Support. Guidance. Advice.

Theme Weeks: Doubts About Your Studies?

Each semester supporters from inside and outside the University offer a wealth of guidance and support on the following topics: doubts about your studies, changing degree programs/universities and withdrawing from university. Counseling and advice formats will range from fact-finding events, telephone and video consultations through to podcasts, videos and first-hand reports from people who have withdrawn from university.

The theme week starts with a virtual panel debate, where experts discuss the various forms of support available and what options and alternatives there are for people having doubts about their studies. 

You can find more information about all the events and services in our program.

When

Monday, January 10 to
Friday, January 28, 2022

Program

Please note, the program is mainly in German. English offers are indicated.

Monday, January 10 from 2 pm to 3:45 pm
Panel debate (in German)

The virtual panel debate will see experts discuss the various forms of support available and what options and alternatives there are for people having doubts about their studies. 

Note on participation: It is recommended to participate in the Zoom webinar via PC/laptop and the desktop app, as this way all functions can be fully used. Webinar passcode: 680173

The following questions will be answered:

  • What services and support are provided for people having doubts about their studies?
  • What sensible options or alternatives are there for people having doubts about their studies? 
  • If I want to switch program/university or withdraw, how do I go about it? What do I need to bear in mind?
  • What will employers say when they learn that I switched program/university or withdrew completely? How do I present that in my curriculum vitae?
  • How can I get support from the people around me? / How do I tell my parents?
  • What do I need to bear in mind in terms of funding?
  • Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Employment Agency
  • Study advisory and counseling service at Hochschule Koblenz University of Applied Sciences
  • General Students’ Committee (AStA) at the University of Bonn
  • Career Center at the University of Bonn
  • Cologne Chamber of Crafts
  • Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Writing assistance team at the Studierendenwerk
  • Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service at the University of Bonn
  • Former student who withdrew from university

Tuesday, January 11

Elvira Fray: 0228 / 2284 230  (no appointment necessary)
Annette Hutmacher: 0228 / 2284 197  (no appointment necessary)

“The right candidate for the job” (“Passgenaue Besetzung”) at Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) is a program that offers a telephone consultation for students withdrawing from university who are looking for a placement as part of a dual training program. Anyone interested in such a placement can find out about dual training programs that lead to an IHK qualification in a specific profession and sign up to the team’s agency service.

With its “Relaunch your Career” project, the IHK Bonn/Rhein-Sieg allows students withdrawing from university to complete reduced-length “turbo training” in selected professions.

video consultation via GoToMeeting can also be arranged after phoning in advance.

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.2

Careers with an apprenticeship

Breaking off a degree program before finishing it and completing vocational training instead is an opportunity, not a sign of failure!

The right candidate for the job” (“Passgenaue Besetzung”) is a program run by Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce that matches people looking for a dual training program with companies offering a suitable placement on a training pathway leading to an IHK qualification.

With its “Relaunch your Career” project, the IHK Bonn/Rhein-Sieg allows students withdrawing from university to complete reduced-length “turbo training” in selected professions.

Students withdrawing from university who are looking for a placement as part of a dual training program can register in our applicant management system:
www.ausbildung-bn-su.de35 und www.relaunch-your-career.de46

Registration via email: fichtner@wbz.bonn.ihk.de

A Zoom link will be sent out on the day of the event

Dual training programs enjoy a good reputation in Germany. The high-quality services and products being turned out in all industries and areas of work are thanks to experts armed with practical knowledge. This is what many companies’ commercial success is built on. The German training model is also highly regarded in other countries. At the end of the training period, there is the option of going on to qualify as a business management specialist, business economist or industrial supervisor. With its initial and advanced qualifications, the vocational training pathway thus opens up a wide range of career prospects. This presentation and subsequent discussion will introduce the dual qualification system and explore the opportunities and options available. Participants will be given details of useful places for obtaining personalized advice.

Wednesday, January 12

Registration via email: Katja Reinicke, schreibberatung@studierendenwerk-bonn.de

Help with writing term papers and theses for students from all departments

Consultation covers the following main points:

  • Harnessing your personal resources
  • Finding and focusing on a topic
  • Developing a cogent argument
  • Overcoming writer’s block
  • Fluent writing techniques

When?

