Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 and student exchange

With some exceptions, ASH Berlin is currently closed to the public. You can use the library, but access is restricted and you need to book an appointment beforehand. ASH Berlin provides general information 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.

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 counselling via video call (DFNconf, Zoom or Skype), please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

Exchange during winter term 2020-21

We are happy to welcome exchange students from our partner universities during the winter term 2020-21!  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 counselling via Skype, Zoom or DFNconf, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

FAQ

All exchange students were added to the Moodle course "International Office_Erasmus+ and exchange students at ASH Berlin" at the beginning of September. 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, Zoom meetings, online office hours and tasks for Erasmus+ and exchange students at ASH Berlin during winter term 2020-21.

How to log in to Moodle: all exchange students received information about their ASH account in our "Info Package II" via e-mail at the end of July 2020. Your user name ("Benutzername") is your 8-digit ASH student ID number which was mentioned in your Letter of Acceptance. Your password consists of the first three letters of your place of birth and your date of birth (format DDMMYY).

The winter term courses will run from 5th of October 2020 until 20th of February 2021 (incl. exams). Only first semester level courses will start on 2nd of November 2020. 

The winter term 2020-21 will mainly consist of online-based courses. Only courses which compellingly require face-to-face teaching and learning may also include presence-based course sessions (but probably not on a weekly, but possibly rather on a monthly basis). The course catalogue for the winter term 2020-21 was published via the LSF portal by beginning of September 2020 and indicates if courses will take place fully online or also include presence-based course sessions. Short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may be necessary, depending on the current situation. Online courses will be taught via ASH Berlin's e-learning platform Moodle.

If you have a face-to-face session in a course on a specific day, you need to register at the entrance of the ASH Berlin building by showing your ASH Berlin student ID. You will only be allowed in if you are correctly signed up for the course on LSF. Your attendance will be registered upon entering the ASH Berlin building, for the sole purpose of being able to trace chains of infection in case there is a reported case of a COVID-19 infection. In the building, you are required to wear a nose-mouth-cover on all floors.

Obviously, you are not allowed to enter the ASH Berlin building if you have arrived from a risk area less than 14 days beforehand if you have been in touch with an infected person less than 14 days beforehand.

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.

Online registration before entering Berlin from a risk area:

If you are (re-)entering Berlin directly from a risk area or if you have stayed in a risk areawithin the last 10 days prior to your entry, you are obliged to register online beforehand. 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. In addition, you must also stay in domestic quarantine for 10 days (see info-box below "Quarantine measures for people arriving in Berlin").

Students from European countries:

As of 21st of June 2020, travelling to Germany from within the European Union as well as from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein is fully possible again without any restrictions (source: German Federal Foreign Office). However, please note that flights to Germany from the United Kingdom have been suspended from 22nd of December 2020 onwards (until currently 20th of January 2021, may be prolonged, source: German Federal Foreign Office).

Students from non-European countries:

For people from all other non-European countries, unrestricted travel to Germany is possible from countries with low rates of infection (check the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for an up to date list). From countries with higher rates of infection, travelling to Germany is only possible for an important reason (e.g. being an international student counts as an important reason from 11th of September 2020 onwards, check the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for an up to date list of important reasons and groups who may enter Germany). Note that flights to Germany from South Africa have been suspended from 22nd of December 2020 onwards (until currently 20th of January 2021, may be prolonged, source: German Federal Foreign Office).

Remember that non-European students may also need to apply for a visa to enter Germany, so please check whether the local German consulate or embassy in your country is currently open or if they might offer online applications for a visa.

In short: If you arrive from a risk area, you need to stay in domestic quarantine for ten days. You may shorten the quarantine period to five days, if you take a test in Germany after five days and have a negative result. Note that availability of tests may be limited or restricted to people showing symptoms though, depending on current capacities. See below for important details!

In detail:

According to part 3 of the most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinanceby the state of Berlin, people entering Berlin via airway, seaway or landway from another country and who were in a risk area at any time within 10 days before entering Berlin must register online beforehand and stay in domestic quarantine for 10 days after arrival.

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). 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).

A risk area is defined as a state or region outside of Germany for which there is an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at the time of entering Germany. Classification as a risk area is carried out by the German Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and is published by the German Institute for Public Health (Robert Koch Institute).

If you enter Berlin from a risk area, you may shorten your quarantine period to five days, if you take a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the test result is negative. The test may only be taken in Germany and after five days after arrival at the earliest. Note that availability of tests may be limited or restricted to people showing symptoms though, depending on current capacities. The test result must be available in paper or electronic form, in German, English or French language. The test itself must fulfil the appropriate requirements defined by the Robert Koch Institute. Please keep the test certificate for at least ten days after taking the test.

