i² - International Integration

i2 – International Integration unites multiple subprojects under a common goal: to better confront the challenges faced by international students at German universities, thus preparing and recruiting them earlier and more effectively for both regional and state (NRW) labour markets. 


i² - International Integration

Initiated by the Executive Board and funded by the Ministry for Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW NRW), the project i2 – International Integration seeks to develop better support structures for international students to confront the challenges they typically face when starting a new degree programme in Germany. It also seeks to improve their integration into German society early on and assist them throughout the study lifecycle with tailored advising services.

These efforts serve to create a strong bond with international students, preparing and recruiting them early and long-term for both the Lower Rhine region and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. With regard to academic development and quality, i2 sets out to build a strong foundation, not only for improving integration of international students, but also sharing project insight and expertise as practical models for other universities in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Project goals for i2:

  • Improve the integration of international students.
  • Provide more effective support for new international students in the early stage of their studies in Germany.
  • Contribute long-term to improving academic quality for international students through a detailed evaluation process.
  • Develop a long-term system for training international students for the regional and state (NRW) labour markets.
  • Bundle new insight and expertise into useful models for other universities in NRW to follow.

Various measures will be implemented through the project to achieve these goals, for example:

  • Developing online self-assessments (OSAs) containing important socio-cultural information and insights into degree programmes. These will help better prepare students for the social and cultural challenges that await when commencing a study programme in Germany, but also give them an opportunity to gauge their own motivation, preparedness and expectations for studying in Germany.
  • Developing a podcast, “How to Hochschule”, with real-life stories from Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. This overarching subproject serve to improve the integration of international students at the University and disseminate knowledge outwards.
  • Academic quality improvement with a focus on international students. This measure serves to identify hurdles and success factors, as well as inventory best practice examples of services and offers for international students at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.
  • Cultural mediators to assist and guide new international students.
  • Various measures to improve and expand international alumni outreach efforts.
  • Developing tools to assist with job application and interview training. 
  • Intercultural coaching services for university staff. 

The project duration is 37 months (1 December 2020 to 31 December 2023), with funding to the tune of €747,345.10.

Key dates

THURSDAY, 7 December 2023 / 10:30-11:00 a.m.

Project conference for HRK ADVANCE - schedule, info, registration:  www.hrk-advance.de

Talk “Expectation Management in the i2 Project: Bridge to Success for International Students”


Project managers

Anja Peters / Dr Maike Kaufmann


Contact at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences

Anja Peters, M.A.

Centre for Internationalisation and Languages
+49 2842 90825 9886


Project members

Sabrina Özer: online self-assessments

Thordis Neger: academic quality improvement with a focus on international students

Stephan Hanf: podcast “How To Hochschule”

Centre for Academic Development and Quality (ZfQ)


Project duration

01/12/2020 - 31/12/2023


With funding from

Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia