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FAQ /Further info

There are always questions left or things unclear. Please feel free to contact us any time. Many questions can already be answered by taking the time to carefully read all information provided on our website as well as the information sent to you via email during the application process.



  • Do I have to share my room with someone else?

    No. You will not share your room with anyone else. All dormitories in Marburg provide single rooms, usually with a shared kitchen and bathroom on the same floor.

  • How are the dormitories usually organized?

    All dormitories are equipped with kitchens and laundry rooms. The kitchens on your floor are communal. Therefore, you can use the refrigerator, stove, and sink at any time. You will probably have to bring or purchase your own kitchen utensils (plates, pots, pans, etc.). The material you receive upon arrival will include a list of stores that hold such items.

    Each dorm has a housekeeper. He/she is responsible for keeping the communal areas of the dorm clean, providing you with bedding and is also the responsible contact if damages or other problems occur in the dorm. You will find his/her office on one of the lower floors of the dorm and his/her phone number on a post at the entrance and also on the folder you receive upon arrival. Please note that he/she is usually present only in the mornings and there are assigned times for exchanging your linens for a new set.

    Laundry rooms can be found in every building, although some may be more difficult to find than others. Take this opportunity to get to know your neighbors by asking them for assistance. You may, of course, also explore your dorm on your own. Make it an adventure!

  • I do not feel comfortable sharing my kitchen or bathroom with students of another sex. Will I be able to obtain a single apartment?

    The university has a limited number of single apartments available, as well as smaller shared apartments, where all your flatmates will be of the same sex. As this kind of housing is more costly, you will need to pay an additional fee (depending on the room/apartment) upon arrival. Contact us for further information.
    Please note that we can only request those apartments, if you apply for them within the given time frame. Any application after the deadline cannot be taken into account. Also, please be aware, that we cannot guarantee to secure one of those apartments for you. As dorms in Marburg are usually fully booked, it is not up to us, which rooms we will secure for the program, but it is always the decision of the administration of the dorms. Changes to the room occupancy cannot be made.

  • Will my dorm room have WiFi/ Telephone/ TV?

    Please be warned, the rooms do not have televisions nor telephones. Also some of the dorms do not provide WiFi. There will always be internet access, but often it is only accessible via a LAN cable, hence for some notebooks, such as for instance a MacBook, an adapter will be necessary, and phones or tablets cannot be connected to it.
  • Can I request to live with my friend?

    No. We are sorry, but as we do not assign the rooms where you will live, we cannot take any requests of this kind into consideration. Most dormitories are within walking distance anyway and you will be spending plenty of time together during the program. We understand that coming all the way to Germany for a summer university is a brave step, and it may be more comfortable at times to have a friend close by.  We think it is great that you decided to take this big step together. Just try to see not living together as a chance to meet even more people, that both of you can hang out with in your free time. And, of course, you can still always visit each other.
  • Can my family/friend stay at the dormitory with me?

    We are sorry, but you cannot bring any of your family members or friends to stay with you, if they are not participating at ISU. If they are participants, they will have their own room to live in. If they are not participants, they will not be allowed to stay at the university’s dormitories and have to search for a hotel or private housing on their own.

    Of course, we are happy if you have very close family connections and good friendships, but please reconsider coming to Marburg with someone who is not participating at ISU. We have a very full program that you are requested to actively participate in, and you will probably find better possibilities other than ISU to travel together and spend time abroad. Just see ISU as a challenge to step out of your comfort zone and dive into a different culture on your own, make some great experiences and new friends from all over the world. You may be arriving in Marburg on your own, but during our program, you will definitely not be alone at all!

  • Can I move my furniture?

    All the furniture in your dorm room has to remain in the same spot. You cannot rearrange the room or take any of the furniture out of the room. It also is not allowed to take your bed or mattress to another dorm room to stay with your friend. You have all day to spend together, just take the night to get a good sleep and be well rested for class the next morning.

  • How can I do my laundry?

    Please stop by your “Hauswirtschafterin” once you arrive at your dorm. They will want to get to know you and can tell you everything you need to know about the dorm; also they can show you where to do your laundry, and provide you with new bedding if needed.

Academic Program

  • How do I register for classes?

    You pick two academic seminars and one supplement course within your application process in mobility online. You will be assigned o a German class, once you have taken the placement test.