Data and statistics of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Berlin and Germany:

General situation in Berlin and everyday life

Until currently 31st of January 2021, Berlin and Germany face a tightened lockdown (see below for the most important measures and rules of conduct in Berlin). Depending on the development of the number of infections towards the end of the lockdown, the measures may be prolonged, tightened or loosened. We will update this website accordingly.

On 6th of January 2021, the Senate of Berlin launched its most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance. Violations of the ordinance may result in having to pay penalty fine.

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

  • Reduce physical social contact: People are required to reduce physical social contact with others to an absolute minimum, maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m to others (whereever possible) and abstain from any travels.
  • Wear a mask: You are required to wear a textile covering for mouth and nose on public transport, public transport stations, airports and (amongst others) in shops and stores, food markets and everywhere else where the minimum distance of 1,5m to others cannot be maintained. The obligation to wear a mask also applies on certain defined public spaces and shopping streets. The mouth-nose-covering can be a mask, a self-made covering or a scarf.
  • Going outside: You are allowed go outside at any time on your own, but only for important reasons. Important reasons (as defined in part 1, § 2 (3) of the ordinance) are amongst others: taking a walk or exercise outdoors, going shopping, going to church, mosque, synagogue or other houses of faith and religions, going to work, etc.
  • Private gatherings indoors and outdoors:  Private gatherings indoors or outdoors are only allowed with one other person from outside your own household.
  • Exercising outdoors: You are allowed to exercise outdoors, but only on your own or with one other person from outside your own household, provided that you exercise without any physical contact and maintain the minimum distance of 1,5m to one another.
  • No consumption of alcohol in the public.

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

  • OPEN: Supermarkets, drug stores, book stores, pharmacies and petrol stations are open, but may restrict opening hours and/or the numbers of customers.
  • CLOSED: Almost all other shops, retail stores, hairdresser, but also cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, gyms, yoga studios, public baths, swimming pools, spas, saunas and in-door clubs are closed.
  • Restaurants and bars may only offer take-away and delivery services, but are not allowed to offer any sit-down or inside services.
  • Parks and recreational areas are open. The Berlin Zoo and Tierpark are only allowed to open their outdoor areas.
  • Touristic accommodation is not allowed.

More details: ordinance of the Senate of Berlin and list of penalty fines related to the violation of the ordinance ("Bußgeldkatalog").

On 16th of June 2020, the German Federal Government launched the Corona-Warn app (also available in English, Turkish and Arabic). 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. 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 carefully monitor your health condition. You may call the Berlin public health authority (030 90 282828) or the on-call doctors' service (116117) to ask for a test. You may also go to one of the 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.

If you have been tested positively for the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2, you must immediately inform ASH Berlin (e-mail to rektorin@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu and incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu) and 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).

On 16th of June 2020, the German Federal Government launched the Corona-Warn app (also available in English). 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. 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. 

Exchange during summer term 2021

We are happy to welcome exchange students from our partner universities during the summer term 2021. 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 counselling via Skype, Zoom or DFNconf, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

  • The mandatory orientation period will take place 29 - 31 March 2021 (date to be confirmed). 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 summer term 2021 is expected to run from 6th of April 2021 until 24th of July 2021 (to be confirmed).
  • [The pre-semester intensive German course, usually running from mid to end of March, will not take place due to too many unknown factors.]

The summer term 2021 is expected to take place mainly online. Only very few courses which compellingly require face-to-face teaching and learning may also include presence-based course sessions (but probably not on a weekly, but possibly rather every two weeks or on a monthly basis). Details as to which courses may include face-to-face teaching will be published approx. end of February 2021 in our course portal LSF.

Short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may be necessary, depending on the current situation.

In case that all of your courses take place fully online during summer term 2021 (which you will probably only know by sometime in late February or early March 2021), you don't necessarily have to be in Berlin during your exchange semester, you could also stay at home. 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 (or Austrian students with OEAD staff) 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.

Summer term 2021 applications opened end of September 2020 and all nominated exchange students received the link to our online application portal. As mentioned on our website about the application procedures and deadlines, the deadline to apply is 15th of December 2020. Before starting your application, we strongly recommend that you to attend the preparatory online webinars live or to watch the recording (see FAQ below).

On 5th and 6th of November 2020, 5.30pm - 7pm (local Berlin / German time), we held a mini series of live webinars via Adobe Connect to prepare you for your application, give you an overview of what the summer term 2021 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 received the link to the webinars and to the recordings via e-mail. 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.

As soon as students have attended our live webinar (or watched the recording, see above), they can start preparing their 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 2021.

If your home university asks you to use Online Learning Agreement (OLA), we will receive an automatic message from the OLA plattform anyway once your LA has been signed digitally by you and your home university, 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.

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.

Online registration before entering Berlin from a risk area:

If you are (re-)entering Berlin directly from a risk area or if you have stayed in a risk areawithin the last 10 days prior to your entry, you are obliged to register online beforehand. 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. In addition, you must also stay in domestic quarantine for 10 days (see info-box below "Quarantine measures for people arriving in Berlin").

