Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 and student exchange

With some exceptions, ASH Berlin is currently closed to the public. You can enter the building if you have presence-based classes and are registered for them via LSF or if you have an appointment at the library or the computer lab. You need to book an appointment/get registered beforehand and you need to be tested negatively, fully vaccinated or recovered to enter the building. ASH Berlin provides general information (incl. pandemic plan, hygienic plan, testing concept etc.) and specific information for regular students about the Corona virus (in German only), but we kindly ask all exchange students to consult the FAQs below before contacting the International Office directly.


General FAQs

Since all International Office staff are mostly working from home during the current pandemic, we cannot offer our usual face-to-face office hours. Instead, we kindly ask all exchange students and partner universities to contact us via e-mail to incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu.We're happy to offer individual online counselling via video or audio conference, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

We recommend to NOT book any flight or train tickets to Germany and WAIT with anything else that comes along with financial obligations until you have completed your application to ASH Berlin, received our Letter of Acceptance and (if applicable) received your visa to enter Germany.

Digital entry registration before entering Berlin:

If you are arriving from a high incidence risk area, you are obliged to register online before entering Germany. You must be able to present proof of this registration when entering Germany. If, in exceptional cases, a registration is not possible through the website mentioned above, you must instead fill in a PDF substitute registration and carry it with you when entering the country.

Travelling and entry to Germany

Generally, travelling to Germany from within the European Union as well as from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein and from all other countries from which entry is allowed by the epidemiological assessment by the EU is fully possible again (source: German Federal Foreign Office). However, you may only enter Germany if you can provide proof of full vaccination or of recovery or a negative test result that is not older than 48 hours (see below).

Depending on whether the country you're entering from is listed as a high incidence risk area though, you may also be affected by a testing or quarantine order (see below).

Travel and entry restrictions for all other countries only for fully vaccinated people

Entry from any other country is only possible for fully vaccinated people! You must have received the last vaccination dose that is necessary for full vaccination at least 14 days before the date of travel, and the vaccine must be among those listed on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (source: German Federal Foreign Office). For people not yet fully vaccinated, entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional cases, being an international student starting a study semester in Germany is currently not listed as an exception (source: Federal Ministry of the Interior).

Travel ban for countries affected by virus variants​​​​​​​ of concern

If you're travelling from a country that is defined as a new virus variant of concern area, the German Federal Government has implemented a travel ban. There are only very few exceptions, being an international student starting a study semester in Germany is currently not listed as an exception (source: Federal Ministry of the Interior).

Before coming to Berlin, you must check the risk area classification of the country from which you arrive and carefully check and stick to the corresponding testing and quarantine regulations below.

Students arriving from non listed areas:

  • Upon entering Germany, you must provide proof of full vaccination (only valid if the last vaccination dose that is necessary for full vaccination was at least 14 days before the date of travel) or proof of recovery (only valid if your recovery is more than 28 days and less than 6 months ago) or a negative test result that is not older than 48 hours.
  • Make sure to check the website of the Federal Foreign Officeto find out about which vaccines are accepted, what your proof of recovery must look like or which testing methods are accepted. When travelling to Germany, please carry your proof of full vaccination, of recovery or the negative test result with you (and keep the negative test result for at least ten days).

Students arriving from high incidence risk areas:

High incidence risk areas are areas with much more than 100 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants, a very high numbers of cases or a very high rate of spreading. If you arrive from or have been to a high incidence risk areawithin ten days before arrival:

