What is Germany like?
The Federal Republic of Germany is located in the heart of Europe, linking the west with the east, the north with the south. The most densely-populated country in Europe, Germany has been flanked by nine neighbouring states since the unification of the two German states in 1990.
82.6 million people live in Germany. Some 7.3 million of these citizens do not have their origins in Germany (8.9 %). And this means diversity, a diversity which is contributed to by the migrants living in Germany, the ethnic minorities, the regions and the different states with their traditions and dialects.
Gemany is one of the classic touristic countries in Europe. The variety of landscapes from the coast in the north to the Alps in the south, the uniqueness of a multitude of historical grown towns and cities, its romantic castles and excellent museums and the other cultural institutions - all this is Germany! You could say it's difficult to find a country which is more varied :-) from the flat sparsely-populated North Friesland, with its islands to the picturesque landscapes and high mountains of the Alps.
And so are the people: from the calm and reserved northern Germans to the talkative and social Bavarians in the south. J Young people in Germany are optimistic, achievement-orientated, pragmatic and communicative, but skeptical as well – in a society that claims to be open-minded, modern and tolerant.
What is the present state of the work?
In 2011 2.2 million students attended more than 450 universities all over the country.The national student movement, SMD Studentenmission in Deutschland, started after the Second World War and became an IFES member in 1953. SMD is a network of Christians at schools, universities and post graduates all over Germany. There are established student groups in more than 70 cities with 5-100 students. At our last national Conference, studikon, over Easter 2011, 950 students came together and were strengthened and encouraged to live out their faith and witness Christ at their universities.
What does the Team do?
The IFES InterAction Team aims
- to reach out to international students in Berlin: long-term students from Africa or Asia or Europeans who are on the Erasmus Exchange Programme or in Language Courses. Hospitality events, friendship evangelism, book table, Bible Studies ...
- to support the SMD student groups: discipling student leaders, helping organize events, leading Bible studies ... We work closely together with the German SMD groups, also encouraging German students to reach out to Internationals.
What about accommodation, living costs, courses, jobs?
If InterAction volunteers don't speak German, it is expected that they will attend a language course. Financial support is normally raised from churches, friends and family back home. Team members will be helped to find accommodation with team mates or students in houses, flats or halls of residence. Average living and ministry costs are €8000 per year, plus transportation to and from Germany. Ideally, we would like team members to be full time in the ministry. However, if they need to find a job for financial or visa reasons this can be discussed.
What special requirements are there for joining the German IFES InterAction Team?
Visa: A visa is required for non-European Union citizens
Language: basic German
Berlin (3.5 million)
143,000 incl. 20,200 international students in Berlin
Christian 69.5% Non-Religious/other 26.6% Muslim 3.7% Jewish 0.12 %