Tips for Beginners

We were all "Ersties" once and we all know how overwhelming that can be. To make it easier, we collected some valuable first-hand tips, 'uni life hacks' if you want, for you.


What you need to attend to in your first semester




(Don't stop reading, go on reading the page; it's useful, we promise.)

General Hints

1) Read your degree course scheme and know the most important facts

• Which modules are pass/fail modules and which are graded (i.e. you get a grade for it at the end)

• What type of exam do you need to do? (term paper, exam, oral exam?)

When should you have finished the module at the latest? ("Regelprüfungstermin")


2) Pay attention to important mails from either us (FANAM) or your lecturers 


3) Get to know your environment

• Where is the library?

• Where do I have to be for my course?

• How long does it take to get from A to B? 

• Where can I copy stuff?

• Where can I have lunch? 

• Where is the best coffee place? (Undoubtedly the most important question)


4) Investigate this homepage for documents, information and hints - just sherlock around!

Your First Week

During your first week you can decide your own fate. Ok, actually you can't - but your first semester will be a lot easier if you follow our advice:


• visit all introductory lectures 

• activate your Stud.IP and e-mail accounts 

• register yourselves for (and at) the library (you can do this in every uni library)

• get a 'copy card' from the ITMZ (Südstadt)

• most importantly: put together your timetable

How Do I Put Together My Timetable?

This is a bit tricky, there are some general hints that can make this a bit easier.


1a) Find out what you need to attend.

You'll find this in our degree plans or in the official documents that you got during your first week or that you can download on the website of the Philosophische Fakultät.


1b) Find the courses that you need to attend.

In the Zentrales Vorlesungsverzeichnis or on the homepage of our department you can find all courses. It's your task to find those courses that match your modules.


2) Find out what courses are obligatory and singular

This basically means there is only one course and you need to go to that single course. E.g. "Vorlesungen" would be such cases.


3) Take part in the lottery

Due to the limited number of courses, all students have to take part in an allocation system for courses. You can call it a lottery, although that might be a bit cynical (but still true). Basically you need to find all courses that fit your scheme - do not leave anything out - and join the list of that course on Stud.IP. You do this with every single course at the department.


4) Make something of your courses

Once the system has sorted out itself and the courses, you'll get a notification. Then you'll know which courses you've got. In theory, you could be done by now because, surprisingly, you got all the course you wanted.


Actually, it might be a bit more difficult than that. If you don't get courses you need, don't panic or fall into desperation - that has happened to all of us. 


In courses that you didn't get, you will be placed on the waiting list. So if you desperately need a certain course, go to the first session. Often you can still join the course, depending on your position of the waiting list, because some people don't show up or because someone found 3 more chairs.

The best tip is: Be dauntless. Try and ask. No-one is going to bite your head off.