  • I am unhappy with my choice of classes. Will I be able to change them?

    You need to make your choice of classes within the registration period. Please read the description of all courses carefully and choose the seminars that interest you the most or the ones tha are the best for your career. If you have an academic reason, you may ask the assistant to the academic directors for a change. He/she will consider your request and check the availability of the class you wish to change into. Please understand that we cannot guarantee for those changes to be made possible.

    Any requests that you do not explain, cannot be taken into consideration. Neither will it be possible to change a class on grounds of wanting to join a friend. You will have plenty of freetime and excursions to spend time with your friends. We expect you to behave professionally in class and not use your phone or talk with your classmates.

  • I missed a class. What do I need to know?

    You can miss each seminar once without an excuse. If you are sick and able to provide a doctor’s note, please show it to your teacher and hand it in at the ISU secretary. If you are able to provide a doctor’s note, we will surely be able to find a solution with your teacher, to recover the missed classes and still receive a grade and the ECTS credits.

    If you do, however, miss more than one class without an explanation, we will not be able to permit you to recover the missed classes with additional work and will have to fail you in this class. If you have relatives or friends living close by, please plan some extra time before or after the program to visit them, as two out of three excursions are also mandatory and you will not be able to do long visits during the program. We cannot accept traveling as an excuse for missing parts of ISU.

  • What does “professional behavior during class” mean?

    We expect all students to arrive to class on time. If you are more than 10 minutes late for class, it is at the discretion of your professor to note this class as “not attended”.

    Also, you are expected to not use your phone or chat with your friends in class, if not specifically asked to discuss a relevant topic with your classmates. Seminars are not a social gathering. If you fail to behave accordingly, the teacher may decide to exclude you from class, which also results in an unexcused absence.

  • What will the assignments be like?

    The number of ECTS credits only determines the workload of each class. Therefore, this choice is up to your teacher. The assignment can be a presentation, in class assessment, an essay, or a combination of those. The teacher will let you know in time, so that you can prepare and have a chance to score a good grade.

  • What rules do I need to obey concerning the assignment; and what is plagiarism?

    We expect all students to do all their assigned work and hand everything in on time. If you are unsure about the length, form or anything else, please ask your teacher.

    In any case, we expect you not to plagiarize. Working professionally and preparing a presentation or writing an essay means to always indicate all the literature used and to mark quotations. Otherwise your work will be classified as plagiarism, which will result in failing the class. Never copy any texts from the internet. Besides sources from the internet often being unreliable, we can easily check your work for copied passages. It should also be in your own interest to prepare your work properly and live up to academic standards, as you are pursuing an academic career and surely want to make some progress in your studies.

    If you are unsure about this topic or about a certain passage you would like to include in your work, please consult your teacher. Surely, they will be more than happy to help and make sure that you do not plagiarize.

  • What is ILIAS, and what do I need it for?

    ILIAS is a platform embedded in the website of Philipps-Universität Marburg. This ILIAS platform will be of great importance to you as you will be provided with all necessary learning material for your seminars via ILIAS. Further than that, this platform also enables you to directly communicate with all other participants of your class and the professor, thanks to its included mailing system.

    You will be able to log-in, once you are provided the username and password of your university account. Please make sure to check your membership in all the seminars you chose when applying, as teachers usually upload their syllabus and reading material before classes start.

ISU Program and events

  • Are there any formal events?

    There will be two semi-formal events, namely the official opening ceremony and the closing ceremony. The Welcome Session will offer a short introduction to Marburg and the ISU. The Closing Ceremony will be the certificate-giving event, with an Academic Director present. After both events, a small reception will take place and after one,  the group photo will be taken.

  • Which events are mandatory?

    We recommend you to join all the events, to not miss out on anything. Attendance is mandatory at the following events: all classes, one of the daytrips and the three-day-excursion and the keynote speech. Furthermore, we expect you to always tell us in advance, if you are planning not to attend an event, to avoid unnecessary waiting times for the rest of the group and to make necessary changes to reservations.

  • Who do I tell if I cannot attend any part of the program?

    You can always go to the ISU secretary in the building where all your classes take place. Other than that, you can, of course, also always contact the emergency phone in this matter, as this will be attended by a member of the ISU team throughout the program.

