Coronavirus (Covid-19) - FAQs from the International Office

In the FAQs below, we have listed important questions and corresponding answers relating to different aspects of internationalisation during the corona crisis. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please also consult the UDE Covid-19 information pages and check the inbox of your university e-mail account regularly.

How can I currently contact the International Office?

Of course, we continue to be available for consultation. In view of the current situation, we cannot offer any on-site office hours. However, you are welcome to contact us by e-mail. Please find our contact details here.

In addition, we also offer telephone and video consultation regarding stays abroad:

Video consultation hours regarding stays abroad

Mondays 1-3 p.m.

Thursdays

10 a.m.-12 noon

Telephone consultation hours for outgoing Erasmus students (study abroad)
Mittwoch 10:00-12:00 Uhr

Appointments for these consultation hours can be booked via Moodle. To do so, please register for the Wege ins Ausland course first and then select an appointment. Please remember to provide your telephone number and e-mail address.

Information for International Degree Seeking Students

I have received a letter of admission for the summer semester. How can I enrol?

Enrolment is only possible by e-mail. Please find further information here:

https://www.uni-due.de/international/enrolment.php

When will the semester start and in what form will classes be held in the summer semester 2020?

Please refer to the coronavirus information page for students:

https://www.uni-due.de/de/covid-19/studierende-eng.php

I am an international student at the University of Duisburg-Essen and need to register with the authorities or my residence permit will soon expire/needs to be extended. How can I contact the foreigners’ registration office?

The foreigners’ registration offices are currently closed to visitors. However, you can contact them by e-mail or telephone. Please follow the links below for contact details and further information from the foreigners’ registration offices.

Foreigners’ registration office in Essen:

https://www.essen.de/rathaus/aemter/ordner_38/staatsangehoerigkeits__und_auslaenderbehoerde/auslnderbehrdeeinbrgerungsbehrde.de.html

Foreigners’ registration office in Duisburg:

Until further notice, registration with the foreigners’ registration office can only be carried out by mail. To do so, please send in the required documents. You will then be registered with the city and the documents you submitted will be returned to you by mail.

Only in cases of particular hardship, you may also explain your situation in an e-mail. Following an assessment, an appointment for a visit may be made in exceptional cases.

https://www.duisburg.de/vv/oe/dezernat-ii/32/2/102010100000003288.php (German only)

Due to the corona crisis, I may not have sufficient means to pay for my studies.

Many students have lost their jobs as a result of the closure of all catering establishments and many other businesses. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) recommends that students who would like to engage in the fight against the crisis or who are urgently looking for part-time work consult the following services:

The website of Deutsches Studentenwerk is another helpful source of information for students in financial difficulties:
https://www.studentenwerke.de/en/content/corona-and-studying-faqs-students

For further information, please contact Udo Rasum (udo.rasum@uni-due.de) at the International Office.

I am a third-country national currently staying abroad, and my German residence permit will expire during this stay.

Third-country nationals can request an extension of their residence permit from the responsible foreigners’ registration office in free format if they cannot travel back to Germany in due time as a result of travel restrictions in place. In such cases, a preliminary certificate (‘Fiktionsbescheinigung’) will be issued, which must be presented upon entering the country.

Is admission to study required to obtain a residence permit?

Even with the restrictions in teaching at universities currently in place, an admission to study is still required when you apply for a residence permit.

My residence permit needs to be extended. However, I will have difficulties proving that I am able to earn a living as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At present, proof that you can earn a living is not mandatory when requesting an extension of your residence permit. Moreover, international students are allowed to find further employment (e.g. seasonal work in agriculture) in addition to the 120 full days or 240 half days usually permitted. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) recommends that students who would like to engage in the fight against the crisis or who are urgently looking for part-time work consult the following services:

I am a third-country national currently in Germany as part of a short-term mobility programme. Due to travel restrictions, my stay in Germany will exceed 90 days.

The residence permits of students and researchers from third countries who have entered Germany as part of their studies or short-term mobility programmes can be extended beyond a 90-day period.

Information for Outgoing Exchange Students

I am currently abroad as part of a student exchange programme. What can I do? Whom can I contact?

Please contact us in any case if you have questions or requests regarding your stay abroad. The central e-mail address for Erasmus-related questions is erasmus@uni-due.de. For questions relating to PROMOS and DUE-Mobil use promos-duemobil@uni-due.de. Please find contact information for International Office staff on our website: https://www.uni-due.de/international/en_team.shtml.

We cannot give recommendations as to whether you should continue or terminate your stay abroad, but we will do our best to assist and support you. We strongly recommend you also get in touch with the International Office and/or your mentors at your host institutions to get information about the local situation. 

