24. April 2020

Digital support formats for international students and doctoral students Digital support formats for international students and doctoral students

After the corona-related state of emergency has turned our professional and personal lives upside down since mid-March, we’re now largely back in a new everyday life: This also applies to our counseling service for international students at the University of Bonn. It is possible for us to offer digital advice and support to remain available to you. Every day we experience new challenges, for example the data protection law, but also at the same time friendly support from colleagues that allows us to find creative solutions together.

The department International Students and Study Programs at the International Office
The department International Students and Study Programs at the International Office © Photo: private
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In this way we have managed to largely digitally rework the program of the international club. We have already offered get-togethers as well as game nights and „Länderabende“, with very positive feedback from the students, which we are very happy about. Also, the Sprachcafé International of the Department for International Students of the AStA is offered during the semester and we cordially invite everyone to drop by. And if you have an idea that you would like discuss with us, please send an e-mail: club@uni-bonn.de.

Exchange students were also given the opportunity to take part in the digital summer semester at the University of Bonn. We are pleased that many Erasmus students who were currently unable to arrive from abroad have accepted this offer and have started their stay at the University of Bonn. We offered a webinar and an FAQ round for the first time in the week after Easter, which was well received. As big as the changes are, it is exciting and instructive for us to gain new experience in the field of virtual events. Feedback from students about how they experience their "digital stay abroad" is also very valuable to us. To give our „digital students“ an insight into life in Bonn and German culture, we’re sending a newsletter with many tips about digital events and cultural attractions. Of course they can’t substitute a „real“ exchange, but they can support exchange on another level.

We have also adapted the International Office's Study Buddy program to the new circumstances. A digital welcome event for the new study buddies of the 2020 summer semester has already taken place. If you would also like to register as a Bonn or international student to the Study Buddy Program, we cordially invite you. We have planned further events in the course of summer semester, because it would be nice if the virtual exchange via zoom would be followed by personal meetings. Find more information on the program and registration or email study-buddy@uni-bonn.de.

From May 8th, four international doctoral students and our colleague Christina Skopek will offer a virtual PhD Café every Friday at 6 p.m. Dates, times and information about other offers for doctoral candidates (such as the new peer monitoring) can be found here: www.pro-motion.uni-bonn.de.

A completely new and very interesting experience is to switch the international choir to an online offer. Thanks to the commitment of the choir director Martin Kirchharz and many supporters, this was also possible. 75 singers took part in the first digital choir rehearsal at the beginning of the lecture period via zoom. The choir rehearses every Monday at 8 p.m. Webinars for voice training are also planned for summer semester. We hope to be able to stream a concert at the end of the semester so that we can share the results of our efforts with you!

Unfortunately, we are still unable to offer face-to-face consultations, but we are still reachable by phone during the usual office hours of the International Office - Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and Thursday from 2.30 to 5 p.m. You are also welcome to write us an email with your concerns. Find our contact details here.

Christine Müller, Head of Department International Students and Study Programs
Email: christine.mueller@uni-bonn.de
Phone: +49 (0)228-73 1966

The department International Students and Study Programs at the International Office offers a program for international students, coordinates the Study Buddy program and organizes seminars and workshops for our target groups. In addition, you can contact us e.g. for questions about health insurance, residence permit and problems regarding financial issues or housing.

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