Informationen für Erstsemester am HPI

Start of studies November 2020 (winter semester 2020/21)

Maths course [for Bachelors only]

Date: 05.10.2020 to 23.10.2020, Monday bis Friday from approx. 9:00 to 15:00

  • Goal: Refresh your knowledge from school, close knowledge gaps so that the introduction to the math lectures is easier.
  • The course is a good opportunity to get to know fellow students - without the stress of exams, fees etc.
  • The lecturer of the course is Dr. F. Börner from the University of Potsdam.
  • A registration is not necessary.
  • The start is currently planned for Monday, 5th October 2020 at 9:00 in Lecture Hall 1 (HS 1)
  • The duration is 3 weeks: Monday to Friday 09:15-10:45, 11:00-12:30 and 13:30-15:00. This corresponds to the normal lecture times at the HPI, differing from those of the University of Potsdam.
  • On the first day a barbecue is planned to get to know each other.
  • The lecture is planned to be broadcasted online. We recommend the participation in presence.

Official introduction at HPI (first days)

Date Bachelor: 27.10.2020 to 30.10.2020, from approx. 9:45 to 17:30
Date Master: 29.10.2020 and 30.10.2020, from approx. 8:45 to 17:00

  • During the introduction days, you learn everything you need to know for your first year at HPI: They take palce the the whole day. Please do not have any other plans on these days.
  • You are going to get a tour over the campus and a presentation of the different research groups, get to know the important contacts for your studies as well as get a technical introduction including receiving the access token for the campus buildings.
  • The introduction days take place in presence with the appropriate hygiene measures in place. The most important information should be broadcasted online, we are still in the planning process. However, the broadcast is no fully adequate replacement for the participation in presence.
  • Please bring a computer with you if you have one. It will be useful to have your own computer for the technical introduction.
  • You should definitely take part in the introduction days, we recommend presence.

  • Please let us know via e-mail to fachschaftsrat@hpi.de if you cannot come to the introduction days or want to participate remotely via Internet.

First's trip [German only]

Date: 30.10.2020 to 01.11.2020

  • Traditionally, a First's trip for all students in the first semester is offered. This is a great way to get to know each other.
  • Participation in the First's trip is of course not a prerequisite for a successful start to your studies, but an optional offer from your new fellow students.
  • The planning is underway. It should take place meeting hygiene measures.
  • You will receive further information and an application form via e-mail in time.

Lecture start

  • The lecture period of the winter semester 2020/21 begins on 02.11.2020 and ends on 12.02.2021.
  • Typically, the winter semester starts on Monday at 09:00 with an HPI General Assembly.

Welcome event at the University of Potsdam

  • At the beginning of the semester, the official welcome event of all students in first semester of the University of Potsdam usually takes place in the Nikolaisaal. This year, it will be held digitally.
  • In the first week of lectures, the WarmUP! usually takes place in the Schiffbauergasse, where a cultural programme is offered. This semester, the programme will be offered at all sites of the UP.
  • Find more information on (StudiUP and WarmUP!)(https://www.uni-potsdam.de/de/up-entdecken/up-erleben/warmup) here (German only as of now).

University websites

Website: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/studium/studying/information-on-starting-your-studies

The university websites offer useful tips for starting your studies. You will only have to deal with the PULS (online enrolment system of the University of Potsdam) in exceptional cases. You will be informed about everything important regarding the enrolment during the first days and via e-mail during the first week of the semester.

Leisure time and additional offers

Potsdam, the university and the HPI offer a wide range of opportunities for your studies and leisure time. You will get to know most of them in time during your studies. Here we would like to briefly describe the most relevant ones.

University sport

Website: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/de/hochschulsport (German only as of now)

  • The offers of the Hochschulsport are very diverse and often very cheap.
  • They offer a good opportunity to get to know students from other subjects.
  • The enrolment begins early in the semester and some offers are often fully booked after a few minutes, so it's worthwhile to informa yourself early and be quick!

Center for Languages

Website: https://www.uni-potsdam.de/en/zessko/

  • The Center for Languages of the University of Potsdam (ZESSKO) offers various courses in which you can enrol online only.
  • The exact enrollment period is noted on the ZESSKO website.
  • If you would like to improve your English skills, the HPI also offers its own English courses in its Soft Skills Program (Specialized English I and II).

Education

  • All HPI courses take place at the Griebnitzsee campus, right next to the "Griebnitzsee" S-Bahn station.
  • Language courses at the University of Potsdam take place at the Language Center on the Griebnitzsee campus.
  • Other courses at the University of Potsdam take place at different locations.

Laptops

  • Just as it is not compulsory to have a pen with you when studying mathematics, it is not compulsory to have a laptop. But it is much easier with.
  • It doesn't matter whether you buy a Windows, Apple or Linux laptop. If you can handle your current operating system and are satisfied with it, then there is a lot to be said for sticking with it for the time being. Then you can use your usual programs in your private life.
  • In exceptional cases, a course may require a Linux or Windows installation. But virtual machines are easily created for this purpose and these two operating systems are also installed on the numerous pool computers. Finally, it should be noted that students at Lenovo and Apple get some laptops at a discount in exchange for a student certificate. You should also look out for student discounts at other providers.

