Many international students stay in Hamburg during the Christmas holidays. Especially on the days from December 24 to 26, when a large part of the population of Hamburg celebrates with family and friends, it becomes quiet in our metropolis.
That's why we have been bringing Hamburg residents and international students together since 2014 with the "International Christmas Guest" project to spend some wonderful time together during the festive season. The time spent together not only helps to combat homesickness and loneliness, it also offers the opportunity for intercultural exchange, to gain insights into the respective other (Christmas) culture and to make new friends.
The hosts are free to choose how much time they want to spend with their guests: a visit to the Christmas market or decorating the Christmas tree together in one afternoon, a dinner together or even a visit on several festive days. The time together can be arranged individually.
Many international students and hosts signed up for our programme last in 2019 and had a wonderful Christmas together. One student summed up her experience as follows: "I am very satisfied as my host was really excited to have us and was very welcoming and generous. I had a wonderful experience".
Christmas 2020 and 2021 this action could not take place due to Corona. We are very happy to be able to offer the project again this year.
Become a host for Christmas 2022: Invite an international student to your home for one or more holidays and spend Christmas with him/her. You decide the period of time. It can be a visit of two to three hours, some also offer visits over two or three days. Get to know people from different cultures, have an intercultural exchange and, as a host, help to overcome loneliness and homesickness. Here you will find the registration form. Please fill it out and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to invite yourself as an international Christmas guest to spend Christmas with Hamburg hosts, gain insights into German (Christmas) culture and make new contacts? Here you will find the registration form. Please fill it out and email it to email@example.com.
On the evening of 8 December 2022, hosts and students can get to know each other in an Advent atmosphere.
The magazine of our umbrella organisation Deutsche Studentenwerke (DSW) reported on our programme in 2019:
DSW article on the International Christmas Guest (in German)