Students in Digital Media

On this page you will find reports about the Bachelor Digital Media at Leuphana College.

Cassidy's experiences

Cassidy Digital Media ©Leuphana College
Cassidy studies Digital Media and Soziale Medien und Informationssysteme as minor. The variety of this programme and the possibilities to work in Germany in the future are major reasons why she chose to study at the Leuphana College.

Why did you choose studying Digtal Media at Leuphana College?

I already have a Bachelor degree in Philosophy, which I did in the US. I moved to Germany to do something totally different. I always attended to go and be a lawyer but after my first Bachelors I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do and that’s why I started this new programme at the Leuphana College. I noticed that the technical way was the direction I wanted to go.

What do you think about the combination with the subsidiary subject Soziale Medien und Informationssysteme?

I think that it’s a little bit repetitive but only because it’s both in the same direction. It’s lucky for us that we have the Complementary Studies so, that we get a bit more diversity in our semester schedule.

  • My studies
  • My academic interests
  • The Leuphana College
  • Study model at the Leuphana
  • Working with modules
  • Hamburg Media School
  • Admission process
  • Internship & social commitment
  • Lüneburg as a City to study
  • My future

My studies

In which semester you are right now?

I am only in my second semester here at Leuphana and it’s still really interesting, so there are lots of things happing already.

What makes the studies at Leuphana unique and what special qualities exist in your special curriculum?

The Leuphana has this idea of modules and that each module should teach you a different skill and a different aspect of learning. In my previous studies the main goal was to achieve the 180 credit points, not more and not less but here at the Leuphana you are really encouraged to take classes that interest you but that also fulfil ones requirements. I find that really useful that Leuphana uses modules that focus on studies that support ones later life.  I find that rather unique.

What is your overall experience with your Bachelor studies so far?

My overall experience is defiantly positive. I think I’m a bit lucky because I have the ability to compare my previous Bachelor to the second Bachelor. I decided to do a second Bachelor instead of a Master degree because I wanted to do something I am really interested in. My Bachelor study is really great because the people here are so motivated and that’s really encouraging because one is also motivated and one can experience learning with fun. I feel at the Leuphana everybody works hard together and at the end of the semester you can see what work one has successfully accomplished. It is nice to celebrate that with your peers.  My first year here at the Leuphana has been very positive and welcoming. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be.

What is your experience with the Digital Media Degree programme so far?  

I was very nervous about starting the technical aspect of Digital Media because the website says that the programme is also for absolute beginners but when I got to our class called “Computer and Technologies” I was a little bit shocked because we had to start learning C programming.  Luckily we have an excellent Professor, who was so patient and taught us everything step by step. We learned about the binary system and about the philosophy of new technology, like that smartphones. I recommend this programme to any future students is, not to be nervous and to be prepared that you will learn something.

My academic interests

What are your academic interests or what are your topics that you are interested in during your studies?

Digital Media is so interesting. I didn’t know it before I started but the topic is so broad. There is so much we learn in the first semester. We focus on the theory and we learn for example about cyborgs and the basics of computers. I have so many interests, it’s hard to pick one but I think right now I’m really interested in the aspect of Digital Media and crime. This topic is about how Digital Media is being used in criminal cases.  So for example: In the US  there is the aspect of free speech,  so technically anything you write in a text message should be considered free speech but these technologies are now coming in to the court system and are being used against people that are convicted in court. I think it’s a really interesting topic to see how Digital Media will start effecting, laws, contracts and serious aspects of our lives. So I think there is an interest for everybody inside social media.

Will you follow this topic in your next semesters? 

Yeah I talked with one Professor about it, to maybe write my Bachelor thesis in this direction and there are a lot of classes offered, that focus on this topic too, so I will be facing this topic a lot during my studies. There are a lot of courses about the legality of the internet and web culture.  

The Leuphana College

Why did you choose Digital Media at the Leuphana College?

I think first of all Lüneburg, I know it’s a smallish City but I love Lüneburg and I can’t say a single negative thing about it and so the location for me was really important. In addition to that it was a really giant bonus that the Media programme here at the Leuphana was so good. It is also an excellent opportunity for us students that our programme is a collaboration with the  “Hamburg Media School“, here we can get more information from a different University. The combination between the Leuphana and the Hamburg Media School really works out well, because one gets the benefit of the private University without paying for it.  This excellent media programme provides unbelievable professors and the Digital Culture Research Lab is also right here in Lüneburg, where a lot of our professors work. Therefor students are able to get external material and can attend lectures that are not part of the basic programme schedule.

What are the advantages of your studies at the Leuphana College? 

