Universität Konstanz will sort accommodation for you through Seezeit. (You’ll get an e-mail with all the details around April)
Last years students all lived either on:
Sonnenbühlstraße (in ‘Hochhaus’ or apartment blocks ‘38/40’)
Bus Linie 9AB/1 takes you to the city
Bus Linie 9AB to college (or walk – very close)
Supermarkets: Kaufland on Zähringerplatz is the best value + has everything you could need (9AB or 9A/9B/9C bus will take you there from your apartments)
Pennymarkt also around the corner at Tannenhof for small bits/lazy days.
Rheingutstraße 40 (in ‘Europahaus’)
Bus Linie 9A (from Gartenstraße around the corner) to college
You’re a 5min walk to the center of the city
Aldi in LAGO shopping mall
Kaufland on Zähringerplatz best option again here though – loads of buses take you there from city center.
EDEKA in city center sells Dairy Milk/McVities though!
If you sign up for the LEI (Lokale Erasmus Intiative ) program with the university (which by the way, do) your peer support leader can collect your accommodation keys and pick you up from Konstanz train station (even if you get there late at night) and take you to your flat. Saves you money on accommodation for the first night. (You’ll get info on the LEI program in that e-mail in April too).
College will provide you with list of doctors (many of which speak English but very easy to deal with through German)
Many GPs set up at Zähringerplatz beside Kaufland.
Just go in with your EHIC card, they’ll register you with a doctor and done!
Getting to Konstanz: Dublin – Zürich fly on Wednesdays and Fridays. Train station underneath Zürich airport has trains to Konstanz every hour (direct and then one with 1 change interchanging every hour). Check deutsche Bahn website for exact times (type in ‚Zürich Flughafen’ and ‚Konstanz’).
Can also go from Cork to Munich and get a MeinFern Bus from Munich to Konstanz but it’s best to get the direct train from Zurich and do the travelling from this side the first time you go over.
University provides student bus ticket for €50 for term (can also use on some ferry rides!). Lasts 4-5 months. Get it! Buses operate practically from 5am-3am.
They offer a September ticket before term starts for €30 at the start too, you should buy this for September.
Konstanz is very bike friendly too, many bought bikes and sold it back for the same price at the end of the year.
Meinfernbus provides trips to Munich and Switzerland for €8-17 (around that) each way (If going to Switzerland bring passport for border control!).
Bring an ethernet cable with you from Ireland if you want internet straight away when you get to Konstanz. Only way to access student accommodation internet. Can always buy one in MediaMarkt the next day though.
Seeteufel are the cheapest taxi company in Konstanz
Like almost everywhere in Germany, no supermarkets (or anything else besides some restaurants) open on Sunday so do a shop on Saturday!
Try not to get distracted by how amazing the place is.
Places to hang out
Irish pubs (nice to go to if you feel a bit homesick)
Blechnerei (take the Linie 6 bus) that’s where all the clubs are
Area near the Imperia statue is nice to just sit and relax
100 other restaurants/cafés
STUDYING IN KONSTANZ
Your September course is worth 6 credits and such a useful thing to do.
RAINER ROTTENHÄUSLER – Do his classes! The man is a genius!
Landeskunde, Vorträge und Diskussion (easy credits and he’ll teach you how to do presentations here too). He talks nice and slow so you get loads of vocab.
‘Phonetik’ with Andreas Ulrich - Don’t leave Germany without doing this class.
Plenty of grammar classes ranging from A2-C1 so something for everyone
‘Sprechen über Literatur’ with Frau Wessels-Vögel (very early mornings but the credits are worth it for your literature/culture subject!)
Overdose on German credits! (ie. do more than 30). Take the opportunity to take these specialist classes while you have the chance.
Konstanz also offer a tandem partner system. If you do take part make sure you ask the tandem office in the Sprachlehrinstitut about recording your hours because UCC can offer you credits for doing it at the end of the year (we didn’t know this and it would have been handy).
Business (for those applicable)
Save your English subject for a business module.
