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 will be 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 will be 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.

The mandatory orientation period for exchange students takes place from 28th to 30th of September 2020. Orientation will consist of a mixture of mandatory live webinars and a face-to-face event so you can actually meet us and each other 'in real life'. The orientation programme as well as the links to our webinars, the webinar recordings, the link to our Zoom meetings and office hours are available via our e-learning platform Moodle.

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.

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 and the United Kingdom is fully possible again without any restrictions (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). 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 14 days. You may be exempt from the quarantine order if you have a negative COVID-19 test result. You can take a test up to 48 hours before arrival or right after arrival at a testing station at Berlin's two airports, Berlin central train station and Berlin central bus station. 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 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, you may be exempt from the domestic quarantine order if 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. 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.

If you arrive from a risk area via airplane at one of Berlin's two airports Tegel (TXL) or Schoenefeld (SFX), you can take a COVID-19 test at their testing stations. On-site registration is required to carry out a test, this is done digitally using an app. The test result is available within 72 hours. You are still bound to stay in domestic quarantine until the negative test result has been disclosed (and obviously, you are not allowed to enter ASH Berlin buildings during that time either).

Berlin's central train station ("Berlin Hauptbahnhof") and central bus station ("Zentraler Omnisbusbahnhof ZOB") also provide COVID-19 testing stations for people arriving from risk areas. You are still bound to stay in domestic quarantine until the negative test result has been disclosed (and obviously, you are not allowed to enter ASH Berlin buildings during that time either).

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 1st of September 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 should 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. 

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 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 6th 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 (currently expected 29 - 31 March 2021) and decide if and when the pre-semester intensive German course may take place.

We expect the summer term 2021 to either take place mainly online or to consist of a mixture of both online and presence-based courses, but we do not 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 end of September 2020 and by that time, all nominated exchange students will receive 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 will hold 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 will receive 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.

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.

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 and the United Kingdom is fully possible again without any restrictions (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).

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.

Contact

Ms. Franziska Fiebrich

Deputy Director, 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.