Continuing education under difficult conditions | Master′s Degree | DW | 14.05.2018
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Master's Degree

Continuing education under difficult conditions

Together with DW Akademie, four refugees will prepare for the Master's Program in International Media Studies. Laila Kaddah, Fares Abdulkarim, Khaled Karkali and Pascal Sevadouno are enrolled in the preparatory program.

Pascal Sevadouno, Laila Kaddah, Khaled Karkarli and Fares Abdulkarim (DW/Eva-Maria Senftleben)

Pascal Sevadouno, Laila Kaddah, Khaled Karkarli and Fares Abdulkarim

In the upcoming months, the four students from Syria and Guinea will prepare for the 2018/19 semester of the International Media Studies (IMS) Master's Program. The program introduces the future students to the German media system, provides them with a German course and offers excursions to various international organizations.

This is the second year that DW Akademie is offering places for refugees. The goal is to offer talented people an opportunity for professional development, even under difficult conditions. The four have already gained media experience in their home countries – in addition to a university degree, this was a requirement for the preparatory course.

"Journalists were a threat in Syria"

Khaled Karkali comes from Syria and has already worked as a journalist in his home country – he even covered the German Bundesliga as a sports reporter.  When he completes the International Media Studies program, he hopes to find prospects in Syria. "Our war in Syria is also a war of ideas. People like me, journalists with a good command of English, were a threat because we were able to communicate to the outside world what was happening in the country. If this war is ever over, we not only need engineers and doctors, but also media professionals," he explains.

Fares Abdulkarim, also from Syria, obtained a degree in architecture and then worked as a graphic designer. In Bonn, he has already worked as a translator for DW Akademie's German language courses. "Now I have found my dream profession," says the future student of the International Media Studies program.

Laila Kaddah studied English literature at the University of Damascus and has worked as a news editor and television presenter. In Bonn, she writes for the online magazine She has written about helpful neighbors in Germany, radicalization and the importance of Christmas for refugees in Germany.

Pascal Sevadouno is a guitarist and musicologist who specializes in music informatics. After working as a sound engineer for a radio station in his native Guinea, he eventually took to the microphone and worked as a presenter. In Germany, he has already worked as a consultant for "Bildung trifft Entwicklung, " an education initiative run by Engagement Global and the regional education office of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. He has also been working for DW's French language desk since 2017.

The loss of documents is not a criterion for exclusion

Applicants for the preparatory course must provide evidence of a good basic knowledge of German, while applicants for regular study places require an advanced language level. DW Akademie offers refugees in the preparatory program more advanced German courses and academic English. In cases of missing documents, the individual applicant's qualifications are examined. The program also offers a partial scholarship when an applicant is admitted for the winter semester.

Prof. Christoph Schmidt, head of DW Akademie's Education and Administration, welcomed the four students to Bonn. "We had more than 100 refugee applicants. Laila Kaddah, Fares Abdulkarim, Khaled Karkali and Pascal Sevadouno have convinced us with their diverse experiences."