  • You must complete a digital entry registration before coming to Berlin.
  • Upon entering Germany, you must provide proof of full vaccination (only valid if the last vaccination dose that is necessary for full vaccination was at least 14 days before the date of travel) or proof of recovery (only valid if your recovery is more than 28 days and less than 6 months ago) or a negative test result that is not older than 48 hours.
  • Make sure to check the website of the Federal Foreign Officeto find out about which vaccines are accepted, what your proof of recovery must look like or which testing methods are accepted.
  • When travelling to Germany, please carry your digital entry registration and the proof of full vaccination, of recovery or the negative test result with you. We recommend to  upload it beforehand during your digital entry registration procedure (see above).
  • If you are fully vaccinated or recovered, you are NOT affected by any quarantine orders! If you are NOT fully vaccinated or recovered, however, you must stay in domestic quarantine for at least ten days (sources: Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Foreign Office). You are not allowed to receive any visitors from outside your household during the time of domestic quarantine (and obviously, you are not allowed to enter ASH Berlin buildings during that time either).
  • You may shorten the quarantine period after five days if you take a test on the fifth day and receive a negative test result. Upload the negative test result to your digital entry registration procedure (see above).
  • If you show any COVID-19 related symptoms during your quarantine (e.g. sore throat, cough, head ache, fever, loss of sense of taste and/or smell), you must inform the Berlin public health authority of the district in which you live (if you're not sure in which district you live, enter your postal code in the search tool of the German Institute for Public Health, it will then show the contact details of your local Berlin public health authority).

Students arriving from countries affected by virus variants​​​​​​​ of concern:

New virus variant of concern areas are areas in which new and mutant virus variants appear which have not yet similarly spread in Germany and which are expected to pose a higher risk. At the moment, the German Federal Government has implemented a travel ban from these countries. There are only very few exceptions to the travel ban, being an international student starting a study semester in Germany is currently not listed as an exception (source: Federal Ministry of the Interior)!

In Berlin, contact restrictions, curfews or any other restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are legally defined in the current version of the SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance, launched by the Senate of Berlin. Violations of the ordinance may result in having to pay a penalty fine. The Senate's Corona FAQ website (available in German, English and Turkish) is also an important source of information (and it's language is more accessible than the legal ordinance). For your convenience, we've gathered the most important rules below.

Please note that in certain indoor spaces, access is only allowed for fully vaccinated, recovered or negatively tested people. Fully vaccinated means that at least 14 days have passed after the having received the last vaccination dose that is necessary for full vaccination and the vaccine needs to be among those listed on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute . Recovered means that you were tested positively for SARS-CoV-2 with a PCR test, that you have recovered and that the PCR test is more than 28 days and less than 6 months old. Negatively tested means that you took an antigen test not more than 24 hours ago or a PCR test not more than 48 hours ago and received a negative result for that test. You need to carry proof of your vaccination, recovery or test result with you.

Please note of the following important rules according to the ordinance:

  • Stick to hygienic rules: People should stick to the basic hygienic measures for infection prevention, that is, maintaining the minimum distance of 1,5 metres to others, appropriate hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette and sufficiently airing out rooms when staying in enclosed spaces.
  • Wear a FFP2 mask: You are required to wear a FFP2 mask covering your mouth and nose on public transport, public transport stations and airports. You are required to wear a FFP2 or another medical mask in shops and stores, libraries, museums, food markets and everywhere else where the minimum distance of 1,5m to others cannot be maintained.
  • Going outside / curfew: There are currently no restrictions or curfews in regards to going outside.
  • Private gatherings indoors and outdoors:  There are currently no restrictions as to how many people you can meet during private gatherings. For people who are not yet fully vaccinated or recovered, it's recommended though to take a test beforehand (see the infox box below for more details about testing facilities).
  • No consumption of alcohol in public parks defined as green spaces.
  • In many areas, people who are fully vaccinated or recovered are exempt from testing obligations.

Which shops and institutions are open, which ones are closed?

  • Shops are open, but stores may restrict the maximum number of people and you are required to wear a medical mask inside.
  • Restaurants and bars are open, may offer delivery services as well as outdoor and indoor seating.  For indoor seating, you are required to either show proof of full vaccination, recovery or a negative test result from the same day. For outdoor seating, no such proof is necessary. If you're not at your seat (i.e. when going to order at the bar or when going to the rest rooms), you must wear a medical mask.
  • Parks and recreational areas are open, incl. the Berlin Zoo and Tierpark.
  • Cultural events may take place outside and inside. You may need to show a negative test result and follow the individual hygienic measures.
  • Gyms, sports centers, in- and outdoor swimming pools, public baths, spas, saunas may open. A negative test result is required, the maximum number of people may be restricted.
  • Touristic accommodation is allowed.

