Information for Students in Their First Semester During the Corona Pandemic

Dear first semester students,

You probably pictured the start of your studies a little differently.

You’re beginning your studies at JGU during an extraordinary time. Because of that, your first semester might not happen the way you expected and desired it to be.

Most lectures will be accessible to you as videos, many seminars and practice classes will take place in front of a computer screen using conferencing systems, and many service offers are (only) available online…
When, really, campus life is all about face-to-face interactions: meeting fellow students and professors in direct conversations, experiencing academic teaching in a full lecture hall, sitting in the cafeteria during lunch.

In order for you to have a successful start even during this unusual semester and for you to quickly get to know your university digitally, but also in person, we answered the most important questions on this page and collected tips and online offers for you as you start into your studies.

The faculties and student councils are currently developing ideas for how you can successfully get to know your studies, become a part of the campus and your new city Mainz, and get to know your fellow students.

You, the JGU students, live and learn on our colorful Gutenberg campus – and we are convinced that you will soon be able to get to know and love our campus in person, as well.

So, despite everything:

Welcome to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz!

Here you will find the most important and up-to date information on starting your studies during the corona pandemic:

Organizing your Studies

Given the current considerably lowered state of infections, the JGU campus can be carefully opened again. Starting June 7, JGU ist transitioning from emergency mode to restricted regular operation. The buildings are reopened for specific events and services. Access to campus (by car) is still restricted.

Only people without any signs of a respiratory tract infection are allowed to visit the campus. The rules considering distancing and hygiene still have to be unconditionally followed.

Distancing:

  • Generally keep a distance of 1,5 meters from other people.
  • Adhere to designated markers regarding routes and seating.
  • Also use video conferences for workgroup and discussion meetings.

Mask Requirement:

In all JGU buildings wearing a medical face mask (surgical mask or FFP2 mask or KN95 mask) is mandatory. An exception does only apply when being at your personal workstation in an office occupied by only one person.

Ventilation:

  • Letting in fresh air on a regular basis is indispensable.
  • The necessary ventilation provisions are signposted at every course room.

Hygiene:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
  • Disinfectants are available at building entrances.
  • Cough and sneeze into your armpit.

Offers to get tested:

Rapid antigen tests can be done in the Covid-19 testing center in Hechtsheim as well as at the on campus-testing site.

Testing center Hechtsheim:

opening hours: Mo-Fr, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-2 p.m
appointments at https://app.testzentrum.unimedizin-mainz.de

On campus-testing site:

opening hours: Mo-Fr, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
registration at www.sicher-offen.com

Yes. Students as well as employees can have a rapid antigen test done without prior appointment free of charge on campus.The test center is located in the former biochemistry building, straight across the bike shop near (the dormitory) Inter II.

Please note that a one-time registration at www.sicher-offen.com is necessary.

  • opening hours: Mo-Fr, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • individual QR code has to be shown on mobile device or as printed copy (generated with the registration)
  • result automatically by mail without waiting time
  • for general questions contact info@schnell-testen.com

Advanced departmental arrangements have to be observed.

The lecture period of the winter semester 2021/22 will start October 18, 2021 and end February 5, 2022 (identical for students of medicine and dentistry).
The orientation week will be taking place October 11-15, 2021.

The digital orientation week for students starting their first semester will take place from October 11-15, 2021.

The program of the orientation week will be available by mid-September at www.studying.uni-mainz.de/introductory-events.

JGU is planning for the winter semester to be taking place on campus. As a prerequisite, legally mandated social distance regulations have to be omitted for courses at institutions for higher education.
Should social distance regulations for courses further apply, however, the predominant number of courses has to be offered in a hybrid format or online.

No, the winter semester will not entirely be taking place digitally. JGU would like to return to campus and is therefore planning the winter semester as on campus-semester.
As a matter of course, there could be courses offered in a hybrid format or digitally only.

No, considering the previous experiences of the pandemic, planning is conditional. It will not be possible to have a (complete) on campus-semester if a new lockdown becomes necessary or if social distance regulations remain in place.

Yes, since the winter semester will not entirely be taking place digitally, participation in on campus-courses is generally considered a precondition for an advancement in your studies.

With respect to planning, the safety of all involved has top priority. In coordination with the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Science and Health, all necessary measures regarding infection protection will be taken. As a consequence, for example, the mask mandate might still be applied. Where regulations like this are not sufficient, distance formats (online teaching) will be used. Individual infection protection, however, is every university member's own responsibility as well.

