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Incoming Student FAQ for the Fall 2020 Semester

Our campus location in Bremen, Germany has been extremely fortunate, as the measures and policies introduced have proven effective and maintained the rate of COVID-19 infections very low. Therefore, we are happy to confirm that our Fall 2020 semester will start as planned, on September 1, 2020.

However, safety is still one of our top priorities, and we understand the difficulties that our mainly international students are facing. In order to accommodate for difficulties worldwide regarding visa operations and possible travel restrictions, our Fall 2020 semester will begin online on September 1. All our students will have to be on campus by the time we switch back to in-person teaching, October 26. But in the meantime, we expect and encourage our students to arrive on campus as early as possible starting August 26, as there will be additional academic and social offerings on our always-buzzing campus from that date already.

President Antonio Loprieno announces start of Fall Semester on 1 September 2020 at Jacobs University:

FAQs

General

Is Jacobs University the right place for me during these challenging times?

Most definitely! While these are difficult times, the university is and will remain an inspiring place. Professors will maintain high academic standards while making students feel supported. Students will still get early research opportunities. And you will still feel like an important part of a tight-knit campus community of friends and support staff from around the world.

When will the Fall 2020 Semester start?

Classes will begin online starting on September 1 and remain online until October 23. At that point, we will completely switch back to in-person teaching. Students should plan to arrive on campus on August 26 or as early as possible, as there will be additional academic and social offerings on campus, but students can participate in their assigned courses online from their home country or on campus.

Will courses start online?

Yes, professors will facilitate virtual classes from September 1 to October 23. After this, classes will switch to in-person teaching. Distance learning will no longer be available after October 23.

How long will the university be teaching online?

In-person courses will resume on October 26. At that point, classes will no longer be available online.

Will I still have opportunities to make friends and participate in Jacobs vibrant campus life?

Yes! This is why we encourage our students to arrive as early as possible as campus life will be buzzing (safely). The university will provide virtual orientation activities and other opportunities to get to know your peers, while observing proper social distancing and complying with any restrictions imposed by the Hanseatic State of Bremen.

Arrival

When should I arrive?

Now that classes have started, you should arrive as soon as possible. All students will need to arrive before in-person classes resume, October 26.

Check-in is now by appointment only. Once you have booked travel, remember to fill out the pre-arrival survey on your VIP page. Also, be sure to email studentservice@jacobs-university.de to schedule a check-in appointment..

Are my parents allowed to come with me?

We know your family members may want to make sure you arrive safe and sound to your new home away from home, so we of course will allow them to accompany you onto campus. However, due to the pandemic, we will not be able to provide a welcome area this year for family members, and we need to restrict access to all buildings to students and staff only. Our peer counselors will be ready to assist you with your move-in.

Please understand any accompanying relatives need to comply with state quarantine and testing requirements, and Jacobs University will not be able to provide quarantine accommodations or resources for family members.

What documents do I need to bring with me when I travel to Germany and the Jacobs Campus?

Remember to bring your:

✓ Signed Study Contract (German version)
✓ Certified copy of your final transcript + diploma
Enrollment Confirmation Letter from your VIP page
Airline Letter from your VIP page (only for students who come from non-visa countries)
COVID Testing Results Release Form (link) if you are from a high-risk country and you are not sure your phone will work in Germany.
✓ Other documents you need for e.g. residence permit, health insurance, bank account, etc.

The Enrollment Confirmation Letter states that your physical presence on campus is required.

The Airline Letter states that a return ticket within 3 months is not required. You may need to give this to your airline.

The COVID Testing Results Release Form will authorize the health authorities to tell Jacobs University the result of your COVID test.

What should I pack to bring to Jacobs?

You can find a recommended packing list here.

How do I travel to campus?

Please click here for more information.

What will orientation be like for those who have arrived on campus and those who have not?

As you probably have heard, most of our orientation activities this year will be conducted online. After submitting your study contract, you will receive login credentials to access the “Freshie Journey” modules. You also will have the opportunity to ask questions during scheduled live sessions. The modules and live sessions will provide incoming students with essential information and give them the chance to get to know the campus, academic environment, and some classmates. Be sure to check your email and VIP page for more information.

What is the latest I can arrive at the university?

All students should arrive as early as possible starting August 26, but must on campus by the time in-person classes resume October 26.

Will the university continue to provide housing despite the COVID-19 situation?

Yes. All Foundation Year and undergraduate first-year students have mandatory and guaranteed housing in one of the universities' four residential colleges. Postgraduate students have the option to opt for university provided housing, as the institutional capacity allows.

What are my options if I cannot get there by the time in-person classes resume?

