Leading educational startups to support refugees with free access to German and English courses online

London/Berlin/Vienna, 30 September 2015 – busuu, the world’s largest social network for language learning with more than 55 million users, and ICOON, the globally successful picture dictionary open to all languages of the world, are now available for refugees free of charge.

Initiator of the campaign Karsten Warrink of Ambermedia, Gosia Warrink of Amberdesign and Amberpress, and Bernhard Niesner of busuu explain their motivation: “Language skills are crucial to finding your way in a new environment. They are the key to integration. With the current influx of refugees into Europe there is great demand for easy access language acquisition, something both our companies excel in. busuu and ICOON have teamed up to offer free German and English courses to refugees in Europe”.

With immediate effect all German and English language courses by busuu are now available for free to Arab-speaking users. These classes contain more than 200 audiovisual course units per language and cover everyday topics like “food”, “at the supermarket”, “clothing” or “at the doctor”. These free classes are currently available for mobile Android devices. To activate their free premium membership users of the Arab-language version of the busuu Android app will need to enter the code “Germanforrefugees”.

The picture dictionary app ICOON contains a selection of a thousand of the most important symbols and photos from the picture dictionary. A version specifically developed for the needs of refugees with more than 2.000 symbols, photos and phrases as well as an app for Android devices will become available shortly.

The apps can be acquired directly via the Android or Apple app stores. Refugees, aid organizations as well as helpers can find further information on the central website www.germanforrefugees.com, where there is also a picture dictionary with the most important symbols available for printing.

Press contact

Karsten Warrink
+49 30 288 84 85 – 50

European entrepreneurs join forces

Initiator of the joint campaign is Karsten Warrink, founder of the marketing agencies AMBERMEDIA and jubelkind, and member of the international Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Entrepreneur’s Pledge.

“To a large number of entrepreneurs in Germany and Europa, it is important to help in a fast, easy and comprehensive manner. With the language apps by busuu und ICOON, we can improve verbal communication and language skills of refugees immediately and on a large scale. I am very happy we were able to launch something so quickly.”

Bernhard Niesner, CEO & Co-Founder of busuu, states: “It is our responsibility to help these people in need. Language skills are an essential part of successful integration and we at busuu are glad to make this contribution.”

Gosia Warrink, owner of AMBERDESIGN and AMBERPRESS, says: “Refugees need first assistance with communication upon their arrival in order to be able to communicate. They arrive exhausted and without luggage. Often with health problems. They need clothing, sanitary products, food and medical attention.”


ICOON is a picture dictionary for all languages in the world with over 2000 essential everyday symbols. Simply pointing to the right icon suffices to put your conversation partner in the picture. Regardless of whether you need a toothbrush, safety pin or swimming shorts, or want to explain hay fever without using words, ICOON speaks the world’s most universal language: pictures. Gosia Warrink first published the ICOON global picture dictionary in 2007 at her own publishing house AMBERPRESS. Today, there are 5 ICOON book editions available as well as an app for iPhone devices.

About busuu

busuu was founded in 2008 with the vision to enable people from all over the world to learn a new language. The company offers audiovisual language classes for 12 different languages for desktop PC and as apps for mobile devices. In addition, users can practice acquired language skills with native speakers via the online platform. Every user of busuu is not only a student of a foreign language, but also a tutor in his/her native language. With more than 55 million users, busuu belongs to the world’s leading providers of digital language learning apps.