FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


1 Before I Arrive in Mannheim


1.1   Courses


1.1.1          What courses am I eligible to take and are there courses taught in English available at the University of Mannheim?

1.1.2          Is it possible to take courses from another major than the one I am enrolled in during my semester abroad?

1.1.3          Where and when can I find what courses are offered during my stay in Mannheim?

1.1.4          What is the course number for my course? At which year of study does it usually take place?

1.1.5          What do I need to do if I need more credits for a course than declared?

1.1.6          Do I get grades for my courses?

1.1.7        Where do I register for which courses?

1.1.8          How do I register for courses?

1.1.9        Where can I check if I registered for the courses I chose?

1.1.10         Do you have any advice regarding the learning agreement/translation of courses?

1.1.11         How many courses should I take?

1.2   Organization


1.2.1          I am interested in studying in Mannheim, what should I do?

1.2.2          How do I find a place to live?

1.2.3          What is Winter/Summer Academy?

1.2.4          When should I arrive in Mannheim?

1.2.5          What is “myUniMA” and how do I get there?

2 During My Stay in Mannheim


2.1   Courses


2.1.1          Do courses at the University of Mannheim require regular attendance?

2.1.2          What do I need to do in order to receive credits/ECTS for my courses (Exam Registration)?

2.1.3        My grades do not appear on Portal 2 or on my transcript of records, what to do?

2.1.4         What happens if I fail an exam?


2.2   Organization



2.2.1       How long is the semester period, exam periods, easter vacations etc. ?



2.2.2          Who signs my learning agreement (Erasmus-program)?

2.2.3        I want to stay in Mannheim for another semester, what do I need to do for that?


Before I Arrive in Mannheim

Courses

What courses am I eligible to take and are there courses taught in English available at the University of Mannheim?

Regular courses. The University of Mannheim offers different courses taught in English every semester. Of course, if you are able to study in German, you can take courses in German as well which allows you to choose from a broader array of courses. You can find a list of courses here: www.uni-mannheim.de/aaa/courses (For further information, c.f. “Where and when can I find what courses are offered during my stay in Mannheim?”).

You can take all courses that are offered for exchange students in your major. For information on courses that are not part of your major cf. “Is it possible to take courses from another major than the one I am enrolled in during my semester abroad?”.

German language and culture courses. There is also the opportunity to do German language and culture courses. Either by joining the International Summer or the International Winter academy in the month before the semester starts or by doing a German language course during the semester. If you are interested in doing a German language course, please check out: http://www.uni-mannheim.de/io/english/incoming_exchange_students/language_courses/german_language_courses/index.html .You will find all necessary information here. The German language and culture courses are rewarded with ECTS points and very recommendable. But please check first, if your home university accepts language-course based ECTS points. You can enroll to these courses via the “myUniMA" portal provided by the International Office as soon as you are accepted as an exchange student.  For information on how to register for language courses, cf. „How do I register for courses?“ or cf. “What is the International Winter/Summer Academy?”.

University-wide electives. University-wide electives are courses from other schools (e.g. business, economics, law, humanities etc.) out of which you can freely choose. You will also receive ECTS for these courses (likewise the language courses) but it depends on your home university if you can translate theses credit points or not. You will find the list of university-wide electives here: www.uni-mannheim.de/aaa/courses

Until the end of first two weeks of the semester, you are able to drop courses. If you want to change or add courses, please be aware that courses might already be full. In any case, it is important to check with your home university what courses they will accept or what credits you are allowed to transfer, as you will need to get your final selection of courses written down for your learning agreement. If you already handed in your learning agreement, you will have to fill out a change form in order to finalize your course choice.

Is it possible to take courses from another major than the one I am enrolled in during my semester abroad?

There is a list of university-wide electives, i.e. courses which do not require previous knowledge in the field. You can choose and take any of those courses. Keep in mind that you need to take the majority of your courses in the school you are enrolled in. You can find a list of these electives here: www.uni-mannheim.de/aaa/courses. Before taking courses outside of your major, always check with your home university if you will be able to transfer the credits from this course.

Usually, it is not possible to take a course which is not part of the major you are enrolled in AND is not on the list of university-wide electives. However, if you meet all requirements for this course and there are still spots available, it might be possible for you to take the class.  You need to get permission from your international coordinator (just in Psychology), the international coordinator of the department, which offers the course, as well as the professor who teaches the course. 

Where and when can I find what courses are offered during my stay in Mannheim?