I think, it’s very personalized.  I’d never had any sort of hesitation to ask a professor a question or to visit them during their office hour. The professors are also interested in one own ideas. I like this sort of personal aspect and the passion that the professors have for their teaching. When I did my first Bachelors for example I didn’t feel free to contact my professors but here at the Leuphana I feel so safe and encouraged. Also in class one can discuss freely with the other students. Everybody is willing to learn and I’ve never seen that before. It’s a good feeling to be sort of surrounded by people who are passionate.

Why and to whom would you recommend the Leuphana College?

I would recommend it to anybody, who is open minded and wanting to learn. I think one of the things I noticed the most at the Leuphana is that everybody is curious and I think that’s a common theme with all the students here. It’s all about finding new ways and being curious about new topics one can learn about. You can combine different disciplines and everybody can learn from each other’s therefore I recommend the Leuphana to everybody.

Study model at the Leuphana

Which advantages did you see in the Leuphana Semester and which module contents did you really like?

The Leuphana Semester was really interesting to me. At first I wasn’t looking forward to the semester because, one wants to start with the main programme but during the Leuphana Semester I noticed how useful it is. I luckily found my first opinion to be wrong. The Leuphana Semester provided so many opportunities, not only to meet people that maybe one wouldn’t have otherwise but also you learn what the idea of the Leuphana is really about. You get a really good understanding of what the University stands for. With the focus on sustainability you learn to leave the university being a better person and to look after the environment around you. Evan though I wasn’t excited to do the Leuphana Semester, I’m really happy that I went through with it. Especially the conference week taught me a lot about so many things. I learned a lot about myself and how it is to work in a group. In my first Bachelors one only worked alone but here at the Leuphana you can experience quite a lot of group work, which can be helpful in the future working life. I think it’s a good preparation for the future. The variety of the modules where fantastic because you learned a little bit about everything. For example the Monday module was about justice and responsibility and I had a class about social justice and my friend took a class about environmental justice. So there is something for everybody.

What do you think about the complementary studies and did you get different academic views or perspectives out of it?

Yes to everything.  It’s my first semester taking complementary studies but I have two classes which are interesting. I’m not a native German speaker and so I’m in a German course and because my German level is not basic it counts for credit points as a complementary study which is fantastic. And my other complementary study is about culture and communication. I find it absolutely interesting because we are all from different study programmes. The seminar was about the world and the different cultures and how one can learn to fight against cultural stereotypes. With the idea of the complementary studies the university wants to expand the knowledge of the students. That’s my experience so far.

Your Minor is “Soziale Medien und Informationssysteme”, that’s a German Minor, how do you cope with that? Is that fine with you?

Yeah its fine because it’s also a technical Minor and therefore we work a lot on computers.  We are working with the computer program “Rapped Minor” and a lot of it is in English. A lot of words we use are in English so its fine. I lived in Germany for three years and so I guess I can do pretty much, everything I think, not perfectly but I can manage my life.

Working with modules

Which advantages to you see in these practical modules and their curriculum?

The greatest advantage is that we learn about things that we can implement in our projects that mean that we can use the theory we have learned in our real lives. I really feel every day that I learned something and that I’m happy I learned it because I understand a bigger picture of the whole topic.

Which modules focus on this practical experience and what did you learn? 

The practical experiences are defiantly with this computers anthropologies course because we work in every lesson with our hands. We either are building something, like an electrical circuit or we are programming. We use a kit in our class, for example to learn how to solder.  With this practical work you understand the theory that is actually behind all the technology. It helps a lot that the teachers are so patient and kind. It’s a nice way of learning.

Is this your first class in your second semester?

Yes, it’s my first computer anthropology class. In the first, second and third semester we learn the “C” programming language. So the technical information is three semesters long but also combined with a bit of theory.

Hamburg Media School

The combination with the Hamburg Media School offers you to study at a different institution. What advantages do you see in this combination? 

Students who live in Hamburg don’t have to commute all the time and is also easy enough for the students from Lüneburg because with the semester ticket the journey to Hamburg is for free and we also only have to commute half time. Another advantage is that our group spends a lot of time together during the train rides. I think it’s nice to get to know your peers better. One has also more opportunities in Hamburg, for example there are more jobs than in Lüneburg.  The seminar rooms at the Hamburg Media School are huge and we can use all the technical devices. We also have a lab here in Lüneburg with all provided tools. So whenever we want to work on a project we can do this here in Lüneburg. Working with the HMS also means that we have a good reputation for later.

Admission process

What do you think about the admission process and did you do the international or the German admission? 

I had to do the international one because I do not have a German Abitur. The United States high school degree is equivalent to the German Abitur. I was lucky I had my Bachelor’s degree and so therefor I applied through my Bachelor’s degree. After the normal admission process we have to go through a third party called “Uni assist”. Uni assist deals with the application and then our application gets send to the Leuphana University.

Internship & social commitment

Do you have a scholarship? 