Try and avoid Vorlesungen, do seminars if you can. They only offer MCQs as exams for Vorlesungen and it’s pretty much a guessing game.
Seminars usually involve doing a presentation and an essay (often group presentations) for 6 credits. Some offer more credits, but have more of a workload
Much easier to get credits if you’re able to have the term to prepare an essay and a presentation than to learn slides and slides of stuff off and play a guessing game in MCQ exams.
Can do just a presentation and get 3 of the credits and a Teilnamheschein if you like.
Some business subject recommendations:
“Interkulturelle Sensiblisierung Deutschlands” with Annette Steinlein (she speaks beautiful German!)
Wissenschaftliches Arbeitens – Sven Jochem – very easy class
„International Human Resource Management“ – Heike Schuetter
(English module though)
Tell your teachers you’re Erasmus students. If there are two of you, you might be allowed to do your assessments together.
NB: Seminars for term 1 are usually full up by the time you get to Konstanz so e-mail the lecturers of seminars you’d like to join after your September course asking if you can still join. If someone drops out of the seminar, then you’ll be allowed to take part. In term 2 you’ll be registering for classes at the same time as the German students so it’s fair game.
WORKING IN KONSTANZ
Every second place had a “staff wanted” sign last year
Just go into places (with a friend, just makes it easier) and leave your number with them.
There’s also a student job notice board in college – keep an eye on that
Some parents will pay you to speak English with their kids.
Some recommendations: Boarding Home Konstanz Hotel | CineStar Cinema | COUNTLESS other hotels looking for people to clean rooms in the mornings.
Uni Konstanz offer Hiwi jobs (student voluntary jobs in the department) where you can help professors with research/put together their lectures. Ask politics Erasmus rep Werner Palz for more info when you get there. Get in there quick though the jobs will fill up fairly quickly!
_______________________________________________________________________________________ LIVING IN MARBURG
Accommodation provided by university when filling out application forms.
How to get to Marburg
Fly Dublin to Frankfurt
2 flights daily
Buses and U-Bahn go from Frankfurt airport to the Hauptbahnhof
U-Bahn sends a train there every 10mins
Trains regularly go from Hauptbahnhof to Marburg (usually from platforms 12-14)
NB: Some trains to Marburg split at Giessen (a neighbouring city to Marburg). Half of the train goes in the direction of Kassel (i.e. the way you want to go) and the other half goes to Dillenburg. Just make sure that you are in the right part of the train. It’s very easy to know when you are in the part you’re supposed to be but just keep this in mind. And if all else fails just ask another passenger on the train if you’re on the right part!
You can also fly Ryanair from Dublin/Kerry to Frankfurt Hahn but Hahn is very far outside Frankfurt and it’s all hassle really.
Last year students lived in
Penny (supermarket) very nearby for shopping
Bus lines 3,7 and 8 will serve you well here
8 goes to the main student hub, German department, gym
Free travel pass for buses/trains/trams included in semester fee of €200-230
Includes trains/buses/trams within Hessen and IC trains!
Will also cover train ticket from Frankfurt to Marburg so train travel to and from Frankfurt airport will be free after your initial trip!
Lidl, Aldi, Te Gut, Rewe all nearby (and with more than one shop in the area)
But Rewe is good for some foods you can get here in Ireland.
_______________________________________________________________________________________ LIVING IN HANNOVER
University finds you accommodation
Last year’s students lived on Herrenhäuserstrasse
Very close to supermarkets Rewe and Netto!
Rewe better though, more choice.
There’s also a Lidl that opens on Sunday in Hannover! (it doesn’t sound like much but be grateful this doesn’t happen much in Germany…).
How to get to Hannover
Fly Dublin – Hamburg and get train from Hamburg to Hannover.
However from March, Aerlingus will be operating a direct flight from Dublin – Hannover. Lucky you!
Transport: tram lines
Lines 4 and 5 will take you to university.
Once you register with the university you get a semester ticket which allows you to travel for free on all public transport in Hannover and also on all the RE trains within Niedersachsen, so you can travel to places like Hamburg and Bremen for free!
