Video Message from our President
Hello everyone, dear Gauss Friends, dear friends from all over the world,
Today I’m not tuning in to talk about a country or culture, discuss about racism in Germany or send you holiday greetings, but rather talk to you in a more serious note.
Gauss Friends, as you may know, is a non-profit organization which was founded in 2008. It lives from the voluntary work of exceptional people to promote the person of Gauss, build bridges between culture and science and support international understanding.
I have to say that I’m very proud of all our members who are or have been committed to Gauss Friends. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to have our corporate design, have our website up and running, develop our app or organize many of the other activities we have done in the past.
So if you take one of them from the whole equation, the whole concept just doesn’t work. People may come and leave, but we try to preserve continuity and keep giving our best and it somehow always works.
However, there was a moment where we had to find a more sustainable to keep this going for many years to come without depending on the voluntary work of many people. This is why in 2017, a project by the name Gauss Haus was created at the university with funds for the improvement of study conditions (Studienqualitätsmittel). It consisted of a coordination position as well as some hiwi jobs using the infrastructure of the Gauss Friends as a platform to develop and improve the support services for international students at the university.
At this point I would like to extend our thanks to Prof. Dr. Katja Koch who took the project under the roof of her institute. But not just because of that. She also let us do our work with full autonomy. Without this we probably would’ve not been able to go this far.
Two years later, the project was extended for three semesters more. Which takes us to today. It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that the university has decided to end the Gauss Haus Project.
You might wonder what does this mean. First of all, the Gauss Friends will continue their job as they did before. However, we will have to let go of certain parts of our program. If you’re an international student coming to Braunschweig, we will make sure that this has a low impact of your arrival.
These news were quite unexpected for all of us.
When I look at this award we got from the Federal Foreign Office in 2019, I feel a bit of sadness as I realize that the concept that won this prize won’t exist anymore in the way it is. Now, it just seems like a nice memory or something to put on my resume.
For me, this also brings a chapter in my life to an end. I’ve been a member of this university nonstop since I first enrolled in 2014. Even after I completed my studies, I immediately continued as an employee of the university and manager of the Gauss Haus Project.
It has been a great ride with all its ups and downs. I know we all made some mistakes along the way, but we learned from them. We were persistent and never gave up. I think it’s a privilege to have people with a pioneer mentality in our team, as we all like to push boundaries and see how far we can go. Some people say the sky is the limit, but we believe there’s no limit on what people can achieve. Sadly, this mindset is hard to find in here.
I have received many gifts from people I helped over the years, like this pin for example, or some bookmarks, postcards, mugs and so on.
When I think of all the people we helped, every smile we created, all good memories that we made and know that people left Braunschweig with a good impression because of us, then I’m confident that we did a good job.
It is unfortunate how everything turned out in the end and who knows what the future holds for us. You might ask: Would I have done everything I did knowing this is how it would turn out?
Definitely. As some say: Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.
Nevertheless, I hope that the university reconsiders this decision and that the Gauss Haus Project can be continued in some way.
Thank you for watching.