Winter semester begins

Welcome to HAW Hamburg

Everything's felt a bit more normal on campus in recent days – the students are returning to campus. And lots of students will be starting their studies at HAW Hamburg with an orientation week beginning on 4 October. For them, and for anyone else who still feels new on campus, there's now a 45-minute welcome film on YouTube.

A high-tech smart apartment, robots zooming across campus, a printmaking workshop where a heart-head-hand poster is created, a hospital room and a workshop with a racing car? You can find out more in the new welcome film, which will premiere on HAW Hamburg's YouTube channel at 9 am on 4 October. The two students Alice and Wahagn take the first-semester students on a tour of all HAW Hamburg's campuses, conduct interesting, entertaining and informative interviews, and offer tips for students' initial days at the university. During the premiere, first-semester students can use the YouTube chat to ask questions about starting their studies.

First steps at HAW Hamburg
Alongside the tips from Alice and Wahagn, new students also receive lots of helpful information in their orientation week – also called an orientation unit (OU). They also have the chance to meet their fellow students in person. Most of the OU teams are planning face-to-face welcome weeks rather than online ones – with appropriate corona hygiene measures, of course. Most courses will also take place on campus when the lecture period starts on 11 October. Students can find out exactly which courses these are on their degree course web page.

But there are still some questions that fellow students can't answer. This is where the Student Counselling Office comes in. 'Anyone who has a problem can come to us,' says Stefanie Kieback, deputy head of the Student Counselling Office at HAW Hamburg. 'Whether it has to do specifically with studies – for example, learning difficulties or a lack of motivation – or with private issues such as relationship crises, bereavement or anxiety, we try to look together at what next steps could be helpful.'

Depending on the problem, the Student Counselling Office works closely with other internal and external support services, such as the Confidential Dispute Advising Office and the Family Office. 'And of course the discussions are free of charge and treated as strictly confidential,' Kieback emphasises. She also recommends seeking support early on. It's important to trust yourself and dare to take the first step – after that it gets easier.

How do I organise my day?
Whether online or on campus, starting university studies means a new day-to-day reality that students have to get used to: How do I structure my day? And how do I keep from getting distracted during online teaching sessions? Kieback knows that everyone learns differently. 'While for most people the classic study setting at a desk is helpful, I, for example, liked studying at the kitchen table of my communal apartment the best – at the centre of the action,' says the expert.

However, she recommends set study times to structure the day, as well as rituals. 'For example, going for a walk around the block after breakfast and then starting the (study) day. Or making a date with fellow students for an online check-in in the morning or a check-out in the evening, followed by a little reward.' These kinds of routines make it easier to be organised, disciplined and, above all, motivated, says Kieback.

Hamburg tips
It also helps stay motivated if you reward yourself every once in a while for a day that went especially well. In addition to party nights, which are now possible again in St. Pauli, the Schanze and Ottensen, there are lots of daytime highlights in Hamburg. These are often free of charge or discounted for students (and sometimes for others too).

By the way: Students can use the HAW Hamburg semester ticket for buses, the U- and S-Bahn city trains, and regional trains in the A to E fare rings of the HVV transport system.

Information about the coronavirus
Coronavirus will continue to be with us through the winter semester. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus. In Hamburg there are both mobile and stationary vaccination locations where students can go to be vaccinated quickly and easily with the BioNTec/Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

On 14 October, additional mobile vaccination stations will be set up at the Bergedorf, Finkenau and Berliner Tor campuses. More detailed information about registering for an appointment will be posted soon. This offer is open to students, employees and residents from the direct neighbourhood.

Up-to-date information about HAW Hamburg's coronavirus-related measures is available on the Coronavirus update page.

More information

The HAW Hamburg Student Counselling Office is the central provider of support services for students and prospective students and offers assistance with all questions related to your studies or in the case of personal problems. The discussions are free of charge and are treated as strictly confidential. You can get in touch via email, phone or in person.

Coronavirus update

Corona - How do we deal with it? And how can we increase our resilience?

HAW Hamburg: Student counselling and coaching

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