Tag Archives: Featured

Everything new in summer 2018?

KursraumA large room that fits forty or more people, about 8-10 people squeeze into the tightly arranged rows. Friends sit together; the group is spread around the room, though, leaving a couple of rows empty as no one wants to sit in the first row. An exhausted lecturer scurries in quickly. It’s mid-summer and hot. He had to walk quite the distance from his office to the oversized lecture hall where the small group will spend the next one and a half hours – or maybe even three.

Well, this is how a future Language Centre class might look. If you think about it, it does seem kind of surreal. But what’s the issue? There’s a room. There’s a lecturer. There are students. Everything’s fine then, right? Let’s have a look at what happened during the last few months or years first…

SprachenzentrumWhat happened?

There’s a city that wants to become a metropolis. There’s a hospital that wants to become a Uni-Klinik (teaching hospital). There’s a university that wants to have a medical faculty. All these desires aren’t so bad in themselves, even though you might well be wondering if all this really is necessary to improve the region. But I’ll leave that debate to others who know about this kind of stuff.

However, what I do know and what I do see is how all this affects life on campus and our studies. Our university is known for having just one campus for all the faculties. Students definitely like it that way – there are even quite a number of students who have chosen Augsburg over other places, this being one of the most important reasons. Rumour has it that officials want to have the medical faculty on campus as well – at least some of the offices.

Issues

There are just a couple of teeny-tiny issues with all this. So, here are some random thoughts that occurred to me when thinking about the status quo, history of events, plans, and possible prospects:

  • Medical students will study near the hospital; they’ll get their own campus (Medicine freshmen in Augsburg in 2019).
  • The Registrar’s office will be on campus, which means that medical students will have to travel across the whole city just for every single tiny little thing that can’t be organized online.
  • Strictly speaking, there’s not enough room for another faculty on the campus, even if it’s only the offices for organizational stuff.
  • To make room, the Language Centre has to move – after all, it’s neither a faculty nor a chair, so who’s gonna need it anyway, right?
  • Last year there was an uproar caused by the idea that the Language Centre should move. There was a long discussion about where it was going to move. The decision at one point was that ‘they’d’ make do without the move. However, during the summer break this decision was changed again and the first rooms of the Language Centre were emptied
  • Language Centre lecturers will have to travel from the BCM building near the Messe to lecture halls and rooms on campus.
  • Students will have to travel from the campus to the BCM building in order to meet lecturers for their office hours. Or will there be conference rooms to use for this kind of stuff? Well, I don’t think so.
  • Even more lecturers will probably use a lot of their work time just to travel back and forth. Or are they supposed to count this as their ‘breaks’ and won’t even get paid for it? Either way, if I were a lecturer, I wouldn’t be happy about it.

Well, these are a lot of thoughts and they’re not even all there is to think of. Obviously, the Language Centre move doesn’t affect many students, does it? If you think of it, most University of Augsburg’s students will indeed be affected by it. Even if you don’t study English or any of the Romance languages, you’re bound to attend at least one of the language classes for most degrees. What would a Global Business Manager do without at least having studied Business English? English in particular is needed in many degrees, but all the other languages as well can be studied as part of their electives.

IMG_3521What’s the outcome?

To sum up, almost every student will be affected by these changes. The incoming medical students will be affected by these organisational decisions as well. Many lecturers will be affected. What about the teaching itself? Will all these hassles affect the quality of teaching in the long run? The lecturers that I know are very engaged and try very hard to give us the best possible lessons. But maybe we will all have to pay the toll sooner or later anyway. We will have to wait and see.

Text & Pictures: Angie Czygann

Lifehacks for your sleep

It’s two a.m. and you’re tossing and turning in your bed. You have to get up at six to get to your 8:15 class on time (officially), which stresses you out, making it even more difficult to fall asleep. Your sweet old grandmother’s advice to drink warm milk with honey hasn’t worked. All you want is to not be tired in the morning for a change. Sound familiar? Now, ideally, you would examine your life and question every decision that has gotten you into this situation and improve all the areas that prevent you from sleeping. Exercise regularly. No Netflix binges. Stop eating unhealthy food. But what’s that you say? Ain’t nobody got time for that? You want a few tricks that will help you sleep well without actually sacrificing anything or significantly changing any aspect of your life? You’ve come to the right place.

