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The Vallendar Integration Program (VIP) is a WHU student initiative that supports the integration of exchange students into the local WHU community. The team consisting of nine members does not only organize several cultural and networking events for the exchange students, but offers all kinds of social support to the exchange students in their new environment.
The overall goal is to familiarize the exchange students with the German culture, WHU students and each other. Therefore, VIP organizes a welcome week at the beginning of every exchange. We offer a campus and Vallendar tour, speed-dating, barbeque, a Koblenz rally and a pubcrawl to introduce the students to the unique culture at WHU. Throughout the semester selected cultural events like a visit to the Octoberfest, carnival or Christmas market are offered by VIP. Moreover, the team organizes the traditional “Tauschie running dinner”, which takes place at least once a semester and provides the exchange students with the opportunity to meet new WHU students, get into their comfort zone and taste homemade local food.
Further exemplary illustrations of our events are provided below.
Traditionally the Tauschie speed dating is one of the first events for WHU’s exchange students. It provides a great opportunity for the Tauschies to get to know each other as well as their Tauschie buddies and other participating WHU students. As usual in speed datings every conversation lasts a few minutes giving everyone the chance to establish many new contacts and also to get an inside view in WHU’s student life during the entire event.
The VIP-BBQ Event takes place in the Marienpark and offers the opportunity for exchange students to taste a typical German barbecue. With food and drinks provided by VIP they can mingle with fellows and WHU students. Picnic blankets and benches invite to stay, chat and make new friends early in the introduction week.
One of the exchange students’ favorite events is the pub crawl in Koblenz. The exchange students split up into small groups and discover the night life in Koblenz with the help of VIP and volunteering WHU students. The exchange students get to go into four different bars/pubs, where small challenges need to be accomplished by the teams. At the end of the evening, all groups meet up again to go dancing in a club. The group which performed best during the pub crawl receives a price for the entire team at the next event. However, the main purpose is to have a great time with fellow exchange students and WHU students as well as to experience the German night life.
The Koblenz rally marks the end of the Tauschie introduction week. The event starts with a boat trip from Vallendar to “Deutsches Eck” (“German Corner”) in Koblenz. During the entire afternoon our exchange students discover the city in small groups and have to master little challenges at several stations which demand creativity and teamwork. It is always a great fun for the Tauschies and the WHU students who prepare the stations.
The VIP team organizes a trip to the Oktoberfest once a year. Some of the VIP team members accompany the exchange students on this trip. A group of usually 50 students spends an entire day at the Oktoberfest, starting off with beer in the tent and followed by diverse entertainment activities. Many exchange students use this one day trip to gain an insight into the famous event and the Bavarian culture, while they do not have to pay for accommodation because VIP organizes an overnight bus.
The Tauschie Running Dinner usually takes place one or two weeks after the introduction week and offers a great opportunity to bring together exchange students and WHU students. The event aims to facilitate cultural exchange through a familiar atmosphere in the WHU students’ homes. Furthermore, local specialties can be tasted when WHU students cook starter and main course, while the exchange students bring the drinks and the dessert. After each course the exchange students go to a different apartment in order to meet as many students as possible. This event is one of the most popular ones among WHU students and exchange students.