We understand incoming students are currently facing many challenges - travel restrictions, standardized testing cancelations, visa processing delays, flight cancelations, etc. - but we want to be able to start in-person classes on October 26. Undergraduate students have the possibility to defer to Spring or Fall 2021 by sending a request to admission@jacobs-university.de. Foundation Year and Postgraduate Students can defer to next Fall.

COVID Regulations for Entering Germany

What are the COVID-19 regulations for entering Germany?

You can find the latest information from the German Federal Ministry of Health here. 

As of July 2020, you need to be tested or quarantined if you are traveling to Germany from a high-risk country as determined by the Robert Koch Institute. 

IMPORTANT TESTING UPDATE: Free testing is no longer offered at the Bremen Airport. We recommend student travelers do a(n):

  1. Home country test: Make sure the results are less than 48 hours old upon entry in Germany and written in German or English.
      Or
  2. EU entry airport test: Take a test at your EU entry airport if the airport is still offering tests.

You still can come to campus without a test and we will place you into quarantine. You will then need to go to the Bremen Messe Halle 5 during open hours with your enrollment confirmation letter and ID to get a test. Alternatively, you could get a COVID testing referral from a local Hausarzt (Primary Care Provider / Family Doctor) to go to a COVID testing site in Bremen. There is a is a chance you may have to pay for this testing out of your own pocket.

Students will then quarantine on campus for until they receive the test results. They will not need to do a 2-week quarantine unless the test is positive. Once a student receives a negative test result, he/she can start his/her academic and social life on campus normally, without any additional restrictions. In the case of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, a 2-week quarantine is required by law, which will be facilitated on campus and supported by all our resources. 

Please be aware that any breach of testing / quarantining obligations may result in the payment of a fine to the Bremen authorities.

Please check here for up-to-date entry requirements into Germany. For a list of countries whose citizens are required to quarantine upon entry if they do not have a recent negative test, please refer to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) website.

Will I need to go into quarantine?

If you are from a country that is not on the high-risk list, you will not need to go into quarantine or take a COVID-19 test.

If you are from a high-risk country, you will need to take a COVID-19 test in your home country (preferred) or at your German arrival airport (testing is no longer offered at the Bremen Airport). If you come to campus without a test, you will need to go to the Bremen Messe Halle 5 with your enrollment confirmation letter and ID to get tested. Alternatively, you could contact a local doctor to refer you to testing. You will need to quarantine on campus for 24-72 hours while you await your test result.

What countries are considered high-risk?

Please see here for the current list of high-risk countries per the Robert Koch-Institut.

What kind of COVID-19 test do I need in order to prevent a 2-week quarantine after entering Germany?

In order to forego a 2-week quarantine, you will need to provide evidence of a recent negative molecular biological (PCR) test for COVID-19. We highly recommend you test at your arrival airport in Germany or at the testing sites in Bremen, rather than in your home country. If you choose to test outside of Germany, the test must be taken within 48 hours of your arrival in Germany, and the results need to be either in English or German. PCR tests are currently accepted from all European Union countries, as well as from the countries mentioned here: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Tests.html (go to “English archive”).

Can I get tested in my own country? If not, where can I get tested?

In principle, molecular biological tests (PCR tests) are currently accepted from all European Union countries, as well as from the countries mentioned here: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Tests.html (go to “English archive”). The results need to be in English or German and less than 48 hours old upon entry into Germany.

Can I do the COVID-19 test at my arrival airport? Which German airports are providing COVID-19 tests, and how much do they cost?

Some German airports are still offering testing, but Bremen Airport is not. You will need to check your specific arrival airport website for details.

Where can I get tested if I don't get tested at the airport?

If you don’t get tested in your home country or at an EU airport, you can come to campus and go into quarantine. You will then need to go to the Bremen Messe Halle 5 during open hours with your enrollment confirmation letter and ID to get a test. Alternatively, you could get a COVID testing referral from a local Hausarzt (Primary Care Provider / Family Doctor) to go to a COVID testing site in Bremen. There is a is a chance you may have to pay for this testing out of your own pocket.

Can I get tested on campus?

We do not offer testing on campus. If you come to campus without a test, we will put you into quarantine. You will then need to go to the Bremen Messe Halle 5 during open hours with your enrollment confirmation letter and ID to get a test. Alternatively, you could get a COVID testing referral from a local Hausarzt (Primary Care Provider / Family Doctor) to go to a COVID testing site in Bremen. There is a is a chance you may have to pay for this testing out of your own pocket.

What if the testing site wants to provide my testing results over the phone and I do not have a phone that works in Germany? Or they want me to download an app but I cannot do that?

