Online extra:
Hello: The newcomer’s handbook – case study from Germany*




App-Icon of the Hello Hamburg-App, © VHS Hamburg




Being new to a city brings with it a variety of challenges, and it can be tough. The “Hello Hamburg” app offers practical assistance for making a good start in Hamburg and ensures that newcomers soon start calling the city their new home. The app is available for free, and was developed for immigrants and other newcomers to the city of Hamburg, as well as for local volunteers. The Hello app offers helpful information about Hamburg’s largest institutions and what they have to offer, such as Hamburg Adult Education Centre (Hamburger Volkshochschule) or the “Bücherhallen Hamburg” (a cultural institution and library network). Text and audio information is available in German, English, Arabic, Farsi and Russian.

Success factors

The app is a tool catering for a digital community of newcomers. It provides a structural orientation to help you settle in: maps, locations, services and practical assistance from nearby institutions. For example: Hamburg Adult Education Centre provides helpful information for those wanting to learn German as a foreign language.

Once it has been downloaded, it works even when users are offline. Most of the information is provided as both text and audio, so users can choose whether to read or listen. It is structured as a multi-language media system, providing all the information it contains in five languages.

Hello Hamburg is also helpful to volunteers by informing them about adult education opportunities available in the city of Hamburg.

This is an application that could be easily adapted for use in other cities. The service can be constantly expanded to include new partners and information.


* / This article has been written exclusively for the digital version of the Adult Education and Development journal.

More Information
Twitter: hello_hamburg

Dr. Antje von Rein
Hamburg Adult Education Centre


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