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 online counselling via video or audio conference, please e-mail us if you wish to schedule an appointment.

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.euOn 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_summer term" at the beginning of February 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, Zoom meetings, online office hours and tasks for Erasmus+ and exchange students at ASH Berlin during summer term 2021.

How to log in to Moodle: all exchange students received information about their ASH account in our "Info Package II" via e-mail on 1st of February 2021.

  • The mandatory orientation period will take place 29 - 31 March 2021. Due to the current pandemic situation, the orientation programme will only consist of online activities, no face-to-face events. The exact programme is available in our Moodle course for exchange students.
  • The teaching period of the summer term 2021 runs from 6th of April 2021 to 24th of July 2021. First-semester level courses will start on 14th of April 2021.

The summer term 2021 will start 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. mid-March 2021 in our course portal LSF.

Should the pandemic situation improve, more face-to-face course session 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 during summer term 2021 (which you will probably only know by mid-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.

If you need to attend a face-to-face class at ASH Berlin, please note the following rules and regulations:

  • You may only enter the building if you're officially signed up for the class on LSF and you may enter only up to 30 minutes before the start of the class.
  • Have your ASH Berlin student ID card ready, it will be scanned upon entering the building.
  • It is mandatory to wear a FFP2 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 on 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 area, 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?").

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.

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, if you're travelling from a new virus variant area, the German Federal Government has implemented a travel ban until currently 14th of April 2021. 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).

Students from the UK and non-European countries:

For people from all other 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). If you're travelling from a new virus variant areathough, the German Federal Government has implemented a travel ban until currently 14th of April 2021.  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)!

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.

Depending on whether you arrive from a risk area, a high incidence risk area or from an area with a new virus variant, you are be obliged to take a test for infection with SARS-CoV-2 before or after arrival in Berlin and you have to stay in domestic quarantine for ten days or you may even be affected by a travel ban. Before coming to Berlin, you must therefore check the risk area classification of the country from which you arrive and stick to the testing and quarantine regulations below. Everyone arriving by plane needs to have a negative test result not older than 48 hours before boarding the plane.

Students arriving from 'normal' risk areas:

Risk areas are areas with more than 50 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants within the past seven days. If you arrive from or have been to a risk areawithin ten days before arrival:

  • You must register onlinebefore coming to Berlin.
  • You must take a test for infection with SARS-CoV-2 - either within 48 hours before arrival in Berlin OR within 48 hours after arrival in Berlin.  If you arrive via airplane, train, bus or ferry, you must be able to show a negative test result not older than 48 hours before boarding the vehicle. Proof of the test result must be on paper or in an electronic document in English, French or German. You must keep the test result for at least ten days afterwards.
  • Regardless of your test result (!), you must stay in domestic quarantine for ten days after arrival. 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 to five days, if you take another test in Berlin after five days and if the test result is negative. Note that availability of tests may be limited or restricted to people showing symptoms though, depending on current capacities. Due to a new virus variant spreading fast, we recommend that you do not shorten your domestic quarantine period with a test though.
  • 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). .

Source: Federal Foreign Office and part 3 of the most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance .

Students arriving from high incidence risk areas:

High incidence risk areas are areas with more than 200 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants within the past seven days. If you arrive from or have been to a high incidence risk areawithin ten days before arrival:

  • You must register onlinebefore coming to Berlin.
  • You must take a test for infection with SARS-CoV-2 not more than 48 hours BEFORE arrival in Berlin and you may only enter Germany with a negative test result. Proof of the test result must be on paper or in an electronic document in English, French or German. You must keep the test result for at least ten days afterwards.
  • You must stay in domestic quarantine for ten days after arrival. 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 to five days, if you take another test in Berlin after five days and if the test result is negative. Note that availability of tests may be limited or restricted to people showing symptoms though, depending on current capacities. Due to a new virus variant spreading fast, we recommend that you do not shorten your domestic quarantine period with a test though.
  • 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).

Source: Federal Foreign Office and part 3 of the most recent SARS-CoV-2 infection protection ordinance .

Students arriving from new virus variant areas:

New virus variant 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 until currently 14th of April 2021. 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 Foreign Office and Federal Ministry of the Interior)!