Since 11 October 2021, getting tested for the Corona virus is not free for everyone anymore.
There are still free tests available until 31 December 2021 for those who

  • are younger than 18 years old.
  • are pregnant.
  • are an exchange student who was vaccinated with a vaccine that is not listed among the vaccines accepted by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut.
  • cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons.
  • are infected and need a test in order to end quarantine.

If you are not among these, you can still get tested for a fee, though. Please find possible testing centers here.

Please note that an antigen test only provides a snapshot of your health condition on that day. If your test is positive and/or you show symptoms, you need to isolate yourself immediately and take a PCR test as soon as possible (some test centers offer a PCR test in case of a positive test result - just check on the website). In case your test result is positive, please carefully read the info-box "What if I think I've been infected with the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2?" below for more information.

If you are fully vaccinated or recovered, you don't need to get tested in order to enter the ASH building and lots of other premises. Please make sure to have your proof of vaccination/recovery with you, though! 

If you are not yet fully vaccinated or recovered, please find options to get vaccinated in Berlin here.

Everyone who is working or studying in Berlin can now get vaccinated in Berlin.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Go to the website https://www.wirhelfenberlin.de/ where you can see the next dates and locations of the vaccination busses (no appointment needed) as well as the vaccination centers of Berlin and their availabilities for vaccinations - shown via traffic lights. If the traffic light is green, you can go to this center without an appointment and get vaccinated.

You can also make an appointment with one of the Berlin vaccination centers. This can be done online or by calling the hotline 030 – 90 28 22 00. 

The following documents must be brought to the vaccination:

  • Identity card, passport or residence permit
  • Your letter of acceptance / immatriculation confirmation
  • Completed and signed information sheet, medical history form and consent form for mRNA vaccines (like Comirnaty® from BioNTech/Pfizer and COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® from Moderna) or vector vaccines (like Vaxzevria®, formerly AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca and Janssen® COVID-19 vaccine from Janssen Cilag International/Johnson & Johnson) , depending on your vaccination
  • Vaccination passport (if available)

The German Federal Government launched the Corona-Warn app (also available in English, Turkish and Arabic) and we strongly recommend using it whilst in Germany. Its purpose is to inform users if they’ve been in contact with an infected person and thus make chains of infection easier to track. In addition, the app also allows receiving test results, checking in when attending public events or uploading digital proof of vaccination or recovery.

How the tracing works: the app uses Bluetooth to exchange anonymised identification numbers with other users close by without transmitting the user’s location. If a user is tested positively for Covid-19, they can share their result in the app and thus inform other users who have been in their immediate surroundings.  The use of the app is on a voluntary basis. 

More information about the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 is available via the Governing Mayor of Berlin (information in English, also available in Turkish and partially in other languages), the German Institute for Public Health (Robert Koch Institut, information partially in English), the Federal Center for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung, information in German) or the Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesgesundheitsministerium, information in German).

If you show symptoms of an infection (mostly fever and cough, also a running nose, a sore throat or rheumatic pains) or if you have been in touch with an infected person, please stay at home and get tested. You can call one of the Covid-19 medical practices all over Berlin to get a test - especially in acute cases. This website is in German so you might want to ask your buddy for help. You may also call the Berlin public health authority (030 90 282828) or use the website of the on-call doctors' service to book a test. Another possibility is to go to one of the public Corona screening and testing centres all over Berlin. If you are not sure about your symptoms or only show light symptoms, you can also consult the online Corona counselling of the Berlin hospital Charité. I

If you have been tested positively for the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2, you must immediately inform the Berlin public health authority of the district in which you live (if you're not sure in which district you live, enter your postal code in the search tool of the German Institute for Public Health, it will then show the contact details of your local Berlin public health authority). If you have been to ASH Berlin within the last two weeks, you should also inform ASH Berlin immediately (e-mail to corona@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu and incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu).