No, I don’t have a scholarship.

Are you part of an initiative or the student council or a club like a sports club?

A friend of mine who is also studying Digital Media and we are starting an initiative for international students.  International students who don’t come here with a programme like “Erasmus” or “USAC” have a really difficult time for the integrating at the beginning because they don’t have that sort of initial contact person to help them with things like going to the immigration office or setting up a bank account. We want to get information about experiences from Germans and Non Germans to make a smoother transition for these students.  I’m currently not a part of an initiative but I will be.

So you’re going to initiate your own student initiative?

Yeah so if you come here and you don’t have a friend or relatives here and you don’t speak German it’s really hard to get everything you need in time. Especially dealing with the offices such as the immigration office or the bank. There are a lot of obstacles that international students face that one doesn’t know about. We try to make a smoother transition for everybody. We want to include Germans, to get their advice and experience. One can for example not know in advance that the staff at the immigration office doesn’t speak English. So we are trying to make the Leuphana a bit more appealing for students who don’t have a contact person. Nobody should be afraid to come here because they are afraid of the language or any sort of barrier. Everybody should feel comfortable.

Did you do an internship during your studies already?

No I haven’t.  But I am part of the opening week team and so I’m doing this student work, where I’m working for the Leuphana College.

What do you do working for the opening week?

I was hired to do the website for the opening week 2017. On the team there are nine of us: people handling the tutors and mentors, the gees, the organization, the logistics and I’m lucky enough to be doing the website and the social media. I get to use the knowledge I am learning with my Major and Minor. I can try out these techniques that I have learned so far. It’s really interesting because I work with other students. We all come together and we are able to find really good compromises of how we want to represent the university. This opening Team position was a really great opportunity for me because it really helps to  integrate to the university. I honestly can say that every employee I met at  the Leuphana is very passionate about their job.

Lüneburg as a City to study

How do you like Lüneburg as a City to study?

I love Lüneburg as I said at the very beginning. I can’t say anything a negative thing about Lüneburg. I think it’s absolutely beautiful partly because it’s so different from where I am from. I am from the north-west of the US, a very new area and here in Lüneburg the buildings are old and beautiful. The city is well connected and the people are very friendly. Lüneburg is close to Hamburg and easy to travel to by car or by train. Also if one wants to travel to the other direction e.g. to Hannover the connection with the train is fantastic. In Lüneburg there is always something to do; there are enough pubs, restaurants and activities. I love Lüneburg. I really do!

My future

Do you have plans already for your time after your Bachelor at the College? 

I am open to everything that will come but I know for sure that I would like to stay in Germany and I would like to stay in this area. I am very certain that this is one of the best areas to be in for work, personal life and for job opportunities. The City Hamburg is close and Lüneburg is also growing. With Digital Media I will find something that is really for me. One you can go into marketing, into IT, into programming or research.

Heidi's experiences

Heidi studies Digital Media and Soziale Medien und Informationssysteme since the winter term 2015/16. In her major and minor, she is especially interested in the history of computer development and digital media. 

Why did you decide on the Digital Media Bachelor programme?

I have always been interested in critical thinking and the connection between human and machine. Yet it wasn’t until I started studying the programme that I realised how much I am actually into Digital Media as a field of research. The reason why I initially choose the programme was the multitude of possibilities it provided. From the technological basics of computing all the way to the production of short films and live music. All of those aspects just really intrigued me.

Can you connect the content of your Minor Soziale Medien with your Major Digital Media?

Yes, both of the subjects work rather well together. The Minor is a little bit more on the practical side of Digital Media where as the Major is more based on reading theory. For example, in the Minor we would work with web crawlers and analyse large amounts of data and in the Major we would then read about the implications and theory behind the big data we’ve worked with earlier. So I’d say my Minor complements the Major quite well. The only downside to Soziale Medien is that it is taught entirely in German. So if you are not able to speak fluent German it is rater hard to study this Minor.

  • My studies
  • My interests
  • The Leuphana College
  • My student life
  • My future

My studies

Why did you decide to study at the Leuphana College?

That’s a great question because before my admission to the Leuphana College, I applied to very traditional film schools. I was very much interested to learning the art of film and movie production. Among them were Universities such as the HFBK in Hamburg and the Freie Universität Berlin. I actually got admitted to many of them, but I declined and decided on the Leuphana University. It just seemed that the programme provided more multidisciplinarity. Compared to traditional film schools, where the focus is mostly on the Arts department, the Leuphana College has its Arts imbedded in a traditional University environment and thus more to offer than a film school.

The Digital Media Major is a collaboration between the Leuphana University and the Hamburg Media School. Why didn’t you decide to just join the Hamburg Media School instead?

