What jobs freshmen can get easily

Freshmen A to Z at the start of the semester


Your first day at university is approaching and you are wondering what is behind all the cryptic abbreviations, foreign words and technical terms that accumulate in your documents at the start of the semester? Don't panic, our freshmen A to Z will help you on the jumps.


graduation: Everything comes to an end at some point - even your studies, which are only just beginning for you. As a proud graduate, you can only look forward to your bachelor's degree, and then, when you continue studying, you can look forward to your master's degree. There are also a few diploma and master’s degrees. For aspiring fully qualified lawyers and classical medical professionals, the state examination remains. By the way: So that you have something in your hands, you will be awarded a neat certificate after graduation. Certainly looks nice on the walls of shared apartments.

Academic quarter: Designates the quarter of an hour that a course begins later than specified in the course catalog. If the start of an event is "9:00 a.m. c.t." (lat. "cum tempore": "with time"), it does not start until 9:15 am. On the other hand, if it says "9:00 a.m." (lat. "sine tempore": "without time"), the event begins punctually at 9:00 am. Incidentally, the origin of the Academic Quarter is not the latent lack of punctuality of the students. Rather, the 15 minutes officially serve to change the event space and to repeat the material from the last week. Well ...

mandatory attendance: Depending on the course, phase of study and the indulgence of the respective lecturer, the presence of each student is regularly checked - or not. If this is the case, this is usually done with an attendance list that is always hard-fought for wandering through the rows of seats. When the lecture halls are full, the hunt for the coveted collection of signatures often seems like university sports of the more extreme kind. If the fight is in vain, you don't usually have to hang your head straight away: Up to two unexcused absenteeism per event and semester are usually accepted.

AStA: Abbreviation for "General Student Committee". Is committed to the interests of the student body and represents them externally. As it should be for ordinary representatives of the people, the members of the AStA are elected, once a year by the student parliament, but are not infrequently in the single-digit percentage range). The AStA is a self-governing body and offers advice and action in various matters, e.g. regarding student loans or the search for a room in a shared apartment or dormitory. According to the cliché, AStA members, regardless of gender, usually wear horn-rimmed glasses and pigtails, are politically part of the left spectrum and are wildly open to discussions and debates of any kind.

stay abroad: Whether for a single semester, a whole year or for the whole course - sooner or later many German students are drawn to the big wide world, for example with the Erasmus program. It remains to be seen whether the focus there is really on studying abroad or rather checking the temperature of the local bathing water. If, however, achievements are actually achieved, they can usually be recognized at the home university thanks to the ECTS system.

ID card: After enrollment, the formal handing over of the document that also formally identifies the proud new student as a member of his species takes place: the student ID. The number of subject semesters registered on it will soon skyrocket, the matriculation number is quickly learned by heart and the fight against the standard period of study officially begins with the receipt of this paper. By the way: As a rule, the student ID counts as a semester ticket.


Bachelor: Derives from the Latin "baccalaureus" and means something like "bachelor", which also explains the title of a television format that has come back into fashion. In university life, a bachelor's degree is an academic degree that can usually be obtained after three years or six semesters of standard study time and is considered a professional qualification. But if you still haven't had enough of student life, you can add an additional specialization course with the master's degree, which qualifies you for even higher degrees from a professional point of view.

Bafög: Abbreviation for "Federal Training Assistance Act". This means the financial support to which many students are entitled. Bafög funding was introduced in the 1970s to enable financially disadvantaged students who cannot pay for their studies themselves or only with the help of relatives to go to university. The monthly student loan rate is calculated from a variety of criteria. As a rule, half of the Bafög benefit consists of a state grant and an interest-free loan, which must be repaid at a later date.

Library: The treasure trove of world knowledge that no student can do without. At the latest when things get down to business during the semester break, i.e. homework and exams, it is essential to go to the "Bib" to obtain or read relevant specialist literature. But even for a measly presentation one has to rely on research in this building complex, which is often several storeys high and contains a lot of clever books. Incidentally, there are usually also the equally vital copiers.

