Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 and student exchange

ASH Berlin is currently closed until further notice, the summer term 2020 courses only take place online. The library is open (again), but access is restricted. 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 ASH Berlin is currently closed and all International Office staff are working from home, 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.

For summer term 2020 exchange students, our counselling hours are going digital! Every Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm - 6pm, we're offering online counselling via Adobe Connect. Students have already received the URL to enter our online counselling room. Beforehand, you must download the Adobe Connect meeting application, here's a step-by-step manual about how to do so. On individual demand, we're also able to offer individual counselling via Skype, Zoom or DFNconf.

For all other students, we're available via e-mail to incoming@ avoid-unrequested-mailsash-berlin.eu. On demand, we're also able to offer individual counselling via Skype, Zoom or DFNconf, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

Exchange during summer term 2020

The teaching period of the summer term 2020 started on 20th of April 2020 and will run until 18th of July 2020. All courses take place in online formats as far as possible.

We will continue to regularly update all summer term 2020 students via e-mail and live online webinars in case there is new information. We're also offering online counselling every Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm - 6pm via Adobe Connect. Students already received instructions and the URL to enter our online counselling room.

FAQ

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

The website of the Governing Mayor of Berlin provides general data and statistics about cases of infections with the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 in Berlin(in German only), the website of the Berlin Office for Health and Social Affairs provides statistics for each individual district of Berlin(in German only). Statistics and data for Germany and Berlin in English are available via the daily situation reports of the the German Institute for Public Health (Robert Koch Institut).

General situation in Berlin and everyday life

At the moment, there is no general curfew or total lock down in Berlin. On 23rd of June 2020, 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.

According to the ordinance, people are required to reduce physical social contact with others to a minimum, maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m to others (whereever possible). 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. This can be a mask, a self-made covering or a scarf.

Which shops and institutions are open? Currently, there are hardly any restrictions for shops, stores or institutions to be open, so all retail shops and stores, banks, pharmacies, hairdressers as well as restaurants, but also museums, memorials and similar cultural institutions and public libraries are allowed to be open, but may have restrictions as to how many people are allowed inside at the same time. Public and open air baths and swimming pools, open air cinemas and drive-in cinemas, some theatres and cultural institutions, gyms and yoga studios as well as bars are allowed to open, but may also restrict opening hours and numbers of customers and guests. They may need to ask for and save your contact details for a period of four weeks after the end of the event, your visit or service in order to be able to contact you or let the competent authority contact you in case one of the other participants, guests or clients was ill, suspected of being infected or infectious with SARS-CoV-19 at the time of the event, visit or service.

Spas, saunas and in-door clubs  remain closed. Outside events with more than 1,000 participants are not allowed to take place until 31st of August 2020. Inside events with more than 300 participants are not allowed to take place until 31st of July 2020. For more details, please refer to the most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance. A practical overview for visitors of Berlin about what is currently open or closed is available via VisitBerlin.

When leaving home, we recommend having your ID / passport with you, along with either your Bürgeramt registration or a copy of your rental contract, in case you're being checked and need to prove your Berlin address.

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

Check our Facebook group Exchange students at ASH Berlin - summer term 2020 for  recommendations and participate in our Co Co Creativity Club (Counter Corona Creativity Club) via Moodle!

Also, you can check out these websites:
- https://www.berlinalive.de/en for livestreams of any sorts
- https://www.berlin.de/en/events/ for events happening in Berlin, sorted by month
- https://www.visitberlin.de/en/blog for more suggestions on what to do in Berlin
- https://www.visitberlin.de/en/updates-events-berlin for an overview of re-openings
- https://www.berlin.de/wochenend-tipps/ for tips on what to do on the weekend (in German only)

Whether or not you will be able to start and continue your internship 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. If you cannot continue your internship, please inform us and contact your home university to ask about alternatives.

Border controls and travel restrictions:

Before planning a trip to Berlin, please check the current situation at German and EU borders concerning travel restrictions and border controls, e.g. via the website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community or the German Federal Foreign Office.

Quarantine measures for people arriving in Berlin from risk areas:

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 14 days before entering Berlin must stay in domestic quarantine for 14 days and inform the Berlin public health authority of the district in which you live that you have arrived in Berlin (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, but you can provide a medical certificate together with current laboratory findings in German or English confirming that there are no indications of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, you may be exempt from the domestic quarantine order. The medical certificate must be based on a molecular biological test for the presence of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and must be carried out in a member state of the European Union or in another state published by the Robert Koch Institute and must have been carried out no more than 48 hours before entering Berlin. Please keep the medical certificate for at least 14 days after entry.

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 winter term 2020-21

We are happy to receive nominations from our partner universities for 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

The winter term will run from 1st 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). At the moment, we do not have an overview yet as to which exact courses will be offered online or and which courses may be offered face-to-face. Short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may be necessary, depending on the current situation.

All nominated exchange students already received the link to our online application portal. As mentioned on our website about the application procedures and deadlines, the deadline to apply will be extended to 12th of July 2020 to give you enough time to complete the online application procedure and to observe the development of the Corona virus crisis and the situation in Germany.

