Welcome event for new international PhDs/academics

This is an opportunity to welcome the international PhD students, academics and researchers, distribute information and meet hosting HEI’s staff in person. It can also be a way to promote HEI research and didactic work among international PhD students and academics. HEI’s external partners can enrich the sessions with their presentations and other events as a way of popularising their work. Social events accompanying the welcome event are an important way of establishing social and professional networks. 



Improved skills and knowledge Increased enrollment and retention Improved access to information Social integration

Basic information
Categories Social Integration & Daily Life Profesional & Academic Development Networking Promotion & Visibility
Mobility stages Upon arrival During mobility phase
Delivery schedule Periodic
Importance Important to have
Scale of organizational change
Target groups PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)
Types of contracts of researchers Full degree student Visiting scholar Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Fixed term employee Exchange student
Career stages of researchers Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience 10-15 years of experience More than 15 years of experience
Lengths of stays of researchers 0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months More than 12 months
Practice setup

The welcome event for new international PhD students and academics ensures a good start at the host HEI. Newcomers will have the opportunity to meet relevant HEI representatives (dean/vice-dean, representatives from IRO/Welcome Center, Doctoral school (if applicable), HR department, etc) and will also be able to briefly introduce themselves and meet other new arrivals.

Newcomers will receive general information on studying/working at host HEI as well as its various facilities (institutes, libraries, cafeterias, etc.). They will also receive important information about the administrative formalities connected with their stay in the host country (enrolment (in case of PhD students), reporting residence, residence permit, health insurance, etc.) and a folder containing all the key information on HEI counseling and support services as well as the range of leisure and cultural opportunities that the hosting HEI and city/region have to offer.

The welcome event can also be enriched by short presentations on cultural specificities of receiving culture, a short course on the national language, talks on current societal issues and the role of universities in searching for their solutions, a poster session, etc. 

The significant part of such an event is an opportunity for networking. It is a great opportunity to show the researchers they are welcome both at the HEI as well as in the HEI’s country.

The welcome event can consist of: 

  • Meeting other researchers

  • Getting to know the campus

  • Finding out about the institution, its supporting services, career planning/development programmes and opportunities

  • Meeting the HEI staff, particularly an opportunity to meet institutions key persons who will support incomings during their stay

  • Welcome package

  • Buddy/guide programme/assistance (if applicable)

  • Q&A session (newcomers could ask questions to HEI representatives)

  • Poster session (optional)

The welcome event can be enriched by inviting external partners to present their services to international PhD students and academics. Host HEI can also organise a visit to the local municipality (welcome speech by a mayor, guided tours around the city secured by the municipality, the transportation system information), or a visit to cultural and historical monuments. (museums)

The event should also provide essential information on relocation as well as on job and leisure opportunities for families and spouses:

  • Accommodation

  • Legal issues connected to residence and work permit

  • Job fair with external partners and local organizations

  • Social/networking events (also presenting opportunities run by external partners)

  • Cultural orientation courses

  • Language courses

  • Safety issues

  • Health and insurance system information

  • Schooling

  • Leisure activities

In order to prepare and conduct the welcome week, the registration mechanism needs to be prepared for those who wish to participate in the event.

  • Create a registration form

  • Set the deadline for registration

  • Send out an email with more details (schedule, map, etc.) to registered newcomers approximately 1 week before the event.



Cost of practice setup
Time required for practice setup
Personnel effort required for practice setup
Actors involved in practice setup
  • HR Department
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • PR department
  • Research office
  • Library
  • Project management office
  • Campus health center
  • Rector's office / Vice-Rector for International Affairs
Partners involved in practice setup
  • Municipality
  • Language centre
  • Real estate agent
  • Immigration office
  • Medical centre
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
  • Tourist information centre/board
  • Employers association
  • Career advisor
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup
  • Training plan and programme designed

In the set up phase the external partners’ tasks are mainly: deciding on a way of presenting relevant information to the international audience, preparing the information to be presented and advising organisers on the agenda of events and the content of presented information.

@ Municipality: the presentation can include basic information about the city/region and by this building a positive the image of the city/region.

@ Other HEI: presenting the information on its activities, especially those available to international students and staff.

@ Tourist information centre: promoting the country and region and encouraging touristic free time activities.

@ Employers association: promoting the association’s activities, showing the country/ regional labour market realities/specificities and opportunities for international students and researchers to be active in the labour market.

@ Career advisor: career-focused presentation which may include topics like personal branding, writing effective resumes, developing and modifying a career plan, effective job searching and networking.

@ Language centre: native language introduction workshops, promoting the didactic offer among the participants, especially connected with native language classes, discounts offer for international students and researchers if possible.

@ Real estate agent: short introduction on living conditions and rental issues in the city and region, promoting the institution’s services.

@ Medical centre: introduction on health and safety regulation in the country, basic medical examination for participants, promoting the institution’s services.

@ Tax office: introduction on tax regulation in the country with special focus on requirements for foreign students and researchers. Promoting the institution’s services.

@ Immigration office: introduction on immigration regulation in the country with special focus on requirements for foreign students and researchers. Promoting the institution’s services.

Practice delivery

The delivery activities can include:

  • promotion of the welcome event via various communication channels (mailing list, intranet, etc)

  • presenting all the relevant information,

  • answering potential questions and helping to network.

  • collect feedback from the participants

Factors to consider:

  • Social events are a perfect opportunity to network and the event organisers should allow time and support the participants' socialising. An important factor is to include not only the international newcomers but also local PhD students and academics who can act as buddies and might help set up a network necessary for adequate functioning in a new environment.

  • Participants can be asked to agree to further contact and personal data usage for the purposes of further HEI’s activity.

Cost of practice delivery
Time required for practice delivery
Personnel effort required for practice delivery
Actors involved in practice delivery
  • HR Department
  • IRO/welcome centre
  • PR department
  • Language department
  • Study department
  • Research office
  • Doctoral school
  • Students association
  • Researchers association
  • Library
  • Project management office
  • Career development centre
  • Leisure activities centre (sport centre, museum, garden)
  • Legal department
  • Technology transfer office
  • Incubator
  • Centre of language/studies preparation
  • Centre of continuous/adult education
  • Science park
  • Dormitory/accommodation facility
  • IT support department
Partners involved in practice delivery
  • Municipality
  • Language centre
  • Embassy
  • Real estate agent
  • Immigration office
  • Tax office
  • Medical centre
  • Other HEI/research organisation in city/region
  • Tourist information centre/board
  • Employers association
  • Career advisor
  • EURAXESS centre
  • Museum
Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery
  • Number of researchers trained annually
  • Number of researchers affected

@All: In the delivery phase the external partners’ role is to present information and promote their services.

Examples of practice

Seminars for new academics

Each year in September the Kozminski University organises seminars for new national and international academic staff which include a poster session where not only research posters but also posters on non-academic issues such as didactic issues or administrative support during the pandemic are included. This approach highlights the equality and importance of three “branches” of the HEI: research, didactics and administration. During the seminar the new academic staff can learn the basics about working in HEI, about HEI’s research and meet the other academics and non-academic staff in person. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the seminars was online with a virtual poster session on Teams platform (electronic posters with podcasts).


Kiel University -Welcome event for new scientists and guest researchers


To ensure a good start at Kiel University for new doctoral students, postdocs and guest researchers, the Welcome centre regularly invites international newcomers to the welcome event.