Block events: In a way, the "workshops" of the university. In contrast to normal seminars and lectures, which take place regularly and extend over the entire semester, there are block courses "en bloc". In a limited period of time, usually a whole weekend or on several individual appointments, the lecturer and student get together from morning to evening to learn the material at record speed and possibly even learn something.


 cafeteria: There are various reasons to go to this place, also known colloquially as the "cafete", and in case of doubt even to simulate a visit to the toilet during seminars or lectures: The little hunger in between. The need for refreshment. Or the urge to just chat with one of the nice waitresses. The cafeteria is the university's mini supermarket. Unlike in the cafeteria restaurant, mostly only drinks and small dishes, snacks and sweets are sold here.

campus: The campus (Latin for "field") refers to the university campus. The gap between ugly concrete desert and park-like palace complex is sometimes very large at German universities. Depending on the architectural planning (and the interdisciplinary orientation of the respective course), this also applies to the routes that need to be mastered. While some universities - often far outside of the city - assemble all buildings centrally on a common area, in other places the individual faculties are scattered far across the city.


DAAD: The German Academic Exchange Service. Maintains academic relations with other countries and promotes international exchange with grants and initiatives such as the Erasmus program, which sends students and scientists around the world.

Lecturer: The university, but mostly far less authoritarian counterpart of the teacher. Is responsible for imparting knowledge and, with a bit of luck, also has the pedagogical skills required to achieve this goal. Depending on your mood, watches over the compulsory attendance.


ECTS: Short for "European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System". Ensures that academic achievements can be compared and converted uniformly internationally. A certain number of points, so-called "credit points", are awarded for each service provided. These reflect the workload of individual seminars. If a certain total number of points is reached, you can graduate. Don't worry: there is no need to fear a "game over" here.

Erasmus: Urgently needed short form for "European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students". The Erasmus program is part of the education program of the European Union and ensures that study visits to international partner universities of the home university are financially supported. In Germany, the ERASMUS program is organized by the DAAD.

De-registration: Removal from the list of students. Takes place when you deregister from the university, for example after completing or dropping out of your degree or when changing university. In the less pleasant case of forced de-registration - for example due to insolvency, missing the re-registration deadline or even worse offenses - the procedure is fully automatic and completely without any action on your part. After de-registering, you lose your status as a student, including all rights and obligations.


Student Council: In principle, designates the entirety of all students in a department, but is used synonymously with the term "Fachschaftsrat". The student council is the representation of the students of a course and thus the university counterpart to the student council. For first-year students, the student councils are often the first point of contact for questions and problems. During the orientation phase, the student council often organizes city tours, excursions, parties, bar trips or other leisure activities that offer opportunities for social networking. Student councils usually have their own office, the furniture of which is usually made up of inexpensive bulky waste inventory.

Faculty: Every university is divided into different faculties, sometimes one also speaks of departments. A faculty is an organizational unit in which several related subjects from one field of knowledge are combined and organized. For example, there is a philosophy faculty for humanities subjects. Each faculty manages itself and usually has its own infrastructure, such as its own specialist library and cafeteria.

vacation: At first glance, the semester break appears to be endlessly long. As a rule, however, even first-year students usually realize very quickly that officially one does not only speak of "lecture-free time" for nothing and that holidays in the sense of "free time" are actually very rare in student life - homework is not written by itself, and written or oral exams also need to be prepared, mostly not within the semester. With a little skilful time management, a two to three day vacation trip to the neighboring village should be within the realms of possibility.

Deadline: An instrument of bureaucracy and paperwork, which, for example, defines the submission period for written work, often creates a lot of pressure, but admittedly also helps to adhere to the standard period of study. However: The old student adage "There is a deadline to be extended" is no coincidence ...