You will need to do two things: Provide the Jacobs Admission phone number: 0160 93 90 41 61 and give the health officials at the testing site this Testing Result Release Form (link) that will allow them to call Jacobs University and give us your results. Be sure to print the form (link) and carry it with you when you travel.

What is the Corona-Warn-App?

We recommend the entire Jacobs Community utilize the official "Corona-Warn-App" to fight the further spread of COVID-19.

The Corona-Warn-App utilizes blue tooth technology to determine if you have had contact with an infected person and provides steps on what to do if you have. This way, we can interrupt chains of infection more quickly. The app is a service by the Federal Government but use is voluntary. You can find the free download in the Apple App Store or GooglePlay. It is available in German, English and Turkish and another five languages shortly: Arabic, Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian.

What if my phone will not let me download the Corona-Warn-App or it does not work properly on my phone?

You most likely need to change your smartphone country to Germany in your settings.

The official “Corona-Warn-App” for Germany is available to download in all national app stores in the European Union, as well as those in Switzerland, Norway, Great Britain and Turkey (see RKI list of countries here).

If your Apple Store or Google Play is set to a different country, then you will have to switch your country settings manually in order to download and use the Corona-Warn-App.

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Where will I be quarantined?

All students that arrive to Jacobs University and require quarantining will be quarantined on campus. The university will provide support services, meals, and specific instructions for those who must quarantine either 1-2 days or 2 weeks. Once we receive a negative test result or the quarantine is completed, students can fully join all aspects of campus life.

How will I get food while I am in quarantine?

Our catering service, Apetito, will deliver meals to your room if you require quarantine. We will ask if you have specific food restrictions when you check in at Welcome Street. For short-term quarantine (24-48 hours), you will get two cold meals and one hot meal. For long-term quarantine (2 weeks), you will get two hot meals and one cold meal.

I have a negative test that meets all the official requirements. Do I still have to report to the public order office (Ordnungsamt) when I arrive in Bremen?

Returning students and new students with a corresponding negative COVID-19 test do not have to report to the Ordnungsamt Bremen.

If I already spent 2 weeks in quarantine at another location after arriving in Germany, do I have to report to the public order office (Ordnungsamt) in Bremen? And will I be able to immediately move into my room on the Jacobs University Campus?

Students who can prove that they have carried out their 2-week quarantine at another location after entering Germany from a risk area will be allowed to fully join campus life once they check in at the Welcome Street on the Jacobs University campus.

Online Learning

What virtual teaching platform will my professors use?

Online teaching will take place mainly via Microsoft Teams and Moodle. The university will provide students with all necessary licenses upon enrollment.

What is the quality of the online instruction?

The professors at Jacobs University have very high standards of teaching and learning. They now have several months of experience utilizing online platforms and developing best practices. While they have missed the physical classroom experience, they have made great efforts to ensure their students are receiving high quality instruction during these challenging times.

Can I choose to do the full semester or the full year online as well?

The university will begin in-person classes on October 26. At that point, online courses will no longer be offered for degree programs.

What are the technical requirements for online course participation?

Students require a fast and stable internet connection and a PC/Laptop with camera and microphone (e.g. headset), a web browser, and an email client to receive your Jacobs email.

Will there be a demo class or instructional web session before online teaching starts?

We will introduce all students to the online teaching during the “Freshie Journey” that begins on August 3.

Completing Application and Enrollment Requirements

What do I do if I cannot take the SAT, ACT, or TestAS before the fall semester is supposed to begin?

Students may submit and complete applications without a standardized test. They then will be expected to take either an ACT test in June or the August 29 SAT. If one of these tests is still unavailable at a testing center in your area, please contact our Admissions team at admission@jacobs-university.de.

What should I do if I cannot get a visa appointment?

Some German embassies are currently not taking visa appointments. However, many governments are beginning to lift restrictions, so embassies should be resuming normal service in the coming weeks. You can find information on how to book appointments on the embassy’s website.

Jacobs University wants to ensure admitted candidates receive their visas in due time to commence their studies, so if you need assistance, please send an e-mail to visa@jacobs-university.de. Be sure to contact us using the e-mail address Jacobs University has on file for you.

What do I do if banks have closed in my country and I cannot pay the enrollment deposit?

In that case, we encourage you to make the payment via Flywire. To do so, you will need your applicant ID. If you are having trouble finding your applicant ID or if you would like to request an extension of the deposit deadline, please contact admission@jacobs-university.de (for undergraduate students) or graduateadmission@jacobs-university.de (for graduate students).

What can I do if my school or university has closed and I cannot obtain required application documents such as a diploma or transcript?

