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Global Affairs

START! Study: Closing Ceremony for UZH’s Refugee Integration Program

Participants, volunteer students, and staff members of the “START! Study – University Integration Program at UZH” celebrated the successful completion of the academic year 2023/2024 and the end of the pilot project. UZH will continue to support the integration of refugee students into Swiss higher education with the new program “Explore – Academic Orientation Program for Refugees at UZH”.

Group picture participants of the UZH START! Study Closing Ceremony 2024

The closing ceremony marks the end of the pilot project “START! Study”, which was developed in close cooperation with the Integration Office of the Canton of Zurich, the State Secretariat for Migration, and various stakeholders at UZH. Aiming to prepare refugees for university studies, the two-semester educational program included language and IT courses as well as academic lectures. Furthermore, it facilitated consultations and information events with external organizations such as the Career Information Center. In addition, over 100 dedicated student volunteers organized tutoring sessions, language cafés, and various social activities for the participants. 90 students from 17 different countries participated in the program.

START! Study will be replaced by Explore

As of September 2024, START! Study will be replaced by the program “Explore – Academic Integration Program for Refugees at UZH”. Based on the experiences with START! Study, “Explore” will provide its participants with valuable insights into the content and requirements of studying at UZH. Furthermore, they will become acquainted with academic and student life at Swiss universities, and engage with their academic and professional goals in Switzerland. Chantal Marquart, Team Lead Global Welcome from UZH Global Affairs, said: “The feedback for the START! Study program was very positive. With the new program we hope to support many more talented refugee students with their integration into the Swiss higher education system.”

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