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

General situation in Berlin and everyday life

Until currently 24th of April 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 1st of April 2021, the Senate of Berlin launched an amendment to the 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 should 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 FFP2 mask: You are required to wear a FFP2 mask covering your mouth and nose on public transport, public transport stations, airports and (amongst others) in shops and stores, libraries, museums, 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.
  • 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:  Private gatherings indoors are only allowed with one other person from one other household, your partner or the members of your own household. Between 9pm and 5am, private gatherings are forbidden. During that time you are only allowed to be indoors with your partner or the members of your own household.
  • Private gatherings outdoors:  Private gatherings outdoors are only allowed with a maximum of four other people from one other household (i.e. you cannot meet with four people from four different households, but only up to four people from one other household). Between 9pm and 5am you are only allowed to be outdoors with one other person from one other household, your partner or the members of your own household.
  • Exercising outdoors: You are allowed to exercise outdoors, but only on your own or with a maximum of five people from one other 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 public parks.

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

  • OPEN: Supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies are allowed to open, but may restrict opening hours and/or the numbers of customers and you may have to wear an FFP2 mask when inside.
  • Other shops, hair dressers, museums and galleries may also open, but you may only enter with a negative test for SARS-CoV-2 virus and you may have to book a time slot for your shopping / visit in advance. The test may be a PCR-test or an antigen-test, taken at one of the public or commercial official testing stations(see info-box below for more details about the option to get a test for free, once per week). Self-antigen-tests are only accepted when you do them right at the shopping location.
  • 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, incl. the Berlin Zoo and Tierpark.
  • CLOSED: Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, gyms, yoga studios, public baths, swimming pools, spas, saunas and in-door clubs are closed.
  • 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").

 

Everyone who is officially registered with a Berlin or German address has the right to a weekly free antigen quick test („Schnelltest“ / „Antigenschnelltest“ / „Bürgertest“).

Where can I get a free test?

There are currently 18 public testing centers in Berlin which are open daily from 9am - 7pm. For most of them, you don't need to book an appointment beforehand, but please make sure to check the website above for the addresses and more details.

In addition, there are also more than 100 commercial testing centres (e.g. also including some pharmacies). Go to the website https://test-to-go.berlin/ where you will find information on all public and commercial testing centers and can book your appointment. On this website you can search for the center closest to where you live by entering your address in the search bar above the map. Please note that all testing centers in Berlin are shown on this map - also the commercial ones - so make sure to check if they offer the "Bürgertest" for 0€. You can then choose the date and time according to the availability. Please note that this free test is a test for antigenes which 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. In this case, please check the info-box "More information about the Corona virus - what if I think I've been infected?" above for more information.

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 use the website of the on-call doctors' service to book a test. You may also 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.

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).

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. 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. 

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. 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 2021/22

We are happy to receive nominations from our partner universities for 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.

  • The pre-semester intensive German course may take place mid to end of September 2021. Whether or not the course takes place, will be decided in May 2021. The course may take place fully online or partly face-to-face.
  • The mandatory orientation period will take place from 27th to 30th of September 2021 (exact date to be announced). 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 is expected to run from 4th of October 2021 until 19th of February 2021 (to be confirmed).

At the moment, we cannot yet predict or announce the teaching mode of the winter term 2021/22. Returning to 100% presence-based face-to-face courses does not seem very likely at the moment. Realistically, the winter term 2021/22 may rather consist of a mixture of online-based courses and courses which also include face-to-face sessions. Short-notice changes to fully online-based courses may be necessary, depending on the current pandemic situation. We will probably be able to announce the expected teaching method by May 2021.

In case that all of your courses take place fully online during winter term 2021/22, 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 (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 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 also think about alternatives in case your internship cannot take place as originally planned.

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. Winter term 2021/22 applications will open in March 2021 and all nominated exchange students will receive the link to our online application portal. The deadline to apply is 15th of June 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 3rd and 4th of May 2021 at 5pm - 7pm (local Berlin / German time), we will hold a mini series of live webinars via Adobe Connect to prepare you for your application, give you an overview of what the winter term 2021/22 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 webinars via e-mail. The webinar sessions 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.

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.

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.