Writing assistance is also available outside the theme week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 am to 1 pm via phone. Consultations last up to 90 minutes, must be booked in advance and can also be held in English.

Participation link
Meeting-ID: 812 5731 6388
Passcode: 525932

This presentation provides an insight into the option of dual training in a particular manual trade and introduces the wide range of training professions to choose from. Find out here what career opportunities and options are available with a dual qualification. Anyone interested in a training placement can find out about dual training programs that lead to an Chamber of Crafts qualification in a specific profession and sign up to the chamber’s agency service.

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.6

Participation link
Meeting-ID: 932 1906 9676
Passcode: 628999

At the event, (former) students who have suffered doubts about their studies will share their experiences, give out tips and be happy to answer any questions. Participants are also welcome to contribute their own stories of having doubts about their studies. The focus is on providing mutual support and encouragement and just remembering one thing: “I’m not the only one experiencing doubts about my studies!”

Thursday, January 13

Erik vom Hövel: 0228 / 924 4020

The Employment Agency offers one-to-one telephone consultations focused on devising a strategy for your future career that fits you personally.

You can discuss issues such as: switching to vocational training or a dual training program (current opportunities in your preferred region at employers from all over Germany will be communicated free of charge); switching to another degree program, university or type of higher education institution; career prospects with a university degree or vocational training; alternative financing models and/or options for bridging the gap until you embark on a fresh start.

If you call during this time but the line is busy, you are welcome to send us a message at Bonn.Berufsberatung@arbeitsagentur.de
Please indicate briefly why you are getting in touch and include a phone number that we can call you on.

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.

Participation link
Meeting-ID: 365 374 0226
Passcode: 619174

The Healthy Campus Bonn program – Studying, researching, teaching and working healthily together

There are often many reasons why you might be having doubts about your studies, including increased time pressure, stress and feeling overwhelmed. We want to help you make your day-to-day life as a student as healthy and stress-free as possible to make it easier for you to deal with uncertainties and doubts. At our virtual info booth, we will be telling you all about what studying in a healthy manner means, presenting our current services for boosting your mental, physical and social health. We welcome requests, questions and suggestions and would be delighted to see you drop by.

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.8181615

Participation link
Meeting-ID: 973 4183 0358
Passcode: 548268

Maybe you’re looking for a new direction, e.g. because you want to change subject or university, drop your studies altogether or have some completely different plans? And maybe you’re wondering how to go about it and where you can find information?

I’ll be talking about various places you can look online to find study and training options as well as career opportunities. You’ll be told how to find out what training or degree program matches your strengths and interests. We’ll also have some time to answer your questions on these issues.

Registration via email

Are you having doubts about your studies because you can’t see any career prospects at the end of them? Maybe you don’t know how to go about finding out what you’d really enjoy doing for a living? Make use of the service offered by the Career Center and discuss ideas for potential careers and ways to obtain career guidance in a 25-minute chat with Dr. Anke Bohne.

Consultations are held over the phone or zoom. 

What time slots are available?

  • 2:30 pm – 2:55 pm
  • 3:00 pm – 3:25 pm
  • 3:30 pm – 3:55 pm
  • 4:00 pm – 4:25 pm

How can I register?

  • How long do I have to register? Until 6 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2022. 
  • Please email anke.bohne@uni-bonn.de, remembering to attach the completed registration form97 and a curriculum vitae in PDF format.
  • Please indicate your preferred time slot and the type of counselling (by phone or Zoom) in your registration email.
  • Registrations will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Once you have registered, Dr. Bohne will send you a phone number (landline number) that you can call her on at your agreed time.
  • Should you wish to be advised by Zoom, please send Dr. Bohne a Zoom link created via the portal https://uni-bonn.zoom.us10 after confirming your registration.

