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

Distance:

  • Always keep a distance of 1.5 m to other people.
  • Keep to path and seat markings.
  • Use video conferencing for working groups and meetings.

Hygiene:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly
  • Hand sanitizers are available at the building entrances
  • Cough and sneeze in your elbow

Face masks:

You are obligated to wear a mouth-nose cover in all JGU building. This also applies to on-campus courses. If a minimum distance of 2 meters can be kept, you are allowed to remove your mask for the time you actively take part in a discussion.

Ventilation:

  • Fresh air is essential (open windows if possible)
  • There are signs for the necessary ventilation measures in each classroom.

Please also note:

The lecture period of the winter semester 2020/21 starts on November 2, 2020 and ends on February 13, 2021.

For students in their second (or more advanced) semester in medicine and dentistry programs, the lecture period begins on October 19, 2020. For all students in medicine or dentistry programs, the lecture period ends on February 6, 2021.

Unfortunately in December courses can not take place on campus.

The course will only take place online: There are only asynchronous tasks and offers but perhaps also synchronous dates.

Examinations at the end of the semester will likely take place in several formats
– you will find out more during the course of your class.

Unfortunately, this question is not an easy one to answer. Due to the “dynamic” progression of the pandemic, many uncertainties remain regarding the winter semester 20/21 courses.

The University Management formulated the policy “as much presence as possible, as much online as necessary”.

However, you should be able to see the intended course format in JOGU-StINe – if this is not the case, we recommend taking up contact to the responsible Student Advising Offices (link in German), so you can get an impression of how often you might have to be present at JGU in the winter semester.

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/.

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).
Starting in October, 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 will be offered here on the occasion of your start at the university.

Unfortunately, the  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 take up contact to 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/.)

Corona help from the Federal Ministry of Education: Financial support for students through the KfW

The Federal Ministry of Education is 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 grocery stores, delivery services, or distribution centers are looking for temporary help especially now, during the corona pandemic.

Agricultural businesses, too, have called on students to work as harvesters. You can find relevant offers in the following job exchanges (in German):

www.saisonarbeit-in-deutschland.de

www.daslandhilft.de

www.land-arbeit.com

www.cleverackern.de

www.agrarjobboerse.de

JGU central services and other facilities

The Student Service Center is open to the public to a limited extent. You can find all of the important information regarding the current office hours and rules of conduct here: www.studium.uni-mainz.de/studs-corona/ (in German).

Please continue to take up contact via e-mail as much as possible studsek@uni-mainz.de, or call the Student Services hotline (+49 6131 39 22122, Mo-Thurs 9-12 + 13-16, Fr 9-12) to resolve your issues.

You can send mail for the Student Service Center via regular mail or throw it in the mail distribution center’s mailbox (campus map).

All of the libraries (except the Mainz School of Music and Musicology library) are open again. It is also possible to register for study spots using the reservation system.

Please inform yourself in advance about the applicable regulations at www.ub.uni-mainz.de/en.

The campus buildings have been closed to the public since March 24, 2020.

The Studierendenwerk Mainz offers a large assortment of snacks and breakfast options to go in the cafeteria of the Georg Forster building. You can also get a hot lunch and hot and cold drinks there.

Keeping the social distancing regulations and other safety rules, you can now use the outside seating area, as well.

Please note that you can only access the building through the emergency exit at the front, instead of by entering through the building. Please keep a safe distance to employees and other customers and wear the required mouth-nose covering.

Current opening hours:
Mo-Thurs 9:00-15:30
Fr 9:00-14:30
Hot lunch: 11:00-14:00

You can find further information

The Mensa-Blitz is also up and running again. You can find the menu and route plans here: www.studierendenwerk-mainz.de/essentrinken/mensablitz (in German).

The Data Center’s advising services offer advice on all IT problems having to do with research, teaching, and studies at the University Mainz. You can find it in Room 47 (00 151) next to the DTP studio on the ground floor of the Natural Science Faculty, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 21.

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 give us 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 26316
  • on-site in Room 47 (00 151) on the ground floor of the Natural Science Faculty. Here is the → room plan.

Please note that the hotline’s room is on the ground floor of the Natural Science Faculty. Since the building is only open until 1 pm at the moment, please make an appointment for collecting items in advance.

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

Counseling 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  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).

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 choosing 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 under 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 not be able to take place in its usual form. 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 all students 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 Mainzer spirit at the moment. But maybe you can make it work from home:

Follow JGU on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Follow the Mainz Campus on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.

Take a virtual city tour, offered by the SWR, or take a walk to 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 Mainz’s City website, you will find information about the city and helpful links, such as a list of Mainz’s online retailers.

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 Rhineland-Palatinate government 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 are in German.

Information for persons 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.

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

Additionally, JGU’s chancellor should be informed (corona@uni-mainz.de) so further necessary and relevant measures can take place in consultation with the responsible authorities.

The city the relevant 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).