Field Trips

  • What to bring

    As well as during the rest of the program you will need to carry a picture ID and your student ID with you at all times, as you may be required to provide it, or you may be able to get a discount with your student ID in some places.

    We would also like for you to be aware of possible weather changes and advise you to bring a jacket, umbrella, sun protection and clothes for multiple conditions. Especially comfortable shoes will be important, as we will cover most distances by foot and also participate in guided city tours and other activities that require walking.

  • Is participation mandatory?

    It is mandatory to participate at least in the three-day excursion and one of the other daytrips, to receive the ECTS credits for the program. As there will be some interesting cultural program to enhance your knowledge on Germany and Europe on all three trips, and you may want to join your new friends, you are of course invited to participate in all the excursions!

  • Can I participate in all three excursions?

    Yes, we are very happy if you feel interested in the organized program and would like to participate in all three excursions. There is no additional cost, if you decide to do so.

  • What will the rooms be like during the weekend excursion?

    We will rent shared rooms in a hotel/hostel for the weekend. As the size of the rooms always depends on availability, we will not be able to take any requests from you beforehand, but divide the group into the available rooms. We will do the distribution of rooms together, when all participants are present, so that nobody feels left out. Just note that you will have to share the room with other ISU participants, all of the same sex, of course.

  • Will there be free time?

    All excursions include free time, as you can see on the handouts that you will receive upon arrival. There is, however, always a program which includes activities such as, for example, guided city or museum tours, where your participation is mandatory as the excursions partly count towards your workload for the ECTS credits.

  • What happens if I am late?

    If you are late, please always remember to call the emergency phone. It can happen to anyone that they get lost in a new city. Just please take into consideration that we make a lot of arrangements and reservations before the excursions. In order to make the trip as trouble-free as possible, we need to stick to them, as some reservations expire if we do not show up in time. If you call the emergency phone, we can surely find a solution. If you fail to do so, however, we will not make the rest of the group wait for you and miss their appointment.

    An unexcused absence to the cultural program of the excursions results in the excursion being rated as not attended.

  • What should I do in an emergency?

    If any emergencies occur during the excursion - you get lost or are not able to reach a meeting point in time - you always have the option to call your tutors on the emergency phone. The phone number will be provided to you before arrival.

Internet and Telephone

Everyday life

  • What is the emergency phone for?

    You will be able to reach a member on the emergency phone at all times during the program. In case of an emergency, such as health issues etc., you can call at all times. Also, if you get lost, or are late for an appointment, you can make use of the emergency phone number.

    For all matters that are not urgent to be solved, please contact one of the ISU team members at the daily breakfast or via mail.

  • I feel sick, where do I go?

    The health system of every country works differently. In Germany you will usually go to see a general practitioner first, if you need to see a doctor. The hospital and central emergency office are only to be visited in emergency cases and on weekends or public holidays.

    If you need help making a doctor’s appointment, please feel free to contact the ISU secretary. She will be happy to help you find the right doctor and can easily make a call for you to set an appointment.

    If you just have a cold and do not think you need to see a doctor, you can also try to get over-the-counter medicine from a pharmacy first.

  • How do I get around in Marburg?

    Marburg is not a big city and you will find many places to be within walking distance. If you do not feel like walking or it is too far, you can use busses to get to places like your dorm or lectures. Just note that busses in Marburg do not run during the night.

  • Do I have to pay for public transportation?

    Upon arrival you will receive a student ID that also enables you to use public transportation in Hesse for free. The cities you can travel to are written on the back of your student ID. It includes all public transport except for the high speed train (ICE). Therefore, you can take any bus in Marburg without worrying about tickets as long as you have your student ID and another valid picture ID with you.

  • How do I write proper emails?

    When messaging anyone at a German institution, for instance your teacher, you are expected to write emails in a certain way.

    Please always include an appropriate form of address (such as “dear sir or madam”) and closing remark in every email and sign it with your full name, as email addresses often consist of nicknames and we can only answer emails that we can assign to one of our participants.

  • How do I know which food will be offered at the cafeteria?

    The cafeteria has a meal plan for each week, which is usually to be found in German under the following link:

  • Is there someone I can talk to about doubts, worries, complaints or suggestions?

    Please feel free, to contact any member of the ISU team to talk about doubts you may have and also, of course, with suggestions for improvement, as we are always interested in improving our program and make it as enjoyable for you as possible.