Alternative times:
If no more time slots are available, you are welcome to register for the Career Center’s regular career consultation at any time. This will focus on your questions about your personal career guidance and planning and getting onto the career ladder.
Here you can find more information on this service.118

Monday, January 17

Participation link
Meeting-ID: 995 1833 2160
Passcode: 282911

You don’t know which direction your life should take? You feel overwhelmed by the possibilities? Go study at university or not? If yes, which subjects? What is on your mind? What motivates you? Who do you want to be? Finding an answer to the question “why” is crucial to many of us. We may not be able to clarify your motivation, values and beliefs entirely in one consultation, but we can brainstorm and discuss first ideas to make your journey easier.  Our session may even help to already make first steps towards defining the destination of your journey more clearly and connecting to your inner compass.

Tuesday, January 18

Participation link
Meeting ID: 958 1229 4806
Passcode: 579334

Do you (still) know, why you study your study program at the University of Bonn? Do you remember your expectations, hopes and goals for your studies in Germany? Or do you sometimes think about changing your study program, changing universities or dropping out? Or are you wondering what your options are regarding your residence permit? Or do you just have a queasy feeling in your stomach when you think about university? You are invited to talk to us about your thoughts and perhaps concerns and learn more about your options. We are happy to help all international students! Kristina Khrul and Lisa-Sophie Heidchen

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.12
12

Thursday, January 20

The participation link will be published here shortly before the start.

Considering switching subject? Maybe even changing university too? There can be many different reasons for this. This presentation is thus designed to provide a handy guide that will give you an overview of the key steps in the process for switching subjects and universities. It also aims to explain what else you might need to bear in mind when planning a change of subject or university and will share some tips on where you can do research, get guidance and find central service points and places to seek advice.

The Zoom link will be published here shortly before the event starts.

Taking a break from my studies—can it be worthwhile? What are my options in Germany and abroad? And what should I bear in mind when doing my planning? Britta Förster (Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service, University of Bonn) and Olivia Schäfer (Study Abroad Advisory Service, University of Bonn) will be answering these questions in their brief joint presentation entitled “Taking a Break From Your Studies.”

Monday, January 24

Telephone numer follows

You don’t know which direction your life should take? You feel overwhelmed by the possibilities? Go study at university or not? If yes, which subjects? What is on your mind? What motivates you? Who do you want to be? Finding an answer to the question “why” is crucial to many of us. We may not be able to clarify your motivation, values and beliefs entirely in one consultation, but we can brainstorm and discuss first ideas to make your journey easier.  Our session may even help to already make first steps towards defining the destination of your journey more clearly and connecting to your inner compass.

Offers that take place several times

Michele Sen: 0221 / 2022 481 (no appointment necessary)

The Careers Workshop at Cologne Chamber of Crafts (HWK) offers a telephone consultation for students withdrawing from university who are looking for a placement as part of a dual training program.

Anyone interested in such a placement can find out about dual training programs that lead to an HWK qualification in a specific profession and sign up to the chamber’s agency service.

video consultation via Zoom can also be arranged after phoning in advance.

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.9

The Study Advisory and Counseling Service at Hochschule Koblenz University of Applied Sciences provides advice on issues such as transferring to one of its degree programs or to a dual training program. Consultations are available by phone, video, email and chat. Contact details can be found here.89

Video: “Differences between a university and a university of applied sciences”

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.

Georg Dick: 0221 / 97302032, dick@rak-koeln.de (no appointment necessary)
Udo Schäfer: 0221 / 97301025, schaefer@rak-koeln.de (no appointment necessary)

The Cologne Bar Association arranges placements for trainee paralegals in the Aachen/Bonn/Cologne region. If you are interested, please feel free to call or email Georg Dick and Udo Schäfer, who are responsible for arranging training placements. Face-to-face consultations are also possible by prior arrangement.

Information on training as a paralegal

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.

Advice for students having doubts about their studies because of health problems

  • Do you have long-term health problems, e.g. due to chronic illness or mental health issues (Crohn’s disease, MS, depression, PTSD, autism spectrum disorder, etc.)?
  • And are you unsure about whether you can juggle both your health and your studies?
  • Or are you already finding things getting in the way of your studies or difficulties tackling these challenges and don’t know how to move forward?
  • Do you need compensation for disadvantages for your course work and exams?

