Frequently Asked Questions
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Students from abroad who are going to spend one or more semesters in a foreign country are often confronted with similar problems and questions.
In the following,we would like to provide you with helpful information and answers concerning mainly the Hochschule Darmstadt (h_da) and its Department of Computer Science, Fachbereich Informatik(FBI).
You will also find information on JIM in general.
- How do I get to Darmstadt?
- How do I register at Hochschule Darmstadt?
- Are there any tuition fees?
- When enrolling as a student at h_da, will I need to pay tuition during my semester abroad?
- Does the university run on a semester or academic year schedule?
- Can I bring my personal laptop to classes?
- Can I take a German language course for the entire semester? Does that mean I need to postpone my academic work?
- Will JIM start every semester?
- Will all classes be taught in English?
- Do I need to pass a German test?
- Do I need to prepare for the courses beforehand?
- Will I be able to take Master classes from outside the JIM program and get credit for them?
- Will I get a double degree from 2 universities?
- Can I spend any one of the three semesters abroad?
- How many classes do I need to take per semester?
- What is the duration of the courses?
- Do selections of a course depend on my personal interest?
- Do university authorities or my course coordinator arrange accommodation for me?
- What is the average monthly fee for a room in student hostels in Darmstadt?
- What is the minimum cost of living for students in Darmstadt?
- If I cannot get any room in a students hostels, will the h_da provide me private accommodation?
- Are the kitchens of the students hostels equipped with utensils?
- Do the students hostels have Internet facilities?
- How many computer labs are there in the Department of Computer Science? When can I access them for research or practical work?
- Can I work in the labs on weekends or in the late evenings?
- Which software is available in the labs?
- How is the library of h_da equipped? Can I get books in English?
- Is there a canteen (Cafeteria) at the h_da? If so, how much does lunch cost?
- Does h_da offer any sports activities?
- Are there part-time jobs for students at University?
- Are there any campus recruitments at FBI-h_da?
- When are exams issued?
- What is the examination procedure (oral / written - time duration) for Master courses at FBI (computer science department) - h_da?
- Can I retake exams to enhance my grades?
- If I fail an exam, can I retake it?
- Is it possible to participate in courses offered in german?
- If I couldn't attend the exam, what do I do?
How can I get to Darmstadt?
Darmstadt is very close to Frankfurt. So if you arrive in Frankfurt by plane you can get to Darmstadt easily by using public transportation.
By bus: The bus station is right in front of Terminal 1. Use the sky train (sky line) to get there if you arrive at Terminal 2. Catch the bus called 'Airliner' at Station No. 14 to Darmstadt and get off at Darmstadt Luisenplatz (city center). If you want to continue directly to the Office of International Affairs, simply take the Bus Number H towards 'Hochschule West' and get off at the bus stop 'Hochschule'.
By train: Like the bus station, the railway station is at Terminal 1. Make sure you go to the regional railway station (platforms 1 - 3) in the basement, as there are two different railway stations at the airport (the other one is for long distance trains). Take the S-Bahn 3 (metro train) to Darmstadt 'Hauptbahnhof' (main railway station).
By taxi: You can get a Taxi to Darmstadt, but ask for the price beforehand as the distance of more than 30 km might be very expensive.
How do I register at Hochschule Darmstadt?
For registration, you have to visit the International Office of the h_da.
It's located on campus: Building D20, Sch├Âfferstr. 12,1st Floor.
Opening hours: Refer to the website of the international office.
Are there any tuition fees?
Hochschule Darmstadt currently does not charge a study fee. There is a charge of approx. 250-300 Euro per semester for matriculation and social affairs (like the student fund and a ticket for regional public transportation which is valid during the semester).
When enrolling as a student at h_da, will I need to pay tuition during my semester abroad?
No. JIM-students are exempt from tuition.
Does the university run on a semester or academic year schedule?
It runs on a semester schedule.
Can I bring my personal laptop to classes?
Sure you can.
Can I take a German language course for the entire semester? Does that mean I need to postpone my academic work?
As you must have already passed the 'Start Deutsch 2' / A2 exam prior to your registration, you are already capable of managing standard conversations in German. On a voluntary basis, you are offered additional intensive or extensive German language courses on various levels.
Usually, students meet with the language teacher twice per week.
Conflicts with academic courses should be avoided.
In case of a conflict, it does not mean the student cannot attend the academic course. Individual solutions are found in such cases.
(A2 is the second level of the so called "common European framework of reference for languages" / "Kompetenzskala des Gemeinsamen europ├Ąischen Referenzrahmens f├╝r Sprachen")
Will JIM start every semester?
No, JIM is offered once a year, always starting in Fall, i.e. in late September / early October.
The application deadline is July, 15,, for international applicants and September, 1., for German applicants for the following start in September.
Will all classes be taught in English?
Yes, there are enough classes offered in English; however, students are allowed to take up to 20% of their entire load in German as well, if they wish to.
Do I need to take a German test?
Yes, if you are non-native speaker of German. All non-native speakers of German need to show proof of basic knowledge of German by passing the 'Start Deutsch 2' / A2 exam prior to application. Your application can only be processed if the language certificate is included.
(A2 is the second level of the so called "common european framework of reference for languages" / "Kompetenzskala des Gemeinsamen europ├Ąischen Referenzrahmens f├╝r Sprachen")
Do I need to prepare for the courses beforehand?
No, you don't. You may want to get in touch with the instructors shortly before the semester starts. They might then give you references reg. the course material.
