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information for new students

Here new MA students can find practical information on the preparation of their studies in Bonn and first steps at the University.

 

1. Finding a room

In a university city such as Bonn it can be a bit difficult to find a room at the beginning of the semester, so you should start searching as early as possible. Rooms or flats in student dormitories are relatively cheap, but former students have reported that it can be quite frustrating waiting for a free room. You can apply online on the page of the Studierendenwerk (http://www.studentenwerk-bonn.de/wohnen/online-bewerbung/), where you also find information about the different dormitories.
Other options are staying in a shared flat (Wohngemeinschaft or WG) or finding a small apartment for yourself. There are several websites where you can search for a room or a flat, for example wg-gesucht.de, studenten-wg.de, immobilienscout24.de, immonet.de and many more. You will also find lots of offers in different Facebook groups.

2. University registration (enrollment)

The enrollment period depends on where you completed your Bachelor program. Those of you who are still enrolled in a BA program in Bonn can enroll in MA Applied Linguistics earlier than those from other universities. The enrollment period for the winter term 2018/19 has not been published yet.
Please note: If German is not your native language, you will have to show a proof of your German language skills when you enroll. The DSH German test at the University of Bonn takes place on 18 September 2018 (registration deadline: 11 September 2018).
Enrollment takes place at the Studentensekretariat. The following link will provide you with information about the office hours, address etc.: 
The registration procedure for international students takes place on the first floor.
During registration, you will be handed a paper stating that you are currently a student at the University of Bonn. Always take this paper with you because it substitutes your ‘semester ticket’ (which allows you to use all local means of public transport free of charge) until you get the official copy by post when the university receives your semester fees.
If you wish to get a local health insurance (or switch from any international student insurance to a German health insurance), you can fix it as well in the same building. Representatives from the insurance companies will give you advice and answer any question so just go and talk to them.

3. City registration (Wohnsitzanmeldung)

Within one week after your arrival in Bonn, you are required to go to the City Registration Offices (Meldebehörde) to register for your residence. You will need to make an appointment online. The registration is free of charge but you will need to bring the completed registration form (Anmeldung), a form signed by your landlord/-lady stating that he or she (sub)lets the room/flat to you (Wohnungsgeberbestätigung) and your passport/personal ID. After the registration, you will get a city registration proof (Meldebescheinigung) which is necessary for opening a bank account, library card application etc.
Details about appointments and registration forms can be found at:
If you live in areas outside of Bonn, you might have to contact the respective city hall for more information about where and how to complete the registration.

4. Bank account and semester fees (mainly for international students)

When you freshly arrive in Germany, you may have two bank account situations and therefore, two ways of dealing with the Semesterbeitrag (semester fees):
a) If you do not have a German bank account, just go to a bank, request to open a student/youth account and deposit the sum for the semester fees there. Then you could transfer the money to the university account (details of the account and your personal payment number will be given to you at the university registration) right on spot at the bank or via online banking. You should bring your passport and city registration proof along with the amount you want to transfer in cash.
b) If you already opened an account when you were in your home country, you need to activate it after your arrival in Bonn. The activation will take about a week but you would like to transfer the Semesterbeitrag right away to avoid matriculation problems. In this case, you should go to Postbank (the closest to the university is in the big post office onMünsterplatz, right behind the Beethoven statue) and ask them to transfer cash to the university account. This way you avoid paying a fee for the transfer because the university account is in Postbank.

5. Online registration for classes (Basis)

Once you have received your Uni Bonn ID (and email address) you can register for classes on Basis: http://basis.uni-bonn.de.
Students in their first semester can register from 24 September - 5 October. If you are not able to complete registration for classes by that time, you can still register during the late registration phase (Nachmeldephase). Of course you can still attend classes if you have not managed to register online before the beginning of the semester, but you will have to be registered to complete the modules at the end of the semester.
In the first semester you will have three or four modules, consisting of two classes each. ‘Applied Linguistics – An Overview’, ‘Intercultural Communication’ and ‘Language Acquisition’ are the original modules for the first semester. However, we would also advise you to attend the module ‘Research Methods’ which you find in Basis under ‘Applied Linguistics’, as it provides a methodological basis for future research work in the Master programme. If you are worried about the increased workload for the first semester, you have the option to postpone the module ‘Language Acquisition’ until later in your studies (third or fourth semester). If you plan to be abroad during that time you can also substitute the necessary credits with a course you take abroad.
To register on Basis, log in with your university ID and password, go to Funktionen and click on Veranstaltungen belegen/abmelden on the left hand side. You can then follow the instructions and select the courses you need to attend.