Students from European countries:

As of 21st of June 2020, travelling to Germany from within the European Union as well as from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein is fully possible again without any restrictions (source: German Federal Foreign Office). However, please note that flights to Germany from the United Kingdom have been suspended from 22nd of December 2020 onwards (until currently 20th of January 2021, may be prolonged, source: German Federal Foreign Office).

Students from non-European countries:

For people from all other non-European countries, unrestricted travel to Germany is possible from countries with low rates of infection (check the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for an up to date list). From countries with higher rates of infection, travelling to Germany is only possible for an important reason (e.g. being an international student counts as an important reason from 11th of September 2020 onwards, check the website of the German Federal Foreign Office for an up to date list of important reasons and groups who may enter Germany). Note that flights to Germany from South Africa have been suspended from 22nd of December 2020 onwards (until currently 20th of January 2021, may be prolonged, source: German Federal Foreign Office).

Remember that non-European students may also need to apply for a visa to enter Germany beforehand, so please check whether the local German consulate or embassy in your country is currently open or if they might offer online applications for a visa.

In short: If you arrive from a risk area, you need to stay in domestic quarantine for ten days. You may shorten the quarantine period to five days, if you take a test in Germany after five days and have a negative result. Note that availability of tests may be limited or restricted to people showing symptoms though, depending on current capacities. See below for important details!

In detail:

According to part 3 of the most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinanceby the state of Berlin, people entering Berlin via airway, seaway or landway from another country and who were in a risk area at any time within 10 days before entering Berlin must register online beforehand and stay in domestic quarantine for 10 days after arrival.

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). 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).

A risk area is defined as a state or region outside of Germany for which there is an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at the time of entering Germany. Classification as a risk area is carried out by the German Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community and is published by the German Institute for Public Health (Robert Koch Institute).

If you enter Berlin from a risk area, you may shorten your quarantine period to five days, if you take a test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the test result is negative. The test may only be taken in Germany and after five days after arrival at the earliest. Note that availability of tests may be limited or restricted to people showing symptoms though, depending on current capacities. The test result must be available in paper or electronic form, in German, English or French language. The test itself must fulfil the appropriate requirements defined by the Robert Koch Institute. Please keep the test certificate for at least ten days after taking the test.

Data and statistics of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Berlin and Germany:

General situation in Berlin and everyday life

Until currently 31st of January 2021, Berlin and Germany face a tightened lockdown (see below for the most important measures and rules of conduct in Berlin). Depending on the development of the number of infections towards the end of the lockdown, the measures may be prolonged, tightened or loosened. We will update this website accordingly.

On 6th of January 2021, the Senate of Berlin launched its most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance. Violations of the ordinance may result in having to pay penalty fine.

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

  • Reduce physical social contact: People are required to reduce physical social contact with others to an absolute minimum, maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m to others (whereever possible) and abstain from any travels.
  • Wear a mask: You are required to wear a textile covering for mouth and nose on public transport, public transport stations, airports and (amongst others) in shops and stores, food markets and everywhere else where the minimum distance of 1,5m to others cannot be maintained. The obligation to wear a mask also applies on certain defined public spaces and shopping streets. The mouth-nose-covering can be a mask, a self-made covering or a scarf.
  • Going outside: You are allowed go outside at any time on your own, but only for important reasons. Important reasons (as defined in part 1, § 2 (3) of the ordinance) are amongst others: taking a walk or exercise outdoors, going shopping, going to church, mosque, synagogue or other houses of faith and religions, going to work, etc.
  • Private gatherings indoors and outdoors:  Private gatherings indoors or outdoors are only allowed with one other person from outside your own household.
  • Exercising outdoors: You are allowed to exercise outdoors, but only on your own or with one other person from outside your own household, provided that you exercise without any physical contact and maintain the minimum distance of 1,5m to one another.
  • No consumption of alcohol in the public.

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

  • OPEN: Supermarkets, drug stores, book stores, pharmacies and petrol stations are open, but may restrict opening hours and/or the numbers of customers.
  • CLOSED: Almost all other shops, retail stores, hairdresser, but also cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, gyms, yoga studios, public baths, swimming pools, spas, saunas and in-door clubs are closed.
  • Restaurants and bars may only offer take-away and delivery services, but are not allowed to offer any sit-down or inside services.
  • Parks and recreational areas are open. The Berlin Zoo and Tierpark are only allowed to open their outdoor areas.
  • Touristic accommodation is not allowed.

More details: ordinance of the Senate of Berlin and list of penalty fines related to the violation of the ordinance ("Bußgeldkatalog").

 

Contact

Ms. Franziska Fiebrich

Deputy Head, Incoming Student Coordinator

International Office

Raum 345

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

Franziska Fiebrich vom International Office.