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Learning and Studying: Easier to Do with the Correct Tools

The “Studierwerkstatt” (Study Workshop) offers a variety of courses to help you with your studies

Teaching & Studies / Starting Your Degree

Especially if you are beginning your studies directly after finishing school, you will need to recalibrate. Instead of having a set schedule, you now choose your own courses and study plan. Additionally, there are many different types of examination formats awaiting you during your studies. However, there is no need to panic – you are not alone. Dr. Alena Cicholewski and her colleagues from the University of Bremen’s Studierwerkstatt offer several workshops on topics such as self-management, time management, learning strategies, academic writing, and scientific work as well as several other interdisciplinary subjects. There are also special courses for international students.

“The courses all have more of a workshop character and have a maximum of 20 participants so that everyone can benefit from good supervision and helpful feedback,” Alena Cicholewski told us. She and her colleagues as well as external consultants offer courses each semester on topics such as “academic expression” or “rhetoric in presentations” which help you to organize your studies and handle the exam requirements and course contents. “While we can’t offer course-related counseling, we can provide bachelor’s and master’s students with the necessary multidisciplinary tools to succeed in their studies,” Cicholewski explained.

Credit Points for Learning How to Study

The workshops are usually comprised of many components, which means that in the course of the workshop you will be guided step-by-step, have a chance to apply what you have learned, and obtain feedback. In addition, many bachelor’s degree programs allow you to receive General Studies credits for the seminars. “This requires taking a short final exam, but it is not graded.” Registering for these courses is done just like for other courses via Stud.IP. An individual consultation with Alena Cicholewski and her colleagues is also possible.

Zwei Personen, die sich beraten lassen
Studierwerkstatt courses are more like workshops. This means that you learn in small groups and can get individual feedback.
© Universität Bremen

Now also in English!

The Studierwerkstatt added a few new English-language workshops to their program last year. Some of these are especially geared towards international students. Those who come to Germany to study abroad often have a hard time with the German university system, which allows for a lot of freedom in structuring courses, but also requires good self-management skills. Alena Cicholewski explained, “Students at German universities can choose the topics of their term papers themselves, which can overwhelm many if they’re not accustomed to this from their home universities. They may also have to adjust to the German academic standards and ways of operating, for example, that secondary sources should also be used for presentations.” To address these topics, the Studierwerkstatt offers courses such as “Academic Writing in English” or “Working with Secondary Texts in English.” If you enjoy participating in English-language courses, you are welcome to join these as well. These workshops are unique in that they take place online. “Our experience shows that many international students are unable to travel to Bremen until after the semester begins due to issues with their visas. The online courses allow them to participate anyways and establish a few contacts before they arrive.”

Always Something New to Offer

The Studierwerkstatt regularly adapts their program, Alena Cicholewski told us. “We added ‘Writing for and Publishing in Academic Journals’ because we received so many questions from students about the process of publishing academic work.” This is why it is a good idea to regularly check what the Studierwerkstatt has to offer.

Further Information

The Studierwerkstatt courses on the topics of learning strategies, communication, as well as academic writing and working are listed on the University of Bremen’s website. Course registration takes place via Stud.IP and is available to all bachelor’s and master’s students. However, the number of allowed participants per course is limited, so register quickly. Alternatively, you can visit the Studierwerkstatt during their office hours for individual consultation – during the semester Mondays from 10 a.m. to 13 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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