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New forum for international students

International students who are new to a university have many questions: "How does the residence permit process work? Who can I talk to at the Foreigners' Registration Office? How do I find a suitable flat? How do I open a bank account? And how does it work with language courses and studying in general?" The University of Erfurt would like to help its international students to arrive in Erfurt as quickly as possible and, above all, to get into contact with other fellow students. To this end, the International Office has now set up a digital forum under the title "International Community Forum" in Moodle, where information can be collected and questions answered.

"We are aware that certain information for international students is sometimes difficult to find at the authorities or official offices," says Bárbara Martins, a staff member in the "Internationalisation@home" project at the University of Erfurt. "And most of the time, the students end up with us – sometimes with questions that are not directly related to the university, so that we don't always have the answers at hand either. We want to change that with the new Moodle forum. It offers international students a bilingual platform to exchange their own experiences and approaches to solutions and thus provide each other with mutual assistance. In addition, we bundle frequently asked questions and provide the corresponding answers in the forum."

The service, which was also developed by João Godoy, a doctoral candidate at the university, is deliberately designed to be low-threshold. Every student at the University of Erfurt can log on to the forum via Moodle, view the information, ask questions themselves or provide answers or files such as forms/translations or similar. "The whole thing in a trustworthy and secure environment," adds Bárbara Martins, who will moderate the forum if necessary and take care of answering frequently asked questions. "We would be happy if as many of our students as possible were there, sharing their experiences and supporting others with helpful comments. That way, everyone will benefit from the ideas and solutions in the end and together we will help new international students to quickly feel at home on campus and in the city and to make a good impression."

Link to the Moodle room: https://elearning.uni-erfurt.de/course/view.php?id=14673. The enrolment key is: forum.

By the way: If the format is successful, the International Office is planning a similar forum for the international employees of the University of Erfurt.