Please also take note of the travel and safety guidelines by the Federal Foreign Office (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise; German only) and information provided on the websites of the local German diplomatic missions (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/deutsche-auslandsvertretungen/03-webseitenav) and their social media channels (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/newsroom/SozialeMedien/soziale-medien/2201904; both search pages are only available in German).

If you leave Germany to study abroad or continue your stay abroad, we strongly recommend that you register on the ELEFAND list (electronic registry of Germans abroad; https://elefand.diplo.de/elefandextern/home/registration!form.action) of the Federal Foreign Office. If you are currently in another country, wish to terminate your stay and return flight connections are no longer available, please also register for the Federal Foreign Office’s COVID-19 repatriation database: http://rueckholprogramm.de/.

If you have any questions, please contact the local embassy (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/deutsche-auslandsvertretungen) or the Federal Foreign Office (crisis staff of the Federal Foreign Office, available at 030 5000 3000 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays).

Please remember to withdraw you details from the relevant lists once you have returned home.


We would also like to ask you to check your e-mail account on a regular basis and to consult this page as well as the UDE corona information page (https://www.uni-due.de/de/covid-19/index-en.php) regularly for new information.

As an exchange student, can I return home even if I participate in classes of the partner university online?

Yes, you can. It is permitted to continue participating in online classes of your host university and thus complete the courses you have listed in your Learning Agreement. Towards the end of the semester, please make sure that the online teaching period is included in your Confirmation of Stay, which is to be completed by your host institution.

Can I interrupt my stay as an Erasmus student temporarily?

If the situation in your host country improves, allowing you to continue your studies later, you may temporarily interrupt your stay. However, travel costs for your return and other costs incurred in this context cannot be covered by Erasmus funding.

What happens if I terminate my stay abroad? Will I lose an entire semester?

You still have the opportunity to register for classes at UDE and study in Duisburg-Essen during the summer semester. At UDE, the summer semester starts on 20 April 2020, initially with digital courses.

Do I have to pay my grant back if I terminate my stay early?

UDE exchange students who receive funding from Erasmus, PROMOS or DUE-Mobil programmes and terminate their stay abroad due to force majeure do not have to pay back the full amount they have been granted. The exact procedure depends on the exchange programme and the time spent abroad. The International Office will be happy to provide information about how your grant will be balanced.

Where can I find further information about my scholarship and coronavirus?

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) provides information regarding the coronavirus for persons who have been awarded DAAD or Erasmus+ scholarships on its website (https://www.daad.de/en/coronavirus/). Our internal DUE-Mobil programme follows the regulations of the DAAD’s PROMOS programme.

Will I continue to receive my BAföG grant for a stay abroad?

The federal ministry has pointed out to the federal states and their Training Assistance Offices, which are responsible for handling corresponding matters, that BAföG grants are to be continued to be paid out in pandemic-related case scenarios. Students and pupils who are dependent on grants under the provisions of the German Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG), should not suffer any financial disadvantages if their training institution is temporarily closed or if the start of the semester is postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Please refer to the websites of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (https://www.bmbf.de/en/index.html) or the Training Assistance Office responsible for your case.

Will I be able to start my stay abroad in the winter semester 2020/21?

At present, we recommend that students who are planning to go abroad as part of the Erasmus+ programme or bilateral cooperation schemes continue planning as usual. Hopefully, the situation will have evolved in such a way that a smooth start into a semester abroad will be possible by the autumn. However, if you are unable to accept your place at a partner university in the winter semester, we will try to arrange a postponement of your stay in consultation with the partner university. When preparing your semester abroad, please make sure that high cancellation fees, e.g. for booked flights, are not incurred if you have to cancel after all.

How about work placements abroad? Can I currently apply for Erasmus+, PROMOS or DUE-Mobil grants?

Yes, you can apply for support for your work placement as part of the Erasmus+, PROMOS and DUE-Mobil programmes. At present, we recommend that you continue your planning as usual. Over the next few months, the situation will hopefully develop in such a way that a smooth start to your placement will be possible. In the unlikely event that you are unable to start your work placement, we will try to make your grant available at a later point in time. When preparing your work placement, please make sure that high cancellation fees, e.g. for booked flights, are not incurred if you have to cancel after all.

I have questions about studying abroad. Whom can I contact?

Of course, we continue to be available for consultation. In view of the current situation, we cannot offer any on-site office hours. However, you are welcome to contact us by e-mail. Please find our contact details here.

In addition, we also offer telephone and video consultation regarding stays abroad:

Video consultation hours regarding stays abroad

Mondays 1-3 p.m.

