Fulbright Alumni
HomeThe AssociationHow to get in touchOur PartnersMembers Section

Welcome Meeting 2016

Dear Returnees, current Grantees, long-term Fulbrighters, friends and sponsors,

we kindly invite you to join our annual Welcome Meeting which will take place in the beautiful Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg on the weekend of October 21-23, 2016.

“The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.” (J. William Fulbright)

The Fulbright Alumni Welcome Meeting will be held for the third consecutive time in the picturesque city of Hamburg. This meeting offers you the chance to get to know our Association and meet other people who have spent some time in the U.S. (just recently or several years ago) or who are currently participating in their program in Germany. Sharing is caring; this event is a perfect opportunity to not only talk with others about your experiences but also to make your re-entry (or entry) into Germany easier by networking, chatting and socializing with like-minded people of diverse backgrounds and a similar open spirit.

Being Germany’s “Gate to the World” due to its international port, Hamburg offers various chances and places to share your personal story of transatlantic exchange or global experiences you have had. We would like to invite you to tell us about your idea of the Fulbright Spirit in today’s globalized world and we hope to inspire you with our varied program. 

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the kick-off reception at the U.S. Consulate General on October 21. Please arrive until 5.30 PM.

Jan Schacht (Event Manager), Thevagar Mohanadhasan (Vice President Events) and the entire board of the Fulbright Alumni e.V.


Friday, October 21, 2016

6.00 PM

Reception at U.S. Consulate General Hamburg

Please note: Make sure you will be at the entrance gate (south) by 5.30 PM, as security screening may take some time. We won’t be able to admit participants arriving late.

Please bring an accepted form of identification (Passport, German Personalausweis); otherwise you will be denied access to the premises. The wine reception will start at 6.00 PM sharp. Please do not bring any luggage or bags, as well as photo devices, including smartphones, as these items are not allowed on the premises of the U.S. Consulate General. Carrying on these items would delay the security screening process. We suggest to check in at your accommodation prior to attending the reception.


U.S. Consulate General Hamburg
Alsterufer 27/28 
20354 Hamburg 

[S21/S31: Hamburg Dammtor, U1: Stephansplatz, Bus: 4/5/109 to Dammtor]

9.00 PM


Hofbräu Wirtshaus an der Alster
Esplanade 6, 20354 Hamburg

[ S21, S31: Hamburg Dammtor, U1: Stephansplatz, Bus 4/5/109: Stephansplatz; in walking distance of U.S. Consulate General]

Saturday, October 22, 2016


HAW Hamburg (Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg)

Fakultät Design, Medien, Information (DMI)

Forum Finkenau
Finkenau 35
22081 Hamburg

[U3: Mundsburg, U1: Wartenau, Bus 25: Uferstraße; follow signs on the ground from each station]

10.15 - 11.00 AM

Registration / Morning Coffee and Tea

11.00 - 11.20 AM

Official Welcome

11.20 - 11.30 AM

Keynote Introduction / Living the Fulbright Spirit #1 

11.30 AM - 12.30 PM

Keynote Speech and Q&A with Richard Yoneoka, U.S. Consul General Hamburg

12.30 – 1.00 PM

Living the Fulbright Spirit #2

1.00 - 2.00 PM

Networking Lunch

2.00 - 3.00 PM

Icebreaker Session / Participant Presentations

2.30 - 3.20 PM

Group Photo & Coffee Break

3.20 - 5.00 PM


Join the Fulbright Spirit

The Perfect Interview

Digital Communication Now

Education is Power - Teaching Language and Culture in Germany

Diversity and its Limitations – The Perception of Islam in Germany


Fulbright Alumni e.V. Regional Chapter Jour Fixe

from 6.30 PM


Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken 3, 20359 Hamburg

[S1, S3, U3: Landungsbrücken]

from 9.30 PM


Experience Hamburg's nightlife at Frieda B. and Chikago Bar

Friedrichstraße 17, 20359 Hamburg

[S1, S3: Reeperbahn; U3: St. Pauli]

Sunday, October 23. 2016


HAW Hamburg (Forum Finkenau)

Finkenau 35, 22081 Hamburg

[U3: Mundsburg, U1: Wartenau, Bus 25: Uferstraße; follow signs on the ground from each station]

10.00 am – 12.30 pm

Mentoring Breakfast (optional)

Dive deep into the Fulbright Alumni e.V. and experience our unique mentoring approach to build strong ties and to benefit from the global Fulbright network.

2.00 - 3.30 PM

Tour 1
“Elbphilharmonie and Hafencity” [EN] (12,50 €)

1.30 - 3.00 PM

Tour 2
“Tiefbunker Steintorwall” [DE] (10.00 €)

2.30 - 4.30 PM

Tour 3 
“Concentration Camp Memorial Neuengamme” [EN] (5,00 €)

1.45 PM

Tour 4
“Miniature Wonderland Tour and Entrance Fee” [EN] (20,00 €)



Getting there...

Impressions from last year....


Update (October 7 @ 6.30 PM):

The Welcome Meeting 2016 is finally sold out. Due to the overwhelming number of registrations for participation, we had to close the registration period.