You can find a list of courses taught in English (and a list of courses taught in German, too) that you are eligible to take here: www.uni-mannheim.de/aaa/courses (choose Social Sciences). This list will be online approximately 2 - 3 months before the respective upcoming semester. A preliminary course catalogue file might be available earlier upon request (in Psychology), not earlier than 4 months before the upcoming semester – keep in mind that changes are still possible for this file. For administrative reasons we cannot provide information on courses earlier than that.

If you need information about the available courses before that, the course catalogues of previous semesters are a good indicator of what courses are likely to be offered: www.uni-mannheim.de/aaa/courses. Keep in mind that every course is usually only offered once a year, so if you are in Mannheim for the fall semester you need to look at courses from the previous fall semesters etc..

What is the course number for my course? At which year of study does it usually take place?

Psychology:
Generally, we have Bachelor courses (undergradutate) which take place between the 1st and the 3rd year. Master courses start in the 4th and continue until the 5th year. We do not have course numbers here (as in the US) but modules (e.g. O1, M1 etc.). These modules indicate at which semester a student does a course. A general rule is, the higher the letter is in the alphabet, and the higher the number the later the course starts in the study program. Unfortunately there has been a change in our IT-system and now the recommended semester is not shown online.

This is the module catalogue:
1st year: A1-2, B1-2, G1-3, H1-2, I1, K1-2, F1-3
2nd year: D1-2, I2, K3, J1-2, C1-3, L1-2, N1-2, P1-2, R1-2
3rd year: E1-2, M1-2, O1-2, Q1-2, S1-2

Political Science and Sociology:

The Departments of Political Science and Sociology do not work with course and/or module numbers/codes. Usually, modules on the Undergraduate level comprise either “Introduction to…” or “Advanced Topics in…” courses. This, in turn, tells you the level of a course within this module. Introductory courses are visited by 1st and 2nd year students, while Advanced courses are visited by 2nd and 3rd year students. If a course is an introductory lecture, you can usually visit it without much prior knowledge in the field. A “seminar” type course, even if an introductory seminar, assumes some basic knowledge.



What do I need to do if I need more credits for a course than declared?

In Psychology there is the possibility to receive 2 extra credits by doing an additional assignment. In order to receive them, you need to inform your professor in the first session that you need extra credits.

In Political Science and Sociology: Please contact the corresponding coordinator if you need additional credits.

Do I get grades for my courses?

Some courses for German students are pass/fail depending on the fulfillment of the course requirements. This applies to you, too. If you need a grade for a class where none is usually given, you need to talk to your professor of the respective course. After you informed him/her that you need a grade, he/she will tell you what contribution of yours the grade will be based on. This can be an additional assignment you have to hand in.

Where do I register for which courses?

There is a quick answer to that: check the info box “registration procedure” by clicking on “details” right next to the course you are interested in (www.uni-mannheim.de/aaa/courses). The long answer is, it depends. German courses: via myunima; Non-Social Sciences courses or University wide electives: check the mentioned info box or contact the corresponding coordinator from the study subject of the course; Social-Sciences courses: Contact the corresponding coordinator of the study subject and tell which courses you want to take (see also “How do I register for a course).

How do I register for courses?

For registration to courses you should provide your coordinator with a pdf document which includes:

·         Your full name, Home University, Exact study subject (e.g. Psychology as a major or minor) and number of semesters before your exchange (e.g. Mannheim will be your 5th semester/3rd year, thus you  have 4 semesters/2 years before your exchange)

·         Honest information about your language skills as well as statistic skills/previous knowledge in empirical statistics

·         A complete list of courses you want to do (major courses as well as language courses or courses from other disciplines) and the ECTS points for these courses.

This document will be the basis for your Learning Agreement (ERASMUS) and your studies here in Mannheim. You may make changes (e.g. drop courses, change courses) to your course preferences until 2 weeks after the semester started. Afterwards no more changes are possible. You will be registered automatically for the courses based on the list you hand in.

Once you are enrolled at the University of Mannheim (which can only be done upon arrival in Mannheim) you need to send your coordinator an E-mail with your student-ID number (“Matrikelnummer”) in order to get fully registered for classes.

For German Language courses you have to register via the “myunima”-portal, which you can access as soon as you have been accepted as an exchange student. You can find all information on language courses and how to register there. It is really important though that you register for language courses in time, as they might quickly booked out.

Where can I check if I was registered for the courses I chose?