Guest auditor: Guest students visit the university out of private interest and thirst for knowledge and only take part in individual events. Since they do not take part in the hunt for certificates of achievement, they are neither bound by the university entrance qualification nor by the study or examination regulations, but consequently are not allowed to take any exams or pursue a degree. Seniors and pensioners in particular enrich the field of participants in seminars and lectures as guest auditors and thus often drastically increase not only the average age, but also the number of requests to speak.

fees: As is well known, education is a valuable commodity, but it is now available again cheaply in Germany. Because the time of tuition fees, i.e. the horrific costs beyond the regular tuition fee, is over at least at state universities. At private universities and for part-time courses in Bavaria, however, students still have to dig deep into their pockets.


House work: If you want to (or have to) acquire a major performance record, write a term paper during the holidays. This is understood to mean the independent written development of a specific topic. Usually a certain number of pages has to be filled - a great effort, since the fulfillment of this task is promoted by characteristics such as conscience, diligence and a sense of duty that are supposedly rarely discovered in students. If necessary, in most cases, with a little rhetorical persuasiveness, at least an extension of the submission deadline can be obtained.

Assistant: Also abbreviated to "HiWi" (for "auxiliary scientist") in university jargon. As a student assistant you are employed by the university and do a supporting activity in the areas of teaching, research or service. Student assistant positions have always enjoyed great popularity. On the one hand, because they look great on any resume. But also because student life and working at the university can be easily combined.

Lecture hall: Arena-like circuit, in which you (mostly) have to do without a real stadium atmosphere, loud roaring along and the obligatory currywurst stall. The size of the lecture halls varies, but since larger lectures are usually held there, they offer significantly more space for students than seminar rooms. However, this does not mean that you do not have to be content with a seat on the stairs for more popular lectures or compulsory courses.

hochschulstart.de: If you want to get hold of one of the coveted places in a nationwide admission-restricted course, you have to apply via the website of the Foundation for University Admissions (formerly ZVS) based in Dortmund. For the courses of study medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, 20 percent of the study places are currently awarded to the applicants with the best grade average, 20 percent to the applicants with the longest waiting time and 60 percent through the university's own selection process. Anyone who receives a notification of admission in their mailbox can look forward to it as much as they would if they won the lottery. In some cases, hochschulstart.de also coordinates the allocation of courses with a local numerus clausus. There are currently more than 1,000 courses at around 130 locations.


matriculation: The enrollment in the list of students before starting the course. The counterpart to de-registration and the last step to receive your student ID and matriculation number. Regardless of whether you have successfully applied for a place at the university or are choosing a subject with no admission - the necessary enrollment deadline must not be missed under any circumstances. Just bring all the necessary documents with you, otherwise you can queue back in the queue after an eternal waiting time ...

ISIC: Abbreviation for "International Student Identity Card". The international student ID entitles pupils and students to numerous discounts while studying abroad. Museums, theaters, cinemas, swimming pools, plane and train tickets, IT products - the list of possible discounts is long. The ISIC is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and is available for 15 euros online or from most student unions or from the AStA.


Jobben: Since knowledge is unfortunately still not accepted as a currency, as a student you can hardly avoid a part-time job to cover living costs. So it's good that a lot of employers are very keen to employ students for insurance reasons. In addition to student assistant positions, many universities offer notice boards with job offers and their own job boards where you can try your luck. By the way: In the top 10 of the most common student jobs, jobs in gastronomy (waiter, bartender) are way ahead. This is followed by general office work (secretariat, assistance) and temporary jobs in retail.


Exam: Written examination under supervision, which serves as evidence of performance. The success or failure of an exam determines whether weeks or even months of learning have paid off and is, in the long term, an indicator of whether the standard period of study can be adhered to.

fellow student: The term for fellow students. Derived from the Latin, means something like "comrade-in-arms", "brother in arms" or "war companion" and is therefore an extremely appropriate term in many respects, especially on difficult days at university.

copier: As essential as these machines are, at least for the kind of student who occasionally gets lost in the library to study, one has to struggle with them at times. Because if the toner cartridge doesn't give up after three out of 300 copies, a paper jam is sure to be a pleasure.By the way, payment is usually not made with cash at the copier, but with special copier cards that can be topped up with amounts of money in the library.

