZ), Chinese New Year or the Potluck Dinner. 

The benefits of membership at a glance:

  • Improve your own foreign language skills or learn new languages
  • Establish contact with international visitors for teaching and research here in Leipzig
  • Discover new travel destinations thanks to first-hand insider tips
  • Strengthen the welcome culture at Leipzig University
  • Invite international guests to events at your own institute

 How do I sign up?

To register as a member, simply send a short e-mail to Dr Annemone Fabricius or use the registration form,

Interview with Dr Franziska Naether

In the following interview, Dr Franziska Naether, a long-standing member of the network, explains why it is well worth getting actively involved in the network and how being a member actually works:

Since when have you been active at the Network Welcome Centre?

I have been an active member since summer 2012, when Annemone Fabricius asked me and many other academics to help to look after the new visiting academics at Leipzig University. She asked us to give them some practical tips on living in Leipzig and to spend time with them every now and again. I found the concept very interesting because I always like to welcome new people from outside of Germany to my circle of friends. Such an approach is also very important for my team at the Institute of Egyptology and the Egyptian Museum because we sometimes host our own guests at the IBZ and want them to feel at home and to also have the support of colleagues from other branches of study or the administration team.

What are the benefits of membership and do you think there are any disadvantages?

In my opinion, the advantages are obvious: you have the opportunity to get to know new people from all corners of the world. I myself have enjoyed several scholarships in locations outside of Germany, during which people who worked as volunteers were very important to me and made me feel more at home when living abroad. I think that it is hugely important that we strengthen the welcome culture at our university. At present, I can still see a need for improvement in this area – the idea of the comprehensive integration of international visiting academics has not yet fully spread throughout the entire university.

The disadvantage is that members are, of course, required to invest their time. I deal with this by writing down invitations to events such as the Summer Festival or even the start of the semester in my diary in advance, which enables me to successfully plan my time. These events are a wonderful opportunity to meet up with international visiting academics and are always a lot of fun. I'm therefore happy to take the time to attend them.

You just mentioned invitations to events held by the network – what exactly happens once I have signed up to the network?

Well, I receive e-mails from Ms Fabricius or her colleague containing a brief introduction to new visiting academics at the university. This tells me about their background, the reason for their stay and their personal interests, thus enabling me to get a better idea of who our guests are. Members are then asked if anyone in the network would like to meet up with the guest or even their entire family. I also receive information about upcoming events such as the Potluck Dinner. This event is particularly good because everyone brings a dish typical of their home country so that we can all get to know new international delicacies. At the Egyptian Museum, on the other hand, we also invite international visiting academics to events that we organise, for example our exhibitions, readings, concerts or theatre performances.

You have now been actively involved in the network for five years – has any event proven to be particularly unforgettable?

One special experience was a guided tour of Spinnerei Leipzig that we attended back in summer 2014. I invited a friend from Leipzig who is an artist and together with the international visiting academics, we formed an excellent group of around twenty participants right from the word go. Our group included guests from the Middle East, Asia, the USA and Australia. We had a lot of fun visiting the former “BimboTown” disco on the site of the Spinnerei in particular. The international visiting academics were very impressed by the flying dresses and the “people-consuming” sofas (she laughs). Everyone had fun, even the Muslim visiting academic wearing a headscarf and the American visiting professor who was initially very reserved.

How would you encourage your colleagues to register as members of the Network Welcome Centre?

I would emphasise the diversity of the network. Once you've signed up, you have the opportunity to get to know visiting academics of different nationalities and with different fields of expertise and can therefore meet an extremely wide variety of people. The network also offers you a great chance to exchange ideas and experiences on a professional level. I would really like to strongly encourage everyone to contact Ms Fabricius and try it out for themselves.

*The interview was conducted by Lina Hörügel, International Public Relations Officer at the International Centre.




last update: 30.08.2017 


Dr. Annemone Fabricius
Office hours

A project of the international office


Registration Network Welcome Centre

Please fill in the Network Welcome Centre registration form to become a member:

Registration Form Network Welcome Centre