If you can answer “Yes”, or “Maybe,” to at least one of these questions, then I will gladly give you some advice in my role as Representative for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses – at any time, not just during this theme week! 

Because chronic illnesses, mental health issues, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia/dyscalculia or other medium- to long-term impairments are forms of disability and have just as much of an impact on people’s studies as physical and sensory impairments – and in a different way, too. Teachers, counselors and fellow students often fail to recognize this or appreciate its consequences. Maybe you do, too?  And maybe this is why you have so far shied away from seeking advice about your situation?  Then this theme week might well be a good opportunity to do something about it.

The counselling is confidential and solution-oriented and is offered via email, telephone or online (zoom). You can find the contact details here.

I am happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.1311

Zeynep Iyilik: 0221 / 2575291 (no appointment necessary), zeynep.iyilik@rhnotk.de

Based in Cologne, the Rhine Notaries’ Association arranges placements for trainee notary’s assistants in and around Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Mönchengladbach, Aachen and Duisburg. Trainees are paid €800-900 in their first year, €850-950 in their second and €950-1,050 in their third.

Graduates of the program can take two more advanced training courses to qualify as a senior notary’s assistant and notary’s office manager, although they will need to leave a gap of at least two years between the individual courses.

Video: How to become a notary’s assistant1415

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week. 1526

Phone number: +49 2241 8659656

The Study Advisory and Counseling Service at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences provides advice on issues such as transferring to one of its degree programs.

We are happy to advise you at any time, not just during the theme week.

Participation link
Meeting-ID: 302 028 7427
Passcode: 574935

There can be many reasons to feel unhappy or have problems in your studies, and a good solution is not always immediately obvious. A consultation with the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service is a useful first step in order to establish the reasons behind your current situation and your options for moving forward.

Lea Jenkner: +49 228 / 73-5520 (no appointment necessary)

There can be many reasons to feel unhappy or have problems in your studies, and a good solution is not always immediately obvious. A consultation with the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service is a useful first step in order to establish the reasons behind your current situation and your options for moving forward.

Program by other universities

In January 2022, nine universities from North Rhine-Westphalia will organise the theme days Studienzweifel (doubts about your studies). For three weeks, there will be offers such as lectures, workshops and counseling sessions on topics such as: career reorientation, motivation, decision-making, switching subjects, switching universities or dropping out of studies.

“Studienzweifel” group on Slack

Do you feel alone in seriously reconsidering the choice of your studies? Would you like to talk to and connect with others who are in the same boat as you? Then join our “Studienzweifel” Slack group and share your experiences among your peers! You will also find regularly updated information on consultation offerings and further input related to doubting your academic choices.

Austauschgruppe Slack_yehdou-fotografieDSC05964
© Yehdou Fotografie

Psychological Counseling

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Volker Lannert

Psychological Counseling at the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service provides advice and support to all students at the University of Bonn, including doctoral students. We are not attached to any faculty and will advise you confidentially, impartially and with a focus on finding solutions.

Psychological counseling is also available in English.

Many students will experience uncertainties or doubts during their studies or regarding their choice of degree program. Discussing the issue with friends or family can be a helpful first step. It can be a relief to discover that you don’t have to face this situation on your own. Dialog and shared reflection often lead you to find new momentum and possibilities.

Sometimes, however, you might still not make any headway, in which case it may make sense to discuss your current situation with the help of a professional. As your first port of call if you’re having doubts about your studies, the staff at the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service will be happy to tell you about your options and alternatives and give you expert, impartial advice and support as you make your decisions.

If, despite all this information, you’re still struggling to make a decision and time is dragging on, e.g. if the issue is dominating your thoughts, if you’re finding it hard or even impossible to think positively, if you’re experiencing severe anxiety and worries or if you’re finding the situation stressful in another way, do not hesitate to ask Psychological Counseling at the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service for help.

Come and seek counseling early so that your problems do not fester.

How does Psychological Counseling at the Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service work? 

