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The International Student Week in Ilmenau (ISWI) Germany, deadline : 15 Jan 2011

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  • Retno Widyastuti
    http://iswi.org/index.php?id=140 ISWI 2011 is coming ! ISWI - those four letters do not only symbolise the name of our association, they are also the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2010

      ISWI 2011 is coming !

      ISWI - those four letters do not only symbolise the name of our association, they are also the abbreviation of our major project: the "International Student Week in Ilmenau

      • For more information concerning the application please visit our FAQ or the article "How to apply ?"
      • If you would like to participate, apply here!

      The International Student Week in Ilmenau takes place every two years since 1993. It is the biggest international student conference in Germany. Meanwhile we look back on nine ISWIs and we hope, that there will be many more.

      Each ISWI has a main topic, which is deeply analyzed by working groups, discussions, as well as speeches and debates during the student week. We invite well-known experts, who support the discussions by their personal experience, their knowledge and their ideas. The aim of our conference is an exchange of cultures, professors, experts, students and guests. We want to bring many different people together to discuss a high variety of problems, to think about solutions and to translate them into action. To complete the conference there is also a big cultural programme including an International Brunch, parties and several music concerts.

      Who can apply and how to apply?

      The ISWI 2011 is open to all students at universities and colleges, no matter where you are from. For insurance and liability reasons you have to be at least 18 years old by May 13th, 2011.

      • For more information please visit our FAQ.
      • If you would like to participate, apply here!

      If you have no or only little access to the Internet please fill in the application form accurately and send it to the Organisation Committee of ISWI 2011 by mail, fax or e-mail. You can find it at the end of the infobook we sent to the universities or you can get it via email. Of course, both ways of applying are treated equally when we select participants for the ISWI 2011.

      Remember to apply as soon as possible, but not later than 15th January, 2011.
      You will know if you are accepted as one of 370 participants as soon as you receive the Official Invitation which will be mailed in February or March 2011 - Please be patient and refrain from asking constantly - we will appreciate it.

      Apply until 15th January, 2011!

      Q&A concerning the application

      1.) Minimum age and status as student

      To get participant of ISWI 2011 you have to be at least 18 years old on 13th May 2011 and you have to be student. Other applications cannot be regarded.


      2.) Application

      The application is divided into two parts. At first you have to fill in our application form. It will be available for you in November. You can find it visiting www.apply.iswi.org.

      If you want to apply via mail, you can find the application form in our Infobook we sent to your universities. You can also download it in the download area. For mail application just copy the application form and send it to us. You can find our address here.

      Please keep in mind that mail is very slow and can get lost. It is also a higher effort for us to insert you in our database. So we would prefer if you apply via internet. Please write readable.

      The second part of the application is writing essays. We require three essays of you in
      addition to the application form.

      • Essay 1: A statement why you have chosen the group you want to join
      • Essay 2: Your motivation why you want to join ISWI 2011
      • Essay 3: Your thoughts about freedom in relation to the motto "crossing borders"

      The essays will serve as basis for choosing the participants of ISWI 2011. They will be evaluated by the organisation committee.

      You can upload your text using our event management system (Please use only formats
      readable for us like *.txt, *.doc, *.pdf.) or write it down in the text area.


      3) Deadline for application

      The deadline for application is 15.01.2011.


      4.) Is it possible to join ISWI 2011 with a friend of mine?

      It is not possible to join with a friend, just because he is a friend of yours. As already said, we choose the participants on the basis of your essays, so that everybody has the same chances. That is why each of you, you and your friend, have to apply for yourself with different essays. The better they are, the higher the chance to get invited.


      5.) What happens, if I copy my essays from a friend or the internet?

      Be sure, we will read every essay and check it. If we find out, that you have copied, you will get a very low evaluation, so that your chances to be invited are very low. It is also more work for us and unfair for all the others applicants. We hope we will not find any.


      6.) What happens after the application?

      After the deadline (15th January 2011) we will start to vote your essays. This can last for aboutone month. If we have chosen you to participate in ISWI 2011, we will send the officialinvitation. {Please do not ask, if you are invited. We will contact you.}

      After you have received the message that you are invited please plan your journey and apply for visa, if necessary. Please contact us, if you are not able to come. So you give other people the chance to visit ISWI 2011.


      7.) Do I get an official invitation to the ISWI 2011?

      Yes, you will get a letter by ISWI containing an official invitation to the ISWI 2011 and an information booklet. We will send the letter in Febuary or March 2011.


      8.) What is the official invitation for?

      The official invitation confirms that you are invited to the 10th International Student Week in Ilmenau. It was signed by the president and the vice president of the ISWI 2011 Organisation Committee (originally) as well as by the rector of the Ilmenau University of Technology (by computer). The ISWI 2011 is officially supported by the Ilmenau University of Technology.

