Author: kouw

AOZ Hegnau – Center for Asylum Seekers

The AOZ (Fachorganisation in Migrations – und Intergratunsbereich) is a refugee transit center that opened in 1991 and can house up to 215 people. As of now the number of refugees that are housed is low (around 75 as of July 6th). Men, women, children, and families come here to gain better opportunities. The majority of refugees come from Afghanistan (2,041 out of 8,315) and other countries (2,023 out of 8,315). The facility offers schooling for children and adults to learn German, along with a clinic, a computer room, an on-site clothing store and many different outdoor and indoor activities for all ages. The average time of stay for refugees at AOZ is two months, but there is no set date for a person to leave. Residents have a three bedroom apartment and a maximum of 12 people can occupy a room.

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Visiting the Center for Asylum Seekers

image1 The AOZ (Fachorganisation in Migrations – und Intergratunsbereich) is a refugee transit center that opened in 1991 and can house up to 215 people. As of now the number of refugees that are housed is low (around 75 as of July 6th). Men, women, children, and families come here to gain better opportunities. The majority of refugees come from Afghanistan (2,041 out of 8,315) and other countries (2,023 out of 8,315). The facility offers schooling for children and adults to learn German, along with a clinic, a computer room, an on-site clothing store and many different outdoor and indoor activities for all ages. The average time of stay for refugees at AOZ is two months, but there is no set date for a person to leave. Residents have a three bedroom apartment and a maximum of 12 people can occupy a room.

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Meeting the City Council Richard Wolff

image1One of the issues that we as American students found as really different was the fact that people can occupy a house that is not theirs. The government does not deprive them of things like water or electricity. Although this may seem to be inappropriate, it also provides us with a different perspective where the government and the people of Switzerland promote giving people a place to stay if a building is empty. In the United States, there is a big issue with people being homeless and there are also tons of buildings that are not occupied. However, the American society does not promote unwanted people occupying buildings especially without the permission of the owners. It is called trespassing and people who trespass get exposed to being shot or being reported to the police. There are some government programs that provide some type of housing or assistance to homeless people. There are also some non-governmental organizations that also help support people who are homeless. The issue is that irrespective of the assistance, there are still several people who are homeless.

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Exchange Weeks Zurich-Dayton, Ohio, Arriving in Zurich

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It was the first day of class and I thought that it went quite well. We were given an overview by Uwe of what to expect for the next two weeks and then there were introductions of faculty from both institutions. Students met in smalls groups and were given a series of questions to help then to get to know each other.

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