In personal meetings, you can obtain counseling – including preventive advice – regarding psychological concerns, insecurities or problems that can have a negative impact on your quality of life or academic success. Our counselors will help you develop new perspectives, your own constructive solutions and strategies to tackle challenges. If necessary, we can also give you advice on finding a psychotherapist and/or put you in touch with other people who will be able to help. In addition, we organize group sessions on specific issues.

What issues can I come to Psychological Counseling at the Central Student Advisory and Counseling Service with?
Common reasons for seeking counseling include stress, doubts, anxiety, problems with concentration and motivation, negative thoughts, depressive moods, understanding symptoms, lethargy, procrastination, detrimental learning and working strategies, examination issues, difficulties making decisions or settling in as well as personal challenges. All of these and many other issues can impair your quality of life and get in the way of academic success.

Will the things I talk about during my consultation be shared with anyone else?
No! The psychologists are bound by professional discretion. Nobody will be told about your visit or the matters discussed without your permission.

How can I get an appointment with Psychological Counseling at the Central Student Advisory and Counseling Service? 
You can make appointments by phone or email via the Central Student Advisory and Counseling Service main office.
Phone: +49 228 73-70 80 (Monday to Thursday 8:30 am – 10:30 am and        2:30 pm – 3:30 pm)
Email: pb-zsb@uni-bonn.de

Does Psychological Counseling also organize workshops/seminars?

As well as one-to-one consultations, Psychological Counseling also offers the following small-group workshops and seminars on a regular basis:

Time Management

Students often feel overwhelmed as they try to plan their studies and can quickly feel stressed and overburdened, particularly during intensive phases of learning or working. The Time Management workshop teaches you suitable strategies and techniques that will help you set goals and priorities correctly, structure tasks, avoid procrastination and maintain a healthy study-life balance.

Mastering Examinations Successfully
This seminar helps students experiencing stressful exam situations to come up with their own personal coping strategies and potential solutions. Arrange a preliminary chat at an early stage to establish whether this seminar is right for you and/or to do your own individual preparation for it.

I Am Worth It!Improving Your Self-Esteem
This workshop is designed for students who are experiencing self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence, which is making them feel inhibited in their day-to-day (study) life or as if they are their own obstacles to achieving their goals. The workshop provides ideas and suggestions for silencing your inner critic and feeling good about yourself.

You can find a list of all workshops/seminars organized by the Central Student Advisory and Counseling Service here. 

Psychological Counseling at the Studierendenwerk

If you’re not feeling well, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help. We are a team of psychologists with extensive experience in counseling and clinical psychology and a background in psychotherapy. We specialize in depth psychology, psychoanalysis, systemic therapy and trauma therapy. Our consultations are free of charge and confidential. No information will be shared with your family, the University or your health insurer. Everything we discuss will remain between us. 

We offer one-to-one consultations and, on request, sessions involving family members or other caregivers.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Studierendenwerk Bonn/Ann-Kathrin Busse

Relaxation and self-care

  • Looking for proactive, mindful relaxation as part of your daily routine?
  • Want to discover new possibilities and relaxation techniques?
  • Need more self-care in your day-to-day life?

Then Psychological Counseling at the Studierendenwerk Bonn invites you to try out its digital services:
Self-care and mindfulness exercises

Atemmeditation – Atemübung zum Entspannen
Atemtechnik - Atemübung Nr. 2 zum Entspannen

Advice and support from the General Students’ Committee (AStA)

The Department for University Policy is the first place to go to with any questions relating to examination regulations and the University itself.

How is the advice you provide relevant to people who are having doubts about their studies or considering withdrawing?
We mainly deal with cases of involuntary withdrawal, i.e. particularly when someone is at risk of failing their final attempt at an examination or has already failed. The students will then ask whether they can appeal against the examination decision so they can continue their studies. Sometimes they will come to us after their first or second attempt in order to seek advice in good time. Those who have already failed and have no more chances left come to find out about alternative degree programs and how they can get recognition for what they have achieved so far. In extreme cases – and this is unfortunate – they won’t make themselves known until after they have been deregistered.

