More than 12 per cent of all students in Hamburg in winter semester 2020/21 came from other countries. At HAW Hamburg alone, more than 2,050 international students are currently enrolled. But how are these students managing at the university these days, especially those who are completing a Bachelor's or Master's degree? We look here particularly at those students who are at HAW Hamburg for the duration of their Master's or Bachelor's studies.
Exceptional challenges at the beginning of studies
Before the pandemic, international students who had been admitted to HAW Hamburg were already one big step closer to their goal. Today, a series of other questions follow: How do I get a visa if the embassies aren't offering any appointments? How do I get to Germany when my country is a high-risk area and it's not possible to enter Germany? Where do I spend the quarantine period if the hotels are closed and I still don't have an apartment in Hamburg? How do I even find an apartment in the city at the current time?
Teresa Schaubs, Mariana Müller and Wiebke Bendt of the International Office help where they can: 'We're now able to help quickly with the most frequently asked questions – such as where people can get tested in Hamburg, how international students can obtain financial support and who can provide them with legal advice in extreme cases.'
Some students are benefitting from the digital semester: they can start their studies from their home country and then come to Germany when the situation has relaxed somewhat. 'Of course, they have to take into account that because of time differences some seminars take place in the middle of the night for the students and that it's only possible to attend with the right equipment and a stable Internet connection,' says Schaubs. 'We advise our students and prospective students about the pros and cons of starting their studies from home – but in they end they have to decide for themselves.'