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Welcome address from the president

Welcome to Freie Universität Berlin!

On behalf of the entire Executive Board, I would like to extend a warm welcome to you as a new member of our vibrant international community of scholars. After three long semesters of studying remotely during the pandemic, we are excited to return to campus this fall in Dahlem, Lankwitz, and Düppel – though it is hard to predict precisely how the situation will unfold. We are delighted that you have chosen to study at Freie Universität and look forward to seeing how you will flourish here and contribute to your new environment.

This marks the beginning of a new stage of your life – one that we hope will be highly enjoyable and intellectually stimulating while also preparing you for the future. Your studies will certainly be demanding, particularly during these challenging times, and you will be expected to bring a lot of creativity and optimism to the table – but those can also be sources of incredible opportunities. As Robert F. Kennedy – politician and younger brother of JFK – said on the Day of Reaffirmation of Academic and Human Freedom at the University of Cape Town on June 6, 1966:

“Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.”

Making the transition to student life can be difficult at the best of times – we hope that you manage to have a productive and rewarding start to your studies at Freie Universität even if some things do not always go as planned.

Be sure to remember that you are not alone and that you can always reach out for help when you need it. Different departments will be hosting introductory events to give you an overview of what your studies will entail and where you can get assistance. You are also more than welcome to make use of the wide range of counseling and support services we have to offer, either in person or to a certain extent online.

We hope that you have an enriching and successful time at Freie Universität Berlin, and wish you all the best with your studies.

Prof. Dr. Günter M. Ziegler
President of Freie Universität Berlin