We’ve moved!

Dear readers,

our website has officially been moved to: http://admissionsblog.user.jacobs-university.de/ 

We hope to see you on our new and improved website with our new weekly posts!


The Admissions Team


How to deal with academic pressure Part 1: The teachers’ perspective

The life of a University student can get very stressful and overwhelming. Sometimes it seems like there is a lab report or an essay due every week in addition to exams and quizzes. How does one deal with this academic pressure? Well why not ask the Professors! Their teaching experience as well as their experience as Academic Advisors will give us some useful insight into their perspective on academic pressure. Make sure to stay tuned for Part 2: the students’ perspective. But now let’s get to know the professors: 

Karen Smith Stegen

Prof. Dr. Karen Smith Stegen

has been teaching at Jacobs University since 2009. Her primary research interests are: Energy and Environmental Politics, Social and Transnational Movements, International Relations

I took two courses with her in my first and second semester: International Institutions and Social Movements & Political Participation. Both of them were incredibly eye-opening and a pleasure to attend. This is not really a surprise since Professor Smith Stegen received the “Teacher of the Year Award” – one student saying her “class was the perfect combination of intellectual rigor and hilarity”.

Alexander Lerchl

Professor Dr. Alexander Lerchl

has been a professor of Biology at Jacobs for 14 years now. His research interests are: Zoology, Neurophysiology, Neuroendocrinology, Chronobiology, Biostatistics.

I took two courses with him in my first year: General Biology and Neuroscience and Introduction to Neuroscience. As I am a Social Science major it was incredibly refreshing to take these courses and to learn about the brain, our body and the world around us from a natural science perspective. Professor Lerchl classes were very entertaining and he even gave us some sneak peeks into his own research.

Adalbert WilhelmImage by David Ausserhofer

Professor Dr. Adalbert F.X. Wilhelm

has been a Professor of Statistics at Jacobs University since 2001.His research interests are: Information and Knowledge Management, Statistical Visualization, Data Mining, Exploratory Data Analysis, Computational Statistics.

I am currently taking a course with Professor Wilhelm called Statistical Methods II: Classification, Modelling and Prediction (quite a mouthful, I know). Professor Wilhelm has managed to make an important course like Statistics enjoyable for somebody like me, who has no talent whatsoever when it comes to numbers. That is quite an achievement and the highest compliment coming from me!

  1. What general advice would you give to students about academic pressure?

Professor Dr. Smith Stegen:

I think students come under academic pressure when they attach too much importance to getting the highest possible grade on each assignment and in each class. My advice to students is to keep things in perspective. One way to do this is to project oneself into the future and imagine how important (or unimportant) a particular assignment or grade really will be in the scheme of things. Or to look back and ask themselves how truly important individual assignments were in the past. Quite often, the things we stress ourselves about are not so important in the long run and it is helpful to keep this in mind. To relieve immediate stress, I suggest students take breaks to do things they enjoy, such as sports, listening to music, reading something entertaining, or taking a walk. We have beautiful parks and a riverfront close to campus and they are great for walking, jogging or biking. In addition, I personally find that humor helps greatly with stress relief and even to combat fatigue. When I was working on my dissertation, I used to watch one episode of The Simpsons (which is about 20 minutes) in the afternoon instead of drinking a coffee. These types of mini-breaks also allow the brain to subconsciously work through some of the puzzles or problems one had been thinking about. Often, these kinds of “breaks” lead to insights and solutions. Indeed, some of my best ideas come to me while I am biking to work. If such techniques do not help and students are having problems coping with pressure, then they can also turn to our counseling center.

Professor Dr. Lerchl:

Academic pressure is a serious issue. On one hand, students are excited about the many courses they can register for. On the other, they will realize, sometimes after the drop-add-deadline, that they have chosen too many courses. The burden can become immense! My advice: register for the mandatory courses only, do not overload yourself.

Professor Dr. Wilhelm:

Learn both, how to cope with it and how to escape from it from time to time. The academic world is highly competitive, but there is more to life than grades and the accumulation of knowledge. Try hard, don’t look for the easy way out, but also have the confidence in yourself that you are capable to learn and decide what is best for you. Don’t let yourself get carried away with academic pressure and competition:  learn to prioritize, make a plan, develop a steady work routine, and keep in mind that the German word “Bildung” encompasses ways more than just learning for exams.

