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Corona Survival Kit – Corona-Überlebenskit

Corona Survival Kit for International Students

Hello @germanizers! I am reaching all of you since you may find yourselves in the same situation as I am. Wether you recently moved in to Germany to start the Studienkolleg, to learn the German language or to start with the university we have all stumbled upon the unprecedented phenomena known as the corona pandemic.

I can assure that is not easy to cope alone with anxiety, a lot of questions regarding the digitalisation of lectures and the feeling of being trapped in four walls without any kind of human interaction. This, together with the pressure of staying physically and mentally active and trying to escape reality by exploring the digital and literary worlds. You might come up with the feeling of reliving the same day everyday.

Many of us here in Germany are waiting for the gradual easing of restrictions regarding this crisis. Some of us have even already started with the university’s or the Hochschule’s online classes. However, not all German higher education institutions have offered this kind of solution during the hard times we are living in. It is rather probable that those students attending the Hochschule will start earlier with online classes than those attending the university. The reason is that the “Hochschulen” are technical institutions of applied sciences that have been working with online platforms for many years. 

You might come up with the feeling of reliving the same day everyday.

Andrés

New students 

The new students or so-called “Erstis” might be quite lost. They missed out not just the first face-to-face weeks of the university but also the Introduction to the IT basics of e-learning and management platforms of their higher education institutions. I encourage ,therefore, new students to frequently visit the homepage of their universities and to check their student e-mails everyday. Along with your admission letter, you certainly received a username and a password that give you access to the newest information regarding your studies! You might have to add the student e-mail domain of your university. E.g.: @students.uni-mainz.de 

Why should you check your e-mail everyday? Professors and lecturers might come with new educational solutions and new ways of giving feedback to their students!

Which kind of e-learning platforms am I using? 

In my case, I have been using a platform called OLAT for the learning material exchange and another one called ZOOM for the meetings with the lecturers. On the one hand, I am really thankful with my Hochschule for offering this educational solution in such difficult times. On the other hand, the fact that hibernating and attending classes at the same time lead often to a lack of motivation and a constant rescheduling of my new routine. I would say that the positive aspect about it is that we have kept on learning and staying active despite the situation we are going through. Another positive aspect worth mentioning is the constant support of the university administration; they have been constantly offering technical and therapeutic support for those students in need. 

  • A black and white photo with notes on it.
    A black and white photo with notes on it.© DAAD/ Andrés
  • A black and white photo showing shoes.
    A black and white photo showing shoes.© DAAD/ Andrés
  • A black and white photo. Someone is lying in bed, you can see their legs.
    A black and white photo. Someone is lying in bed, you can see their legs.© DAAD/ Andrés
  • A traffic sign saying "nature reserve", a bat can be seen on it.
    A traffic sign saying "nature reserve", a bat can be seen on it.© DAAD/ Andrés

As I mentioned before

… staying home is not an easy task; therefore, I would recommend you to follow these advices:

1- Set up a routine for your week: schedule time for homework, online classes, workout and leisure.

2- Get the most of out of the German measures regarding the pandemic: Go out for a run or a walk!

3- Try out new things you always wanted to do. Learn a new skill and dive in the world of online courses!

4- Follow the hygiene measures and German news. Get to know your limits and take breaks from social media, fake news and such filter bubbles. 

5- Stay in contact with family and friends! Remember we are all in this together! 

I am aware that being away from your home country during this worldwide crisis could be frustrating. However, keep in mind that the German authorities are giving their best in order to get back to normality. We will be back soon enjoying the sunny weather, the barbecues and the summer gatherings! Stay home! Stay safe! 

Being away from your home country during this worldwide crisis could be frustrating.

Andrés

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