Studying online – five tips to get started

Willkommen in verschiedenen Sprachen
We wish you a successful start to an (initially) online summer semester. Here are five useful tips to make sure you get off to a good start at FAU (Image: FAU/Michaela Hiermeier)

Starting a degree is an exciting experience in a new environment with new people, new information and new goals. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the beginning of summer semester 2020 is going to be particularly challenging for students, teachers and all other members of FAU alike. A full semester of online teaching is something that has never been implemented in the history of our University.

You have almost certainly already read and worked through the general checklist provided by the Student Advice and Career Service. We have now created another list with five additional tips for you to help you get off to a good start studying online. The most important thing to remember is that with some flexibility and creative solutions, we will be able to deal with this situation together. #FAUtrotztCorona

1. Always check UnivIS

UnivIS is the central platform for scheduling courses and lectures. If you have any questions about your classes, check UnivIS first as you may find the answers there in the relevant entries. Information about how lectures, seminars and courses are going to be held will be available on Monday, 20 April 2020 at the latest.

2. Create your own online network

Starting your studies is just like the first day at a new school or in a new job as you (probably) don’t know anyone and might feel quite lonely. However, you won’t get to know anyone more easily and quickly than while you are studying. Fellow students are important contacts and make studying the great experience it should be. Try and network online as early as possible in group chats and on online platforms and don’t be afraid of meeting new people online.

3. Learn how to use Zoom

FAU now has Zoom for video conferencing, online seminars and live online lectures. You will be working with it often during summer semester 2020, so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with it now. The Erlangen Regional Computer Centre (RRZE) has detailed instructions and information about Zoom – please make sure you read them.

4. Ask questions

How does Zoom work? When are the online consultation hours? How can I get the book I need for my written assignment? You will need answers to questions like these and many more during the course of the semester and they are all justified. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Teaching staff and all staff at the libraries or in University Administration are happy to help you.

5. Keep an eye on examination dates and deadlines

There are now different rules in place for examinations and registration deadlines compared to regular semesters. This also applies to the rules regarding withdrawal or failing to attend examinations. Examination dates have been postponed accordingly due to the fact that the lecture period has been extended by two weeks for summer semester 2020. Registration for examinations in the summer semester will take place during the official registration period, which will also be postponed by two weeks and will now start on June 8 2020 at 12.01 am and end on 26 June 2020 at 12 noon. Please ensure you regularly check the websites of the Examinations Offices for up-to-date information.

You can find the latest information on In addition, we recommend subscribing to FAU’s YouTube channel: It contains podcasts by FAU President, Prof. Joachim Hornegger, about the latest developments at FAU regarding the coronavirus pandemic as well as a number of other interesting talks and videos.