Welcome to Halle University! We hope you have a great start. Of course, there will be tons of things to do, which can be quite intimidating: A new city, new people, new flat. But do not despair! The hastuzeit has got you covered! This is why we have put together a freshmen guide for all things concerning orientation and fun.

Part 1: Time from apartment-hunting to the end of the semester just flies by. The hastuzeit guide knows just what to look out for to be off on a perfect start.

Accommodation

If you have already found a cozy place to stay for yourself or with some friends, you took the first hurdle. If not, just turn to the Studentenwerk or “Biete WG-Zimmer” websites, where people offer rooms for rent. In case you’ve managed to secure a place at one of the many student dorms, you should definitely take care to always keep track of important documents like lease agreement, contracts signed with your internet provider etc.

You should also register Halle as your place of residency. Failing to do so might result in serious fines that grow more hefty as time passes. To avoid such issues, you can book an appointment with the town hall service situated at the Marktplatz online, which can usually be done on a short notice.

Once you’re done, you will have a solid base from which to start off your adventure into the jungle of bureaucracy, canteens and public transport. Successfully finishing your studies is your goal, after all. How long you intend on studying is of course up to you. In any case, you will not have time for such worries. You’ll need a schedule, because your semester is about to begin and you most definitely want to get a spot in a class you would love to attend or in one of the mandatory classes.

In the lion’s data den

Now, you certainly know your way around the web, but the labyrinth of studmail, stud.IP and Löwenportal can be quite tough to get through at times. So, let’s untangle all that clutter.

First off, we start with the Löwenportal. You will visit this page much more often than you can imagine. Here you can access your grades, see which exams you passed or failed, and important information regarding required modules of the coming semester. Most important is probably the Modulanmeldung (registration for modules). You need to be quick though, there are deadlines!

By the way, you can also print all of your certificates and records here, like your confirmation of enrollment and more. A TAN is needed for any such action, but more on that later.

Illustration: Ellen Neugebauer
The unpronounce-able Stud.IP

Off we go to Stud.IP: the other portal for your semester’s schedules. Two are always better than one, after all … Using the login data you have received via mail alongside your confirmation of enrollment, you can easily get going right away.

First and foremost, you’ll definitely want to pick the right courses for your corresponding modules. Remember: You will need to register for modules in the Löwenportal and then pick the courses (seminars, lectures etc.) on Stud.IP. Timing is of the essence here: The earlier the better, for spots in some classes are limited!

But don’t worry. If you find yourself staring at your screen in cold sweat, sometimes even a full seminar might yield a spot for you. Just show up and maybe you get lucky enough that someone drops out last minute. Stud.IP offers more to discover than that, however. Lecturers can use the portal to provide you with files and information, you can access the bulletin board and look for furniture, books and more offered by other students.

Last but not least: the mail. Your confirmation of enrollment also comes with your very own university e-mail address. The latter is linked to your Stud.IP account and you can have your mail automatically forwarded to have everything in one place.

You can of course continue to use your private mailing address and have all university mail forwarded to it with a few simple clicks. Contact details of professors and lecturers can also be found on their respective Stud.IP profiles.

Books

Worst case: Your first week at uni is in full swing and you already have a presentation scheduled for the coming week, not knowing where to get the necessary books from. All that can be quite confusing in Halle. Your first place to go is the main building of the Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek (ULB) library, situated in August-Bebel-Straße 50. Before you can borrow any books at all, you’ll need to register your student ID on the ground floor to your left. During your first week, the university offers tours through your branch library that you might want to consider, for they provide all the necessary information concerning the library’s procedures. What is more, you will need to renew the registration of your student ID annually and can do so at every branch of the library.

Student ID

Have it on you at all times and do not lose it. This little fella is your library card, public transport pass valid for the entire MDV zone and ID for exams. Also, you can charge it using cash or debit card at one of the many stations situated in the dining halls and libraries. Thus equipped, you can pay for a tasty meal in one of the dining halls or cafeterias with your ID. Even better: You can also use the card to pay for copies printed with one of the uni’s devices at any time, the possibilities seem endless!

Please also remember to always make sure to validate your ID, which you can do before the start of every semester using the blue validation boxes of the Löwengebäude, House 31 of the Frankesche Stiftungen, or the Weinberg and Heidemensa dining halls. You can validate your ID for the second semester as soon as you have registered for the summer term in January. A valid stamp on your ID is of course also crucial for public transport, so keep an eye on it!

Exams

Here we are: The end of the semester has arrived. Your first exams are on the horizon. You can only pass them, however, if you have previously registered using the Löwenportal. Should you have failed to do so, your participation will not be officially registered and you will have to take the course again. All of this can be avoided by just making sure to register as soon as you can. Once all that is done and you have passed your exams, you can access your grades using the Löwenportal. Not all modules will be graded. For some, passing them is enough.

Renewal of matriculation

Shortly before the end of your semester, you’ll have to re-register with the university. You can do so by simply paying your tuition fee (216,85 Euro for the current winter semester). The deadline for the coming summer term is January 31st and July 31st for the winter term.

Please be aware that failing to meet the deadlines will cost you an additional ten Euro for the delay. But don’t worry, the university will also send reminder mails at the beginning and shortly before the end of the registration period.

Help

Should you find yourself at a dead end with any issue concerning housing or just overall organization, please do not hesitate to seek advice. Both the city of Halle and the university offer plenty of information centers, like the Studentenwerk on the Weinberg campus or the Stura at Uniplatz. The Löwengebäude also houses the student’s service center that will gladly help you tackle whatever problems you might have.

We also took the liberty of assembling a list of websites for easy help and a first overview.

Let’s go!

Here you are, packed full of information about being a student at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. We hope that we were able to help you or at least give you a proper first glance. Should you have any comments, worries or points of critique, please feel free to contact us. Visit us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or just send an old-fashioned mail to redaktion.de.

Enjoy your stay, discover the city, make new friends and see new places. But most of all: We wish you fun and successful studies!

Illustration: Ellen Neugebauer

Translation: Cedric Kollien

Die deutsche Version dieses Beitrages findet ihr hier.

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