  1. What are three characteristics that you look for in a student?

Professor Dr. Smith Stegen:

When I write letters of recommendation for students, the top “standout” qualities are, not in order of importance, diligence, intelligence, and having a good attitude (which also encompasses “integrity”).

Professor Dr. Lerchl:

Alertness, open-mindedness, critical thinking.

 Professor Dr. Wilhelm:

Curiosity, Tolerance, Enthusiasm

  1. What is your number one advice against procrastination?

Professor Dr. Smith Stegen:

I think people–students and non-students–often procrastinate a job or task because it seems mountainous. A good coping mechanism is to break the task down into small parts and then tackle them one-by-one. There is a wonderful book called Bird-by-Bird (by Anne Lamott), in which the author’s father counsels his panicked son, who has procrastinated a report on birds until the last minute, to write the report “bird by bird”. This is how I approach my large, mountainous tasks and it often helps.

Professor Dr. Lerchl:

Do it NOW!

Professor Dr. Wilhelm:

Embrace it. There are people who are fairly immune against procrastination. If you are one of them, lucky you. For all others: don’t ignore procrastination and don’t let it happen. Be aware of it and include it into your plans and schedules. Be realistic and get to know yourself.  Be aware that some additional tasks will come in unexpected and be prepared for adaptations of your schedules. Stay in control about your time management and develop a realistic view on how large a pile of unfinished business you can handle and how much procrastination you need and how much you can accommodate.

Bremer Freimarkt

Something that you quickly learn when you live in Germany is that Germans have an incredible amount of festive markets. The list of markets go on and on: Freimarkt, Weihnachtsmarkt, Oktoberfest, Ostermarkt, Volksfest, and individual towns even have their own distinct markets. Yet the main commonality between these holiday markets is that they will all generously spoil you with some of the most deliciously indulgent foods.

Some of the top contenders include insane whipped cream-ice cream (Eis wie Sahne), which honestly is like soft serve but better. You can have it dipped in chocolate sprinkles, crispy sprinkles, and happiness.

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Other foods that Freimarkt offers includes an entire store for cheese – which means chili poppers nuggets, camembert with jam, and more cheese than you thought you could ever handle in your whole life.


My list of foods to conquer at Freimarkt is normally quite long and features some of the following: doughnuts (Berliners), currywurst, Glühwein, something with fish, Schaumküsse, Schmalzkuchen, Langos and chocolate-covered strawberries/bananas/apples.

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Aside from food (which is my priority 90% of the time), there are also huge amusement park rides, a lively atmosphere, glittery lights and lots of happy locals – there is nothing more exciting than eating everything (and I mean, everything) at a German holiday market.

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I’ve been to Freimarkt at least six times in my past 2 years here at Jacobs and each time has been filled with lots of joy, wonderful company and a particular strategy on how to eat as much as food as I can.

Being able to get out of the Jacobs bubble is a tremendous way to get to know Deutschland, its people and its wonderful culture. So advice to all incoming freshmen: take some time out during the chilly fall days of exams and stress to head downtown to check out Freimarkt, and begin preparing yourself for that winter hibernation, snow and the Weihnachtsmarkt. (!!!!)


Watching a game between Werder Bremen and Bayern München

Studying at Jacobs gives you great opportunities to experience the German football spirit. You can easily go to a Werder Bremen game on weekends at the Weser Stadium.

Before I came to Jacobs, I was a big fan of Germany national football team. I always wanted to go to Germany and at least watch a game of my favourite football players. One of my high school friends from Germany knew about this and gave me a Werder Bremen fan shirt signed by Miroslav Klose as a present. I originally only knew Klose and didn’t know about Werder Bremen. After two years, I am now in Bremen, where Werder Bremen is located.

Werder Bremen is a German sports club located in Bremen, Germany. It has won the Bundesliga Championship four times and the latest one was in 2004.

