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Incoming Student FAQ for the Fall 2020 Semester

We are glad that there have been no known suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Jacobs University. 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, and the trend is already decreasing. 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 for a period of minimum 6 weeks. All our students will have to be on campus by the time we switch back to in-person teaching – the exact date will be announced later on. 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 for a minimum of 6 weeks, when they will switch to in-person teaching. Students should plan to arrive on campus 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 for at least the first 6 weeks starting on September 1. After this, classes will switch to in-person teaching.

How long will the university be teaching online?

In-person courses will resume between mid-October and mid-November. The exact date will be announced soon. With the safety and health of our students and staff in mind, the Jacobs University Coronavirus Task Force will decide on an exact date as early as possible, taking into consideration the 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). But during this time, we encourage our students to arrive on campus as early as possible anyway and participate in the academic, social and campus activities that will still be running.

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?

If possible, students should arrive starting from August 26. Otherwise, students should strive to arrive during the first 6 weeks of the semester. All students will need to arrive before in-person classes resume. The exact date will be announced soon.

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

We are finalizing plans for our new students journey. This will provide incoming students essential information and give them the chance to get to know the campus and academic environment, and most importantly, bond with their classmates. Most activities will be done online at first, but all students will do various important in-person workshops upon their arrival in August, September, or October, on topics such as the Jacobs Community Standard and Intercultural Training. Incoming students can expect to receive the details about their Freshie Journey by the end of June.

What is the latest I can arrive at the university?

All students should arrive as early as possible starting August 26, but should definitely be on campus by the time in-person classes resume. The exact date will be announced soon.

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 after a period of at least 6 weeks. All students will have the possibility of deferring enrollment, while maintaining their finance offer.

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 after a period of at least 6 weeks after September 1 (exact date to be announced soon). Once in-person courses resume on campus, 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 webinar before online teaching starts?

We will introduce all students to the online teaching during the online orientation period. The schedule of the orientation period will be published by the end of June.

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

Are there cases of COVID-19 at Jacobs University?

There have been no known, suspected, or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Jacobs University.

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.