Hundreds of young adults are starting a new chapter of their lives this Monday: the begin of their studies at Ulm University. To mark the official start of the winter semester, University President Professor Michael Weber welcomed the first-semester students both live and via video transmission in packed adjacent lecture halls.
Once again around 10,000 students are enrolled at Ulm University for the winter semester, roughly 1,700 of whom are either first-semester or newly-enrolled students. University President Professor Michael Weber turned his attention in particular to the more than 1,000 first-semester students, live in the 400-seat lecture hall 4/5, as well as via video transmission in other lecture halls. He welcomed the newcomers to the campus, which is surrounded by nature, and not only explained to the young people how the University and its organs work, but also gave them advice for studying at a university in general, which is quite different from the school life they’d been used to before: “Try to keep enjoying your subject for as long as possible”, the President advised. Since studying is basically a full-time job, it should be taken “seriously, right from the beginning”. “Ask questions, assume a critical perspective”, Weber encouraged the students.
The head of the International Office, Daniela Englisch, encouraged students to “think outside the box”, and to organise a stay abroad at an early stage. Following this, Julius Schürrle and Annika Wilke presented the activities of the student representatives, ranging from work in the departmental student organisations to organising parties. The programme continued with speeches by the deans and introductions to the various subjects. In the University Forum, the university groups were represented as were numerous institutes and support services related to studying, such as the Central Student Advisory Service, the Department of Humanities and the Career Services Office.
The first-semester students were also given gifts. Each student received a water bottle with the Ulm University logo, as well a clay tablet. The clay tablet is a traditional gift that is being presented for the 40th time this year and whose current design is the same as it was back in 1983: a donkey with luggage on his back, representing Eselsberg (“Donkey Hill” – where the University is located). The university president joked that the image was a reference to studying: “A little load that you’ll have to carry here”.
Text and mediacontact: Christine Liebhardt