Kick-off to summer semester 2023: Capturing what students have to say

Kick-off to summer semester 2023

Even if the weather still leaves much to be desired, it is now official: the summer semester has begun. After a few rather quiet weeks, Goethe University’s campuses are gradually filling up again. We asked some students how they feel about the new semester and what they are looking forward to.

On Westend Campus we meet Jesper, Lars and Lennart on their way to the cafeteria. They are starting their second semester of a Master’s degree in Political Theory, and got to know one another during their studies. They completed their Bachelor’s degrees in Bayreuth, Berlin and Marburg and moved to Frankfurt to continue their studies. We wanted to know what brought them to Goethe University. “It’s the only degree course of its kind in Germany. Frankfurt is the only place offering Political Theory.” Even though the Frankfurt School no longer exists in its original form, its reputation was another reason for deciding to study at Goethe University. What Jesper, Lars and Lennart value most about the Master’s degree in Political Theory is its interdisciplinary approach, allowing them to attend courses in subjects such as sociology, political science and philosophy. All three consider the wide range of courses offered an advantage, although this also means there are relatively few that all three can attend together. How do they like Frankfurt? While the main factor attracting them to Hesse’s largest city was the Master’s course itself, Frankfurt naturally has a lot of cultural activities on offer. Nevertheless, all agree that the city is definitely “expensive.”

Law students Ceyda and Deren are happy that lectures have resumed. They are now in their third semester, but fondly recall their early days at Goethe University. “My studies got off to a really great start,” Ceyda says, adding: “The Welcome Week was very varied and interesting, and I got to know a lot of new people. Some friendships developed that have lasted right up to today. We learn and study together.” She appreciates the contacts with students from higher semesters, who are always willing to help her as mentors and tutors. “I’m doing really well at uni and am glad to be here in Frankfurt.” We asked whether they already have plans for what to do after they graduate. Ceyda finds criminal defense particularly interesting, while Deren could envisage specializing in human rights and international law. However, they are not yet completely sure – and in fact they don’t have to be, since, as they explain with a laugh, “It’s going to take a while before we finish our degrees.”

In front of the lecture hall center, we meet Erasmus students Demi, Dimitra, Eleana and Linda, who are on their way to a preparatory German course (see photo). Although newly arrived in Frankfurt, they have already seen quite a bit of what the city has to offer, including the Historical Museum and the Old Town. Demi, Dimitra and Eleana come from Greece, and their only reason for coming to Westend Campus is to attend their German course. They are studying medicine and will spend most of their time this summer semester on the Niederrad Campus. Linda is Italian and studies sociology. She chose Frankfurt for her semester abroad mainly because the city is so international and its people come from so many different countries. “I really like this about the city,” she says. For Dimitra it was important to attend a German-speaking university. She ultimately selected Goethe University because it is one of the largest and best known universities in Germany. The main reason Eleana is looking forward to her semester in Frankfurt is because the city is full of exciting possibilities and also has an interesting history.  

On Riedberg Campus, Alessandra and Vivien tell us what they are looking forward to this summer semester. They have just finished their internship in general and inorganic chemistry – which they actually should have completed during the winter semester; however, since no places were available, they are squeezing it in now. Both study biochemistry in their fourth semester and are particularly looking forward to classes in anatomy and physiology. At the end of the semester, the two will have to complete another internship in molecular genetics. “In the lab we’ll finally be doing what we wanted to do when we originally applied to study biochemistry – like gel electrophoresis.” Since the internships to date have focused more on basics in physics or chemistry, they are eagerly anticipating the coming semester with more medicine-related subjects on the curriculum. The biochemistry students feel very much at home in Frankfurt and appreciate the Riedberg Campus, in particular because they are surrounded by other scientists here. “Actually it’s also a very beautiful campus, and will become even more so thanks to work on the new chemistry building.”

Summer semester lectures began on April 11 for nearly 41,000 students. Around 2,000 of them are starting their degrees either as new students or after having switched from a different subject.

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