Today, I went to my first football game of Werder Bremen and Bayern München. It is convenient and free to get to the Weser Stadium by train, tram or bus with the ticket. Along my way to the stadium, football fans of both teams who came from everywhere were chatting and cheering.

Outside the stadium, there were people selling food, drinks and souvenirs. I bought a scarf to cheer for my home team.

IMG_9994(Bayern München fans were shopping.)

The stadium was almost full. I noticed that disabled people were sitting in the first row on every platform. I was again amazed by how much Germany cares about people with disabilities. Sitting in the Werder Bremen fan area, I talked to some German students and learnt to sing along and cheer in German. Everyone was so enthusiastic that it was impossible to just stand there instead of joining in on the shouting and clapping.

The final score was 1:0. Thomas Müller scored his ninth league goal of the season after controlling Thiago Alcântara’s pass.

IMG_0021(Inside look of the Weser Stadium)

It was an awesome experience seeing my favourite german players so closely and watching a Bundesliga game live. Again, I enjoyed another advantage studying at Jacobs!

Beauty in Bremen: Short Guide

So you have come to Germany and to Bremen. But now, the question of where  you get some things that were so accessible at home, that now aren’t  can  seem like a mystery. I know for me during my first year, my main questions revolved around beauty… like “where can I get my hair done” ? and where can I get makeup that suits me?  But with a bit of looking I realized such places do exist in Bremen.And nearby Hamburg as well if you need an excuse for a good day trip 🙂

Bremen Downtown

Bremen Downtown

If keeping up your hairstyle is important to you but you don’t have any idea where to start , here are suggestions for salons that work with a variety of hair types.

Hair Places (addresses below)

  • Kumba afro hair braiding

A really nice young woman runs this salon and she and the salon staff put their best into making you look great. But it’s good to call ahead especially if you are going over the weekend, as it gets really busy.

  • Miss Chic the Salon

Another really nice salon that has nice ambiance and a great team. Scheduling ahead of time is a plus and it is really easy to contact them online via email or over the phone , if you have questions or want to schedule an appointment.

  • Torsten Dembny

This was recommended to me by a friend. This salon has a large staff so it might be good to ask about who specializes in the style you’re going for ( for example a short cut ). Plus it is super conveniently located in Vegesack by the bus stops.

  • Mario Andolfi

A salon located downtown. It has a nice atmosphere and is efficient timewise. Was recommended to me because they cut all types of hair really well and are a good place to go for a trim.

Kumba–>  https://www.facebook.com/KUMBA-AFRO-Hairstyles-1416429331922212/info/?tab=page_info

Torsten Dembny


Vegesacker Bahnhofsplatz 2

28757 Bremen

Telefon: 0421.663911

E-Mail: info@torsten-dembny.de

Internet: http://www.torsten-dembny.de

Mario Andolfi

Address: Langemarckstraße 196, 28199 Bremen, Germany

Phone:+49 421 5228954

Miss Chic The Salon

Wartburgstrasse 28

D-28217, Bremen, Germany

Phone: +(49) 0421-69 52 401

Mobil: +(49) 0176 374 46 301


Opening times

Mon – Fri: 10:00 – 18:30

Sat: by appointment

MAC shades

MAC shades

Skincare, Hair care and Makeup

Buying makeup can also sometimes be a struggle! But most likely you will find your favourite brands and shades and products at the following stores. And of course Rossmann’s pharmacy has a good selection of products with well known brands, and it’s very convenient ( Haven Hoovt). ( Addresses below)

  • MAC Cosmetics

There is a small MAC display in the Douglass downtown but there is a larger store in Hamburg.

  • Douglas

This perfume/ skin care store has a wide variety of product offerings, and has good options for if you have a specific skin or hair brand you are looking for. They also offer affordable basics like : nail color and shampoo.



Mac Cosmetics

Mönckebergstraße 10 · +49 40 30393220

Opens at 10:00 am

Parfümerie Douglas

Waterfront Bremen

AG-Weser-Straße 3 · +49 421 6437795

Opens at 10:00 am

Parfümerie Douglas

Sögestraße 31 · +49 421 323237

Opens at 9:30 am

Best of luck!