Before starting your application, we strongly recommend that you to attend the preparatory online webinars live or to watch the recording (see FAQ below).

As soon as students have attended our live webinar (or watched the recording, see below), 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 12th of July 2020.

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.

On 11th and 12th of June 2020, 5.30pm - 7pm (local Berlin / German time), we held a mini series of preparatory live webinars via Adobe Connect to prepare you for your application, give you an overview of what the winter term 2021-21 may be like, inform you about courses, ECTS and exams etc. All nominated exchange students received the link to enter the webinars and to watch the recordings via e-mail.

BEFORE attending the webinar, you need to download the Adobe Connect meeting application, here's a step-by-step manual about how to do so.

The mandatory orientation period is currently scheduled to take place from 28th to 30th of September 2020 (date to be confirmed). Orientation may take place fully online via live webinars or partly face-to-face, depending on what is officially allowed by the Berlin government.

Due to too many unknown factors, it has been decided that the pre-semester intensive German course will not take place in September for the winter term 2020-21 students. However, there will be German language courses available during the semester (free of charge).

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.

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.

Border controls and travel restrictions:

Before planning a trip to Berlin, please consult the websites of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community or the German Federal Foreign Officeabout travel restrictions and border controls.

As of 15th of June 2020, border controls at Germany's internal European borders (especially at borders to Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark) have been dropped. Travel restrictions still apply to flights from Spain until 21st of June though (esp. concerning touristic travels).

For students from non-European countries, the EU’s external borders to Germany will probably be open for students who attend educational institutions that require in-person attendance (i.e. face-to-face learning) from 1st of July 2020 onwards (source: German Federal Foreign Office). Remember that you may need to get 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.

Quarantine measures for people arriving in Berlin from risk areas:

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 14 days before entering Berlin must stay in domestic quarantine for 14 days and inform the Berlin public health authority of the district in which you live that you have arrived in Berlin (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, but you can provide a medical certificate together with current laboratory findings in German or English confirming that there are no indications of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, you may be exempt from the domestic quarantine order. The medical certificate must be based on a molecular biological test for the presence of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and must be carried out in a member state of the European Union or in another state published by the Robert Koch Institute and must have been carried out no more than 48 hours before entering Berlin. Please keep the medical certificate for at least 14 days after entry.

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

The website of the Governing Mayor of Berlin provides general data and statistics about cases of infections with the Corona virus SARS-CoV-2 in Berlin(in German only), the website of the Berlin Office for Health and Social Affairs provides statistics for each individual district of Berlin(in German only). Statistics and data for Germany and Berlin in English are available via the daily situation reports of the the German Institute for Public Health (Robert Koch Institut).

General situation in Berlin and everyday life

At the moment, there is no general curfew or total lock down in Berlin. On 23rd of June 2020, 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.

According to the ordinance, people are required to reduce physical social contact with others to a minimum, maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m to others (whereever possible). 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. This can be a mask, a self-made covering or a scarf.

Which shops and institutions are open? Currently, there are hardly any restrictions for shops, stores or institutions to be open, so all retail shops and stores, banks, pharmacies, hairdressers as well as restaurants, but also museums, memorials and similar cultural institutions and public libraries are allowed to be open, but may have restrictions as to how many people are allowed inside at the same time. Public and open air baths and swimming pools, open air cinemas and drive-in cinemas, some theatres and cultural institutions, gyms and yoga studios as well as bars are allowed to open, but may also restrict opening hours and numbers of customers and guests. They may need to ask for and save your contact details for a period of four weeks after the end of the event, your visit or service in order to be able to contact you or let the competent authority contact you in case one of the other participants, guests or clients was ill, suspected of being infected or infectious with SARS-CoV-19 at the time of the event, visit or service.

Spas, saunas and in-door clubs  remain closed. Outside events with more than 1,000 participants are not allowed to take place until 31st of August 2020. Inside events with more than 300 participants are not allowed to take place until 31st of July 2020. For more details, please refer to the most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance. A practical overview for visitors of Berlin about what is currently open or closed is available via VisitBerlin.

When leaving home, we recommend having your ID / passport with you, along with either your Bürgeramt registration or a copy of your rental contract, in case you're being checked and need to prove your Berlin address.

More details and sources: 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). 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 receive nominations from our partner universities for 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.

We expect the summer term 2021 to run from 5th of April 2021 until 24th of July 2021 (date to be confirmed). As soon as the semester dates have been confirmed, we will schedule the exact dates of the mandatory orientation period (probably end of March / beginning of April 2021) and decide if and when the pre-semester intensive German course may take place.

We hope the summer term 2021 to be a mostly presence-based semester with face-to-face courses or to consist of a mixture of both online and presence-based courses, but we don't have any confirmed information yet. Short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may be necessary, depending on the current situation.

The application portal for the summer term 2021 will open in September / October 2020. By that time, we will contact all nominated exchange students and update our website about how to apply. The deadline to apply is currently 15th of December 2020.

Contact

Ms. Franziska Fiebrich

Deputy Director, Incoming Student Coordinator

International Office

Raum 345

Please contact me via e-mail only. Video- and/or audio conference available by individual request.

Franziska Fiebrich vom International Office.