With regard to this, no reliable information is currently available. Specific policies - such as social distancing rules, maximum size of courses or mask mandate - depend on the prevailing legal parameters in the winter semester (e.g. Rhineland-Palatinate order to combat corona ("Coronabekämpfungsverordnung"), federal emergency brake ("Bundesnotbremse"), if applicable) which in turn are put into effect by the responsible political entities considering current levels of infections and vaccination at any given time.

The state conference of university presidents ("Landeshochschulpräsidentenkonferenz" (LHPK)) is currently cooperating with the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Science and Health regarding possible parameters for studying and teaching in the coming winter semester. Among other topics, the necessary provisions to make on campus-teaching possible are discussed.

You can find information for the start of your studies and the necessary first steps at www.studying.uni-mainz.de/beginning-your-studies/.

Current information regarding your studies during the corona pandemic can be found here www.studying.uni-mainz.de/corona/.

Information on both pages will be updated regularly.

There’s an LMS course available for all students at JGU (JGU-LMS is a new Moodle-installation): https://lehre.uni-mainz.de/digitalstudieren.

You can find tips and suggestions for self-organizing your studies, information on the most important online tools and platforms at JGU, but also forums for your questions and comments there.

Additionally, the LMS course "Welcome to JGU" is offered just for you, the first-semesters (in German).
Here you'll find welcome messages from the president of the university and the mayor of Mainz, an online campus tour, information on university groups, and activities and stories about the campus to get started at your university.

Unfortunately, the Data Center (ZDV) cannot loan out any devices at this time. However, you can use your smartphone for many of the online courses for the time being, if you have one.

In financial emergencies that occur through no fault of your own, JGU’s AStA offers subsidies through a relief fund, which can also be used to obtain necessary devices for your studies.

The Studierendenwerk Mainz can help in financial crises through its Emergency Aid Fund, as well. You can find information for quick help and financial support during the corona crisis here (link in German). It’s best to contact the Studierendenwerk via e-mail:

Collection of contact details for contact tracing in case of possible corona infections

Johannes Gutenberg University is obliged to collect the contact details of all persons who participate in on-campus courses and, if requested, to provide these records to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) for contact tracing purposes. It is not possible and not permitted to hold a course without collecting the participants’ contact details.  At JGU, contact details will be collected digitally using the Uni Mainz App, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The system is easy to use and replaces manual processes with paper lists.

You have to enter your contact details (name, first name, address, phone number) in the app once. The contact details you enter in the app will only be used for the collection of contact details and will not be compared with or used in other systems (e.g. JOGU-StINe) and your data will only be stored on your mobile device.

Students who participate in an on-campus course scan the room QR code placed in all of JGU classrooms; your data (contact details together with the name of the room and the time you enter it) will be securely stored on a JGU server, kept there for one month and then be deleted. When you leave the room, you have to use the JGU app again to sign out. Detailed instructions can be found at https://kontakterfassung.uni-mainz.de/wie-melde-ich-mich-fuer-praesenzveranstaltungen-an/ (in German).

If you do not use a mobile device, you can print out a personalized (your personal) QR code at https://qrcode.kontakterfassung.uni-mainz.de after entering your contact details. For your contact details to be collected when entering a room, another person (who has already registered for this room using the JGU app) can scan your personal QR code. As soon as this person leaves the room, all other persons registered with this person’s app will also be signed out. If you want to attend an on-campus course, we recommend printing out your personal QR code beforehand as a backup.

If you have any questions regarding the technical implementation or the collection of contact details, please send your query to kontakterfassung@uni-mainz.de. More detailed information on the collection of contact details at JGU can be found at https://kontakterfassung.uni-mainz.de (in German).

Information for International Students in their First Semester

Degree seeking students can apply during the second and third registration phase (from Monday, October 26, 2020 to Thursday, October 29, 2020 and Monday, November 2, 2020 to Friday, November 11, 2020). More information can be found at https://info.jogustine.en.uni-mainz.de/.

If you have any questions, please  contact your academic advisor or your subject’s academic advising office: www.studium.uni-mainz.de/studienfachberatung (in german).

Exchange students will receive all of the general information from the Gutenberg International School Services and subject-specific information from the Erasmus advisor responsible for your subject.

You have already received a list with the advisors’ names via email. You can also download the list here:  www.international.uni-mainz.de/exchange/gis

Students in joint or integrated degree programs should always contact the coordinator of their program.

International degree seeking students can send an email with their individual questions to service@international.uni-mainz.de

Exchange students can send an email with their individual questions to: gis@international.uni-mainz.de

Students in joint or integrated degree programs should contact the coordinator of their program directly.

