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Live Q&A

Any questions? Live video conference!

The Intercultural Mentoring staff will be happy to answer your questions about the Intercultural Mentoring Program and about studying and living in Freiburg. New dates are coming soon!

After registration you will receive a link and a password for the video conference by email a few days in advance.

 

Frequently asked questions at former Q&As:

 1. What are the generally accepted norms and practices in the German society, especially in Freiburg? For example, what are etiquettes to follow while traveling on public transportations like tram or bus, even walking through the streets or shopping in a supermarket?

Public Transportation: You have to buy a ticket before the start of the journey. When you use the train, you should buy your ticket online or at the Hauptbahnhof. When you use a tram, you can buy your ticket inside of the tram.  If you travel a lot on the tram, it might be worthwhile to buy a semester ticket. As a student of the Uni Freiburg you can register for the “19-Uhr-Nachweis” here which is at no charge, so that you can go for free after 19 pm.  If you do not have a ticket, and you are controlled, you should know that you have to pay 60€. In general, it is important to show consideration for older and pregnant people: get up and offer them a seat. In the situation right now, keep your distance in the tram or in the bus as well.

Supermarket: Due to the coronavirus pandemic you have to wear a mask in every supermarket. Please also show respect, patience and mindfulness and make it possible for everyone to adhere to the prescribed distance rules of 1.5 to 2 meters. Wait a moment for the customer in front of you to make their choice rather than offending them in a rush. With a little consideration, everyone can shop with as little risk as possible. You can pay cash, but most stores offer card payments. Smaller cafés, bakeries, and ice cream parlors prefer it when people pay cash! 

Since we are particularly careful with the environment in Freiburg, it makes sense to bring your own shopping bag and to avoid plastic bags. 

Maybe check out Johanna's Instagram story "Living life the Freiburg way" and find the full article with more details about living in Freiburg on our website.

 

Other interesting topics: 

Tipping process: In Germany, people give tips in restaurants or cafés and use it to reward good service. As a rule, you can add ten percent for the tip. Or you round up to the next higher amount, e.g. at a price of € 2.50 you give € 3.

Punctuality: is very important in Germany. A quarter of an hour late is fine in a pinch but being late is really impolite. So be reliable and on time when meeting with your mentor or others.

Shake hands: Normally the Germans shake hands in greeting. As a rule, the woman shakes hands with the man first, the superior to the subordinate, the older to the younger. However, due to the coronavirus we do not currently shake hands.

Waste separation:  There is a green bin for paper and a brown bin for organic waste. Plastic packaging is placed in the yellow bags. All the rest can be put in the black bin. 

Before you enter a room, you knock at the door and wait until someone says: Yes, please come in.

 

2. What help can a tutor give me?

In contrast to a mentor the tutor has an educational role. Tutors provide academic assistance and support whereas mentors relay predominantly on their own personal experiences. A tutor is employed by the subject and you can ask him or her about specific topics. There is usually a curriculum and the topics are predetermined. With the mentoring you are more free and the topics often come from the mentees themselves.

 

3. How do I get access to the library?

You have to register for a time slot online first before you can enter the library. You can find all rules and the link for the registration here (in English and in German).

 

4. Do the people in Freiburg speak enough English to help me? 

Yes! Everyone has to learn English in school, so there should be enough knowledge of the English language (especially from the younger people) to help. 

 

5. How can I improve my language skills?

The Intercultural Mentoring Progam is designed to help international students at the beginning of their studies on a personal, professional and social basis. The matching is done according to subject of study (if possible). In case you want to improve your language skills you can try to practice within your mentoring relationship. Some of you have been matched with German mentors – so a great opportunity for you to practice the German language!

In addition you can attend several language courses at the University. E.g. the Sprachlehrinstitut SLI offers language courses in more than 20 languages, including English, Finnish, German, Italian, Korean, Modern Greek, Persian, Portuguese or Swahili at different language levels for all university students, staff, guests and the general public. Please find more information on their website. 

If you are an international student paying tuition fees, you are participating in the Voucher-System. The Voucher-System allows you to attend selected additional courses of the University of Freiburg and its partners, which are normally subject to a fee, without having to pay for them. Please find detailed information about the Voucher-System here.

 

6. My Mentor is in another time zone, how do we get in contact?

Don’t be shy and ask! Ask your Mentor if he or she wants to meet online and find a time to meet together virtually. I recommend to do this on video chat and you can have a ‘virtual coffee meet-up’ because it can be easier to communicate through video- that way you’ll also have the chance to see what they’re like as an individual- which is something you can’t always do through e-mail!

 

7. What are the different activities I can do unwind from my studies?

Freiburg has a charming historical center. If you walk through the streets it's sure you'll find them filled with independent stores, cafes, and charming architecture. Check out our website where we have published a full article from our Instagram stories „Hä Was!?“ to read our "Top 10 places in Freiburg" article!  You can also watch our new video we made just for you, the „10 Minute City Tour!“. Since many of you can’t be in Freiburg at this time, we decided to bring Freiburg to you! We hope that you can enjoy our beautiful city from the comfort of your own home this way. Of course there is plenty more to do: Visit the Black Forest and go skiing in winter or hiking, cycling, and mountain biking. As Freiburg is located in the „Dreiländereck“ you can also visit France which is just a twenty minute drive away, or Switzerland which is only a little more.

 

8. Where do I find accomodation?

Please check the following websites for detailed information:

https://www.housing.uni-freiburg.de/international-students

https://www.swfr.de/en/residence/student-residence/

wg-gesucht.de

 

9. Are there any scholarhips or financial aid for international students for which we can apply?

You will find detailed information on the website of the Service Center Studium.

 

10Where do I get information about the Corona situation in Germany?

Please always check the university’s website to get the latest news and keep to the regulations.