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Department of Natural Sciences

On campus

Getting started in Rheinbach

After all the paper work is done, you will surely be very excited to begin experiencing student life in Germany.  As mentioned previously, before the start of the semester two orientation weeks are organized for which participation is not only necessary but strictly recommended.
Getting around - The campus in Rheinbach 

The campus in Rheinbach is rather small and it is very easy to get around.

Building A: Department of Natural Sciences

Building B: Department 01 (Business Administration)

Building C: Mensa, cafeteria, library and lecture halls

Building F: Biology laboratories of the Department of Natural Sciences

The numbers used in the description of the building are put together from building from the letter for the building, floor number and room number. For example, to find the office of the Students Council (Fachschaft) for Natural Sciences (AnNa), you would need to go to A 007 - Building A, ground floor (0), room 7 (07).

Checklist for starting in Rheinbach 
  • Register with your student ID in the library
  • Check course timetable & schedule for practical courses (or sign in for them) at the white notice board in front of / between the two PC pools
  • Find vacant locker to leave your personal items during practicals, BUT bring your own lock!
  • Order a lab coat and effect cullet insurance from the student council (Fachschaft)
You have it all - in one card: your student ID 

In the very beginning, you will receive your student ID which has several features. You will come to rely on and appreciate this little plastic thing every day because of the many functions it offers to facilitate your daily life. It serves to prove your identity as a student (e.g. has to be presented before exams) and borrow books from the library. In public life you get the usual discounts on presentation e.g. in museums and cinemas.

In the area of the main entry, near the reception desk, you will find the terminal where you can print the current semester on the back of the card (for public transport in the entire area of the VRS region).

Moreover, the ID serves as a "debit card." You can use this feature in two ways.

The "Mensa- account":

You can charge the card at the device in the cafeteria, just insert your card and insert the bank note. The amount of money will be transferred onto your card. In the mensa the option to pay cash is going to be cancelled in the near future in order to reduce waiting lines. However, at the cafeteria you can always pay cash.

The "Library- copy- account":

You can charge your card at the device close to the copy machines, which makes copying cashless.

E-mails from your university account 

On enrolment all students will be given access to e-mail. About four days after enrolment you will be given an e-mail address on the following pattern:

The abbreviation of the Department of Applied Natural Sciences is bcw.

You will then be able to look at your mailbox by going to

You will receive your passwords at the Student Service Point (A008). For further information concerning E-mail accounts you may ask our administrator Olaf Stock.

Food, snacks and beverages 

The mensa (during lunchtime) and cafeteria do their best to provide healthy and delicious meals. The cafeteria offers a wide variety of snacks and drinks. The weekly special features a selection from an array of bread rolls, muffins, and sweets.  The mensa offers many meal choices as well. Feeling more like a salad only? No problem, the salad bar offers a variety of different salads and vegetables which you pay according to weight. In the mensa and cafeteria you can pay cashless with your student ID if it has been charged in advance at the recharge device in the cafeteria.

Scripts and other important study materials 

For most of your lectures a script or lecture notes will be provided by the respective lecturer. Some scripts are available online, others you will find in a folder in the library near the copy machines, or deposited in one of the two copy shops in downtown Rheinbach.  If you have questions or are having trouble locating a particular script, ask your professor or your fellow students.

Books you need you can borrow from the library and also copy single pages (for larger copy-missions, the copyshop is recommended, as that will be significantly less expensive). Before the first borrowing you have to register with your student ID. The librarians will be happy to guide you through this procress.

Student body 

Every university has its own student body that represent different spheres of interest and scope of duties of a university. The student body represents your interests and concerns.  They are also a source for information and conflict resolution.

The students of a department elect representatives for the student's council (Fachschaft), which consists of a chairman and his or her deputy and other members taking care of different tasks. The people in the Fachschaft will be happy to answer some of the many questions that you might have when starting with your studies.  The council meets on a regular basis and you are welcome to join in and offer ideas and suggestions you might have to improve student life on and around campus.

Some services offered by the Fachschaft Angewandte Naturwissenschaften (Natural Sciences) include:

Ordering lab coats

In case you do not have a lab coat get a lab coat from the Fachschaft!  At the beginning of each semester they will have different sizes ready to try on and order accordingly. Keep in mind that it is usually better to have more than one lab coat (as you might have to leave one in a lab for autoclaving, while your next practical course is already running).

Cullet insurance

Everyone is a little bit clumsy once in a while, even in a lab. Lab equipment is rather expensive.  Therefore, the cullet insurance protects you from bringing yourself close to financial ruin by breaking everything that finds it's way into your hands.

Scripts and old exams

After prepayment you may order current scripts and old exams from previous years from the Fachschaft. These materials are very helpful when studying and preparing for exams.

Student Information System (SIS) 

In the course of your studies you will collect a "Transcript of Records" ("Notenspiegel") and other marks in your courses. You will find these notations listed in your personal account in the SIS.  The examination office ('Prüfungservice') can provide you with an official transcript or verification for applications. Call or send them an E-mail and they will send it directly to your home! Moreover the SIS is an important tool for enroling to practical courses, re-registration or registration for exams.

Courses, Courses, Courses 

During the course of your studies you will take a variety of types of classes. For the majority these will be lectures and exercises which are not all mandatory but in any case quite helpful in following a the content of a course.

Practical courses

An integral part of the studies are the practical courses. Almost every course will have its own practical course in the facilities of the university. The practical courses are obligatory, as is handing in a written protocol afterwards. Practical courses need to be passed in order to pass the respective module as a whole and the marks for the protocol are part of the overall mark of a certain module.

As you can see, passing the practical courses is crucial to your success. Make sure that you know WHO you are working with, when and exactly where.  Also, do not miss any safety courses (usually every course has its own), introductory sessions, pre-meetings and that you have prepared your protocol and have it available for reference when actually performing the experiments. If you find yourself bereft of information on the how and where, just ask fellow students and/or the professor.

Elective courses

Besides compulsory subjects there are a certain number of elective course that you will have to take throughout the course of studies or rather obtain a certain number of ECTS. These elective courses can consist both of lectures and practical courses but can also be organised in form of a project. In some of these you will have to sit an exam at the end of the semester or give presentations. Be sure to schedule your elective courses especially from the 3rd semester onward, this is especially important in case you want to go abroad! You can check for available courses on the white notice board between the two computer rooms or online.

Semester abroad 

All study programmes offered by the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences are characterized by a strong international orientation. This is reflected by the fact that several study programmes are held partly (e.g. the study programme in Forensic Sciences) or even completely in English but also by the fact that students are encouraged to spent part of the studies at one of our partner universities abroad. In the Applied Biology Bachelor programme, foreign study usually occurs in the fifth semester.  Students take part in the corresponding courses at the partner universities, including practical courses, lectures and exams. The marks they earn abroad will be acknowledged for their study programme in Rheinbach. Some partner universities together with Rheinbach offer a programme to earn a double degree which includes a stay of two semesters (the fifth and the sixth) and a final thesis completed abroad. Partner universities offering programmes in the area of Natural Sciences, for example, are located in Great Britain, Poland, Norway, Spain, and the Netherlands. The number of choices for semesters abroad is constantly increasing.

Of course the exchange programme is also open to international students, if there are no legal restrictions on the granting of visas.