I think that decision is rather similar to the one I talked about earlier in regards to the film schools. The Leuphana College is a University and simply provides more opportunities than a Hochschule. At the Leuphana College for example we have complementary courses that we take in addition to our Major and Minor and do not necessarily have anything to do with the content of either subjects. That way you can freely express your academic interests which you might not be able to at a Hochschule. Juggling the Major, Minor and Complementary courses can become quite messy but once you are on top of the organisational side of things, you get a great view into all the different faculties. At a regular Hochschule those possibilities might be compromised.

My interests

What are your academic interests?

As of right now I am really interested in the history of the computer and digital media in general. Before I started the programme I did not think much about the topic but ever since I started studying it more closely, I’ve grown more and more interested in it. I think the most interesting part about the history of the computer is that we seem to think that it is some new age technology that just started being around ten years ago. In reality, the early iterations and research of computers have existed for multiple decades and with its history there are moral and political discussions that paved the way for the computer. This is what fascinates me.

The Leuphana College

How do you judge the Leuphana Semester? Do you remember a particular seminaror a project that you’d like to share?

In the beginning it was rather exhausting. I used to think: “Why do I have to learn about sustainability and what does it have to do with Digital Media?”. Now, thinking about it retrospectively, I am okay with the way the Leuphana Semester was held. The way all students are taught the same content is a very special concept. I still vividly remember one of the seminars I took during that time. We had to create a short film for the final project and it was just interesting to see all the different opinions and ideas people had. Especially students that were not in the major Digital Media and never had any contact with film production. All in all it was just a great learning experience.

What do you think about the Complementary courses?

The complementary studies are something very special as it provides a large amount of individual freedom into our studies. The vast spectrum of seminars allows you to pick something that either perfectly complements your Major or has nothing to do with it at all. In the beginning of my studies I choose a complementary seminar focusing on sustainable development, but now I just take seminars that are close to the contents of my Major. One of my complementary seminars is even taught by the same teacher as my Major seminars. I think the vast amount of choices is just great and even though I am inclined to pick something that is essentially also covered by my Major, I really support the idea of the system.

Would you recommend the Major to any person in particular?

I actually find myself recommending my programme quite often. Especially to my friends that are currently studying in a large city like Hamburg because the Leuphana University seems just so much different from other traditional Universities. Despite the fact that the College has many large faculties and majors, it still feels cozy and familiar. In the Digital Media Major we are not more than thirty people and we have a very personal connection with out teachers. Generally speaking, everything is more personal. Even the bureaucracy is laid back and helpful.

What do you think about this admission procedure?

I actually did not take part in the admission procedure. As an international student that applied from outside of Germany, I was not invited into the admission procedure. Speaking as an international student though, it is really hard to apply to German higher education. A lot of Universities use the Uni Assist tool which is relatively expensive and hard to use. On a different note, the Leuphana College was the first University that replied to my admission which is quite essential as an international student as every day counts in order to find a flat, get your visa and organise your life on time.

My student life

How is your student life besides your studies in Lüneburg? Do you want to intern or do you work while you study?

I have not yet done an internship. I find it rather hard to find the time to even apply for an internship whilst studying full time. Especially if I want to keep up my level of commitment and overall performance in terms of grades, then I think it is impossible for me to go into an internship right now. I’ve seen many of my friends get into an internship and it suddenly became impossible to find a mutual appointment for a group project. Despite that, I still see the sense in doing an internship and I would like to do one as soon as I know what direction would suite me. Luckily I am under no pressure, as the Digital Media Major does not force you to do an internship. At the moment, I am also working for the dean of the Digital Media Major and do not have a lot of time at hand for anything besides that.

Do you enjoy Lüneburg as a place of residency and higher education?

I think before I studied here I've been to Lüneburg and now being an international student Lüneburg is like the picturesque little German town and even though I've been here for a couple of years now, I still walk down am Sande like this is so cool. When my family visits me I take them here. Even before I studied in Lüneburg, I showed my mum the city because it is so cute. I think it's something some Germans might take for granted, how historical it is, how old it is. It's so interesting to live and be in such a historical city. It’s cute and nice. I don't find myself here in my free time very often but every now and then there'll be some thing like small festival on the campus. A couple of weeks ago I was here for one of those and I was like “cool I'm actually spending time here in my free time”. It's got a lot of charm you can see that. Lüneburg got charm.

My future

What will be the next step in your life after finishing your degree at the Leuphana College? Do you have any plans?

I think that the Bachelors Degree will mark the end for my academic career. Even before I went to the Leuphana College, I had already done my fair share of school. All of the German language lessons and the admission processes just really nagged on me. I am 24 now, and I think that I am just done with studying and ready to begin something new. Maybe an internship, maybe a job. I do not know where it will lead me, but I will not be continuing academic education.

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