      The invitation is important for getting a visa to enter Germany (if you are required to have one). You can also use it to confirm that you are offically invited to your university, if you need a document to be released from university for attending the conference.


      9.) Visa processing (Check out, if you need a visa, first.)

      Please visit a German embassy or consulate at your country and apply for a visa. Please make sure, that the visa is also valid for your travelling days (not only for the days of the conference). At the embassy you will have to present your official invitation letter (and some other documents the embassy in your country might require, as it varies from country to country). Please inform at the website of the Federal Foreign Office before visiting the embassy. It might be helpful to present a document of your university or another official authority confirming your student status. The German Federal Foreign Office has alreadypromised us that upon the presentation of your official invitation letter the German Embassies will help you as much as they can in getting your visa. But please be aware of the fact that the  final decision about issuing visas for Germany is up to the embassy. Of course we do our best to inform the embassies and cooperate with them. If you have any problems or questions, please e-mail, call or fax us and we will do our best to help you. 


      10.) Is the visa free of charge?

      Unfortunately we have to tell you that the visa for the participants of the ISWI 2011 is not free of charge in general. We tried to establish such an agreement, but the Federal Foreign Office told us that they have tightened the rules concerning the grant of visas that are free of charge.

      But nevertheless we would like to inform you about some exceptions. There is a leaflet
      published by the German Federal Foreign Office. (You can find it here.) Please readthrough it and be aware of part 4a ii and 4d. They show cases where the visa fees will be reduced or even remitted completely. Our advice is: When you are appliing for the visa take this leaflet with you and ask the embassy, if they can make an exception from taking the visa fee in your case, because you are a student and you are visiting an international student conference.


      11.) What do I have to pay?

      You just have to pay your travel and visa expenses. Accommodation and basic food
      (breakfast, lunch, dinner) will be supplied by us. In addition, you will have free entry to all cultural events of the ISWI 2011.



      12.) Do I have to pay a participation fee?

      No, you have not! There is no participation fee for the ISWI 2011. You only have to pay travelling and visa costs.


      13.) How much money should I bring?

      That depends on what you want to buy. Accommodation, meals and festival events are free of charge for you, but you might want to buy souvenirs or beer and coffee at the student clubs while hanging out with friends. If so, we would like to stress the fact that the standard of living in Germany is high. To give you an idea about the prices: a coffee is about 60 cents, beer 1.80 euro and coke 80 cents. These prices are taken from the clubs on the campus, where everything is usually cheaper than in the clubs in the city.



      14.) Is there any financial support by the ISWI 2011 Organisation Committee concerning the travel?

      Unfortunately it is not possible for us to give any financial support concerning your travel expenses. We are only a student organisation that tries to do its best in organising this conference. In doing that, we depend on public funding by the German state, by private sponsors and foundations. It is hard work to get all the money for realising the conference. Please refrain from asking our lecturers for funding.

      We hope you can understand our situation.


      15.) Where can I exchange some foreign currency into Euros (in Germany)?

      You can exchange your money in any bank in Ilmenau (banking hours are from Mo-Fr, 9 am - 4 pm), but due to the schedule of the festival events, you probably won't have much time to do this. We would also like to warn you that some banks do not accept the currencies of some countries. The US dollar is probably the most advisable and convenient foreign currency to carry and exchange if you do not carry any Euros. Be aware that you won't get the full value of what you  exchanged, because banks charge you about 5 Euro as their commission every time you exchange some foreign currency (so you'd better exchange all the  foreign currencyyou think you'll need for your stay in just one transaction, or  better yet, get together with some other participants, pool your money together and exchange it in just one transaction, to save on the bank's commission). We should also warn you that exchange centers such as you find in airports and train stations charge a higher commission than regular banks do. ATMs (automatic teller machines) are available all over Ilmenau as well.



      16.) What about traveller's cheques, bank cards, and credit cards?

      If you plan to use some traveller's cheques instead of cash to exchange into Euros, we should warn you that the exchange rate for a traveller's cheque is lower than if you exchange cash and that the "commission" system applies to traveller's cheques, too (see preceding question). You can avoid these commissions, if you use your bank card or your credit card to withdraw money (if you withdraw money in Germany, the ATM gives it to you in Euros no matter what currency the account is in). Master Card and Visa is widely accepted in Germany and you canalso use them (and your Euro Cheque bank card, if you have one) to withdraw money from the automatic teller machines 24 hours a day.


      17.) What about accomodation and board during the ISWI?

      We have a host programme, where Ilmenau students and citizens voluntarily host the participants of our conference so that both sides have the possibility to directly get in contact with each other. During the 15 years our conference has been running, we made good experiences with this and often close relationships or even friendships were made among the hosts and the participants. So, you will have a host to welcome you and to try to make your stay in Ilmenau as pleasant as possible. During ISWI, you will live in your host's house. Every participant will meet his/her host at the check-in, but you may use our forum on the webpage to get in touch earlier.


