Information on advisory services | Advising FAQ
Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences provides a wide range of social and academic advising services for students and can, if needed, refer students to an ever greater number of external support services for specialist assistance with specific issues and situations.
This FAQ is intended to inform you about available support services at the University and elsewhere, while also providing useful additional details you should know.
First and foremost: ALL support services, whether at Rhine-Waal University or not, treat every consultation with strict confidentiality. Nothing you talk about will be disclosed to anyone without your express permission.
1. How are support services organised at Rhine-Waal University?
2. Which services are available outside of Rhine-Waal University?
3. Why am I being referred elsewhere?
4. What do support services cost?
5. Will anyone know about my visit to support services?
6. Are support services offered in different languages?
At Rhine-Waal University, the Central Student Advisory Service (ZSB), the Study Guides for each faculty and the Social Services Department of the Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf are all qualified and trained staff not only with specific focus areas, but also a comprehensive overview of other available services, both on and off campus.
You can contact any of these people/offices if your type of issue is unclear or if multiple issues are colliding. They will assess your situation as a whole and help you pinpoint the right service(s) for each part.
Other support services at Rhine-Waal University are more geared to specific topics areas, for example Link Professors, Equal Opportunities, Psychological Support Services, faculty-specific academic advising with Study Guides and academic orientation with the ZSB. You can always contact these services directly.
Rhine-Waal University also offers peer advising by students for students. These include your representatives in the Faculty Student Representatives (FSR) and various AStA departments, as well as Welcome Centre Tutors, who are trained in providing advising and support by Rhine-Waal University staff. If you feel more comfortable seeking assistance from fellow students, these well-informed and well-connected individuals are the people to contact.
All advising services at Rhine-Waal University are focused on capacity building, i.e. helping you help yourself. They don’t solve your problem for you, but rather work out possible strategies and solutions together with you. Ultimately, it’s your decision if and how you follow through with these suggestions. Naturally, if you need help along the way, you can contact our advisors again. For more information about the specific services and the advising approaches of each support service, please visit their respective sections on Rhine-Waal University’s homepage.
Brief overviews and links can be found in the section “Student Helpdesk” on our homepage: Overview of Advising Services
German cities and municipalities offer many support services for residents. These services are generally financed by taxes, but are not necessarily state-run. Many are actually run by not-for-profit organisations dedicated to religious (Caritas, Diakonie), political (Arbeiterwohlfahrt, or Workers’ Welfare Association) or humanitarian principles (Rotes Kreuz, or German Red Cross, and paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, or Non-Denominational Welfare Association). Residents in need of support thus have a wide range of different options to choose from, some more suited to their individual situation than others. Notwithstanding the source of their funding, all of these organisations have no affiliation with the state. External support services can be further separated into those offering advising and assistance for general and complex issues, or those focused on specific situations such as substance abuse, victims’ services and women’s aid. As always, everything discussed with external support services is strictly confidential. In fact, this duty to confidentiality is enshrined and protected by German law.
Important to note: Your eligibility for these support services often depends on your current place of residence.
The people providing support services are trained experts in specific focus areas. As experts, they’re also keenly aware of their own limits. If you’ve been referred to a different support service, then it’s probably because these limits have been reached. Referring you to a different support service is in everyone’s best interest, because it ensures that you continue getting the best support possible for your particular issue. Referrals are common with financial, legal or health-related situations, for example, where specialist help is needed.
If you don't feel comfortable with the switch, please contact a general support services provide (either at Rhine-Waal University or elsewhere). They can usually provide parallel support so that you always have a single contact person for your overall situation.
All support services at Rhine-Waal University are provided at no additional charge.
External support services are usually free of charge as well. Free services are available for substance abuse, prenatal support, debt counselling or immigration counselling.
Consultations with a lawyer, however, are not free! Legal services for low-income residents are available through the “Beratungshilfe”.
For questions, please contact the Social Services Department of the Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf. Colleagues there are always glad to assist you.
Every support service respects the privacy and confidentiality of its clients and will usually meet with you in a private, one-on-one consultation. They have a legal, professional and moral obligation to maintain confidentiality. You, and you alone, decide what to disclose about your appointments and to whom. There is no obligation to reveal your identity to support services either.
All support services at Rhine-Waal University are offered in at least German and English. For external support services, we recommend that you enquire individually whether services are offered in English or another language. It’s generally possible to bring a person of trust to interpret, if necessary. If you don’t know anyone who can interpret for you, please contact AStA representatives for assistance.