If you're using the Corona-Warn-app (see above), you should use its warning function after having received your positive test result.

Exchange during winter term 2021/22

We are happy to welcome exchange students from our partner universities during the winter term 2021/22. Please kindly consult the FAQs below before contacting us. If you have any questions, we're available via e-mail to incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu On demand, we also offer individual online counselling via video or audio conference, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

All exchange students were added to the Moodle course "Erasmus+ and exchange students_winter term" at the end of July 2021. Moodle is ASH Berlin's e-learning platform and our course serves as a useful addition to this website and as an overview of all upcoming dates, webinar links and recordings, online meetings, online office hours and tasks for Erasmus+ and exchange students at ASH Berlin during winter term 2021/22.

How to log in to Moodle: all exchange students received information about their ASH account in our "Info Package II" via e-mail on 26th of July 2021.

  • The mandatory orientation period will take place from 27th to 29th of September 2021. It will probably consist of a mixture of mandatory live webinars and (if the situation allows) one or several face-to-face events for students to get to know each other.
  • The teaching period of the winter term 2021/22 will run from 4th of October 2021 until 19th of February 2021.

The mandatory orientation period will take place from 27th to 29th of September 2021. Due to the current pandemic situation, the orientation programme will mainly consist of online activities as well as one face-to-face event. The exact orientation programme as well as the links to our webinars, the webinar recordings, the link to our online meetings and office hours are published via our e-learning platform Moodle.

The winter term 2021/22 starts with most courses taking place fully online and only very few courses also include some face-to-face sessions. Should the pandemic situation improve, more face-to-face course sessions may take place in course of the semester. Vice versa, short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may also be necessary, depending on the pandemic situation.

Details as to which exact courses may also include face-to-face sessions will be published approx. mid-September 2021 in our course catalogue LSF.

In case that all of your courses take place fully online, you don't necessarily have to be in Berlin during your exchange semester, you could also stay at home and study remotely. You should be aware of two things though:

  • If you live in a different time zone with a large time difference between Berlin and your location, our online teaching or counseling hours may be inconveniently early or late for you.
  • If you wish to receive a SEMP or Erasmus+ scholarship from your home university for your exchange semester, make sure to consult with the responsible staff at your home university about whether or not physical presence in Berlin for a certain period of time is required to receive the scholarship.

Whether or not you will be able to start and continue your internship in Berlin lies within the responsibility and regulations of the individual internship institution. They might also be subject to directives from the Berlin government and/or the local public health authority, so you should also plan ahead and think about alternatives in case your internship cannot take place as originally planned.

If you have a face-to-face class at ASH Berlin or have booked an appointment at the library/computer lab, please note the following rules and regulations:

  • You may only enter the building if you're officially signed up for the class on LSF or have an official appointment. You may enter only up to 30 minutes before the start of the class.
  • You may only enter the building if you can show a proof of vaccination/recovery or a negative test result which is not older than 24 hours.
  • Have your ASH Berlin student ID card ready, it will be scanned upon entering the building.
  • It is mandatory to wear a mask when inside the building (i.e. also in the library and/or classrooms).
  • Keep a minimum distance of 1,5m to others.
  • Hand sanitizer is available inside the building and in all rest rooms.
  • Note that there are two different entrance doors at the front: one is for staff and for students wishing to go to the library or who have classes in the Minimax room (room no. 018), the other one is for students wishing to go to classes in any other rooms.
  • Follow the directions inside the building. The elevators are for people with special mobility needs only.
  • If you wish to use the library, make sure to check their website and book an appointment beforehand.

If you show any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, fever, a running nose, loss of sense of smell and taste, rheumatic pains) or if you have been tested positively for an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, you may NOT enter the building. If you have been in touch with an infected person or if you have arrived from a risk areaand need to stay in quarantine, you may NOT enter the building within the following two weeks.

