Bremen Welcome Center supports international researchers

How do I find an apartment, a place in a daycare center and how does health insurance work? International researchers who are new to Bremen face a number of challenges. The U Bremen Research Alliance Welcome Center at the University of Bremen helps them to settle in - in a variety of ways.

Fostering a sense of community: Researchers on a trip to the Weserstadion (football stadium).   © Welcome Center / U Bremen Research Alliance

Huma Yari, a systems administrator from Afghanistan, and Andrew Torget, Professor of American History, are two of some 400 researchers supported by the Welcome Center each year. The academic community needs bright minds and these are courted all over the world. The aim of the service center is to assist the international researchers in getting started in Bremen as smoothly as possible and thus increase Bremen’s attractiveness as a scientific hub.

“We support everyone from doctoral candidates to postdocs and professors,” explains Julia Holz, who, together with Janna Wilbers, coordinates the U Bremen Research Alliance Welcome Center located at the University of Bremen. A team of dedicated staff and volunteers supports them. “Without their fantastic commitment, our work would not be possible.” Some researchers, such as Andrew Torget, a historian from the USA, stay as guest researchers for a few months, others for several years. Others, like Huma Yari, have found a job and want to settle permanently in Bremen.

The team’s work begins long before the researchers arrive in Bremen. “Depending on the country of origin, one of the most important issues is obtaining a visa,” explains Julia Holz. “We work very closely with the immigration authorities.” At this stage, the team also provides advice on travel and health insurance, housing, and job opportunities for partners as well as the organization of daycare or school places for accompanying children. After arrival, the Welcome Center offers German courses and joint activities to get to know each other and to build up a network in Bremen.

An exciting article on the successful work of the U Bremen Research Alliance Welcome Center was recently published in issue 9 of the U Bremen Research Alliance's science magazine "Impact":


Julia Holz
Coordination Welcome Center
Tel.: +49 421-218-60381

Merle El-Khatib
Communication und Marketing
Tel.: +49 421 218 60046

About UBRA:

The University of Bremen and twelve federal and state financed non-university research institutes cooperate within the U Bremen Research Alliance. The Alliance includes research institutes of the four major German science organizations, i.e. Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association, Leibniz Association and Max Planck Society, as well as the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is one of the Lead Projects of the UBRA.

As a central service point, the Welcome Center team assists international researchers in non-academic matters to help organize their life in Bremen and make it as enjoyable and uncomplicated as possible - no matter if they stay for a month or have been appointed to a permanent post.

The Welcome Center is one of the UBRA lead projects:

Original publication

Impact – The U Bremen Research Alliance science magazine (in German)

The University of Bremen and twelve non-university research institutes financed by the federal government cooperate within the U Bremen Research Alliance.

Twice per year, the Impact science magazine provides an exciting insight into the effects of cooperative research in Bremen. "Welcome to Bremen" was published in issue 9 (February 2024).

Impact 9

Researchers meet every Wednesday at the “Café International”.   © Jens Lehmkühler / U Bremen Research Alliance
The Welcome Center coordinator Julia Holz is always approachable.   © Jens Lehmkühler / U Bremen Research Alliance
She appreciates the support from the Welcome Center: AI expert Huma Yari from Afghanistan.   © Jens Lehmkühler / U Bremen Research Alliance
German bureaucracy can be confusing: The Welcome Center helped Andrew Torget, a historian from the USA, to settle in.   © Lukas Klose