First Semesters FAQ

So you have chosen to study Chemistry or Biochemistry in Bochum. But you have no idea whats coming? Don’t worry, we all have been there. On this page, you can find some questions and answers that might help your start.

Is Chemisrtry the right subject for me?

As a chemistry student you need one thing above all: stamina! The whole program is quite work intensive and you have to accept some setbacks… But still, if you enjoy experimenting and are interested in “what holds the world together at its core”, chemistry is the right place for you. If you are not sure if chemistry is right for you, just try it! You will soon notice whether studying is right for you. Those who quit (about one third of all first-year students) end their studies in the first two semesters. Those who are still in the program after that will also make it to the bachelor’s or later master’s degree!

Should I have had Chemistry-LK at school, and do I need other previous knowledge?

No, it doesn’t matter at all. It’s an advantage at the beginning because it makes it easier for you to get a general overview in the first semester. However, since it is not assumed that everyone has the same level of knowledge, you start from “zero” again in your course of studies, so that the school material is covered quite quickly. At the latest after the three major subject areas (inorganic, organic, physical chemistry) have been dealt with, previous knowledge really doesn’t matter anymore.
The required math and physics are taught in the first two semesters. Computer and English skills are an advantage, but are not yet required in the first semesters.

Which books should I buy?

You should wait with that, as we will give you an overview and advice in the tutorials. Also the professors and lecturers usually give literature suggestions at the beginning of their lectures, which you do not have to follow. There are, for example, books that you only need for one semester and there are really good, interesting textbooks that you are welcome to look into. However, everyone has to find the textbook that suits him or her best. In the faculty library you have the possibility to look into the books on site and even borrow some of them for a whole semester. It’s worth stopping by! A very good collection of relevant textbooks and further tips can be found in our Stubs.

How quickly can I get used to the new environment?

Studying chemistry on your own is tough. Teamwork is really everything here. Together, many things are easier and you understand the connections much faster by helping and encouraging each other. The same applies in the laboratory. So since you always have a strong semester cohesion during your studies, it’s not difficult to make the connection. The tutorials and the precourse offer you the best opportunity to make new contacts.

Can I go to work on the side?

That depends. A job that takes several days a week, or that costs you a few hours every day, is probably hard to do, because the internships (laboratory work at the university) are very time-consuming (it’s simply a practical training). However, it is always worthwhile to look for job offers within the university, maybe you would like to supervise an internship as an assistant yourself later on?

Where can I live in Bochum?

The offer of apartments is sometimes very scarce in Bochum, especially at the beginning of the semester. A good way to get a cheap flat is to register in waiting lists for a student dormitory of the AKAFÖ. Of course it is also advisable to check all the postings on the notice boards in the city, in the cafeterias and the cafeterias. Also, the housing offer in Herne (the U35, the most important connection to the university, runs through to Herne Bahnhof) is much more relaxed.

More questions?

Write an e-Mail to us.
Our student advisory booklet “STUBS”, is highly recommended.