Frequently Asked Questions
16. What do I have to do if I would like to or if I have to take courses not listed on my Learning Agreement or if I do not want to or cannot take courses that are listed on it? (for European ERASMUS students)
1. Where can I find information about studying at Mannheim University as an international exchange student? Whom do I ask in case I have any questions?
Please read the information on studying at Mannheim University provided by the International Office first. Once your university has nominated you to study at Mannheim University, our International Office will get in contact with you. If you have any questions about the School of Humanities and its courses, please ask the School of Humanities' international coordinator.
You are a student at one of our international partner universities, and you would like to study at Mannheim University for one or two semesters in the framework of the exchange programm between our universities? Please talk to your faculty's international coordinator or to your university's International Office first. They will be able to inform you, and they will decide which students will be sent to Mannheim by your university. After your university has nominated you to our International Office, Mannheim University's International Office will get in contact with you and explain to you in detail what you have to do next. The International Office will then organize your admission and enrollment at the University. If you have any questions regarding the organization of your admission and enrollment, please ask the 'Incomings' contact our International Office will send you. If you have any questions regarding the School of Humanities and its courses, please ask the School of Humanities' international coordinator. About 2 months before the start of the semester, the School of Humanities's international coordinator will inform you on how to find and how to register for your courses. Please regularly check the email address you gave us.
The language of instruction in most courses offered by the School of Humanities is German. In addition, there are many courses offered in English as well. If you don't speak German at all or not well enough, you will be able to do your semester at Mannheim University completely in English. That's why you will have to have the 'European' level B2 in German or in English. There are also some courses that are offered in French, Spanish or Italian. Please find the current semester's course catalogue with courses offered in all languages here (most of them in German or English) as well as the short list of courses taught in English only.
In the fall semester, courses start in early September and end in early December. There is then a two-week exam period which takes place immediately afterwards. In the spring semester, courses start in early February and end in early June. Again there is a two-week exam period immediately afterwards. Please find the university's academic calender for the next years here.
5. I'm planning to go to Mannheim next semester or next year. How can I find the courses offered in "my" semester?
In principle, new courses are offered by the School of Humanities every semester. This is to ensure that our study programmes are always open to new ideas and new academic developments. During every semester, our professors design their new courses for the following semester. The course catalogue of the following fall semester is published on the International Office's website by the end of May, and the course catalogue of the following spring semester is published by the end of November. Please find the current semester's course catalogue on our International Office's website for international exchange students.
All incoming exchange students at the School of Humanities need to register for their courses via the Registration Form which will be emailed to them before the start of the semester. Please indicate at least six priorities for the courses. Make sure to write down the exact course titles as they are indicated in our current course catalog. Save the completed form as "LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME_registration" and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Please note that the registration form is no guarantee for admission in any of the courses!
If you come to Mannheim University as an exchange student, please choose your courses from the School of Humanities' course catalogue (or the short list of courses taught in English). In principle, you can take courses in all six departments of the School of Humanities: You may take courses in German Studies, English and American Studies, Romance Languages, Media and Communication Studies, Philosophy, History and in the section International Cultural Studies. (Please understand however, that you will be allowed to join some courses only if you have previous knowledge in the field because not all courses are suitable for beginners.) At least 50 % of your courses must be taken at the School of Humanities. If you would like to take courses at other schools as well, please select them from the University Wide Electives list. For all courses offered by the other schools on this list, you may register as well. Please bear in mind that the registration process at other schools may be different from the School of Humanities'. In order to know their registration procedure, please see "Details" in the University Wide Electives list.
The School of Humanities only offers academic courses, no general language courses. Courses in German as a Foreign Language are offered by our International Office. In addition, the university service Studium Generale offers general language courses in many other languages. For these language courses you will have to pay a fee: For the German language courses it's 15€ per course and for Studium Generale's language courses it's 59€ per course. Please note: German is the language of instruction in Studium Generale's language courses. Your teacher will give his explanations in German - at least at the beginning. For this reason, knowledge of the German language is essential to attend these language courses.
9. What kind of courses are offered and what kind of exams will I be expected to do in these courses?
- Lecture (Vorlesung): Students are not expected to be active. They just listen and the professor speaks. At the end, you will usually have to do a final written exam and will receive around 4 ECTS credit points.
- Exercise (Übung): A course with a more practical, less theoretical focus. In an exercise, students are expected to be active. You will often be asked to give a presentation and will receive around 3 ECTS credit points.
- Introductory course (Einführung): A course for introducing beginners' students to an academic field. German students have to take such courses before they can join intermediate level courses. At the end there is usually a final exam and students obtain around 4-6 ECTS credit points.
- Intermediate level seminar (Proseminar): A 1st or 2nd year course with a more theoretical and academic focus. German students have to take intermediate level seminars before they can attend advanced level seminars. You are expected to be active in a seminar. At the end, you typically have to do a final written or oral exam or to write a term paper. An intermediate level seminar usually yields 6 ECTS credit points.
- Advanced level seminar (Hauptseminar): Roughly a 2nd or 3rd year course. German students usually are allowed into advanced level seminars after they have taken intermediate level seminars. You are expected to be active in these classes. Usually you have to write a term paper and will receive around 8 ECTS credit points.