Jacobs Games Cheerleading

This past weekend Jacob’s Games 2015 took place. This is an inter-college competition, which includes sports such as soccer (also known to many as “football”, which I personally think is wrong :D), basketball, tug of war, and many more. Students from Krupp, Mercator, Nordmetall and C3 all dressed up in their college wear and went out to support their teams. I chose to participate in cheerleading as I did last year; however, I was cheering for the Mercator College as I recently moved from Nordmetall.

Despite what people may think, cheerleading is one of the most competitive sports during Jacobs Games. Our team met every night for 3 weeks to learn the dances, stunts, and cheers. At times, the practices were stressful, but in the end this is a chance to bond with those in your college. People that weren’t even on the team would come to our practices to support us and help whenever they could.

Every routine is around 4-5 minutes long and is a mesh of many different songs. The competition is always full of energy and tension. This year there were alumni and college heads that came to judge the competition. This year Nordmetall won the competition, Mercator came in 2nd, C3 3rd, and Krupp 4th. None of us are professional cheerleaders, but this is actually an aspect that makes this competition all the more fun. All of the teams did amazing and brought something new and different to the table. Here are some pictures that I took from the competition!

Nordmetall C3 Krupp Mercator Mercator


“Hey, I’m Aulon! Nice to meet you!”

“Hey, I’m Esteban! Where are you from?”

“I’m from Albania, you?”

“Well, my mother is from Venezuela, my grandfather came from Italy, and my father is from Argentina, but I was born and raised in Colombia, so …” 

This is how my O-week went. Every introduction was unique and every time I grew more and more curious. At the moment, I am in my second year of pursuing my Bachelor in Computer Science , and after one year at Jacobs, I find it challenging to remember my previous years of life outside of the bubble.

Being raised in a small country like Albania, I rarely had the chance of seeing or meeting a foreigner. Despite neighboring countries with different languages, we lacked the traveling culture and mostly spent our vacations within Albania. I recall my 7th grade (middle school) when we started taking geography classes. During that year we were studying world geography and all the maps and globes (no google maps at the time, no google earth, we didn’t even have internet or personal mobile phones) emitted adventurous rays towards us. My friends and I came up with a game to make our class more fun; I separated the states by continents, listed them with their capitals, copied a number of papers and distributed them to my friends. The point of the game was simple: pick a continent, memorize the states and their respective capitals, and ask your opponents about those states. This way, you learned a continent by yourself and all the other continents by playing with your friends. I picked the Americas and I was surprised to see that there were a whole lot more countries than just USA, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, etc. Who would have thought that Barbados is a state, or Antigua & Barbuda? This made me realize that the world is actually bigger than I have ever imagined it to be. So cool!

Years passed and classes did not have those fun games anymore. After 6 months of standardized tests and preparations, my college hunt phase was approaching. Upon stumbling into Jacobs’ website, I noticed the focus on international student body. What does that mean? 114 different nation representatives?  Wow! At the time, I had no idea what that would feel like. Then O-week happened and I saw myself surrounded by different people from all around the world. *She lived her whole life in South America!* *He lived in 4 different African countries!* *She was born in Japan, lived a couple of years in the US, then moved to Mexico, then to the Pacific and now Germany!* I bugged my friends with questions. How is your city? How is life there? What do you eat? How cold/warm is it? Please say something in your language!! And I still do bug them to this day because there is a lot to learn and a lot more to understand. I know phrases in Romanian, Spanish, Russian, Macedonian, Serbian, Nepali, Japanese, Farsi and I am trying to memorize more and more.

What is more interesting is that we are so different and yet so alike! Albanians share their culture and a lot of words with other Balkan countries. We and our neighbors have the same lifestyle, same taste and same jokes. Subtle differences make the daily routine very funny; Albanians greet by kissing on the cheek 2 or 4 times, Serbians on the other hand 1 or 3 times and when you want to greet your friend you end up in this embarrassing situation where one is leaning over and the other one goes away. These are the minor things that make you realize how the world is well connected, how we all are part of a large society and how we all must fight for the best of the world. Stop by for a visit and learn more cultural facts!

“I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.” – Richard Feynman