Finances

In financial emergencies that occur through no fault of your own, JGU’s  AStA offers interest-free loans and subsidies through a relief fund for support paying the semester fee, for rent, or for health insurance, for example. 

More information on the AStA’s relief fund can be found at: https://asta.uni-mainz.de/service/soziales/
Information about subsidies for the semester ticket can be found at: https://asta.uni-mainz.de/service/semesterticket/rueckerstattung-des-semestertickets/#collapse2

The Studierendenwerk Mainz can help in financial crises through its Emergency Aid Fund, as well. You can find information for quick help and financial support during the corona crisis here (link in German). It’s best to take up contact to the Studierendenwerk via e-mail:

Loans in special hardship cases according to § 27 SGB II

In exceptional cases of hardship, students can also receive SGB II benefits without having to exmatriculate. However, these benefits must be paid back.

Detailed information can be found on the website of the Deutschen Studentenwerk.

For detailed and individual questions, please contact your responsible job center.

The Family Services Center also has an emergency relief fund and scholarships for students and doctoral students with family tasks (see https://www.familienservice.uni-mainz.de/finanzen-fuer-studierende/stipendien-fuer-studierende-mit-kind-2/.)

BMBF (Federal Ministry for Education and Research) Interim Aid Corona help from the Federal Ministry of Education: Financial support for students through

Grant for students in emergency situations

For students having suffered a pandemic-related financial emergency, BMBF provides an intermin aid in the form of a grant.

BMBF is also providing interim aid for students in pandemic-related emergencies. Starting May 8, you can apply for an interest-free loan from the KfW.

You can find further information here:

www.bmbf.de/de/wissenswertes-zur-ueberbrueckungshilfe-fuer-studierende-11509.html (in German)

www.kfw.de/inlandsfoerderung/Privatpersonen/Studieren-Qualifizieren/KfW-Studienkredit/KfW-Corona-Hilfe-f%C3%BCr-Studierende/

You can find a number of part-time jobs using the employment agency’s job exchange. Those looking for work can also contact the job-seeker hotline +49-800-4 5555 00 or +49 6131-248 777. A search for employment can also be filled out online (link in German).

Many sectors, such as restaurants, grocery stores, delivery services or distribution centers are looking for temporary help.

JGU central services and other facilities

The student services are open for public consultation. You can find the current opening hours for the Infodesk on the website of student services.

The university library as a location for studying is open again. Students still have to book a work station.

Please check the rules currently in effect before planning a visit on www.ub.uni-mainz.de/en.

The Data Center’s advising services offer advice on all IT problems having to do with research, teaching, and studies at Mainz University.

Advising takes place Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm:

  • via e-mail at hotline@zdv.uni-mainz.de (if possible, please use this option). When you send us an e-mail, please do so from your university e-mail account. In order for us to be able to help you as quickly as possible, please provide as much information as you can in your e-mail – operating system, programs used, error messages, etc. are important clues we would otherwise have to ask you for.
  • via phone: within JGU: 2 63 16 otherwise: +49 6131 39 2 63 16

Please also note that the number of land lines is limited. Therefore, please use Skype for Business (S4b) or e-mail if possible, even when calling from outside.

Yes. The contents of the JOGU-StINe introductory presentation can be found in these short Info-Videos.

The presentation is available for download at https://info.jogustine.uni-mainz.de/files/2020/04/JOGU-StiINe-Einführungsveranstaltung_2020.pdf

Counseling and Support Services

Mental Health Services offers the option of counseling via phone call and has published tips for dealing with the corona quarantine.

Additionally, you currently have access to online modules with helpful tips and exercises on topics such as promoting relaxation, positive thinking, and stress management.

The Family Services Center has collected important information and tips for (expecting) parents and those taking care of family members in the time of Corona: https://www.familienservice.uni-mainz.de/corona-familie/ (in German).

To ease everyday life in these turbolent times, JGU offers families with a child/with children an additional day care service: starting from now parents can use 10 days of pme Familienservice GmbH's virtual day care programm.
In addition, students as well as employees can already register their children for childrens' holiday camps 2021. See here for further information.

Furthermore, the Family Services Center’s regular advising offer remains accessible via e-mail or phone/video conference.

The University Chaplaincy Mainz’s team is at your disposal for conversations and advice on any of life’s questions (link in German). They are there for everyone who needs someone to talk to, no matter your nationality, religion, or worldview. They are happy to listen and offer support. Appointments for in-person conversations can be made via e-mail or phone call.

