Living and studying in Germany
BBC Make me a German
This 2013 BBC documentary provides a highlyx accurate view of ‘average’ German daily life. It shows a high level of empathy for what drives Germany as a country and for ‘average’ Germans. It is of particular interest to prospective students of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg as it is set in Nuremerg (Erlangen’s main square can bee seen at 0:09 of the video).
A documentary like this will of course include some clichés and will simplify things. Nonetheless, many of the observations are very much on point and get to the heart of German culture and life.
Student should keep in mind, that the ‘average’ German here is around 40 years old so not a student. This means that the documentary does not necessarily show the life of German university students but their family background and what international students might experience with ‘average’ Germans when they come to study here.
DW Meet the Germans
The “Deutsche Welle” or DW is Germany’s public international broadcaster. While funded by the German government, the work of DW is completely independent of government influence. They provide a fantastic series of broadcast describing characteristics of the German people and society in a very entertaining way. Watching these does prepare students very well for living in Germany. It’s called “Meet the Germans“. We would not agree with all of it and there are some clichees and stereotypes, but all told is a very accurate insight into the German soul and way of living. Watch and enjoy.
A Matter of Perspective
The Studentenwerk is a state-run non-profit organization for student affairs in Germany. They offer a lot of services for international students. Based on this experience they developed a brochure “A Matter of Perspective” which describes a collection of typcial critical incidents which can appear when international students have to settle in the German educational system. The nice thing about these case studies is that they do not offer an ‘ideal’ solution, but just describe a case and then different people with different background describe their perspective: German university staff members, Germans who lived abroad, people from the home country of the international students involved in the case studies. It supports the understanding of all parties involved in the process and thus build a basis for fixing the occuring problems. It is a lot of reading but it definitely is worth it.
Studying in Germany
- The most important website: A huge collection of helpful information by the German Academic Exchange Service.
- Another very comprehensive website “Studying in Germany” in several language (German, English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, Tagalog, Portuguese, Polish, Albanian)
- More specific (as Erlangen is located in Bavaria): Study in Bavaria, a website run by the Bavarian Government
- Information for international students by the “Deutsches Studentenwerk”
- “Meet the Germans” by the Goethe-Institute
- A website giving advice in what and where to study, powered by some governmental and public institutions (in German): Path to study
- A website specialising on the issue of Health Insurance
- A website helping to find interships
- Another website about intern abroad
- A broader perspective: website about studying in Europe.
- Long list of links that are relevant to female students in particular (most in German)
Country and People
- Homepage of the Federal Foreign Office
- Another website run by the German Government: a portal to Germany which contains a vast amount of facts and information.
- Yet another government-run website: find facts about Germany – available in about dozen different languages.
- Information by the team of Just Landed – an initiative which provides information on countries all over the world.
- Learn more about the region of Germany where Erlangen is located (in several languages): Bavaria.
- Fancy going skiing in the Alps?
- …or traveling to another nice location in “wunderbar Germany“?
- A nice lake district near Erlangen (in German).
- For those who don’t like water: the wonderful “Franconian Switzerland” (in German)
Germans and Fun
- Some jokes about the Germans
- Some sketches of probably the greatest German comedian ever: Loriot on youtube (in German with English subtitles)
- A more contemporary German comedian Michael Mittermeier (in English)
Chinese version of the homepage of the Confucius Institute – which is located about 200 m from the MAOT office.
Living in Erlangen
Pictures and videos
- A nice video by an Indian student about the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg.
- A collection of pictures by a private photographer.
- A virtual tour through Erlangen (in German)
- A slide show by a former international student
- MAOT is located on a small campus whose buildings are former army barracks: this film on You Toube shows the area (0:51 – 1:10 shows our building)
Local culture centres
- E-Werk: in Erlangen: disco, cinema, music, cultural events, bicycle garage
- Luise in Nuremberg.
- K4 in Nuremberg
- Current events in Erlangen
Cinemas with movies in foreign languages (mostly English):
- www.erlangen.de (partly in English)
- www.erlangen.notblue.de (partly in English)
- Sports in Erlangen
- Probably unique in the world: Erlangen has five seasons. The fifth season is between the first and second part of spring. It lasts ten days starting on the Thursday prior to Whitsun. This fifth season is none other than the marvellous and unique Bergkirchweih – (maybe) the most beautiful beer festival in the world. Find out more at www.der-berg-ruft.de.
- In the “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften” (Long Night of Sciences) the University of Erlangen and other research institutions present their scientific research to the public.
- The “Blaue Nacht” (Blue Night). Each year in May the city of Nuremberg is bathed in blue light and all the museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions put on special events.
- The anual “Arena Festival” in Erlangen sees young artists and performers their unique ideas.
- In June Nuremberg rocks with more than 50,000 fans rock and heavy metal fans at “Rock im Park“
- The leading international fair “Comic salon” brings together fansof comics and graphic illustration in Erlangen every second year.
- At the”Bardentreffen” (website in German) in July minstrels, folk singer and rock bands from all over the world come together in Nuremberg, and fill the whole city with music and free events and locations across the city.
- Ten of thousands of people gather to enjoy the beautiful mix of a relaxing picnic and a classical music concert at “Klassik im Park” (website in German).
- In September Nuremberg celebrates its medieval heritage. At the “Burggrabenfest” (website in German) you can experience life inthe Medieval Germany, from knights fight to amazing jugglers and beautiful maids.
- Those who prefer quieter events, poetry lovers in particular, will enjoy the “Poetenfest” (website in German) in Erlangen, where German and international poets and writers present their work.
- Finally, every December the world famous “Christkindlsmarkt” lights up the city of Nuremberg and attracts more than 2 millions visitors.
Shops are open Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. till 8 p.m. at the latest, but closed on Sundays and public holidays (but shops at railway stations and gas stations have longer opening hours). Public holidays: 01.01, 06.01, Good Friday and Easter Monday, 01.05 (May Day), Monday after Whitsun, “Fronleichnam” (2nd Thursday after Whitsun), 3.10, 1.11, 24-26.12, 31.12.
Two German first and second division football clubs (‘1. Bundesliga’ and ‘2. Bundesliga’) are located nearby:
- Learn more about the famous gingerbread
- A small local company, including the Erlangen’s most famous ‘feathered friends’