6. Wireless internet access (VPN client)

Every student has the opportunity to get wireless Internet access on every digital gadget (e.g. PC, smartphone, tablet). There are two parallel services to get internet access at the university, which can be used in combination. For both services you sign in with your university ID and password.
1.) Eduroam allows you to get wireless internet access in the University of Bonn, as well as at other scientific institutions all around the world that use eduroam.
Find out more about eduroam and how to set it up on your devices here:
2.) The VPN client does not only give you access to Wi-Fi at the university, you can also use it at home to access bonnet, the university’s network. You will need this when you are searching for journal articles online (see point 8 below).
Find more information on the VPN client here:

7. The English department (IAAK)

You will be studying at the ‘Institute of English, American and Celtic Studies’ (IAAK). This department of the University of Bonn is located in the main building in the city center. However, you do not enter through the main entrance as our department has a separate entrance. When coming from the Hofgarten (i.e. not from the city center), go right and walk along the university building. You have to cross a small street, then you get to ‘our’ part of the main building which is called Englisches Seminar. There’s one lecture hall on the ground floor (Hörsaal 17), but most of your classes will take place in smaller rooms on the first and second floor. Rooms A-D are on the first floor, room E and the conference room (Konferenzzimmer) are a bit hidden on the second floor. When you walk up the stairs, turn right and go to the end of the hallway. Lecturers’ offices as well as the department’s administration offices (Sekretariat and Geschäftszimmer) can also be found on the second floor.

8. Libraries

There are two libraries where students of our department usually work: The English department’s (Anglistik) and the main library (ULB).
 
1.) The Anglistik library is located in our building on the first floor opposite to the classrooms, to the right from the main staircase. It is behind the big brown wooden doors. Here is the link to its description: https://www.iaak.uni-bonn.de/de/research/libraries-1/library-english-american-studies-1
The linguistics section (section C) is a bit hidden. When you enter the library, turn left before entering the main part of the library and you will see an extra room with a copy machine, some tables, a sofa and all the linguistics literature we have in the department.
You do not have to register at this library; you can just walk in and read what you need. However, you cannot borrow books for more than a night (week days) or a weekend. You can copy necessary pages on the copy machine or take pictures of the needed material with your phone/tablet/camera.
Please remember that you have to leave your bags, coats and food in the yellow lockers on the ground floor as you are not allowed to bring them to the library. To store things in the lockers, you need your personal padlock. If you don’t have a lock, you can borrow one at the lending desk in the library, giving your student ID as a deposit.
Another point worth mentioning is that Wi-Fi is not very reliable inside. And on the few desktop computers that you find in the big reading hall you cannot access any websites except for the library catalogue. So if you plan an intensive Internet search for your paper, you may wish to do it in a better place.
 
2.) The main library (ULB) is a big separate building a few blocks away from the university main building: http://www.ulb.uni-bonn.de/english/bul/main-library
It is quite easy to find: when you go out of our department, walk straight to the main street parallel to the Rhine (Adenauerallee). You should follow this street in the direction of Juridicum, Museumsmeile and Posttower, not in the direction of Markt and city center. If the names do not tell you much, just remember that you should not walk through the arch of the university building but in the opposite direction. Walk straight for about 5 minutes and you will see the library on your left.
There you will find five main sections: an entrance area with lockers and bathrooms; an open hall with a lending desk, a registration and book return desk, and desktop computers; Lerncafé with coffee and vending machines; a reading and study hall (Lesesaal) behind a glass wall; and finally a huge book storage area on the underground floors.
You can come in and work anytime you prefer, from 8 a.m. to midnight every day including weekends. You have to leave your bag and coat in a locker if you want to sit in the reading hall. There you will enjoy complete silence and a great view of the Rhine. For the open hall and Lerncafé you do not have to lock your belongings. People can talk there, so if you are up to a lively discussion with friends, you’d better choose those rooms. You can eat your own food or buy a snack in the Lerncafé or the entrance area. However, you are not allowed anything except for water in a plastic see-through bottle in the reading hall.
To borrow books, you need to register at the library. For this, you bring your student ID and city registration form to the registration desk. Books from the main library can be lent for usually one month. If you return them after that period, you will have to pay a fine starting from 2 Euros, depending on how much longer you keep them. Make sure that you give your email address when registering so that you receive notifications about when to return your books.
Once you are registered, you can start looking for articles and publications. You begin from here: http://www.ulb.uni-bonn.de/, bonnus – das Suchportal section. If a publication is accessible online, you will see a Full text link in the search results. If it is available in a printed version, you will see an Exemplare Uni Bonn field, which will give you directions as to where to find the book. When you use your personal computer for your literature search, make sure that you are connected to the VPN client as some publications are only accessible within the university network.
You can print or copy things on the copy machines. To do this, you need to have a special card that you can purchase from a machine. It is next to the staircase that leads to the toilets in the entrance area. The card costs 15 Euros. 10 Euros will go to your printing balance and you will get 5 Euros deposit back when you return the card at the end of your studies.

9. Mensa (canteen)

The biggest Mensa of the University of Bonn is also closest to the main building:
Every floor offers a variety of food from which you can choose in advance or right on the spot. In order not to get lost there, bear in mind that there are two staircases. Use the stairs at the end of the building behind the small café to go upstairs and you will eventually use the other ones on your way down.
You can pay cash or get a special card with a discount (Mensa-Card) which you can get at the counter downstairs to the right of the Mensa entrance. You can add money on the card balance at the machines inside the Mensa.

10. Further information

The International Office provides a lot of helpful information under this link:
Information for international students by the University of Bonn:
http://www3.uni-bonn.de/studying/international-students/degree-programs/before-studying-1

 

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