Will I be able to take Master classes from outside the JIM program and get credit for them?
Not in general. Most other Master courses at the CS department are taught in German.
Will I get a double degree from 2 universities?
If you choose to study the JIM-programme at h_da and if you choose to go to UWP (USA) for the exchange semester, there is an optional opportunity to get the M.Sc. of h_da and the M.Sc. of UWP if you are ready to accept some extra workload or pay an extra tuition fee according to UWP. Otherwise you will get the M.Sc. of h_da.
Can I spend any one of the four semesters abroad?
No. The 3rd semester will be your semester abroad.
How many lectures do I need to take per semester?
The JIM catalogue contains over 30 Master-level courses. You can choose a minimum of 3 courses from this catalogue according to a personal preference (Courses offered at the different locations may vary each semester).
Obligatorily, you have to take a project and a "Culture and Language" (=C&L) class.
The total amount of classes will add up to 30 ECTS (= European Credit
Transfer System) points, which is the equivalent of 20 SWS in Germany or 12 credits in America, i.e. a full load.
What is the duration of the courses?
All courses are held over the course of one semester and are laid
out for 4 SWS (4 periods per week).
Do selections of a course depend on my personal interest?
As stated above the JIM catalogue consists of 26 Master-level courses of which you have to choose a minimum of 4 courses. The selection you make depends completely on your personal preference.
Do university authorities or my course coordinator arrange accommodation for me?
For foreign students: If you wish us to reserve a room for you in a local dormitory via the Studentenwerk, please send (parallel to your application) an email to jim (at) fbi.h-da.de.
What is the average monthly fee for a room in student hostels in Darmstadt?
Rent starts at 250 Euro and - depending on room size and residency - can be up to approximately 450 Euro per month.
Electricity has to be paid additionally. Internet facilities (if available) cost 15-25 Euro per month.
What is the minimum cost of living for students in Darmstadt?
Around 500-700 Euro per month.
If I cannot get any room in a students hostels, will the h_da provide me private accommodation?
In that case, you have to contact your course coordinator.Frequently Asked Questions
Are the kitchens of the students hostels equipped with utensils?
In most cases, student hostels and kitchens are well equipped and you don't need to bring utensils. Ask when you arrange your accomodation.
Do the students hostels have Internet facilities?
Most of them are equipped with broadband internet access.
Exceptions are the hostels in Heinrichstrasse and Neckarstrasse.
Internet facilities are presently being planned for the hostel in Pallaswiesenstrasse.
How many computer labs are there in the Department of Computer Science? When can I access them for research or practical work?
There are about 15 labs, each equipped for different specialization.
You can use the systems in the labs whenever they are not occupied with a course. Therefore you have to check the schedules of the labs.
Usually it is not a problem finding an available machine.
Can I work in the labs on weekends or in the late evenings?
You can do so if you have the necessary permissions from the lab engineer in charge.
Which software is available in the labs?
Most systems run on Linux/Kubuntu. Some labs have Windows or Mac systems.
They are well equipped with various software and have access to the Internet.
The Software installed varies from lab to lab.
The following is just a short selection of standard applications:
- Microsoft Office / Open Office.
- Visual Studio 11/13.
- Visual Basic 6.0.
- Net Beans.
- Adobe Photoshop.
- Gimp 2.0.
How is the library of h_da equipped? Can I get books in English?
The central library at h_da is well equipped with literature concerning all courses offered at the h_da.
Many books are offered in both German and English.
Is there a canteen at the h_da? If so, how much does lunch cost?
There are two canteens on campus.
Lunch is served from 11:30am to 2:15pm and prices vary from 2 to 4 Euro.
Are there part-time jobs for students at University?
Part time jobs on campus are very limited, but in and around Darmstadt are always a lot of companies looking for student assistants. For job offers, have a look in the local newspaper 'Darmst├Ądter Echo' on Saturdays or have a personal walk with our tutors or study consultants at the student service center or at the international office.
Are there any campus recruitments at FBI-h_da?
Yes. Several times a year, fairs are held on campus, where students can meet IT companies and hold interviews right away.
Are there any sports activities at the University?
Yes, there are various activities offered by the h_da. For further details have a look at h_da: Sports.
When are exams issued?
Exams are usually offered at the end of every semester.
What is the examination procedure (oral / written - time duration) for Master courses at FBI (computer science department) - h_da?
This depends on the course. Most courses end with a 90 minutes written exam. Classes with lab hours might mix the grades, i.e. lab work gets graded as well as an exam and the final grade is a mixture out of these 2 components. Some classes also end with an oral exam - usually issued for groups of 3 students, lasting 45-60 minutes. Project classes are graded on the basis of active group participation, individual ideas and contributions to the overall project and the final 'product' of the project.
If I couldn't attend the exam, what do I do?
If you have a good reason, e.g. medical, you should tell the professor beforehand that you cannot attend, or try to send him a message through the secretary. In this case, it does not count as a try and you can either take an extra exam (usually offered at the beginning of the following semester) or take the exam a semester or year later (depending on when it gets offered). With obligatory classes you can attempt to pass the exam 3 times.
Can I retake exams to enhance my grades?
No. You can only retake exams after failing an attempt.
If I fail an exam, can I retake it?
After failing an exam, you can retake it twice.
Is it possible to participate in courses offered in german?
Yes, it's possible for german students to take courses offered in german. The maximum of credits you can get from german courses is limited to 18 ECTS.