      18.) What to pack for the ISWI?

      Ilmenau weather, especially in May, can be very capricious. One minute, the sun may be shining and five minutes later, it may start to rain. So when you pack, bring both clothes for warm and sunny as well as for cold and rainy weather. (If you want to pack light, remember you can always wear clothes in layers when it's cold). Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes, too, if you plan to go hiking in the forests around Ilmenau. The other important things you need, are listed below:


      • passport (Make sure you have the necessary visa!)
      • your ticket (flight and return flight)
      • a sleeping bag
      • money for your personal expenses
      • sense of humour and an open mind :-)


      • sportswear and shoes for in- and outdoor (for the sports event)
        (Please make sure that your indoor shoes have a light sole; not a black one.)
      • national costume and traditional music (for the International Brunch on Sunday)
      • traditional food of your country (for the International Brunch on Sunday)
      • Please take care of the import restrictions for food mentioned below.
      • lecture materials (if you want to give a lecture, be well prepared and if you need any equipment for it, just let us know)
      • medication
      • you might need comfortable and sturdy walking shoes (if you plan to go hiking on Thursday)
      • musical instrument (if you like to play some own music esp. at the music group)
      • camera (if you want to take photos esp. at the photography group)

      The International Brunch
      On the first Sunday we will also have an International Brunch. The aim of this event is to
      present the different cultures of the world to the participants, the students of our university and all people from Ilmenau. That is why it would be nice, if you could help us because you are the expert for your culture! Whether typical food from your region, typical clothes and music from your country or performances of typical dances and songs - everything is possible. We are looking forward to your presentation.

      But please attend to the following information about food, that is not allowed to be imported:

      • mushrooms
      • potatoes
      • meat and meat products
      • gameraw fish
      • milk and milk productseggscaviar from sturgeon
      • supplementary means of food
      • food with ingredients like cream or mayonnaise


      19.) Am I insured during the conference?

      During the whole course of the ISWI 2011 you are insured. As you can also read at your invitation letter the Organisation Committee will provide you with free health-, accident-, and third party-insurance as well as legal protection.


      20.) How do I get to Ilmenau?

      You are expected to arrive in Ilmenau on Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th. The check-in will be in the Mensa building on the campus of the Ilmenau University of Technology. On these days somebody of the organisation committee will be at the Ilmenau train station for every arriving train to meet you. You will be able to reach us via phone (+493677-691946) for 24 hours a day from Thursday, May 12th, throughout ISWI 2011. If you arrive before Friday please contact us a few days in advance.

      If you come from the Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig or Hamburg airport, look for thenext train station of German Railways ("Deutsche Bahn"). You can buy a ticket for Ilmenau at the DB office ("Reisecenter") or any ticket automat. There are no direct trains from these cities to Ilmenau and you will have to change trains at least in Erfurt, which is the nearest larger city to Ilmenau. For more information you can visit the webpage of "Deutsche Bahn".

      You can also choose to take the bus to Ilmenau.In this case you buy the ticket aboard the bus. (But normally the train is faster and cheaper than the bus.)

      If you're taking the train, make sure you don't mix up the Ilmenau station, where you'll get off, with the other two Ilmenau stations coming before Ilmenau. The right station is simply called "Ilmenau" and it is the final station of the track. There will be somebody to meet you at the station. If you decide to take the bus from Erfurt, get off at the Ilmenau bus station "Busbahnhof" (you can ask the driver if you're not sure, if it's the correct station), and walk to the train station (which is next to the bus station) where there is always one of us waiting there to meet you.

      Please don't hesitate to ask the staff at the information centres at the airport and/or at the train stations, if you need more information. We have already contacted them and once they know that you are an ISWI participant, they will show you where you are supposed to go. Also don't hesitate to call us if you need help.

      If you get lost in Ilmenau, follow the signs to the University of Technology.


      21.) What happens, if I arrive before the 13th of May?

      Please inform us about the exact date and time of your arrival. We will try our very best to find a place for you to stay until the beginning of the ISWI 2011.


      22.) What can I do, if there is no flight for the 13th or 22th of May?

      Usually it is no problem if you can't make it on the 13th of May, but it would be great if you could be there on the 17th of May, because the group work starts on Monday. If you can't find a flight back home on the 22th of May, please be aware of the fact, that after the ISWI you have to take care of the food and the  accommodation on your own. Of course we will help you to find a place to stay until you are flying back home.


      23.) How can I contact other participants (from my country) (e.g. to arrange travelling together)?

      For contacting other participants (from the same country as yours) you can use different ways. If you already have a Facebook account, you can join the ISWI-Group on Facebook and look for other participants of the ISWI 2011. The other possibility for contacting people is our forum. In a few days you will get a mail, that will explain the function of the ISWI 2011 forum to you.

      Retno Widyastuti, M.Si

      HLN MITI Mahasiswa

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