Health insurance: As a student you have to have health and long-term care insurance. Up to the age of 25 (plus the time of voluntary military service, federal voluntary service, FSJ / FÖJ) you will still be covered by your parents' family insurance, after which you have to take out self-insurance at reduced rates. By the way: If you have to pay for your own health insurance and receive student loans at the same time, you are entitled to a corresponding supplement.


certificate of achievement: Not for university, we learn for life. Well, that's only half the story. Because if you want a degree, you have to torment your way through all kinds of exams, presentations and homework, in order to end up being fobbed off with disgraceful documents (also simply called "certificate" in university jargon) that certify successful participation and, in the sense of paperwork, properly be kept in their own files. There are expressly no limits to the mania for collecting.

Learn: There is no silver bullet, and so it is probably your personal preferences that decide whether you prefer to acquire the subject matter on your own, in study groups or in tutorials and prepare for exams. Only one thing is certain: nobody has ever mastered their studies without learning.

literature: Anyone who studies inevitably reads a lot of relevant specialist literature. If you were to buy all the books you need in the course of your studies, you would not only be very poor, you would probably also have to struggle with enormous space problems in your home bookshelf. So it's lucky that there is an unbeatable combination of university library and copier.


master: If you have your bachelor's degree in your pocket, you have to make a difficult choice: start your professional life straight away? Or would you prefer to pursue a further degree with even better prospects for the future? Those who opt for the latter option are aiming for a master’s degree. A master’s course builds on a bachelor’s course and usually lasts two to four semesters.

Matriculation number: If you receive your student ID after enrolling, you will also find your matriculation number on it. This multi-digit, individual number combination is used for identification, especially in the paperwork formalities.

canteen: The university restaurant and the "big brother" of the cafeteria. Less reasonable meals are often served here at reasonable student prices. The quality of the dishes fluctuates between astonishingly successful delicacies and peculiar canteen food like out of the pig trough, but is usually somewhere in between. At least one actually gets (more or less freshly) cooked meals in the cafeteria, which complement the usual nutrition plan of frozen pizzas and canned ravioli, which is usually common in shared apartments and dormitories. In addition to fulfilling the need to eat, the lunch menu in the cafeteria is of course also a place for social networking.

module: Bachelor and Master degree programs are all modularized, i.e. they are made up of different modules. A module is a formal teaching and learning unit made up of several seminars, lectures, exercises or internships with similar content. Each module ends with its own exam and is rewarded with a certain number of credit points (see ECTS).


nightlife: The student in itself is a nocturnal species. According to the general cliché, he only comes out of bed when the sun is shining or when the attendance list demands it. Otherwise, parties, pub crawls or other opportunities for social networking fill up the hours between sunset and sunrise enough. In emergencies, sometimes the annoying writing of a term paper.


Orchid compartment: Describes an unusual, decidedly unpopular subject of study whose mere existence was mostly unknown: Or do you know someone who studies Sorabic Studies, Onomastics, Celtology or Crystallography? Due to their exotic nature, these often admission-free niche subjects usually offer a vanishingly small group of fellow students, but an extremely personal approach. The name comes from the fact that an orchid needs a lot of care and yet has no practical use - a nice analogy.

Orientation phase: At first glance, the dear university, with all its winding buildings and hidden corridors, seems large, unknown and complicated to most. It is important to keep an overview. But nobody is left alone: ​​Thanks to the student council, there are usually numerous events in the first week to get to know the university and fellow students for the immaculate freshmen: city explorations, scavenger hunts, excursions, parties, pub trips or other leisure activities that offer the opportunity to socialize - the According to legend, the course is seldom as time-consuming (and instructive) as it was in those first few days.


