“This semester will be completely different from a regular semester”
University President Professor Günter M. Ziegler on a special semester starting this week / How to get started in the #Kreativsemester
Apr 19, 2020
University President Professor Günter M. Ziegler welcomes all the students to Freie Universität and wishes them a good start to the 2020 summer semester. He would like to thank all the members of Freie Universität who have worked together over the past few weeks to ensure that a majority of the planned courses can take place online.
#Kreativsemester: Tipps zum Start ins digitale Semester
For students the new semester will often mean the living room will become a lecture hall, the shared kitchen will become a cafeteria – and no one will get lost looking for Room KL 202/31 in the maze of the Rost- und Silberlaube building complex.
A semester completely without face-to-face events also raises many questions: What do I need to organize to hear my lecture at home? How do I get books and reference materials when the libraries are closed? How do I get to know other students? And how can I keep fit when the university gyms are closed? We have put together a few tips to help you get started in the digital semester.
Orientation in Planning Your Studies
Contact persons are available at the academic departments, in the student advising offices, and the student council offices for each degree program. Many student council initiatives are on Facebook or Instagram and easy for students to reach.
General information abut studying during the corona crisis can be found in the FAQs on the website of Freie Universität. The Student Services Center offers advice about general questions related to studying: by phone or email.
Chatting with Other Students
As long as there is still a ban on contact, social life will switch even more to virtual formats. There are already all sorts of creative ideas. With the wesolate app, students can “meet” their friends virtually, while staying at home. The app was developed by a team of students, one of whom is Nico, a journalism student at Freie Universität.
Books and Food for the Brain
The libraries on campus and in the city are closed, but many publishers are showing solidarity with universities and students and temporarily expanding the range of their licensed e-resources. These include real treasures, for example the Artfilms Digital University Collection, which can be used free of charge until September 30. There are many films from the fields of theater, music, literature, and language.
Here is an overview of the expanded services of the university libraries.
Working at Home
Watering flowers, checking Instagram feeds, cooking: Sometimes there seem to be endless important things to do that distract you from what it's all about: studying. The Career Service has put together some tips for working well in your home office. Point 1: First you should get up.
Sports and Games
Not only your gray matter needs to be trained in the summer semester: the University Sports Center is bringing movement to your living room. From May 4, students and other members of the university can play, relax, or dance live via Cisco Webex and without contagion. The booking starts on April 27. More information is available on the website of the University Sports Center. You can already register for the free Pausenexpress@HOME.
The corona crisis presents many students with financial difficulties. The Studierendenwerk Berlin has put together tips and information on how to finance your studies. There are new special regulations for BAföG, too. More information is available here.
The measures intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus require “social distancing,” which completely changes everyday life. That presents a difficult situation for everyone. The Student Advisory Service at Freie Universität has compiled some suggestions intended to help in the difficult time of the pandemic. There is also support through Nightline Berlin, a listening phone line for students by students.
We wish everyone a good start to the 2020 summer semester!
The original German version of this article was published on April 19, 2020, in campus.leben, the online magazine of Freie Universität Berlin.