Welcome to Jena! Our mentors will accompany you in your first days as a student in Jena and are your contact person for any questions concerning the beginning of your studies. Initial support for new students is available upon arrival in Jena, for trips to government agencies, to the University Computer Centre or the Studierendenwerk, when opening a bank account or for structuring schedules. We are happy that you are interested in participating in the mentoring programme. This service is available to all new foreign students and aims to facilitate your start at our University. On this page, we have compiled and answered several important questions that you might have.
Why does the International Office offer the mentoring programme?
The mentoring programme of the International Office helps foreign students with orientation at the university and in the city. It arranges for new students to have contact with experienced volunteer mentors, who have already been students at the University for a while. The mentors support foreign students with all of their trips to local authorities for enrolment purposes and therefore facilitate their start at the university.
Who are the mentors?
The mentors from the International Office are students who have already been studying at the University of Jena for at least one semester and who volunteer for mentor activities (without being paid). They know all about important things concerning enrolment and were trained for their activities. The mentors speak different languages, some of them have already gained international experience, and they like to have contact with people of different origins.
We will assign you with a mentor who we know will be in Jena when you arrive. If possible, we will also try to assign you with a mentor who is studying in the same department as you or at least in the same faculty. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. For this reason, please be understanding if your mentor is not able to answer all of your questions concerning your field of studies and its contents. However, mentors can give you tips on where you can find academic assistance for your field of study.
How can a mentor help me?
The mentors help new foreign students with certain activities:
- contact persons in Jena
- support upon arrival in Jena
- orientation in the city and at the university
- help with enrolment
- going along to local authorities
- support with registration at the University Computer Centre
If your mentor has time, he/she will probably pick you up at the train or bus station and bring you to their flat. Please arrange this before your arrival. But please understand that your mentor will not be able to pick you up from the airport in cities such as Frankfurt, Berlin or Munich. If your mentor does not have time when you arrive, he/she will surely be happy to help you with directions and will explain how to use public transportation. Be sure to discuss these aspects with your mentor before your arrival, so that you arrive in Jena well prepared.
If you signed up early for the mentor programme, you can already organise appointments (e.g. at the bank or registration office/residents' registration office) together with your mentor before your arrival.
If you need more help, maybe with looking for a flat, signing up for university sport or with other things, ask your mentor if he or she has time, as these things do not belong to the main activities of the mentors. Please understand that the mentors cannot sign any contracts for you and also cannot your guarantor.
How does the REGISTRATION work?
It is best if you sign up right away after receiving your admission to the university on the Registration platform for students. As soon as we have received your registration, you will be sent a welcome email with more information to confirm your registration. Then you have to be patient (see next question below). When we have found a mentor for you, we will send you both a so-called "assignment e-mail" with the contact data. You can then immediately initiate contact with your mentor. If your mentor does not answer right away, please write to him/her again in a few days. Also check your spam or junk mail folder. If you have not received an answer after one week at the latest, please write an e-mail. We will be glad to help you.
When are the mentors assigned?
The team of the mentoring programme of the International Office begins with the assignment of mentors to students at the end of August or in March. As a matter of principle, we try to assign you with a mentor one to two weeks before your arrival in Jena.
I signed up a while ago already and I still have not been assigned with a mentor. Should I register one more time?
No. If you have received a confirmation e-mail after your registration, your registration was successful.
Maybe you did not specify an arrival date then it is difficult for us to find a suitable mentor for you. It is therefore important that you inform us of your precise arrival date with your registration or afterwards.
Only if you did not receive an confirmation e-mail and you also cannot find it in your spam folder, then you should sign up again as there was probably an error in the e-mail address that you entered.
What does participation in the mentoring programme cost?
Participation in the mentoring programme is free for foreign students. It is a special service provided by the International Office of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
My arrival date has changed or I did not know when I would be coming to Jena when I registered. What should I do?
You can still register for the programme even if you do not know your precise date of arrival, yet. For us to be able to assign you with a suitable mentor, however, we ask you to inform us of your arrival date with a short e-mail, as soon as you know it.
If your arrival date changes, please inform us briefly per e-mail, so that we can assign a suitable mentor for you.
I am not coming to Jena after all. Do I have to cancel my registration?
It is a shame that you are not coming. Please write us an e-mail.
I have already arrived in Jena and still do not have a mentor or I did not sign up, yet. What can I do?
You can still sign up for the mentoring programme after your arrival. Please read the information above (question: "How does the REGISTRATION work?")
We also recommend you to come to the Info-Café at the International Centre ("Haus auf der Mauer"), Johannisplatz 26, in Jena. During the enrolment period, experienced international students offer advice and support with problems here from Monday to Friday between 12:00 and 16:00 along with tea, coffee, and snacks. You will also meet other new international students there or students that have been studying in Jena already for some time. Moreover, the office of the mentoring programme (opposite from the Info-Café in the same building) is normally occupied during the Info-Café. Come by and visit if your questions cannot be answered at the Info-Café or if you still need a mentor.
In the assignment e-mail, it says that I am not getting a service package, even though I ordered one. What does this mean?
Do not worry. We often do not have any information on who gets a service package and who does not. Please inform your mentor yourself that you still need a service package. Have you not heard about the service package, yet? You can find more information about it hereExternal link.
What can I do if my mentor is not answering?
If you have not heard from your mentor for a certain time, he is not reacting to your e-mails, and you also cannot find any e-mails from him in your spam/junk mail folder, please write us a short e-mail in which you inform us about the problem.
What can I do if my mentor has no time for me?
Mentors are volunteers who are not paid for their support. Most of the time, they also have jobs or have work to do for their studies. If your mentor has already taken care of the most important tasks with you (enrolment, bank, registration office etc.), he has done everything that we expect of him. Please understand that your mentor has limited time due to his own studies, work or other reasons. You will surely find other students with whom you can spend your free time.
However, if your mentor does not have time to take care of essential things with you as agreed, i.e. go to the enrolment office, to the bank, to the registration office or similar, please write us a short e-mail. We will then first contact your mentor and try to solve the problem. If this is not possible, we will assign you to a different mentor.
Can I change my mentor?
If you have problems with your mentor, please first talk to him. If this does not help, please explain the problems to us in an e-mail. We will then try to mediate. If we cannot solve the problem, we will try to find a new mentor for you.
Will my mentor help me to find a flat?
Your mentor cannot look for a flat for you. But he can give you tips on how to find a room or a flat and what you should pay attention to. Please also look at our Advice for looking for a flat.
Who will help me with questions concerning my field of study?
The mentors should help you with your first steps in Jena and with your enrolment. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to assign you to a mentor from your own department. Therefore, it is not automatically the mentor's responsibility to answer your questions concerning your field of study or to help you with structuring your schedule. Please also look at our Advice for subject-specific academic advisory servicesExternal link.
Can my mentor and I participate in the intercultural training?
Yes, of course! The International Office organizes intercultural training courses which are open to all students at the University, but are particularly geared towards internationally mobile students and mentors. You will receive an invitation for this in due time or you can find the dates and registration information hereExternal link.
The office hours of the coordination office can be found on the website of the Team International Students.
During the enrolment periodExternal link, you can also find us from Monday to Friday between 1:00 and 3:00p.m. at the InfoCafé or in our office at the International Centre ("Haus auf der Mauer", Johannisplatz 26, Jena).