Parties: With them it is similar to political demos: There is always an occasion - and when all the partying only serves to suppress the stress of the exam.

internship: Often a prescribed period of time within the course of study, in which one can work in the "real professional life" outside of the university cosmos. Depending on the position, this is an excellent opportunity to either gain important professional experience and plus points for your CV during the internship or to perfect coffee-making skills and demonstrate submissiveness. In times of crisis-related austerity courses, in which interns replace permanent positions at some employers, the chance of actually taking on responsible tasks is probably higher than the common (read: lazy) student can imagine.

politics: For some fellow students it is almost as important in student life as parties. After all, there is always an opportunity for a proper demo if you search long enough - after all, protest instead of examination is a fine slogan in itself. Aside from the demo culture, political debates flare up on campus on a regular basis - not only in times of internal university election campaigns.

Exam stress: Anyone who chases after a performance certificate must inevitably struggle through an examination. At the end of the semester, student life often turns into a nightmare, with beads of sweat permanently forming on the forehead. We don't even want to talk about the shaky hands. Exam stress is often the trigger for addictions of all kinds: chocolate, psychotropic drugs, tons of coffee - there is probably no optimal means of coping with stress. But really desperate cases should also have been helped by learning.


Lateral entry: If you switch from one course to another, you can call yourself a career changer. If the achievements in the previous course of study are recognized in the new subject, with a bit of luck, lateral entrants will not have to start again from zero like the common "Ersti", but should expect to be placed in a higher semester.


Discounts: A big plus point of student life - and for some fellow students apparently also the main motivation for enrollment - are the numerous perks that come with student status: Whether cinema screenings or museum visits, health insurance or mobile phone contracts - the list of student discounts is long and tempting.

radio: The university radio is an important part of the campus culture. The university radio stations are mostly operated exclusively by students, so the tone and topics are accordingly relaxed and free-spirited. In addition, music is often played that would not have a chance on commercial format radio.

Data center: Due to its high-tech equipment, it is not only a popular pilgrimage site for ambitious burglar gangs, but thanks to its numerous Internet access also for students of all stripes - even if it is just to pick up a free email address or to quickly browse the digital inbox.

presentation: Oral lecture in a seminar or lecture, which mostly serves to acquire a certificate of achievement. For many a necessary evil, for many a willing contemporaries a bliss. Then, as is so often the case, the opera is not over as long as the fat woman sings. Often accompanied by meaningless Powerpoint presentations, which precisely write down the speaker’s wording.

Normal period: A hurdle expressed in terms of the number of semesters that most students fail. But it can't hurt to set lofty goals: Those who approach their studies with great discipline, accumulate as many semester hours per week as other working hours, fail to fail an exam and also refrain from the adventure of a stay abroad, ultimately have a chance of competing against to gain the time. Not everyone has that much discipline. Fortunately, since the tuition fees were abolished again, they no longer need them.


Semester ticket: A large part of the freedom that student life brings with it is based on the mobility that this often inconspicuous scraps of paper entitles to. Free travel in the respective transport association is actually mandatory everywhere. Often you can even take another person with you with the semester ticket at certain times and on weekends. In short: the semester ticket is pure gold.

Seat ticket: According to legend, it happened in the distant past, i.e. before the introduction of the Bachelor and Master system, that students were given a certificate of achievement for their mere presence in a seminar or lecture. Nowadays the probability of getting a seat ticket is roughly comparable to that of a Yeti or UFO sighting.

Social networking: Completely inevitable and extremely helpful. Because first of all, nobody wants to be an outsider. And secondly, fellow students stick together, in good times and bad, whether hunting for attendance lists or performance records at parties or exams.

Sports: Since mental exercise cannot be everything and the unhealthy diet of canned ravioli and cafeteria food becomes noticeable as the number of semesters increases, exercising well-being is a sensible thing. It's good that most universities offer a wide range of sporting activities - often in their own university sports centers on campus.

scholarship: Anyone who sits on their buttocks and shines with outstanding performance has the chance of financial support to finance their studies. Scholarships are mostly awarded by foundations that each set their own criteria for their applicants. The type and scope of funding also vary widely.

