Travel restrictions, quarantine regulations, lockdown and online courses – an exchange semester during the COVID-19 pandemic is a special challenge.
31 new exchange students decided to come to HSD despite the challenging situation. They come from partner universities in France, Finland, Slovenia, Poland, Turkey, Israel and Korea.
In total 45 exchange students are studying at HSD during the summer semester 2021; 14 exchange students have already been here since last semester. Most of them are studying at the Faculty of Business Studies, followed by the Faculty of Mechanical and Process Engineering. The Faculty of Architecture, the Faculty of Design and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies also welcome new exchange students this semester.
Unfortunately, the planned face-to-face welcome event for our new exchange students could not take place due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. Therefore, the welcome event and all other events of the Orientation Week had to take place online.
Despite the lack of face-to-face events, the International Office tried to ensure that the exchange students get to know each other:
A WhatsApp group for exchange students has been created before the semester started. The tutors of the International Office organised an online game night and an online information session with Düsseldorf tips. Furthermore, the tutors organised a city rally where exchange students could explore Düsseldorf in pairs and get to know each other better. Besides the Psychological Counselling Service of HSD offered the workshop "Tackling Covid and Culture Shock - How to make the best of your time in Düsseldorf" for the new exchange students.
Despite the difficult starting conditions, the exchange students are looking forward to their time in Düsseldorf. We wish them a good start, many positive experiences and a healthy stay!