My First Week of Online Semester in Germany
Alright. My second semester in Germany has officially begun last Monday. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, every lecture is being held via virtual form: Zoom. It’s literally the first time in my life to take a mandatory real-time online lecture at any sort of school. Although I am still acclimating to the online class stuff, it has been all right so far.
If you are new here, my name is Jun and I am a Master student studying microbiology in Göttingen, Germany. In this blog, I talk about my student life in Germany and would like to share some tips for studying in Germany. If you have any questions, leave it down in the comment section below or contact me via email@example.com 🙂
In this semester, I am taking Immunology, Biophysics and Biochemistry and German B2.1. I actually signed up for Italian A1.1, I couldn’t get the place in the random selection process because the university is trying to keep the classes at minimum number in order to manage everything online.
My first three weeks will be incredibly intense with new lectures and exam preparation unlike my usual semesters. This is mainly because, firstly, I have to take ‘my first semester’ exams in the third week of my second semester and secondly, my immunology class (from the medical department) lasts only for 2-3 weeks, meaning that I have 4 hours of immunology lecture every day along with my other classes. On the bright side, it’s good to be busy and to have my mind occupied in this stressful time with the pandemic.
My experience with the online classes has been quite good so far. I wouldn’t complain much about it except for a bit of connection problem and the fact that I got distracted sometimes because students aren’t 100% engaged through laptop screen in their own room with all the distractions (bed, phone and so on..). This will get better over time, I think 🙂 But the flow of the lecture seems to be great because the format is not significantly different from the in-class lecture. Surprisingly, the tutorial, which must be much more interactive than a lecture, also went very well.
Things were more dynamic in German class where students have to be more interactive. It was held on different software from ‘Zoom’ so that students can participate more actively in the class by writing. I was quite surprised by the cutting edge technology where a lecturer could group students, isolate them in a different room, and have them discuss something (great time to be alive :)). Then one of the students in a group presented what the discussion was about to the entire classmates when we were placed back.
The instructor made a poll whenever she had a question to the entire class and presented the result to us. When we were working on a grammar problem, the instructor introduced us a ‘Pad’ so that students can write down their answers. It was quite fun to see different colors popping out real time (on the right side of the image. I apologize for the messy photo).
Some shots of Göttingen I took on the way back from grocery market. The weather is just beautiful in central Germany in April. It makes me want to grill something outside.
Overall, the new system has been treating me fine. I am just hoping my laboratory course will start as soon as possible because I have two laboratories in this semester: an internship for 7 weeks and practical course for 3 weeks. I just can’t wait to learn new experimental techniques and write papers. Moreover, I also need a laboratory credit… since it is an important portion of my degree program as a biology-majored student….
Starting Monday April 27th 2020, wearing a mask is mandatory in Göttingen and some other cities in Germany. Hopefully, this will further reduce the spread of the virus.