As can be inferred from above, you will first indicate your course preferences to your coordinator (step a). Please keep in mind that unfortunately your coordinator will just register you for the courses within his/her field (i.e. the Psychology coordinator can just register you for Psychology courses). Since there are several registration procedures every course you can find online has also information about the registration procedure for incoming students. After registration, your coordinator will reserve a seat for you in your preferred courses (step b). Next one has to wait until you are matriculated and you transmit your matrikel-number to your coordinator (step c). Just after receiving all matrikel-numbers we can register you with your number for the courses (step d). So please be patient.

If you already have a matrikel-number you can look up your registered courses (also your registered exams) in your portal2 page (https://portal2.uni-mannheim.de/) in “My Portal2”. If you can’t find any courses there, this simply means your coordinator has not done the registration yet. So please don’t be worried.

Do you have any advice regarding the learning agreement/translation of courses?

Whether the courses you are taking at the University of Mannheim can be transferred to your studies at your home university has to be determined by your home university. We have no information on requisites etc. The courses we offer are fix and (besides the opportunity to receive 2 extra ECTS – cf. “What do I need to do if I need more credits for a course than declared?”) as are the ECTS for each course. We can, however, help you with information on course content or level regarding a specific course.

How many courses should I take?

It depends on how many credits you are required to receive from your home university. It is important to note that the workload is calculated like this: 1 ECTS equals 25-30 hours of work (including preparation). This might not always be exactly the case, but it is a good indicator as to how much work to expect. It depends on you if you want to take more courses with fewer ECTS or fewer courses with more ECTS. We generally recommend to do between 20 and 25 ECTS as a good workload.

For psychology students, we recommend taking the “Preparation for Psychology Students” class. In three sessions, we will familiarize you with the basics you need to know at the University of Mannheim, e.g. how printing and the library works, what professors expect from you in their courses, what is expected from you if you have to do an essay or presentation, etc.

In Political Science, we offer the course “The German Political System” especially for Incoming Exchange Students. By looking at German culture as well as Political Institutions in a comparative perspective, the course introduces you to analytical essay writing and will prepare you for the quantitative-empirical focus inherent to our studies.

Organization

I am interested in studying in Mannheim, what should I do?

We appreciate your interest in studying in Mannheim. Your first steps are however at your home university. You should talk to your coordinator at home about the requirements for going abroad, possibilities and translation of credits for courses. The whole application process is managed by your home institution. We can solely provide you with information about which courses we offer but NOT if they will be approved by your home institution.

Please be aware that in general we cannot accept Free-mover students, i.e. students who come from an institution with which we do not have an exchange agreement (for more detailed information, cf. http://www.uni-mannheim.de/ionas/n/uni/akademisches_auslandsamt/english/startpage/informationen/free_mover/index.html).

How do I find a place to live?

The University of Mannheim has an exclusive contingent only for their exchange students at student housing. Unfortunately, the number of rooms is limited.

You can book  a room within this contingent via the “myUniMA”- portal. Please note: rooms are allocated on a “first come, first served” basis and very popular among students.  

Information on private housing is also provided on the portal, e.g. private residence halls.

Keep in mind that the International Coordinators are not responsible for housing. If you have more specific questions/issues after taking a thorough look at the websites, please refer to the International Office (zimmer@verwaltung.uni-mannheim.de).

What is Winter/Summer Academy?

During the International Winter/Summer Academy, you can attend a preparatory intensive language courses, but also seminars on German culture and thinking or practice courses to further deepen your knowledge of the German language. During that time, you can also work out during the “Uni-Sport” courses or use other facilities of the University of Mannheim. There will be tutors to assist you as well as small excursions, a pub tour and sport activities will be offered within the program. You can get further information and register for this on “myUniMa”. You may also reserve a room in one of the residence halls during the International Winter/Summer Academy.

When should I arrive in Mannheim?

There will be a mandatory Welcome Week before the semester starts. Do not book your flight too early, prices usually lower until about 54 days before departure. Also, flights on weekends are usually more expensive than on weekdays.

What is “myunima” and how do I get there?

After your home university has nominated you, you have to be officially accepted by the University of Mannheim. When this process is complete, you will receive an email with a login for the “myunima” portal. Here you get information on housing, registration for German language courses and general information on your semester abroad. You will also find a checklist with things you have to do before arriving. Please access myunima as soon as you can and take a look around.

 

During My Stay in Mannheim

Courses

Do courses at the University of Mannheim require regular attendance?

It depends: if the course you are taking is a lecture, you do not have to attend it (although it is highly recommended); if the course you are taking is a seminar, your regular attendance is required. If you do not attend regularly, you will not receive credit for this course.

