27.3. – 4.4 2023: Student mobility in Berlin (student report by F.S.K.)


The Course I attended at the University was a unique and enriching Project. The Class brought together 60 students from different countries (Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, Germany) to collaborate on an IT-Business Project. The primary objective of the class was to build a business and develop an app prototype that would enable individuals coming to Berlin to feel secure, assimilate more easily, and learn about the city’s culture and opportunities.

Report about the Goal and Project of the Class

The primary goal of the class was to maintain an environment of collaboration and learning while addressing a real-world problem which we were given. The class brought students together which had a different variety of perspectives and expertise to develop a modern IT Solution for a modern real-world problem. The project for the class was the development of an app prototype that would cater to the needs of immigrants, tourists, refugees, and other people coming from abroad, helping them feel secure, navigate the city/district, and learn about its opportunities and resources. The focus was on especially on the district Treptow-Köpenick.

To achieve this goal, the class was structured in a way that encouraged people to actively participate and do good teamwork. Through the course, all students were expected to engage into working as a group and present their intermediate and final results. Also, everyone was expected to share knowledge and exchange ideas. By working together on this business project and the app prototype, all students not only gained valuable technical skills but also project management skills.

Berlin is a vibrant and culturally diverse city and attracts a large number of tourists and immigrants every year. These individuals often face unique challenges in adapting to their new environment, such as language barriers, unfamiliarity with locals and other difficulties. However, it’s very important to feel secure and integrate into the local community to be well and successful.

The project we undertook held a significant importance as it aimed to address these challenges by developing a business and an app prototype tailored to the needs of international individuals in Berlin Köpenick. Every group thought of what needs the immigrants, tourists and other groups might need and created a business and a prototype. To attend the class and do the project we should form ourselves into groups of 6 (1 student from every country). So we created the group “The Berliners”.

Picture of the group „The Berliners“

Group Work

Our group work during the class was characterized by effective role selection, open communication and the sharing of diverse perspectives. We divided tasks based on individual skillsets and expertise. We engaged in brainstorming sessions, problem solving and prototype creation while working together to create the perfect solution.

Our groups chosen project focused on creating a business and an app prototype that would connect immigrants, tourists, refugees, and locals through events. That could be all kind of events like sports, reading books, drinking coffee together or just meeting up. Later, we presented this idea to our mentors in the interim presentations.

After thinking and choosing the idea we presented it to all the other 60 students and our mentors. We got a positive feedback and constructive criticism. Our idea was too wide-ranging like most of the other ideas in the class. After the interim Presentation we had two more days to think and enhance our ideas, while we got professional support from our mentors.

The Berliners interim presentation

After speaking with our mentors and discussing about a new topic we found one quick. The new idea was to create an app which connects immigrants, tourists, refugees, and locals through sports. The idea behind the project was the belief that sports can serve as a universal language, bridging cultural gaps and promoting social integration among people from diverse backgrounds. By making it easy to connect and share experiences, our app aimed to create a platform that would encourage physical activity, make new friendships, and enhance the overall well being of people coming from abroad and locals in Berlin.

While developing our prototype our group employed a systematic approach and adopted various methodologies to ensure that our solution was effective and relevant to the needs of our target audience. Our process began with research and data collection to gain an understanding of the challenges of the individuals in Berlin when it comes to socialize and feel more secure in Berlin Köpenick.

We then created a business plan and did research on our competitors. Other then that we created a questionary to do a little market research what those individuals really need. We refined our ideas altogether and got the work done well.

While doing all this our team divided tasks based on individual skill sets and expertise, ensuring that each member contributed effectively to the project. By applying these methodologies and approaches, our group was able to develop a well thought business idea and an app prototype that addressed the needs of our target audience and connect people through sports activities in Berlin Köpenick.

The prototype named “BERlin Together”, was designed to be user friendly and accessible to a very wide range of people of different nations and communities while offering a range of features to help users discover sports activities and sport club activities in their surrounding area. Users could create profiles indicating their preferences and interests. The app would show sport clubs and sport events created by clubs or other users to the user. The user could also create sport events or join others. The app prototype was built so that we would care of our user’s privacy as well. So, we built an in-app chat feature for individual one on one chats or group chats. With this, users don’t have to exchange their personal information to connect.