If you still wish to participate in the Welcome Meeting 2016, please send an E-Mail with the subject line "FA - WM2016: Late Registration" to welcomemeeting[at]fulbright-alumni.de. Depending on cancellations by other participants, you might be able to move up to an available space. 


Regular: 39.00€
Returnees, Current U.S. Grantees, Students: 29.00€

Apart from your participation in the conference, the fee covers the

(a)  Wine Reception at the U.S. Consulate General on Friday

(b)  Morning network coffee/tea on Saturday

(c)  Networking lunch on Saturday (soft drinks included)

(d)  Dinner on Saturday (drinks not included)

(e)  Mentoring breakfast on Sunday

Optional additional costs:

Tour 1 "Elbphilharmonie and Hafencity" (EN):  12.50€
Tour 2 "Tiefbunker Steintorwall" (DE):  10.00€
Tour 3 "Concentration Camp Memorial Neuengamme" (EN):  5.00€
Tour 4 "Miniature Wonderland Tour and Entrance Fee" (EN):  20.00€
Please bring your student ID for all tours, if applying to you.

Please note: With your registration you agree that pictures taken during the event (which may include you) may be published on the Fulbright Alumni e.V. website, within our yearly publication “Frankly” and on our Facebook page, including associated events and posts. 


We are thankful for the support of the US Embassy in Germany and the US Consulate General, Hamburg.


We are thankful for the support of the School of Design, Media, Information at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW Hamburg)


We are thankful for the support of the Amerikazentrum Hamburg e.V.

Accommodation Advice

The following accommodations are general suggestions. As with all major cities, please book your accommodation early in advance and consider shared rooms / apartments to save on fees for overnight accommodations. You may also take into consideration to share rooms with other Fulbrighters, if availability is low.

Getting to Hamburg

Car sharing opportunities are generally available. If you are looking for an empty car seat in a fellow Fulbrighter's car, please contact the nearest Fulbright Alumni e.V. regional coordinator. Further information on the regional chapters can be found on our homepage.

Other modes of transportation:

General car sharing

Travel by bus to Hamburg ZOB (Zentraler Omnibus Bahnhof)

Travel by train to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof

Dress Code

The dress code for the entire weekend is casual (come as you like), except for the wine reception at the U.S. Consulate General. For this event we would like to ask you to stick to a more formal dress code. However, a tie is not required.


If you have questions regarding the registration, the event venues or the program, please contact the Fulbright Alumni e.V. via 


1. Florian Grigoleit, Herbert Schwörer and Eugen Litwinow: Join the Fulbright Spirit

"…Our future is not in the stars, but in our minds and hearts." (J. W. Fulbright). To strengthen this special connection – the Fulbright Spirit – and to encourage and support intercultural contacts and dialogue, we host various regional, national and international events, such as joint conferences with other European and international Fulbright Alumni associations. We want to motivate Fulbrighters to help organize events, acquire sponsoring and create new networks. Everyone can contribute in their own fashion and according to their own skills and interests (from sailing trips to Pow-Wows). New ideas are always appreciated. During the workshop, the board of the Alumni Association will present current projects and stimulate discussion about new ideas and projects.

Florian Grigoleit has studied Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science in Munich. He spent his Fulbright year 2010/2011 at Washington State University Pullman, where he obtained a M.S. in Computer Engineering. Today, Florian is a Ph.D. student in artificial intelligence at the Technische Universität München. In 2016, he was reelected as treasurer of the Fulbright Alumni Association.

2. Vanessa Wergin: The Perfect Interview

Have you ever wondered how to make a perfect first impression during a reception, a conference, or at an interview? Learn about some useful tricks that may help you in a situation where you want to leave a lasting impression. You can also learn about typical HR recruiting officers and their scanning and selection methods.

Vanessa holds a M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Frankfurt, with a focus on human resources. She spent her Fulbright year at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and is currently the president of the board of the German Fulbright Alumni e.V.

3. Prof. Dr. Steffen Burkhardt: Digital Communication Now

“Digital Communication Now” is a workshop aimed at helping you identify the skills you need to successfully participate in our digital world. You will set out on a historical journey in social media and learn more about its current meaning for your professional life and career. What goals do you need to identify to master the global online conversation and make yourself heard in the digital future?

Steffen Burkhardt researches and teaches as professor of media and culture theory, media research and media literacy at HAW Hamburg's Faculty of Design, Media & Information with an emphasis on globalization and digital public spheres, political communication, journalism and social media. He is the head of the International Media Center (IMC), one of Germany's leading academic exchange platforms for research on media and globalization. In addition to that, Burkhardt founded and heads the Competence Center Communication (CCCOM). Burkhardt has studied as a fellow of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation) at the University of Hamburg. His doctoral dissertation "Media Scandals: On the Moralistic Explosive Force of Public Discourses" was recognized as a standard work of political communication by the magazine Politik und Kommunikation (Politics and Communication). In his dissertation, he analyzed the interrelationship of scandals and processes of social transformation. Burkhardt is currently working on a history of social media – and its significance for European privacy concepts.

