Four-day training seminar for international students in Lower Saxony

Strengthen civil society, stand up to the government!

Standing up to governing politicians – how can we actually do that? And not just be naysayers, but get involved in constructive ways in order to achieve what we want? Over the decades, active involvement in civil society has grown in Germany, but in many countries it is not a given. This training seminar highlights possible forms of engagement as well as hurdles and objectives.

Seminars such as this competence seminar are made for reaching deep into planpolitik’s bag of methods. The participants from seven different countries approached the topic “active involvement in civil society” from the starting point of their own backgrounds: What does this mean in my home country? How is the situation in Western democracies?

Through positioning games, scenario work (“what would you do?”) and a simulation game focussing on the influence of lobbying groups, the abstract term “civil society” came to life. This was also helped by additional conversations with actors from said active civil society and from regional politics.

Since civil society does not just take place in the streets, one section of the seminar dealt with new media. During an ideas workshop, the students drafted possibilities of a more active civil society in their home countries and then discussed them with representatives from politics, church and society.


Facts + Figures

Target group

International students

  • Skills
  • Knowledge about different approaches in civil society
  • Get to know best practice approaches
  • Discussion with affected people

STUBE and KED (in German that is: Studienbegleitprogramm für ausländische Studierende an niedersächsischen Hochschulen + Kirchlicher Entwicklungsdienst der Evangelisch-lutherischen Landeskirchen in Braunschweig und Hannover)


4 days

Number of participants



Bad Zwischenahn





  • To me the best way to learn is when I am having fun. This is exactly what I experienced during this simulation game. Since then, I think that it would be useful to always approach complicated issues and questions like a game.

    Bat-Orgil Dash (Student from Mongolia)