1.5 is the magic number

This is by far the most important rule. 1.5 is the length of an average sleep cycle, so you should aim for the hours you sleep to be a multiple of 1.5 (3 hours, 4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours and so on). Interrupting a sleep cycle is pretty much the worst thing you can do for your sleep. It will leave you tired, no matter how many hours you slept. This leads to some counter-intuitive truths sleeping 7 hours will leave you more tired than 6 hours, because 4 x 1,5 = 6. Get the idea?

Blue light is a no-go

Fair enough, you say, but you’re having trouble even falling asleep? It might be because you’re staring atpic a screen all day every day. That’s right, your mother had a point when she told you to put your phone away. But relax you don’t have to give up your Netflix binges and nightly meme-browsing on your phone. The culprit is the blue light emitting from your screen (wave-length between 400 to 495 nm). It inhibits the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for making you sleepy. But that can be improved pretty easily. You can filter out the blue light with the help of apps, such as f.lux for your computer or Twilight for your phone. (Warning: side effects include being asked from time to time why your screen is tinged orange-ish. Or so I’ve heard.)

Eat to sleep deep

Ok, you’ve followed all of the advice but you’re still not happy because you wake up in the middle of the night? Might be natural, in which case you should just accept it as part of your natural sleep pattern, or, what’s more likely, it might be because of your blood sugar dropping rapidly. To make sure that doesn’t happen:

DON’T: eat simple carbs in the evening, like white bread, white pasta, candy or literally anything that’s a carb and that’s white.

DO: eat complex carbs in the evening, like whole grains, beans or oatmeal. They take longer to break down and to absorb, so they will provide your body with slow and steady energy.

There you have it. If these tips don’t help you, you might want to look into slightly more extreme methods, like traveling to Tibet studying with Buddhist monks until you overcome your earthly desire for sleep or replacing all of your blood with coffee.

Author & Picture: Maria Diamantopoulou

Social counseling

Sozialreferat_BildWhen I started to study, I didn’t realize how many different ways of volunteering there are. Since I had to give up my voluntary work in my hometown, I wanted to get involved again. A friend took me to the Sozialreferat at the University of Augsburg. From the beginning, I was enthusiastic about their ideas and I’m convinced that if they’re implemented, they’ll benefit students a lot. But see for yourself…

Timetabling
Timetabling is not an easy task, especially when you’re starting off. Often the lectures clash with each other or you have a job. Module handbooks, professors and even fellow students from higher semesters sometimes don´t make matters better either. Through our schedule support we – the Sozialreferat – want to give you advice and help you with various issues throughout the semester(s).

The Monday meeting (an informal  chat)
We offer an opportunity for an informal chat every Monday. We talk about all kinds of things (concerns, etc.) regarding university and personal things. Sometimes we just act as a sounding board so students get new ideas for their studies and replenish energy reserves. Sometimes you only need a sympathetic ear or an objective opinion to cope.

Seminars

Bafög-Seminar
In this seminar, students find out about the various ways of funding their studies. There are some sources which aren’t widely known about, such as study loans, scholarships or housing allowances. We also discuss how and where to apply for these “cash injections” and who is entitled to do so.

Future projects

Sozialreferat_2Social Foundation
Up to now, students here who are experiencing an emergency haven’t been able to apply for short-term loans. In certain situations, the Sozialreferat wants to make this possible. So we’re trying to convince the responsible ministry.

Psycho-social counseling
In this consultation, we hope to be supported by the Chair of Educational Sciences: in the “Counseling for schools” training course, students have to complete a one-week internship at a counseling center. We’d like to offer this internship on our premises.

Guidelines
With regard to the increasingly heterogeneous student body, a manual with the most important contact information, as well as tips for your studies is being planned. The purpose of this manual is to create a flexible problem-solving resource for students and to complement the work of current and future counselors and employees.

The first semester can be confusing and nerve racking in every way. Receiving timetable aid, for instance, is very important in order to plan your studies efficiently and is one of many factors that will make things less stressful. I still remember exactly how confused and overwhelmed I was in the first semester when I had to create my own schedule which was in the end not very effective. I wish someone more experienced had helped me at that time.

Now being part of the team I hope that we can achieve a lot and that students will benefit from our help. We’re there for you for all concerns and problems that occur during your daily student life. We offer you a wide range of services such as consultations, seminars or lectures.

 If you’d like to support us, please contact us and become part of our great team!

Author & Pictures: Carolin Steinke