Students who have been tested positively for an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and who've been to the ASH Berlin building or attended an ASH Berlin event within the past two weeks, should inform the university via e-mail to corona@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu (and also follow the instructions mentioned below in the info box "More information about the Corona virus - what if I think I've been infected?").

Exchange during summer term 2022

We are happy to receive nominations from our partner universities for the summer term 2022. Please kindly consult the FAQs below before contacting us. If you have any questions, we're available via e-mail to incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu On demand, we also offer individual online counselling via video or audio conference, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

  • Depending on the pandemic situation, we may or may not offer a pre-semester intensive German language course from mid to end of March 2022. This will be decided approx. by mid-November 2021.
  • The mandatory orientation period will take place at the end of March 2022. It will probably consist of a mixture of mandatory live webinars and (if the situation allows) one or several face-to-face events for students to get to know each other.
  • The official teaching period of the summer term 2022 runs from 4th of April 2022 to 23rd of July 2022. Please note that your individual course dates may vary.

At this point, we cannot predict or announce the teaching mode of the summer term 2022. Realistically, we expect a mixture of fully online-based and some hybrid (online and face to face) courses. Probably by mid-January 2022, we will be able to provide a better estimation about the teaching mode. Exact details as to which courses may also include face-to-face sessions will be published approx. mid-March 2022 in our course catalogue LSF.

Should the pandemic situation improve, more face-to-face course sessions may take place in course of the semester. Vice versa, short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may also be necessary, depending on the pandemic situation.

In case that all of your courses take place fully online, you don't necessarily have to be in Berlin during your exchange semester, you could also stay at home and study remotely. You should be aware of two things though:

  • If you live in a different time zone with a large time difference between Berlin and your location, our online teaching or counseling hours may be inconveniently early or late for you.
  • If you wish to receive a SEMP or Erasmus+ scholarship from your home university for your exchange semester, make sure to consult with the responsible staff at your home university about whether or not physical presence in Berlin for a certain period of time is required to receive the scholarship.

Whether or not you will be able to start and continue your internship in Berlin lies within the responsibility and regulations of the internship institution. They might also be subject to directives from the Berlin government and/or the local public health authority, so please contact your internship mentor about it.

After you have been officially nominated by your home university for an exchange at ASH Berlin, we will inform you directly about our application procedures. Summer term 2022 applications will open in September 2021 and all nominated exchange students will receive the link to our online application portal. The deadline to apply is 15th of December 2021. Before starting your application, we strongly recommend that you attend the preparatory online webinars live or to watch the recording (see FAQ below).

On 3 November 2021 at 5pm CET, we will hold a live webinar to prepare you for your application, give you an overview of what the summer term 2022 may be like, inform you about courses, ECTS and exams etc. We kindly ask students to only start their application and their Learning Agreement after having attended the webinar live or after having watched the recording.

All nominated exchange students will receive the link to the webinar via e-mail. The webinar will be recorded, so if you cannot attend live, please watch the recording afterwards. BEFORE attending the webinar live, you need to download the Adobe Connect meeting application, here's a step-by-step manual about how to do so.

After (!) having attended our live prep webinar (or watched the recording), you can start preparing your Learning Agreement (LA). The LA should be uploaded in our application portal (and it should be signed by you and your home university). If you don’t have it available by the time you’re doing the online application, you can also send the LA via e-mail to incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu by no later than 15th of January 2022.

If your home university asks you to use Online Learning Agreement (OLA), we will receive an automatic message from the OLA plattform once your LA has been signed digitally by you and your home university, so you don't have to upload it in our application portal or send it via e-mail again. Just make sure to enter the correct data of the contact and responsible person.

Contact

Ms. Marion Fuchs

Incoming Student Coordinator
International Office
Room No. 345

Please contact me via e-mail only. I am happy to offer online counselling via video- and/or audio conference on demand.

Marion Fuchs vom International Office.