How to Hochschule


Welcome to our i² podcast How to Hochschule!

This podcast invites you to delve deeply into the lives and work of our diverse international HSRW community. Each month, a specific theme will  guide us as we seek out inspiring stories and people springing from life at our institution: how to start, how to fail, how to love, how to stay, how to … . From studio interviews with experts to conversations on campus and beyond, the How to Hochschule podcast aims to bring listeners closer to the experiences of people learning, working, teaching and creating at Rhine-Waal University and the university of life in general. We want to inspire, empower and touch the lives of our listeners.

How To Hochschule is produced and presented by theatre scholar, pop festival maker and film fest organiser Stephan Hanf. The Podcast is part of the i² project, an internationalisation project initiated by the Executive Board, run by the Centre for Internationalisation and Languages and funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Episodes are released at the end of each month from Januar 2023 on your favourite podcast platform.

Contact us:
Feel free to let us know what you think:  podcast@hochschule-rhein-waal.de
We are looking forward to hearing about your questions and suggestions and how you liked the episode.


Episode 1 

This episode of VOICES is entirely in German. The English transcript is available on our How to Hochschule blog.

Our first episode explores what it means to make a start:
Join a first year student, a coordinater for international
student life, a PhD graduate from HSRW and a department 
head as they share their experiences of life at HSRW and 
what it is like for them to start their studies or even 
a new university.

Podcast #1 – How to Start 

Play it here

Show Notes:

Nele Decker is both a German student at Hochschule Rhein-Waal and the coordinator of the Welcome Centre as part of the Student Advisory Service. Nele’s main task is to help international students with their transition to life and studies at our institution. Organising the Freshers Week, which takes place at the start of every winter semester, is also part of her work.

Related links: Welcome CentreStudent Advisory Service, Freshers' Week

Dr Zunera Rana completed her Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance at the Lahore School of Economics in Pakistan. She then moved to Germany to pursue her Master’s degree in the same field.  Now she is a research assistant in macroeconomics and public finance at the Hochschule. She holds a PhD in Development Economics with a focus on aid effectiveness and fungibility from Radboud University, the Netherlands.

Related links: Dr Zunera Rana

Dr Joost Kleuters started his academic career in the Netherlands and is now the head of the Centre for Internationalisation and Languages. As a member of HSRW from the very beginning, his work has always been related to the advancement of internationalisation at our institution. Dr Kleuters shares his insights and experiences in this field.

Related links: The Centre for Internationalisation and Languages

Norman Körber is a first year student from Germany studying Sustainable Tourism at HSRW. As a new student who grew up locally Norman shares his unique perspective and experience of starting at our international university.

Related links: Sustainable Tourism, Degree Programmes

Episode 2

In the second episode, we explore a very important
topic for everyone who studies and lives in Germany:
the German language.
We meet an international student who arrived in
Germany with a good command of German, but
somehow "unlearned" it after living in Germany for
5 years. Join him as he sets out on a quest to regain his
old skills and meets a German language student, a
German teacher, a member of a traditional society that
dates back to the middle ages, and someone who also
came to Germany from abroad, but became fluent in
German and now works in the university's Languages
Department. They share their stories, and with them
priceless advice on how to learn German in the most
effective and fun way possible.

Podcast #2 – How to German

Play it here

Show Notes:

Hariharan Arevalagam is a student of Science Communication & Bionics at Hochschule Rhein-Waal. He is not only the main guest of this episode, but also co-produced the episode by helping with conducting interviews as well as post-production. 

Related links: How to Hochschule PodcastScience Communication & Bionics

Carlos Eduardo Cabral Holguin was in his second semester of Mechatronics Systems Engineering at the time of recording. As an international student with an international background, he was able to share some relatable experiences about living in Germany and using the German language.

Related links: Faculty of Technology & BionicsDegree ProgrammesMechatronic Systems Engineering

Carla Bongers is a German teacher at Hochschule Rhein-Waal. A native of the lower Rhine region, Ms Bongers has years of valuable experience in teaching the German language to international students and offers great advice to German learners. 

Related links: Languages Department

Benedikt Brömling is a treasurer of the Schützenbruderschaft St. Josef Haldern. As a longtime member of this traditional German nightwatch brotherhood, he shared some insights about the annual folk festival and how it is closely tied to its local village community. Benedikt highlights how these traditions are not only annual events where people have a good time, but they also make up a big part of their members' identities, who also happen to be very open to "outsiders" joining them.

Related links: Schützenbruderschaft St. Josef Haldern

Brett Ellis is the deputy head of the language department at Hochschule Rhein-Waal. Originally from the United States of America, Brett is a great example of someone from a different country making Germany their home - and becoming fluent in German while they're at it. Brett talks about his language learning journey and the importance of culture in language learning. 

Related links: Languages Department, Centre for Internationalisation and Languages



How to Hochschule VOICES - Spin-off 

In this new spin-off series from the How to Hochschule team, you can listen to full-length interviews and stand-alone stories as a mid-monthly bonus feature to the main podcast. HtH VOICES will also feature a collection of interviews in German with the people of HSRW, and the people of Kleve and Kamp-Lintfort! 

Bonus Feature 1

This episode of HtH VOICES is entirely in German. The English transcript is available on our How to Hochschule blog.

Claudio Abels, erster Absolvent der Hochschule Rhein-Waal 

In our first feature of HtH VOICES, Norman Körber,
a first year student featured in the first episode of How
to Hochschule, talks to Claudio Abels, the very first
graduate of HSRW, about his experience studying at
a university that was still in its infancy. This episode
of HtH VOICES is in German; the English transcript
is available on our How to Hochschule blog.

Podcast #2.1 – HtH VOICES 

Play it here

Show Notes:

Norman Körber is a first year student from Germany studying Sustainable Tourism at HSRW. As a new student who grew up locally Norman shares his unique perspective and experience of starting at our international university.

Related links: Sustainable Tourism, Degree Programmes


Claudio Abels is the very first graduate of HSRW. In 2012, he obtained his engineering Master's degree in Bionics, M.Sc. After moving to Italy, he worked on his PhD in the field of microsystems engineering and even invented an artificial lateral line sensor (Find out more by listening in on the feature). HSRW was then fortunate to win Claudio Abels back as a scientific researcher. Claudio Abels has since joined the StartGlocal team where he shares his experience as an entrepreneur and inventor by helping students develop their own ideas and prototypes.

Related links: Bionics M.Sc., StartGlocal