Expatrio takes part at ICEF Berlin

ICEF 2019 Berlin: Expatrio’s Experiences and Insights

This year one of the biggest educational fairs in the word, ICEF Berlin, is celebrating its 25th birthday and Expatrio was one of its participants. We have spent 3 exciting days presenting our services, exchanging ideas, connecting with new partners for upcoming projects, and last but not least, socializing with new friends from all over the world.

Here we want to share with you the insights we have brought from ICEF as well as provide you with more information on the current state of educational opportunities abroad.

Short history of ICEF

The history of ICEF starts in the 1960’s when Karl Badde established a chain of language schools around the Middle East. The initially-created schools were focused on teaching diplomats and business executives, and the only subject which was taught there was Arabic. In just 10 years Badde’s chain went global, establishing local centers in Bonn and London. During many years, Karl Badde and his family were active players in the international education industry producing language, travel, and education guides as well as directories.

It was the 1990’s, after accumulating the necessary knowledge and level of expertise Badde family actually entered the conference industry. ICEF, which stands for International Consultants for Education and Fairs, was formed in 1991 and became a revolution in the given field, attracting thousands of institutions and agents already in the first years of existence. Now, ICEF is a globally accepted leader in the international education area, providing a multitude of industry-related initiatives, including international B2B events and professional training.

Expatrio at ICEF Berlin 2019

A lot of talks and new collaborations

Dominic Otto, Expatrio Co-Founder,
with Claudia Reichstein, from DR-WALTER
(Expatrio’s Travel Health Insurance Partner)

Coming back to 2019, we can definitely admit that ICEF offers an extremely thought-out infrastructure where everything is done for a reason and all the elements of the event plan are made to help participants use their time with maximum efficiency creating their own network and discovering new market solutions. The wide offer of opportunities the event is providing can satisfy any professional need. 

Expatrio's Co-Founders Dominic Otto and Alex Ruthemeier enjoyed one-to-one business meetings with over 300 agents sending students from abroad to Germany. It allowed us to develop more personalized discussions and tailor our solutions to individual needs our partners have. The feedback we received for our Value Package as well as our individual products gave us a lot of motivation to follow our vision to become the one-stop-shop for every student moving to Germany, be it for our current products, such as Blocked Account, Current Account, Health Insurances, etc., but also for the new solutions which are coming soon, like Accommodation and Job Opportunities. 

Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) on our booth 91

During the event, we were glad to represent not only Expatrio but also our partners, in particular our Health Insurance Partner, Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). ICEF 2019 was an important step for TK to foster its international strategy and the decision to participate proved to be a great success. Many educational agents we have been talking to highlighted the importance of health insurance as an aspect students have to consider when going abroad. Several of them also admitted that at this point in time, the difference between the various health insurance providers in Germany is not transparent and that health insurance is not receiving the necessary attention it should get. Therefore, we were asked to increase the clarification for brokers and students, as the significant choice for one of the health insurance providers is mostly done already from abroad, following the decision for a Blocked Account provider.

Expatrio at ICEF
Dominic Otto, Expatrio Co-Founder, with Bitnam Park, from J Klassik

From the feedback we received, we see a great opportunity for the partnership between Expatrio and TK to prove the significance of the public health insurance for everyone relocating to Germany, and also to help educational agents familiarize themselves with the public health insurance system in Germany, and our partner TK in particular. Therefore, we will increase our joint attendances of various international events in 2020. That will give us an opportunity to raise the necessary awareness around the public health insurance topics and help international students come to Germany well-prepared.

Introducing DeGiS to our partners

While presenting Expatrio, we also had the chance to draw attention to the recently established non-profit association for international students in Germany, DeGiS (Deutsche Gesellschaft internationaler Studierender gGmbH). Expatrio is a proud founding partner of DeGiS - the association which aims to take student networking opportunities in Germany to the next level by connecting students with different backgrounds and from different German universities with experienced mentors through various community events, such as the DeGiS Summit 2020.

Alex and Sunil
Alex Ruthemeier, Expatrio Co-Founder, with Sunil Kannath, from Thirdwave Overseas Education

The main aim of DeGiS is to make the life of international students in Germany better, offering them financial support in the form of DeGiS scholarship and broadening the range of opportunities for their professional future. It was overwhelming to see how much appreciation was given to this idea, and we are very grateful for that! 

What’s next

ICEF is highly recommended to any company that is working in the education industry and is looking to kick-off its reach into international markets. But what is truly special about ICEF is that the people we met there are beautifully united by the same desire to broaden the opportunities of international students abroad, helping new generations to benefit from all the connections that globalization has to offer. It goes without saying that the ICEF party on the second day was a very-welcomed occasion for informal talks, listening to live music and dancing to funky beats.

Expatrio’s Co-Founders Dominic Otto and Alex Ruthemeier were happy to be a part of Berlin’s 25th-anniversary conference ICEF 2019. That was a great experience and we are definitely coming back the next year for more! 

The Expatrio & DeGiS brochures which were shared on ICEF can be found here