Timetable: At least on paper, the weekly schedule of every student is somewhat regulated - even if it's only the noble goals that were set at the beginning of the semester. Whether you only get lost on campus twice a week or try out the 40-hour work week is often up to you. However, it cannot be denied that the scope of the timetable has a far-reaching influence on tuition fees (at private universities) and the standard period of study. Oh yes: The compilation of the timetable using the course catalog takes a lot of time and nerves.


Toilets: Entrance costs a lot depending on the level of maintenance. Often, however, the establishment turns out to be a treasure trove of some bizarre and entertaining scribble.

Tutorial: Tutorials are exercises accompanying a lecture or seminar. Students usually come here in small groups to work together on the material covered and to answer any questions that have not yet been answered. Participation in tutorials is often voluntary, but it can be quite worthwhile: Since tutorials are usually led by committed fellow students, they are sometimes significantly more productive and instructive than mandatory courses.


Semester on leave: The name is a bit misleading - those who take a vacation semester are not necessarily lazy, but simply take a break from regular university operations, be it due to pregnancy or illness, for a longer internship or a stay abroad. During the semester on leave you retain your student status, but you are not allowed to attend any courses, collect proof of performance and, in most cases, do not take any exams.


lecture: The mass event in university operations. Lectures are held in lecture halls, which are often so huge that the lecturer often has to make himself heard with the help of amplified hi-fi equipment. Since most of the lectures are more like a monologue and you hardly have to fear reprimands on the back bench, the rate of fellow students falling into a deep slumber is nowhere higher than here.

Course directory: Often a very extensive reference work that is actually supposed to help you create your own timetable, but often causes more confusion than being really useful. The big problem with the KVV (annotated course catalog) is its editorial deadline: Because many lecturers plan their courses far too late, the information is often incorrect, out of date or simply incomplete. Because something is actually always missing: the space or time, the start date, the lecturer, the requirements for a performance assessment, sometimes even a description of the content.


Election campaign: The student himself is perhaps not as political today as it was during the 1968 movement. But a little election campaign has never hurt anyone, after all, university politics offers an excellent environment for this: From the AStA to the student councils to the student parliament, there are numerous committees and bodies that want to be elected and need members - and not just young officials and political scientists looking for finger exercises.

Waiting semester: A back door for those who want to study a subject with restricted admission but do not get a place straight away. When allocating study places, the hochschulstart.de service point takes into account the waiting time that has elapsed since an applicant acquired the university entrance qualification. Those who show such staying power can take this detour to compensate for their inadequate high school graduation marks. An example: Anyone who first completes an apprenticeship after graduation and applies for a study place for the first time at the end of the apprenticeship, receives the corresponding number of semesters counted as waiting time. The same applies to stays abroad, voluntary military service and the voluntary social year or voluntary ecological year.

Flat share: Be it from acute financial difficulties or simply out of socializing - many students, especially those who have recently left their sheltered parents' home, decide to live in a shared apartment. Student shared apartments are a dime a dozen, which is obvious: In the best case scenario, you will catch a "conspecific" with whom you are right on the same wavelength and who jointly master the challenge of social networking. In case of doubt, however, you only know afterwards whether you have accidentally settled in with an anti-social long-term student who, because of the stress of the exam, does not even dare to leave his - and therefore your - apartment.

Dorm: The alternative to a flat share. Those who do not want to do without their own retreat, but are still looking for connection and sociability, are in good hands here. Dorm rooms are often (with the exception of high-speed internet access) equipped rather spartan, but mostly very inexpensive and close to the university. And accordingly, unfortunately, so popular that you often have to sign up on a long waiting list before you can count yourself among the new residents.


Paper mess: Bureaucracy is an inevitable part of university life. Especially since the introduction of the modularized Bachelor and Master degree programs, the task has been to keep track of the academic achievements and at the same time to ensure that the relevant proof of performance is in the correct place in the files or that it is handed over to the respective office or office, almost worth its own degree.