University Chaplaincy Team

More information on how to deal with the mental consequences of the pandemic and recommendations on how to strengthen your mental health can be found on the website of the Leibniz-Institut für Resilienzforschung (LIR) (Link in German).

You can reach the crisis line here: 0800-111 0 111, 0800-111 0 222 or by visiting www.telefonseelsorge.de – chat or e-mail is also possible (link in German).

If you are experiencing domestic violence, you can get free and anonymous help by calling 08000-116 016. Or by visiting www.hilfetelefon.de/en – or via chat or e-mail.

Due to the Corona pandemic, the Student Advisory Center’s staff can only offer advice per telephone. You can easily make an appointment by calling +49 6131 39-22122 (Mo–Thurs 9-12 & 13–16, Fr 9–12).

We’re also happy to help via e-mail (zsb@uni-mainz.de).

You can also contact your Academic Advisory Office directly for subject-specific questions (link in German).

The student councils represent the student body of a faculty and can also help you organize your studies (link in German).

Arrival in Mainz

All those who are interested can quickly and easily apply for a room or apartment of their choice over the rental portal at https://www.studierendenwerk-mainz.de/ab/wohnen/apply/tenant-app/.

You can find more housing from other institutions and more general information about housing on https://www.studying.uni-mainz.de/accommodation-2/.

Campus Mainz e.V. has created a page listing all of the important information and all their get-to-know-each-other offers for students in their first semester: http://c-mz.net/erstiqr. Furthermore, there is a Facebook group specifically for first-semesters, as well as various WhatsApp groups (see the above-named homepage), in which you can communicate among each other and meet new people. You can soon find information on other ways to get to know others on the above-mentioned platform, as well.

The Student Council represents the students’ interests for the respective faculty. They normally organize the introductory events, pub crawls, and parties for new students. Take a look at their web or social media pages (e.g. Instagram), to see if your Student Council is offering any online alternatives.

The university group fair, which usually takes place when welcoming those entering their first semester, will unfortunately not be able to take place in its usual form in summer semester 2021. However, the AStA is already working on alternatives. Due to the great diversity of clubs and groups at JGU, there will surely be a group for each student entering their first semester so everyone will be able to find like-minded people. You can find the list of confirmed university groups here: https://asta.uni-mainz.de/service/hochschulgruppen/ (in German).

It is, of course, difficult to get settled in and become familiar with the Mainz spirit at the moment. But maybe you can make it work from home:

Take a virtual tour of the campus.

Follow JGU on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Follow the Campus Mainz on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Take a virtual city tour, offered by the SWR, or take a walk through the city to discover Mainz (Mainz für Studis).

You can get an initial impression of Mainz in the videos Welcome to Mainz and 6 things that you must see in Mainz.

On the Mainz City website, you will find information about the city and helpful links, such as a list of online retailers in Mainz.

Mainzgefühl offers a good option for how you can experience Mainz from home. Here you will find a compilation of local delivery services of Mainz’s very own shops, cafes, and restaurants.

The German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz) and the government of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate have put together the new helper platform: www.teamrlp.de.

You can also get involved with the neighbourhood assistance to get to know the area or even initiate your own project https://wir-tun-was.rlp.de/de/service/corona-pandemie/.

Suspected of Corona Infection / Confirmed Information

If you have symptoms such as fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing and therefore suspect you might be infected with the coronavirus, you should first call the Rhineland-Palatinate 24-hour-hotline for “Fieberambulanzen” (you can find a list of the Rhineland-Palatine “Fieberambulanzen” here) by calling 0800 99 00 400. Alternatively, you can call Patient Services by dialing 116117 or contact your general practitioner (links in German).

Information for people returning from traveling can be found here (link in German).

For questions on the topic of the coronavirus, call 0800 575 81 00. Available on weekdays from 8 am to 6 pm and from 10 am to 3 pm on weekends.

An overview of the responsible public health authorities can be found here .

Information on current developments and numbers of infections in Germany and German Federal States can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

Just in times of "social distancing" there is a wave of solidarity in Mainz and Rhineland-Palatinate revealing that cohesion, care for the community and social cooperation are possible even in this difficult situation and are needed more than ever.

Therefore, you can find support i.a. here or on the Mainz City website.

In case of a confirmed coronavirus infection, you are required to inform the responsible health authority without delay. The health authority will then initiate further steps.

The city the respective infected person is located in determines the responsible health authority. For Mainz, it is the Gesundheitsamt Mainz-Bingen. You can find information and contact details here: https://www.mainz-bingen.de/de/Aemter-Abteilungen/Gesundheit/Infektionsschutz.php (link in German).