5. Esther Taeubert:  Education is Power - Teaching Language and Culture in Germany

Do you carry a bunch of pencils to work every day? Have you given out tissues and other supplies to students? Have you had trouble explaining the use of past perfect and simple past? Have you had kids listening to you with eyes wide-open when you told them about the U.S.? Welcome to teaching! This session aims at preparing and supporting the current ETAs with information and ideas in their role in the German education system. Teaching ideas, communication with colleagues and the role of digital media are touched upon, in a mix of talk and activities - just like in the classroom!

Esther Taeubert was a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Lycoming College, Pennsylvania in 2014/15. She has had the chance to work with students of all ages so far and is currently doing her student teaching in the city of Hamburg.

6. Mehmet Osman Gülyesil: Diversity and its Limitations – The Perception of Islam in Germany

Germany’s political and social landscape has recently undergone significant changes: The refugee crisis, the Brexit ordeal and the AfD’s (Alternative for Germany) recent success have sharpened the socio-political tone when it comes to multiculturalism and diversity. A broad pessimistic and populist cultural trend declares that the burqa, headscarves and minarets in German streets, parks and public buildings threatens the norms of the occident („Abendland”). But what does the German constitution and constitutional court say about diversity in terms of religious rights and symbols within society and the public sphere? This workshop intends to discuss the concept of pluralism and diversity by examining Islam under the microscope of constitutional law.

Mehmet Osman Gülyesil studied Law and Islamic Sciences in Göttingen, Münster and Istanbul. Currently he is pursuing his PhD in Islamophobia and Law at Humboldt University of Berlin under the guidance of Professor Christoph Möllers.

FAeV Regional Chapter Jour Fixe

This jour fixe addresses the different activities of the regional chapters and questions the portfolio of these activities. Are we prepared for the upcoming changes of the German Fulbright program? This jour fixe is offered to the representatives of the regional chapters and interested members.

Ning Wang studied Aerospace Engineering in Stuttgart where he obtained his diploma. He spent his Fulbright year 2011/2012 at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Currently, he is working towards his PhD degree at Airbus Group Innovations in Munich. In 2015, Ning was elected as Vice President Members for the German Fulbright Alumni e.V.

Mentoring Breakfast

Dive deep into the Fulbright Alumni e.V. and experience our unique mentoring approach to build strong ties and to benefit from the global Fulbright network.

Participant Presentations and Experience Reports

In this section, the Welcome Meeting 2016 is yours! Hand in your experience reports and tell us about your achievements during your year abroad. We will select the most impressive presentations to feature them in the Participant Presentations section. You can submit your contribution at register.fulbright-alumni.de after registering for the Welcome Meeting.

Tours on Sunday

Tour 1 “Elbphilharmonie and Hafencity” [EN], 20 participants max., 12,50 €]

The 90-minute presentation in the Elbphilharmonie Pavilion – right next to the new concert hall – includes a tour of the HafenCity. At the Pavilion, you will have the chance to see the 1:10 model used by the Japanese acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota to calculate the acoustics of the Grand Hall. This is followed by a tour of the western part of the HafenCity, right up to the Elbphilharmonie’s construction site fence. Meeting point: Elbphilharmonie Pavillon at Magellan-Terrassen, Großer Grasbrook, HafenCity, 20457 Hamburg.

Tour 2 “Tiefbunker Steintorwall” [DE, 30 participants max., 10,00 €]

A nuclear shelter right next to Hamburg’s Central Train Station? Join us on a tour through the underground air raid shelter at Steintorwall, and see for yourself. You will see many of its 150 rooms and learn about the history of Hamburg, the bunker, World War II and the "cold war" in Europe. Meeting point: Tiefbunker Steintorwall, near Hauptbahnhof.

Tour 3 “Concentration Camp Memorial Neuengamme” [EN, 28 participants max., 5,00 €]

Located in south-east Hamburg, Neuengamme was the largest concentration camp in north-west Germany from 1938 to 1945. More than 100.000 people from all over Europe were imprisoned in the main camp and over 85 satellite camps. At least 42.900 prisoners died in the Neuengamme main camp, its satellite camps and during the camp evacuations at the end of the war. During our two-hour guided tour, groups can visit the extensive main exhibition and the former prisoners’ barracks. This overview provides you with a basis for exploring the grounds or the other exhibitions on your own. Meeting point: KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme, Jean-Dolidier-Weg 75, 21039 Hamburg.

Tour 4 “Miniature Wonderland Tour and Entrance Fee” [EN, 8 participants max., 20,00 €]

The largest model railway in the world and one of the most successful permanent exhibitions in Northern Germany. The railway is located in the historic Speicherstadt district of the city. In September 2015, the railway consisted of 15.400 meters (50.525 ft) of track in HO scale, divided into seven sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland and a replica of the Hamburg Airport. Of the 6.400 square meters (68.889 sq ft) of floor space, the model takes 1.300 square meters (13.993 sq ft). The exhibition includes 930 trains consisting of over 14.450 carriages, 335.000 lights, 228,000 trees and 215.000 human figurines. Meeting point: Kehrwieder 2, Block D, 20457 Hamburg - Speicherstadt.

Members Section