- (These are only some very general rules. The professors should state in their course descriptions how many ECTS credit points you may get in a given course, and what you will be expected to do to get them. If it has not been stated in the course description, they will inform you in the first week when courses start.)
That's up to your university or to you. Please talk to your international coordinator at home: If your university requires you to bring a credit points minimum, please choose as many courses as possible to meet this requirement. If your university doesn't require you to take a minimum of courses or credit points, then it's up to you. We recommend to take courses that add up to 30 ECTS credit points per semester at most. For us, it's fully acceptable if you have less than 30 ECTS.
Once the registration week is over, you may still register for a course as long as space is still available in it. So, yes: You may still register for courses after the registration week, but you will have little choice and can only take what is left. For this reason we strongly recommend that you register for your courses during the registration week.
That's no problem: If you think you cannot take or if you don't want to take a course that you have already registered for, please just de-register: Inform the professor or just send a de-registration email to the same address that you sent your registration email to, so the professor knows that your place can be given to another student.
You've got to do two more things: First of all, you have to attend your courses regularly. Regular attendance means you should not miss more than two sessions of a course. If you are absent for more than two weeks, your professor has the right to deny you a grade and your credit points for that course. Secondly, you will still have to register for the exam during the semester: In the fall semester in October and in the spring semester in April, there are two weeks for students to register for the exams in their courses. This exam registration is done by Portal². You will have to register for the exams, even if you give a presentation or write a term paper (since they count as exams as well). Courses you attend will not appear on your Transcript of Records in the end if you fail to register for the exam during the semester. Our International Office will inform you in time about this registration for the exams and later remind you by email before it starts.
Students from European partner universities who come to Mannheim in the framework of the European ERASMUS programme will have got a Learning Agreement ("LA" - your home university will provide you with it): In your LA you will have to state the courses you plan to attend at Mannheim University. A "responsible person" of Mannheim University has to sign your LA in order to confirm to your home university that these courses will actually be offered during your stay in Mannheim. Your home university also has to sign it in order to confirm that these courses (i.e. your results in these courses) will be transferred to your home university's system. (1) Please choose the courses you would like to attend in Mannheim from the School of Humanities' course catalogue. State them in Table A and sign in section III Commitment of the three Parties as "student". (2) Meet the School of Humanities' departmental international coordinator during his or her office hours for them to sign your LA as the Mannheim "responsible person" or send it to them by email as one single pdf document. (3) Your home university will confirm the transfer of the courses results and sign your LA as well. Please find out who the person responsible for signing LAs at your home university is. He or she will also be able to tell you when you actually have to have your LA signed. Normally, the part "Before the Mobility" should be filled out and signed before the start of "your" semester in Mannheim. But that's up to your university.
15. What can I do if my university requires me to fill out my Learning Agreement and have it signed before "my" semester's course catalogue has been published?
In principle, new courses are offered every semester. The following semester's courses are published online in May and November respectively (see question 5.). If your home university requires you to fill out your Learning Agreement before "your" semester's courses have been published, please choose your courses from the previous semester's course catalogue and enter them in Table A. In this case, you and your university have to be prepared that some of the courses may have changed. But that's no problem and can still be done after the start of the semester here in Mannheim. (see next question - question 16.)
16. What do I have to do if I would like to or if I have to take courses not listed on my Learning Agreement or if I do not want to or cannot take courses that are listed on it?
For Mannheim University, it's no problem if you change your Learning Agreement. If you cannot attend a course stated in Table A (e.g. because it isn't offered any more in "your" semester), or if you don't want to take it any more (e.g. because you found a more interesting course), please fill out Table C. Exceptional Changes. Mark those courses in Table C stated in Table A that you will not take any more as "deleted component" and those courses you would like to take instead as "added component". Sign this section and meet the School of Humanities' departmental international coordinator to have him sign it as the Mannheim "responsible person". And of course you will have to send it to your home university to confirm your changes.
17. How will my grades be transferred to my home university at the end of "my" semester at Mannheim University?
After you have registered for the exams in your courses and after you have regularly attended those courses, having taken the final exams ("final exam" usually being an oral or written examination, a term paper or a presentation), your professors will transmit your grades automatically to our International Office. All your grades will be collected in a document (Transcript of Records), and the Transcript of Records will be sent to your university. The transcript will be sent only after all grades have been entered for the courses in which you registered for the exam. The whole process can take a few weeks or up to one or two months, but in any case, you will not have to do anything: Your grades will be sent automatically to your university.
Portal² is Mannheim University's online campus management system. By Portal² you will be able to see the University's main course catalogue, register and de-register for courses and do many more things. You will receive your Portal² password only after your enrollment here in Mannheim.
ecUM is Mannheim University's electronic student ID card. You will be given your ecUM after you are enrolled at Mannheim. On your ecUM, your student ID number (Matrikelnummer) will be printed. (Please follow the link to see how to find your student ID number - "Matrikel-Nr." - on your ecUM.)
No: There are no course fees in the courses offered by the School of Humanities. In courses that include a visit to a museum or a theater, students will usually have to pay for their trip and for the admission charge. Please note: For language courses offered by other sections of the university, you will have to pay a course fee. (see 8. How to find language courses, e.g. German as a foreign language)