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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

It can be a bit difficult to find a room in Bonn at the beginning of the semester, so you should start searching for housing 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 website of the Studierendenwerk, 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, including wg-gesucht.de, studenten-wg.de, immobilienscout24.de, immonet.de, to name just a few. You may also find some offers on Facebook, where there are several groups for housing and roommate searches.

2. University registration (enrollment)

The time of the enrollment period varies depending on where you completed your Bachelor program. If you are still enrolled in a BA program in Bonn, you may enroll in the MA Applied Linguistics program earlier than students coming from other universities. The enrollment period for the 2018/2019 winter semester will take place from September 10-14, 2018. In order to enroll, you must go to the Studierendensekretariat during this time period. The registration procedure for international students takes place on the first floor.

Please note: If German is not your native language, you will have to provide 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).

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 also serves as your ‘semester ticket’ and allows you to use all local means of public transport free of charge. You will receive the official copy by mail after the university processes your semester fees.

If you wish to obtain local health insurance (or switch from international student insurance to a German health insurance plan), you may do this at the time of enrollment. Representatives from the insurance companies will give you advice at the Studierendensekretariat and answer any questions you may have.

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 your place of residence with the city. You will need to make an appointment online (new appointment slots are posted every morning between 8am and 11am, so check the website a few times if there are no appointments available the first time you look). 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 receive a document stating that you have been registered (Meldebescheinigung). You will need this later when opening a bank account or filling out a library card application, etc.
 
If you live outside of Bonn, you will need to register your place of residence at the city hall in your town, as the offices in Bonn only deal with residences of the city.

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

When you first arrive in Germany, you will need to figure out how to pay your Semesterbeitrag (semester fees):
a) If you do not have a German bank account, go to a bank, request to open a student/youth account and deposit the sum for the semester fees there. Then you can 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) on spot at the bank or via online banking. You should bring your passport and proof of city registration 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 upon arrival in Bonn. The activation process usually takes about a week. If you would like to transfer the Semesterbeitrag right away to avoid matriculation problems, you should go to the Postbank (the branch closest to the university is in the big post office on the Münsterplatz, right behind the Beethoven statue) and ask them to transfer cash to the university account. By transferring the money this way, you will avoid paying a fee for the transfer, as the university account is also from the Postbank.

5. Online registration for classes (Basis)

Once you have received your Uni Bonn ID (and email address), you can register for classes online by logging into the university course registration platform called BASIS. To do so, log in with your university ID and password, go to Funktionen and select Veranstaltungen belegen/abmelden from the menu on the left-hand side of the page. You can then follow the instructions and select the courses you need to attend.
 
Students in their first semester can register for classes from September 23 - October 4, 2018. If you are not able to register by that time, you can still do so during the late registration phase (Nachmeldephase), which occurs when the semester has already started. 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 framework for future research you will be conducting in the Master program. 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.

 

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). Click here to download the software.
If you encounter any problems, contact the Hochschulrechenzentrum (HRZ). You can find their contact details and opening hours 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 is 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, while 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 from our department usually study: The library of the English department (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.
 
The linguistics section (section C) is a bit hidden. When you go through the door of the library, immediately turn left instead of going straight to enter the main part of the library. 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 by giving your student ID as a deposit.
 
Another point worth mentioning is that Wi-Fi is not very reliable inside. 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 another place.
 
2.) The main library (ULB) is a big separate building a few blocks away from the university main building. 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 usually be borrowed for one month. If you return them after that, you will have to pay a fine starting at 2 Euros, depending on how long you wait to return the books. Make sure that you give your email address when registering for a library card so that you receive notifications about when to return your books.
 
Once you are registered, you can start looking for articles and publications. You can start your research by using the bonnus – das Suchportal library search engine. If a publication is accessible online, you will see a Volltext 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 make copies on the copy machines. To do this, you need to have a special card that you can purchase from a machine at the ULB. 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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