  • Undergraduate and Foundation Year Applicants: Please ask your school counselor or teacher to submit all documents via CommonApp. If they cannot submit them through CommonApp, they may send scanned copies via email from an official school email address or at least from the email address provided in the recommendation form.
  • Graduate applicants: If you have not yet graduated, you can provide your latest enrollment certificate.

Fees

Will my Room and Board fees be reduced?

For students who arrive on campus after September 15, 2020, the room and board fees will be adjusted. Adjustments will be made on a half month basis. If students arrive close to the 15th of a given month, they will only pay for half the month. If students are not on campus for the entirety of a given month, they will not pay room & board for that month.

Please note: Your invoice for fall 2020 will show the regular room & board fees. This invoice is payable by August 1, 2020. If you arrive on campus after September 15, 2020, you will not receive a refund. Instead, you will receive a credit towards your room & board fees. This credit will remain on your student account and can be used to cover a part of your next invoice.

Will my tuition fees be reduced?

We are aware that due to the pandemic, it will not be possible for all students to join us on campus by the semester start date. With the importance of equal opportunities for everyone in mind, all courses will therefore take place online for the first few weeks of the semester. This will make late arrivals possible and everyone can start their academic path without having to delay or defer. Once the situation allows, we will resume in-person teaching. As the teaching situation is the same for all students (on or off campus) and they will receive their necessary credits, the tuition fees for the fall semester will not be reduced.

Do I need to pay my health insurance from September 1st even if I am not on campus?

You must retain (and keep paying for) your health insurance for the entire duration of your Bachelor or Master studies even if you are on not living or studying on campus for a period of time. The German public health insurance authorities are discussing potentially changing this policy. If changes are implemented, Jacobs will notify incoming students.

As a Bachelor or Master student from outside the EU/EAA /Switzerland or contract country, you are legally obliged to insure with the German public health insurance.

If you are a citizen of the EU (Cyprus – only the EU part of the country) /EAA / Switzerland, as well as of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Turkey and Tunisia, you do not have to be insured in Germany, provided that you have the European health insurance card (EHIC) or the insurance form (in your local language and German) from your home country.

COVID-19 Protective Measures

What procedures will be in place to prevent the spread of infection?

Jacob’s University’s primary commitment, besides offering a first-class education, is to keep its community safe and healthy.

Jacobs University has a coronavirus task force in which members of all areas of the university are represented. The Managing Director and the Head of Campus Security are leading this task force, which meets on a regular basis, monitors available data and all developments with regards to the virus, decides on further measures and prepares their implementation. This includes gathering information and recommendations from the "World Health Organization", the "Robert Koch Institute", one of the most important bodies for the safeguarding of public health in Germany, and the "Gesundheitsamt Bremen” (Bremen’s Health Office).

Incoming Graduate Students

As graduate students don’t live on campus, will accommodation provided by Jacobs University still be secured for new graduate students?

Yes, off campus accommodation provided by Jacobs University will be secured for new graduate students.

Will accommodation fees vary during fall semester 2020?

Graduate students who wish to have Jacobs University provided off campus Housing will have to make the payment after arrival. If students arrive later than expected due to visa or Covid-19 circumstances they will only be charged for the time after their arrival. To calculate this reduction, the costs for accommodation are broken down to 15 days. As a result, students can also arrive in the middle of a month, during their first semester, and do not have to pay the full month.

What should I do if my university cannot provide my Bachelor diploma and/or transcript before the Jacobs semester start? Or what if my university cannot certify the copies?

If you have not received your official documents yet, we accept a provisional degree and the latest updated version of your transcript of records. If you are unable to get certified copies by your university, you can certify the copies with a local Notary Public before sending them to us. Please note that you will be required to submit your official documents as soon as you receive them.

Additional FAQ specifically regarding COVID-19 can be found here.

Report of a Bachelor student

Crystal Mele (6.Semester) Major: Physics
I find it amazing how my professors adjusted so quickly to online classes. Although it was hard to imagine physics classes ever being held online, my professors have done a great job to ensure that we do not miss out on classes and that we do not fall behind. Additionally, my friends and I are trying to find a way to still “meet up" and so far we have been very creative; we have played board games online, have held society meetings in online platforms, and plan to find other ways to communicate to each other in our last semester together. Another way of coping with this situation involves picking up new hobbies or getting back to old hobbies that I had had to put aside in order to keep up with my studies. I have worked on watercolor painting and started playing the piano again, along with finding some more time to readings out of the academic field. This has also been a time for me to try to balance my time between studies and relaxation.

...I definitely feel safe with how our university has been handling the situation and I am trying to make the best out of it along with my friends in order to ensure that our last semester together is the best it could be, despite the situation.