If you get sick (or for other reasons) and cannot attend class more than twice you should inform your professor as soon as possible or even before your absence. Professors or the students services (Studienbüro) will usually ask you for a doctor’s note (or similar proves of absence) when you miss classes. Explaining your situation to him/her, when missing classes more than twice, might give you the opportunity to still receive credits.

What do I need to do in order to receive credits/ECTS for my courses (Exam Registration)?

Two things are important to receive ECTS for the courses you took: 1) you need to fulfill the course requirements (regular attendance, handing in the assignments, passing the exam, etc.) AND 2) you need to register for ALL your courses and exams, even if it is just a pass/fail course with no exam. Only courses you registered for during the exam registration period will appear in your Transcript of Records.

You can register for your exams and your pass/fail courses online via www.portal2.uni-mannheim.de during exam registration period. If you do not register for your exams or your pass/fail courses during this time, you have to go to student services (or the express service) and register there. You will have to pay a fee of 10€ per exam for every late registration. If a course does not appear in your exam registration list or you are otherwise not able to register for the course, you need to write an email to portal@uni-mannheim.de (for Sociology and Psychology courses you can write directly to Pfeiffer@verwaltung.uni-mannheim.de; for Political Science please contact Stepken@verwaltung.uni-mannheim.de). You can find the dates for the exam registration period and further information on exam registration and deregistration here: http://www.uni-mannheim.de/studienbueros.


My grades do not appear on Portal 2 or on my transcript of records, what to do?

Once again, you have 2 possibilities which you can check in the following order: (a) Every course which you want to appear on your transcript had to be registered as an exam. Whether you have actually done this can be checked on “Portal2” (logged in with your account). Go to myportal2 and then check for the different courses if you have been registered (simply as if you would want to register once again).  If you did not register, please contact the students office (for Sociology and Psychology courses you can write directly to Pfeiffer@verwaltung.uni-mannheim.de; for Political Science please contact Stepken@verwaltung.uni-mannheim.de).

(b) Second possibility is that the grades have not been made yet by the corresponding docents. If you see a registration for that course but no grade, please be more patient. If you have received a pass instead of a grade, you should get in touch with the corresponding docent. Maybe there has been a misunderstanding.

What happens if I fail an exam?

There is the possibility to re-take an exam at your home university in case you failed it at the University of Mannheim. In order to do so, several conditions must be met:
1) You actually failed the exam or provided a medical certificate (not in case of no-show)
2) you are NOT spending the next semester in Mannheim
3) your home university is OUTSIDE of Europe
4) You can only re-take one exam at your home university
5) someone of the academic or administrative staff at your home university has to agree to arrange and supervise your exam.

If all of these conditions apply to you, you can register for the re-sit abroad by writing an email (until August 17th 2015) to Mr Fabian Pfeiffer (Sociology or Psychology) or Ms Claudia Stepken (Political Science) AND to the secretary of the Chair that offers the respective lecture. As a subject please enter: “EXCHANGE STUDENT – REGISTRATION FOR RE-SIT ABROAD” and make sure to include the following information:
1) the title of the lecture and the name of the instructor
2) your full name
3) your student ID number (“Matrikelnummer”)
4) in the email to the Chair also add the name and the contact details of your home university coordinator.


Organization

How long is the semester period, exam periods, easter vacations etc.?

Contact here

If this link does not work: look for the academic calendar on the Social Sciences Homepage on “International Exchange”.

Who signs my learning agreement (Erasmus-program)?

Your learning agreement needs to be signed by the international coordinator of the faculty you are studying at. You can find a list of all international coordinators here: http://www.uni-mannheim.de/io/english/contact/staff_members/faculty_exchange_coodinators/index.html. Although there are different regulations for every home university, our advice is to wait for about 2 weeks before finalizing your learning agreement to avoid changes that usually take a lot of time and effort.

For other documents (e.g., for an extension of your stay) please contact your international coordinator first and then refer to the international office (http://www.uni-mannheim.de/io/english/contact/index.html).

Documents such as “certificate of arrival” or “certificate of departure” will be signed at the International Office.

I want to stay in Mannheim for another semester, what do I need to do for that?

In order to apply for an extension of your stay at the University of Mannheim, you need to get a) the permission/nomination of your home university b) the permission of your departmental coordinator and c) the permission of the International Office in Mannheim.   You will then be informed about the outcome of the decision. Please contact Gabriele Vath for further information (http://www.uni-mannheim.de/io/english/contact/index.html).