Thursdays

10 a.m.-12 noon

Telephone consultation hours for outgoing Erasmus students (study abroad)
Mittwoch 10:00-12:00 Uhr

Appointments for these consultation hours can be booked via Moodle. To do so, please register for the Wege ins Ausland course first and then select an appointment. Please remember to provide your telephone number and e-mail address.

Information for Incoming Exchange Students

Whom should I contact for questions about my exchange at the UDE?

Unfortunately we can’t be in the office due to the current circumstances but we are still here for you and will provide as much support as we can. Send us your questions by email: exchange.incoming@uni-due.de

If needed, we could also organise a video call. Just ask us for further details.

Can I follow the Winter Semester of the UDE online and/or come to Germany later in the semester?

If you have already been nominated for an exchange ate the UDE, you should ask your Faculty Coordinator when you will find out which format the courses on your Learning Agreement will take.

Entering Germany

There are currently travel restrictions in place, meaning that students from some countries will need to show a letter from the Faculty at the UDE confirming that their physical presence is required in order to enter Germany. Further information can be found here: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus

Quarantine after arrival

Students arriving from countries that are considered high-risk will need to register with the local health authority and enter 14 days of quarantine after arrival. Check the Robert Koch Institut to find out which countries are considered to be high-risk: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html

Students who can show a negative coronavirus test no older than 48 hours at the time of entering Germany will have to register with the local health authority but do not have to enter quarantine. The test results should be in German or English language and you should check this list to find out if test results from your home country can be recognised in Germany: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Tests.html

Please keep us updated about your plans: exchange.incoming@uni-due.de

Can I postpone my Semester at the UDE?

The Faculty Coordinators at the UDE will be as flexible as they can and it might be possible to postpone. However, you should first check if this would be allowed by your home university before you contact your Faculty Coordinator at the UDE to ask for permission to defer.

Please keep the International Office informed of all developments: exchange.incoming@uni-due.de

Will there be accomodation for the Winter Semester?

If you have been accepted as an exchange student for the Winter Semester, you will be able to apply for accommodation in the Student Residences. Further information will be sent together with your Admission Letter. You can also check the Website of the “Studierendenwerk” which is the student services provider that runs the accommodation: https://www.stw-edu.de/programmstudierende/

I have completed my exchange. What do I need to do to de-register from the university and the town?

University

Please complete and send the “Application for de-registration” to exchange.incoming@uni-due.de.

If you need us to sign a confirmation of dates for your home university, please indicate which dates you studied in person (and, if applicable, online). You should include some evidence of the departure date such as a plane/train ticket.

Contact your Faculty Coordinator for more information about how and when you will receive your Transcript of Records.

Town

If you live in Essen, you can de-register from any Bürgeramt: https://www.essen.de/rathaus/aemter/ordner_33/buergeraemter/AbmeldungVonPersonen.de.html

EU students living in Duisburg should contact the Einwohnermeldeamt: https://www.duisburg.de/vv/produkte/pro_du/dez_ii/32/102010100000054064.php

Non-EU students living in Duisburg should contact the Ausländerbehörde: https://www.duisburg.de/vv/produkte/pro_du/dez_ii/32/Abmeldung_von_Einwohnern_mit_auslaendischer_Staatsangehoerigkeit.php

Information for Guest Researchers

How can I currently contact the Welcome Service for International Researchers?

You can reach us by e-mail at welcome@uni-due.de and by phone (phone numbers can be found here). We can also arrange for video appointments.

I am planning a research stay at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Will I be able to carry it out?

The extensive restrictions on entry at Germany’s external Schengen borders were eased on 2 July. Entries for studying, research and work purposes are allowed again, but there may be quarantine measures for certain countries, such as risk areas by the Robert Koch Institute.  Please also take note of any travel restrictions in your country of origin. Furthermore, in many cases the German embassies abroad do not yet operate in full, so that the application for an entry visa can be delayed. In any case, please contact the Welcome Service and your host institute before travelling.

I am an international researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen and my residence permit will expire shortly/needs to be extended. How can I reach the foreigners’ registration office?

The foreigners’ registration offices are open to the public again, but only work with appointments; there are extensive waiting times. We are happy to help you in setting up an appointment. Please contact us at welcome@uni-due.de. We will support you in finding a solution in consultation with the foreigners’ registration office.

I am an international researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen but would like to return home. What can I do?

Germany allows international travel again since 2 July 2020. Please consider possible entry restrictions of your home country, though. Additionally, please consider that the situation may change at any moment and a re-entry to Germany cannot be guaranteed.

Please look for information about current developments, e.g. at

https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/coronavirus-faqs.html

Please contact us if you have questions relating to your individual situation.