Topic outline

  • Press release

    VIEL Round 3 ending with a big closing event at Pwani University

    The third round of the trinational project VIEL of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Pwani University Kilifi and the University of Limerick in Ireland was successfully brought to an end with a big closing event and a short term stay at Pwani University in Kenya."Virtual International Exchange and Learning (VIEL) Kenya-Ireland-Germany” is part of the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, a programme of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung. The project runs from October 2021 until September 2024 and is financed with an amount of 145.000€.

     Picture: Project VIEL

    The successful project VIEL - Virtual International Exchange and Learning was launched in October 2021 by Prof. Sissi Closs from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HKA) in cooperation with Pwani University (PU) in Kenya and the University of Limerick (UL) in Ireland. The aim of the project is to create a cultural and professional exchange for students from the three universities in a future-oriented, virtual setting. In the process, students learn important skills in the field of technical communication and gain valuable experience in cultural exchange. In October 2022, the project already entered its third round. Each semester, two students from each of the universities have the opportunity to participate in an exchange round. Thus, VIEL Round 3 consisted of two students from HKA, two students from UL and two students from PU.

    Virtual workshops on four topics in technical communication

    As in previous semesters, four virtual workshops were held on various technical communication topics.

    Workshop topics



    How to make a podcast

    October 27, 2022
    11:00am GMT, 12:00pm CET, 01:00pm EAT

    Dr Yvonne Cleary

    Intercultural aspects in communication

    November 17, 2022
    11:00am GMT, 12:00pm CET, 02:00pm EAT

    Dr. Rukiya Swaleh
    Alexander Muthanga

    Video editing

    December 15, 2022
    11:00am GMT, 12:00pm CET, 02:00pm EAT

    Farina Ebel

    Visualisation basics

    January 19, 2023
    11:00am GMT, 12:00pm CET, 02:00pm EAT

    Belinda Oechsler
    Edith Miano

    After each workshop, there was a small homework assignment by which the learned knowledge could be applied directly. The task from the 1st workshop on "How to make a Podcast" was particularly successful, in which the students interviewed each other. Hadjer Hammadi from UL produced a very interesting podcast with Josephat Charo from PU as the interview partner. In their conversation, they talk about the importance and role of family in their cultures. The video production about the events and traditions around Christmas in the respective cultures, which was already popular in the previous rounds, was also very welcome.
    Through the joint projects, the students got to know each other better and at the same time were able to expand their skills in the area of technical communication, as well as learn how to work in an intercultural, virtual environment.

    Weekly social exchanges ("regulars' tables") in extended round

    In addition to the professional exchange, the private exchange is one of the main aims of the project. Besides a lively exchange in the WhatsApp group, weekly virtual meetings were held where only the VIEL students, without their lecturers, met to tell each other about their everyday life. Among the occasional vocal performances by Josephat Charo, the main topics were the seasonal celebrations, such as Halloween, Saint Martin's Day, Christmas and Carnival, as well as the different traditions related to them. These regular meetings, in which virtual friendships are made and new cultures are introduced, are an absolute highlight for many VIEL students and contribute to the success of this project. This is also reflected in the voluntary participation of two former VIEL students, who also took part in the virtual regulars' tables in the third round.

    Short term stay in Kilifi

    At the end of a VIEL semester, a short-term stay is planned at one of the participating universities, where students can get to know each other live and strengthen the friendships they have made virtually. The excitement in VIEL Round 3 was huge when it was announced that this semester's trip would be to the PU in Kilifi.
    To wrap up the semester, the VIEL team met at the PU in Kenya from February 24 to March 7, 2023. For the students, it was particularly exciting to see each other live for the first time after the virtual semester. However, the first meeting at the airport already showed how strong the connection had already been built through the virtual meetings. The students spent an intense time together, getting to know each other better and, not least through PU's brilliant guide Josephat Charo, Kilifi as well. "I made friends for life and I am sure we will stay in touch in the future. We have already made plans for when we will see each other again next time," Alexa Bäcker, master's student from HKA, concluded.

    Big closing event at Pwani University

    As the grand finale of the semester, a large event was held on March 2, 2023, with about 100 participants, including the VIEL team, lecturers from all participating universities, representatives from PU management and interested PU students. Belinda Oechsler introduced the foundation and the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for students and the program line BWS plus, as well as the VIEL project in general. Short presentations followed on various topics such as the role of social media in intercultural exchange or cultural differences between Algeria and Ireland. Finally, the VIEL students reported on their experiences in the past semester and the cultural exchange and showed some of their excellent student works that were created during the workshops.

    Picture: Project VIEL

    VIEL Round 3 was once again a great success. The feedback from students and visitors of the event has once again shown how special this virtual exchange program is. In their experience reports, VIEL students share how participating has shaped and enriched them. "Project VIEL has taught me that we are a rich community of different cultures living in a small global village. We share so many things with each other, despite our many differences in language and countries of origin. All in all, we are all one." - Josephat Charo summarizes. The VIEL students' experience reports can be found on the joint learning- and exchange platform

    In March 2023, the 4th VIEL round already started with six new students. All information is available on and on Instagram.


    The Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM supports the international exchange of students and vocationally qualified people. Since 2001, it has enabled more than 28,000 young people from Baden-Württemberg to gain experience abroad and allowed scholarship holders from other countries to visit Baden-Württemberg. Approximately 1,500 young people receive a Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM each year.


    Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus

    With the Baden-Württemberg-STIPENDIUM for University Students – BWS plus, the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung supports innovative joint projects between universities from Baden-Württemberg and their international partners. The programme is endowed with approximately 1.2 million euros annually. Since 2011, more than 110 BWS plus projects have been supported at universities in Baden-Württemberg.

    The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung

    advocates a vital Baden-Württemberg with a high quality of life for all its residents. It helps pave the way for advanced technological progress, high quality education, and a responsible relationship with fellow human beings. The Baden-Württemberg Stiftung is one of the major foundations in Germany. It is the only foundation which exclusively and above party lines invests in the future of the state of Baden-Württemberg – and thus in the future of its citizens.