1. What is the focus of your work at the IPU?
First and foremost, it's my job to manage and implement the IPU's International Office. So I plan, initiate and accompany, in agreement and coordination with the university management, the IPU's foreign activities and projects – which affects both the students and professors, as well as the other teaching staff. It's a wide-ranging and colourful field of work, that also includes the coordinating and structuring of multinational scientific projects, the establishment and expansion of the Erasmus exchange programme, the acquisition of external funding and support for international projects and education-related stays abroad, as well as the actual internationalisation activities of the IPU. In addition to that, I also perform lecturing duties as required. Questions related to the methods, forms and options for handling intercultural issues and communications, together with the training and expansion of the competencies needed to fulfil these requirements, represent the long-term focus of my teaching and lecturing activities – and indeed of the practical experience I have gained. Last but not least, I am also responsible for the support and funding options available in Germany, such as for instance the Germany Scholarship.
2. What content do you convey in your lectures?
In order that we may be different from each other without any fears, we should be able to let ourselves be alien, different and the same. All of the IPU's students will also meet clients or patients who have migration backgrounds or who come from different cultures. In order that the professional communications required here progress competently and successfully for both sides, it is necessary to learn to understand, both within yourself and with others, backgrounds to thinking, leading and acting – without nationalising labels – which can be grasped from a cultural studies perspective.
3. What can students learn from you?
The IPU regards itself as a university with a strong focus on practice; so not only do I try to smooth the academic way, so-to-speak, for students and lecturers wishing to undertake activities abroad, but to also familiarise them with concrete examples from the interaction between various cultures in Germany and those in countries where I myself have lived and worked. What concerns me is grasping and understanding societies shaped by Muslim or Confucian aspects in the same differentiated way that we would like ourselves to be perceived in various different ways without being stereotyped. And of course to have empathy and enthusiasm for everything strange and alien, for that which we're not able to understand at first.
4. Have you got a favourite saying?
I do, my grandmother's favourite quote: "A little more love from person to person is worth more than all the love for mankind."