Public transportation

The HPI is located right next to the Griebnitzsee S-Bahn station in Potsdam, making it easy to reach from Berlin. In addition, the RB 21 and RB 22 (partly) go via Griebnitzsee. For connections see

  • www.vbb.de for Potsdam, Berlin and all of Brandenburg
  • www.sbahn-berlin.de and www.bvg.de
  • Network plans for bus, tram, S-Bahn
  • The student ticket, which you already pay with your semester fee, covers the area of Berlin and Brandenburg including S-Bahn, bus, tram, regional train, regional express, ferry and selected IC/ICE
  • Semester tickets at Berlin universities often do not cover the whole of Brandenburg, but only Berlin AB(C).
  • In the fare zones Potsdam ABC and Berlin ABC you can take bicycles with you for free with the semester ticket. (More info)

It is worth living close to the Griebnitzsee.

For example, use [Mapnificent] (http://www.mapnificent.net/berlin/#/?lat0=52.39372184831849&lng0=13.132437723083513&t0=20&lat=52.40393410951047&lng=13.141664522094748&zoom=12) to see where you can live to take X minutes to get to the HPI.)

Studentenwerk

  • The Studentenwerk makes studying easier.
  • The services include: student residences, BAföG administration, refectories and cafeterias, job placement and various advisory services.

Dormitories

Student housing is offered by the Studentenwerk Potsdam.

General Advantages

  • relatively cheap
  • Contact to many students
  • Furniture (kitchen, bed, desk, shelf, cupboard, chairs) and washing machines/dryers (in the laundry cellar) available
  • Proximity to the campus

Dormitory Griebnitzsee/Stahnsdorfer Straße

  • Costs: 270 to 330 €
  • mainly two-bed apartments, few single apartments and three-bedroom apartments
  • is right next to the HPI (highly recommended)
  • Attention: Very popular, therefore long waiting times! Apply early! (This is also possible, even if you do not yet have a certificate of enrolment)
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Park Babelsberg
  • Costs: 220 to 240 €.
  • 3, 4 and 5-bed shared flats
  • about 2,5 km away from HPI.
  • Disadvantages: Poor transport connections (especially at night): conditionally recommended, but can be reached by bicycle within 10 - 15 minutes.
  • the apartments are slightly smaller than those on Griebnitzsee Campus
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Breite Straße
  • 1- to 2,5-room apartments
  • directly in the city, 10 minutes from the main station (recommended)
  • Disadvantage: big street in front of the door
  • more information on the website of the Studentenwerk
Dormitory Rosenstraße
  • 1-room flats
  • Advantages: Some of the apartments have a balcony, the apartments do not have such a "dormitory character".
  • Disadvantages: The Studentenwerk Potsdam (or the University of Potsdam's "ZIM") cannot provide internet access here, unlike the other apartments. This means that you have to take care of this yourself.
  • More information on the website of the Studentenwerk Potsdam

The other Potsdam residences are only conditionally recommended due to the distance to the Griebnitzsee location. More information about these halls of residence can be found on the website of the Studentenwerk.

Important: Places in student residences are assigned according to the order in which applications are received. You can apply without being enrolled. Since you are reading this page, you seem to be interested in studying at HPI. Therefore, if you would like to live in a student residence, we would advise you to apply as soon as possible! In order to actually get a place in a hall of residence, you have to submit your certificate of enrolment.

If you have signed a tenancy agreement for a room in Stahnsdorfer Straße starting in October, but would like to move in earlier for the mathematics preliminary course, you can ask Mrs. Schwanke (schwanke [at] studentenwerk-potsdam.de) if the room might become available earlier. In addition, you can find a group of students from the "Wohnanlage Potsdam Stahnsdorfer Straße" on Facebook, where you can search for your previous tenant and perhaps arrange an earlier move-in. Since the residence halls are social housing, there is no second residence tax. In any case you have to register at the office.

Private living

General tips

  • pay attention to the transport connection to the HPI
  • Attention: "Neubau" = Plattenbau (prefabricated building)
  • Nightlife in Potsdam is limited: make sure you have a good connection to Berlin

Living in Potsdam

  • Babelsberg district
    • Distance to HPI: varies, 4 minutes by S-Bahn from Babelsberg S-Bahn station
    • Living atmosphere: almost only old building, altogether quite nice
    • near the S-Bahn station Babelsberg there are very nice renovated apartments in old buildings
    • Costs: single flats (rather seldom) from 250 € warm, shared flats for two: e.g. 60m² for 500 to 600 € warm. Attention: Pay attention to the type of heating: Coal heating is extremely stressful
  • Am Stern district
    • Distance to HPI: by bus about 10 to 15 minutes, by bike usually faster
    • Living atmosphere: Almost only prefabricated concrete slab buildings (mainly renovated); half as bad; very cheap
    • Costs: two-person flat 60m² from 300 €, three-person flat 80m² from 400 €
  • District Am Schlaatz
    • Distance to HPI: about 15 to 30 minutes by bus/train or bike
    • Living atmosphere: almost only prefabricated housing
    • extremely favourable; at the northern end (Sperberhorst, Falkenhorst) quite ok, further south not recommendable
    • most favourable district of Potsdam
  • Other districts
    • partly very nice districts (e.g. Berlin suburb, Potsdam West). Closer to Potsdam city center, but usually further away from HPI and Berlin.

Contact

Any questions? You can check the FAQ for HPI studies and send any questions to the Student Representative Group fachschaftsrat@hpi.de. We'll be happy to help you!