Some of The Berliners group presenting the prototype to a mentor

By providing a platform for immigrants, tourists, refugees, and locals to engage in sports together, “BERlin Together” aimed to facilitate social interactions and create a sense of belonging among its users. The project not only recognized the importance of physical activity in promoting health and well being but also leveraged the power of sports to bring people from diverse backgrounds together.

After creating our concept, business plan and prototype it was time to present the final results. Here every group had to present their work. The final presentation was an opportunity for us to showcase our accomplishments, share our insights, and receive valuable feedback on our project.

In preparation for the presentation, our team collaborated closely to refine the app prototype, ensuring that the user interface was looking good, and the user experience was good as well. We also worked on our business plan, which detailed our target audience, marketing strategies, revenue streams, risks cost analysis and market research.

The final presentation began with an introduction to our team. Then we explained our concept, two user personas, our business plan, and our prototype. We demonstrated the apps key features, showcasing its user-friendly design and all the features we mentioned to create. This was followed by a walk through of the business plan, highlighting our market analysis and our market research.

The presentation concluded with a quick feedback session where we received valuable feedback from some of our mentors. Overall, the final presentation was a rewarding experience.

Throughout the course and the development of the “BERlin Together” app prototype, I had the opportunity to engage in various activities, contribute to the group work, and face challenges that ultimately enriched my learning experience.

I participated in a variety of activities that contributed my learning experience and the successful development of the business idea and prototype. One of this was Brainstorming.
I actively participated in group discussions and brainstorming sessions, sharing my ideas, and doing suggestions. I also worked on the prototype development with some of our group members. This was especially useful for me because I did not know the tool figma before. So, I had the chance to learn it and build a prototype with it. I was directly involved into the business part as well. My main task was to do research about our competitors and find some unique selling propositions.

The Berliners working on the project

Project management was probably one of the biggest activities here. I played a role in organizing tasks and forming smaller groups inside our team to give this task to. This was something I have never done before in such an environment. It required great communication and empathizing skills to do this effectively. But at the end I could help to maintain the focus throughout the project. I also assisted in preparing the final presentation as well.

While creating the prototype and the business idea, I faced various personal challenges that tested myself. One of those was to acquire new technical skills. As we developed the prototype, I encountered situations where I needed to learn new tools (figma) and techniques to contribute. I took help from our group members and even other groups to enhance my technical skills.

Time management was also a challenge. The course was from 27th march to 4th April. So, it was very challenging to acquire new knowledge an get the work done for some deadlines.

I gained very valuable academic knowledge that expanded my understanding of different fields. The class allowed me to learn about social skills, project management, importance of empathy in such projects. By applying concepts, I was able to understand these subjects better and I could enhance my academic experience.

I had the opportunity to develop my technical skills in some areas. I gained some experience on UI / UX design and app design in general. Additionally, I learned about some tools like figma for prototype creation or Canva to create presentations. I am happy that I could extend my technical skills with this class.

I gained valuable insights into project management and the importance of it. By working with a diverse team, I experienced the importance of communication skills and conflict resolution skills to finish the project. While talking with other groups members I could even assist them or get assistance on this part.

Through the course I developed my ability to be able to work with a diverse team very effectively. I could also enhance my communication and presentation skills which I really like. Also, I learned how importance it is to solve challenges which the group faces.

I developed my sense of empathy and communication skills. But also, my teamwork and presentation skills by a lot. In addition, I could improve my technical skills on some certain points while as example helping my group members to get access to the wireless connection and different stuff.

Overall, the class and project were a very good experience which provided me an exceptional opportunity to work with a team with diverse cultural differences. I gained valuable academical knowledge, technical skills, and social skills.

As we successfully developed our business idea and our prototype, I could get some new connections and improve my skill set. I am deeply appreciative of this opportunity and the lessons gained, as they will have a significant impact on my future.