What do you advise them to do in such situations?
Even if you have only failed a written examination once or twice, you should check whether it was marked correctly. For example, people taking their third attempt often talk about inconsistencies in previous written examinations. There’s nothing we can do if that happens, unfortunately. This is frustrating, because they might be taking their third attempt when they shouldn’t have to.

How can such a situation be avoided?
It’s important to bear in mind in this context that, if you can’t sit a written examination due to illness, you must say so straight away! The same applies to term papers: if you’re ill, you should tell your examination office immediately so that the deadline can be extended if necessary. When you’re actually sitting your written examination, you must report any noise, mistakes in the questions, etc. to proctors right away and make sure they are recorded. If you don’t complain there and then, you won’t be able to appeal or prove anything further down the line.

What do people need to bear in mind if, despite everything, they have failed and have no more attempts  left?
People who have failed and have no more attempts left need to keep an eye on the deadlines for applying for other degree programs or for vocational training. This can sometimes be as early as the beginning of May for degree programs with restricted admission. The University’s Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service also offers advice to those considering switching to another degree program or subject. This can be helpful, particularly in terms of getting study achievements recognized.

The counseling team in the Department for University Policy can be contacted at hopo@asta.uni-bonn.de, and consultations are held (currently) via email on Mondays and Fridays. Telephone consultations can also be arranged by email.

Please note that the advice and support provided by the General Students’ Committee (AStA) is given by students and makes no claim to be complete or correct.

You can find more information at www.asta-bonn.de/Referat_für_Hochschulpolitik.

How is the advice you provide relevant to people who are having doubts about their studies or considering withdrawing?
Students come to Psychosocial Counseling for all kinds of reasons. As well as seeking professional help for mental health issues, these reasons also include all the other problems that make them feel unhappy and/or overwhelmed in their everyday lives, be this socially, in general or specifically related to their studies. The fact that students often feel dissatisfied with what they have achieved in their studies or that they have chosen the wrong path is often relevant in this context. It really depends. Some of the people we talk to see their doubts about their studies to be the problem in itself, while for others it plays second fiddle to other, more prominent crises or conflicts in their studies that are causing them doubt or uncertainty. There are also differences in terms of whether the problem vaguely buzzes around in the person’s head or whether they have already given it a lot of detailed thought and are mainly having difficulties making a decision. As studying is an integral part of many young people’s lives, it’s bound to trigger conflicts at some point that they need help to resolve. Psychosocial Counseling is here to offer a starting point if people feel unable to overcome these conflicts on their own. Having doubts about one’s studies isn’t unknown territory for us, in other words. On the contrary, it’s something we deal with all the time.

What questions or problems can people come to you with?
It’s often about the question of whether a person feels they fit in. Many people say they feel as if their fellow students are coping much better with the demands of their studies or already seem to have a much clearer plan and thus give the impression of being keener and more focused. This makes the people affected feel they don’t belong. It’s a similar scenario when students don’t get the grades they think they should and fall short of their own expectations. They might also realize at some point during their studies that they have deviated from their original path, which makes it hard to imagine having a career in the field they had initially chosen. This robs them of a goal that they feel is worth aiming for and that they can focus their enthusiasm and motivation on. So they soon start thinking about changing to another degree program or withdrawing from university. Conflicts can undoubtedly arise in a social context, too. If, for instance, a student’s family has done a lot to enable them to study, this can provoke an inner conflict, which makes it very hard for them to make the decision to withdraw.

How can you help?
Although we would never want or be able to make someone’s decision for them,
merely getting feedback in a conversation with someone who’s not been involved can help to get a better idea of how serious a problem actually is. Having a chat to get things clear in your head can do a lot to take the weight off your shoulders and guide you toward new options for positive achievements and possibilities that you weren’t able to see previously. If you have already more or less made up your mind to switch or withdraw from university, we can also help you gather various arguments together and come up with a plan for what next steps to take in order to actually achieve what you want.

