Welcome to new students
This year, Technical Sciences welcomes 1,131 new students on the engineering degree programmes and agrobiology. Due to corona, orientation days are a little different than usual, and yet still the same.
Expectant and slightly nervous-looking new students; coloured-t-shirt-wearing student advisers explaining, ushering and showing around; icebreaker games; while the sun peeps out behind the rain clouds.
The first day of study on 26 August 2020 was very much like last year and the year before, but, of course, nothing is as it used to be after the coronavirus toppled our world, especially with regard to the way we meet new people and the way we are together.
When the new students showed up on Wednesday morning, they were welcomed by student advisers wearing face masks, who guided them to their new study group. When the new students are in their study group, they do not have to comply with the one-metre social distancing requirement, although they have to with everyone else. For bachelor of engineering students, orientation days take place in smaller groups. However, for practical reasons, the bachelor of engineering students will not be divided into fixed study groups for the duration of the Autumn semester.
Students will also have to get used to using hand sanitizer, disinfecting classrooms, keeping to the right in corridors and hallways, and following markings and arrows on floors and in stairways.
Furthermore, the new students have also been strongly urged to refrain from drinking alcohol during the introductory activities. However, apart from this, students can look forward to three days of introduction with a lot of new information on academic matters, practicalities, course schedule, study groups, the names of their fellow students, and everything else that usually belongs to orientation days.
The first day in a new life
"You're embarking on a new era of your life. Academically, personally and socially, studying will develop you, and with a degree from Aarhus University you'll have the very best of opportunities."
Those were the words from Eskild Holm Nielsen, dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences, in his welcome speech to new students. This year, the speech was delivered as an online video instead of live in the large auditorium.
In addition to being an important day for students, the first day of study is one of the most important days of the year for a university whose primary task is to educate young people to solve important tasks for the society of the future. And for the new students at Technical Sciences, the education they are about to acquire will allow them to put their mark on society and address some of the major societal challenges facing us today.
"You'll be given the chance to work with what interests you the most. You have a unique opportunity to turn your interests into a qualification," said the dean, who also stressed that studying is much more than just the academic stuff; there is also plenty of opportunity for social activities. See the dean's welcome video to new students at Technical Sciences.
Lots of thanks to student advisers
Planning and execution of orientation days has largely been in the hands of the many voluntary student advisers, who have spent the last six months preparing a good start for the new students. This year has been subject to particularly difficult circumstances because some of the activities that are usually a part of orientation days are not possible or have had to take place under different conditions.
The student advisers have met this challenge with great enterprise and resourcefulness, and they have planned three intensive introduction days to help the new students get started, in relation to their programmes, to learning more about their fellow students, and in relation to complying with the many restrictions to prevent the spread of infection.
The student advisers will monitor the new students throughout their first semester, and they will be ready with advice and guidance when needed.
A big thank you to the student advisers at Technical Sciences!