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

The 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered, or tested) applies to the entire campus:

Participation in courses and the use of student workplaces and service offers are only available for vaccinated, recovered, or tested persons. Required proof is a relevant certificate (we accept a negative PoC antigen test from that day or the day before, carried out by trained personnel, self-tests are not accepted). A centrally organized security service will be checking for adherence to the 3G rule at random.

The Covid-19 test center in Hechtsheim and the testing station on campus have been closed. However, Mainz has a number of other Covid-19 testing options.

In addition, JGU is continuing to adhere to well-established safety measures:

  • Mandatory face masks in all buildings, therefore also in all courses (medical or FFP2 mask)
    • Existing exceptions for courses with practical components will remain (courses related to arts, sports, or language, cotton masks in laboratories with fire hazard)
    • Persons who can provide a medical certificate proving they are exempt from the mandatory mask rules do not have to wear a mask but must also adhere to the 3G rule.
    • Please show consideration for those with a visual or hearing impairment.
    • Teaching staff/persons giving presentations may take their mask off if the minimum distance of 2 meters can be guaranteed.JGU does not provide masks for students
  • Proper sneezing and coughing etiquette
  • Social distancing of 1.5 meters (courses taking place in rooms which can hold up to 100 persons may drop the social distance rules as long as the mask mandate is kept.)
  • Regular ventilation of rooms. This may be carried out either manually (at least every 30 minutes for a minimum of 3 minutes) or automatically through ventilation systems.

Further measures specific to your faculty are to be followed.

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’s goal is to offer as much on-campus teaching as possible for the winter semester. The current plan allows around 90% of the courses to be offered on campus. A full digital course offer will not be available.

Courses taking place in rooms which can hold up to 100 persons can take place if the rules specified in the following are kept tos. An exception to the rule is RW 1, where courses of up to 400 people (with one seat left free between each person) are allowed to be held. Larger courses will take place online (and preferably in asynchronous form).

Internships can take place in person, as they could in the past pandemic semesters.

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.

The safety of all those involved is the highest priority when planning. The guidelines set for the implementation of a primarily on-campus semester are meant to minimize the risk of infection for all students, teaching staff, and employees of JGU, avoid larger outbreaks, and contribute to the prevention of infections in general.

If you are not vaccinated (yet), you are required to be recovered or tested according to the 3G rule in force on campus. Required proof is a relevant certificate (we accept a negative PoC antigen test from that day or the day before, carried out by trained personnel, self-tests are not accepted). A centrally organized security service will be checking for adherence to the 3G rule at random.

Corona vaccines play a large role in fighting the pandemic and protect not only those vaccinated, but also others. JGU therefore appeals to all those yet unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

Participating in courses is only possible for vaccinated, recovered, or tested persons. Required proof is a relevant certificate (we accept a negative PoC antigen test from that day or the day before, carried out by trained personnel, self-tests are not accepted). A centrally organized security service will be checking for adherence to the 3G rule at random. Furthermore, wearing a medical or FFP2 mask is still mandatory (see above for exceptions) as is proper sneezing and coughing etiquette.

Contact information must be collected every time people come together and for every course via JGU App. For seamless contact tracing, everyone who uses student workplaces on campus or visits a course is asked to log in via the JGU App.

Courses taking place in rooms which can hold up to 100 persons can take place if the specified rules are followed (see above). Internships can take place in person, as they could in the past pandemic semesters. Here, too, social distancing rules can be dropped if masks are worn.
Larger courses with 100 or more participants will take place online. Some of these large courses will likely take place in hybrid form, so individual groups can take part in person again. A further exception is the Faculty of Law, Management, and Economics. Larger courses can be held in RW1.

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.

You can find more specific information about which courses will take place in which form (on-campus, hybrid, online) on JOGU-StINe beginning in October.

Once the lecture period begins (October 18, 2021), there will be additional student workplaces in centrally managed lecture halls, library rooms, and PC pools. Only the marked spaces may be used and a distance of 1.5 meters is required. Furthermore, the 3G rule applies, as do the general protective measures (see above) and the recording of contact information via JGU App.

The rooms’ occupancy can be viewed online once the lecture period begins. The information is based on the number of seats and the number of people logged in. Therefore, it is important that you log out again once you leave the room.

The occupancy of the rooms and the adherence to the 3G rule will be randomly controlled by a centrally organized security service

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 about testing options

a) Vaccination: Get vaccinated at the ‘Impfbus’ (vaccination bus)! It is possible to get an additional vaccination with a vaccine that is approved by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. A medical consultation takes place before the vaccination.

Folgende Termine des Impfbusses stehen derzeit fest:

  • October 20, 8am-4pm, JGU Campus Mainz (in front of the GFG building)
  • October 20, 8am-4pm, JGU Germersheim campus

In addition, it is still possible to get a vaccination from a general practitioner.

b) Testing: Students who have been vaccinated with a vaccine which is not approved by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut continue to receive Covid-19 rapid tests for free until December 31, 2021 (see Testverordnung des Bundes §4a, 3. and §5).

Where can I get tested? In Mainz (at the main train station, or at the Gutenberg Center) and in Germersheim.

You can still get tested for free at recognized testing centers or your general practitioner (see Testverordnung des Bundes §4a, 2).

We understand your situation, but we have to inform you that JGU does not provide free tests even in exceptional cases. According to the CoBeLVO, the 3G rule applies at all universities in Rhineland-Palatinate. More information can be found here.

If you find yourself in a financial emergency through no fault of your own, you can contact one of the following counseling services:

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).

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