Do you have any tips for students who are having doubts about their studies or considering withdrawing from university?
The best thing to do is always to tackle emerging doubts sooner rather than later before negative feelings and oppressive thoughts take hold. In a worst-case scenario, severe psychological stress can even develop. We are always pleased to help in difficult situations so that nobody need be left alone with their own thoughts and conflicts. We also want to share our firm belief that any problem can be solved. As this might not seem immediately obvious to you, you are welcome to pop in and talk to us or to other people in your circle who you trust. We want to give you the courage to always think from the perspective of the solution and to look for ways of achieving it rather than feeling you will always be at the mercy of your own problems with no help in sight.

Finally, it’s important to reiterate that switching degree program or withdrawing from university can also be a solution to a problem. Although this decision shouldn’t be made in haste, don’t let any time you might already have invested or any expectations that might have been unfulfilled prevent you from taking your future happiness in your own hands if it turns out to be the right decision for you.

The Psychosocial Counseling team can be contacted at  psb@asta.uni-bonn.de and is currently offering telephone and email consultations.

Please note that the advice and support provided by the General Students’ Committee (AStA) is given by students and makes no claim to be complete or correct.

You can find more information at www.asta-bonn.de/Psychosoziale_Beratung.

How is the advice you provide relevant to people who are having doubts about their studies or considering switching degree program?
The Welfare Advice team is the right place to come to once you’ve decided to switch degree program or withdraw from university. In other words, many students will already have made a decision and will have questions about formal and organizational matters, such as study financing. We can also certify documents relating to your studies, which you might need in order to enroll or apply somewhere, for example.

What questions do students ask you?
Most of the questions relate to financing. A lot is about BAföG, part-time jobs, accommodation benefit and student loans. The rules can often be complicated, particularly for students from outside the EU, so we’re happy to help.

How exactly do you do so?
We start by taking a look at the student’s individual situation, which can sometimes be a very detailed process. We then explain the various possible solutions. In complex cases, we go away, do some more research and then report back. If necessary, we put the person in touch with other advisory services that specialize in the relevant problem, such as the Accommodation and Legal Advice team at the General Students’ Committee (AStA) or the University’s Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service.

The Welfare Advice team can be contacted at  soziales@asta.uni-bonn.de and is currently offering email consultations every day between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm.

Please note that the advice and support provided by the General Students’ Committee (AStA) is given by students and makes no claim to be complete or correct.

You can find more information at www.asta-bonn.de/Sozialreferat.

There are many support offers for all questions concerning doubts about your studies, not only during the theme week, but all year round.

On the website of the NRW-wide project Next Career, you will also find advice/counseling opportunities, information, and personal testimonials from (former) university dropouts.

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© Next Career

You’re not the only one experiencing doubts about your studies!

If you’re having doubts about your studies and simply don’t know whether to carry on, switch degree program or do vocational training instead, you’re definitely not alone. Ceyda, Nadja, Farina and Florian used to be in the same position and found a solution. Here, they give you a few tips:

Farina - Studienzweiflerin
Ceyda - Studienwechselerin
Florian - Studienaussteiger

Contact information and organization

Avatar Jenkner

Dipl.-Geogr. Lea Jenkner

Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service | Project Next Career

+49 228 73-5028

Avatar Fabian, M.Sc.

Theresa Fabian, M.Sc.

currently on maternal leave

Central Study Advisory and Counseling Service | Project Next Career

+49 228 73-7921

These recommendations aim at providing you with a short overview on which measures to take for protecting your data and third-party personal data to the greatest extent possible.

  • Participation is always voluntary. 
  • Confidential information, in particular personal data on third parties, may not be shared during the online consultation. The same applies when using the integrated chat function. 
  • Camera settings should always be chosen in a way to ensure that no confidential information is disclosed in the background. 
  • If you have third parties present that are not visible on screen, all video conference participants should be made aware of their presence.
  • When using the “share screen” function, no confidential information, in particular personal information, about third parties should become visible. Furthermore, participants are not permitted to take screenshots.
  • Online consultations may not be recorded.

Zoom is a videoconferencing tool by a US provider. When using Zoom, personal data is inevitably collected and passed on to the provider and to third parties. For an overview of which data is affected, please check https://zoom.us/de-de/privacy.html.

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