First termers impressions


Study started during the pandemic

The first-termers did not have it easy this year: First of all, high school graduation ceremonies and stays abroad were canceled and then the start of studies in a new city and above all without direct contact with the fellow students. All courses have been taking place online since October - including the "Welcome Week", during which the first-year students usually get to know their fellow students for the first time. Cécile, Jonas, Jaqueline, Paula talk about how they got into their Courses of studies, how they experienced the Welcome Week and what they learned from online teaching.


Jaqueline - Always interested in nature and sustainability

Copyright: © J. Schlüper

More to do than at school

Her first impressions of the course of studies were, on the one hand, that the course was already waiting for the students in the first semester with many subjects. On the other hand, it quickly becomes apparent which subjects you find interesting and which you don't like so much.
Jacqueline also quickly noticed the contrast to school, as you have a lot more to do but can also do more. You are required to organize everything yourself and you are responsible for what you learn and what not.

Her interest in sustainability has existed since school. After a little research it turned out that georesource management suits her. Aachen and RWTH became so because they heard of the good reputation of RWTH. In addition, friends of hers are already studying at RWTH.

Every beginning is difficult

The pandemic is due to Jacqueline's first semester being completely digital. Things are going well for her, but she is also demotivated from time to time just sitting in front of the computer.
Despite everything, she managed to establish contact with her fellow students. The online first week planned by the student council and numerous game evenings helped. Some learning groups have been set up. The best is made of the current situation.

Fun with the topic - despite Corona

For Jacqueline it came unexpectedly that she could not do as much with her school knowledge as expected and that more subject matter was taught in a short time. She enjoyed the subjects closely related to the earth system and nature, e.g. climatology and general geology.

Jacqueline hopes that face-to-face teaching will soon be possible again and is looking forward to the personal exchange. She is also well prepared for the coming semesters, as she now has an idea of ​​how the subjects are taught.

She wishes fun and success for her further studies.


Jonas - finally learning what really interests you

Copyright: © J. Klyne

What were your first impressions of the course of studies?
Very interesting content and a pleasant range of topics, despite the overwhelming concentration of knowledge at the beginning.

How did you get started on the course? And why did you choose Aachen?
Mainly through internet research and stories from others. I chose Aachen because the university and the city seemed very personable and lively to me.

Did you come to Aachen immediately after graduating from high school?
No, I still had time to put in a year abroad.

Do you experience university as a stark contrast to school?
No, there is not a strong contrast because the lectures (in the 1st semester) are timed similar to the lessons in schools. The main difference is in the "want" and less "have to", i.e. with increased self-motivation.

How are you coping with digital lessons?
Mostly very good, although in some areas there is a lack of practical experience and direct exchange with the professors and several fellow students. Sometimes the videos that can be accessed also have advantages, such as pausing or being independent of time.

Were you able to establish contact with fellow students despite the online semester?
Yes, that is possible in the form of study groups and with a little commitment.

What did you particularly enjoy?
Practicing in study groups.

What did you not have expected?
How short a semester is!

Do you feel well prepared for the next semester?
To be honest, it's difficult for me to judge, but I don't panic about starting the second semester.

What do you hope for in the coming semesters?
Especially the approach to the "normal" (Corona relieved) teaching with excursions!


Cécile - Positively surprised by the subjects

Copyright: © C. Bourgoignie

Cécile started her bachelor's degree in georesource management in the winter semester 2020/21 and moved from her home town of Siegen to Aachen. After finishing school, she searched for a suitable course of study using the keyword geosciences. At first she was unsure whether it should be georesource management (GRM) or applied geosciences (AGW), but in the end she was won over by how broad the GRM program is with its legal and business administration modules.

Fun start to your studies

When asked what she particularly likes about her studies so far, she immediately talks about the first week. Due to the Corona restrictions, this had to take place online. Cécile thinks that you still had a great start. Various quizzes were offered, through which one could get an impression of the topics from the first semesters. She also liked the first-semester mentorium, especially because you could ask questions and get tips at any time. That made everything a little easier, just like the contact with the students from higher semesters, which she would not have expected before.

Cécile was positively surprised by the digital lessons. Of course, it would be more fun to be present, but when everyone has switched on the camera and the groups are small, especially during the exercises, you get to know your fellow students quite well. She was particularly helpful at the beginning when there was feedback from the small groups and people could exchange ideas. In general, she liked the start of her studies better than she would have expected. The introductory event with the academic advisory service at the beginning of the first week already aroused their interest.

Small hurdles and obstacles

Of course, despite everything, not every module is easy for her. Especially the scientific basics need a lot of attention at the beginning. “I felt I had to take care of that around the clock for the first 4 or 5 weeks”, but mineralogy was also an obstacle at first, as it had no relation to the topic beforehand. You have to find your way around first, especially because there is a lot more input than in school. On the other hand, Cécile is positively surprised by the modules climatology, geological history and general geology. The small number of students is also a plus in their eyes. You get to know everyone faster and you can help each other. She also thinks it is good that you get a lot of reminders for appointments and information about innovations via email. So you are always up to date.

Relaxing in the free time

Before Cécile started her studies, she was with a host family in Dublin for 3 months. Here in Aachen she would like to try out university sports or the university film studio as soon as that is possible again. At the moment, riding and cycling are your mental balance to everyday student life. It is also great for them to live close to the forest. There she can switch off if she needs a break.

For the future and especially the next semester, Cécile wishes that she can apply what she has learned in the excursions and that more practical work is possible, as far as the regulations allow. Most of all, she looks forward to getting to know her fellow students properly, away from the screen and the desk at home.


Paula: From internship at the geological research center to geosciences

Copyright: © P. Schopp

How did you get started on the course of studies?
After graduating from high school, I did various voluntary internships because I didn't know which area I would like to work in later or which subject area I am interested in. I became aware of the geosciences course during my internship at the Geo Research Center Potsdam. The research projects on various current topics fascinated me. I also really liked the scientific work in the laboratory.

What do you enjoy about geology and studying?
I think that the online semester meant that I was not able to get to know many subjects as well as the practical part was omitted in several exercises. Actually, there is no subject that I don't enjoy. Of the basic subjects, I like chemistry. Otherwise I find general geology and the topic of symmetry in crystallography very interesting.

What did you not expect?
I didn't expect that there would have been so many different courses in the first semester, but I could have gotten better information there.

How well does digital teaching work and how do you find it yourself?
Online classes work well for me. I like that you can decide for yourself where and when to watch lectures. For exercises, however, I think it's a shame that these only take place online and you can't look more closely at rocks etc. For the future, I could also imagine a mixed teaching system of online and face-to-face teaching.

How many other students do you know well, how many have you already met digitally or in person?
I find it very difficult to get to know other students through Zoom. In the meantime I've got to know two fellow students with whom I also meet regularly. I also think it's a shame that you can't talk to other students.