Linden is probably the coolest part of the city, and there’s always things going on there. There’s also some big clubs like Dax or Zaza behind the Hauptbahnhof, which makes them really easy to get to by tram. There’s also lovely cafes and bars in the altstadt which is only a 5 minute walk from city centre.
Places to hang out
Jack the Rippers in Kröpcke (city centre)
Irish pubs there too (nice to go to if you feel a bit homesick)
STUDYING IN HANNOVER
September course worth 4 credits! Do it!
The Fachsprachenzentrum at the university offers separate courses specifically for international students, apply for as many of their courses as you can.
ie. overdose on German credits!
Michael Gamper or Karin Brockmann’s classes are highly recommended
They do literature seminars
Both are very understanding and helpful of Erasmus students
Advice for history students: history subjects with native speakers can be difficult but don’t panic. Do what you can, make a good effort and get as many German credits as you can. UCC are very fair with grading at the end of the year.
WORKING IN HANNOVER
There are Hiwi jobs at the university but get in there at the start of the year to be in with a chance of getting them!
Accommodation sorted by Studentenwerk at the university
Students were assigned accommodation on Albert Einstein Str. last year
Erich Schlessinger Str. is a nice place to live too though.
Best way to get to Rostock
Fly Dublin to Hamburg and there are trains that go from Hamburg to Rostock.
Tram routes 5 and 6 are the handiest. They pass student accommodation and go to the city centre.
You pay a €127 semester fee to the university which includes a pass to use unlimited city transport.
Places to hang out
Stammtische were regularly organised by Erasmus administration at the university
Irish pub (nice to go to if you feel a bit homesick)
Kaufland at Sudstadt is all you need.
There’s a Lokale Erasmus Intiative (LEI) where you can meet other foreign students and German students at the university and there is a Stammtisch everyweek (regulars table, good fun and great for meeting people). You should get involved.
STUDYING IN ROSTOCK
No September course unfortunately.
German – English translation
Landeskunde (good for your literature/culture subject).
Avoid some of the more in-depth literature courses.
An introductory course on German commerce is offered to build up your vocab. Do it.
Politics subjects are good for getting credits as the department are more flexible in terms of assignments. You can do essays or presentations or exams.
Prof. Werz & Stefan Posselt are very helpful and supportive of foreign students.
Modules with Prof. Meyer zu Natrup are also very interesting.
WORKING IN ROSTOCK
There are a few schools in Rostock which teach English as a foreign language. Good opportunity for CV.
One of last year’s students was offered a job teaching business English to Germans.
Student accommodation is provided by the university
However you can also look for private accommodation online should you wish
Getting to Nuremberg
Cork Airport to Munich Airport
Then you can get a train from Munich Hauptbahnhof to Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof
Get a “Bayern Ticket”
Cheapest option: €23 + €4 extra for an accompanying passenger (can take up to four).
When you register with the university in the first semester you get a pass from the university for free use of the transport in Nuremberg and Erlangen.
In Semester two you have to buy your own transport ticket
€129.60 for the semester for Nuremberg, €182.70 for Nurember and Erlangen (best to get N&E ticket as you’ll probably have language classes in Erlangen).
Lidl, Aldi, Norma all nearby
Good places to hang out
‘Sommer in der City’ (beach set up in the city when the weather is warm)
STUDYING IN NUREMBERG
There’s a September course worth 5 credits. Do it because it’s a lot of credits to start you off in Nuremberg and you’ll meet lots of friends this way.
The Sprachzentrum in Stingzingstrasse (Erlangen) will give you all your German language classes. The teachers there are amazing. Do all the subjects offered there as it is possible to do so.
NOTE: If you study in Nuremberg the credits for courses offered there are generally less than other German universities, but you do do the same hours. So don’t be alarmed if your credits don’t seem to be adding up.
Please contact Fiona for advice on what business subjects to choose among those offered in Nuremberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
WORKING IN NUREMBERG
There are plenty of restaurants in Nuremberg who are always advertising for new staff.
Help wanted signs were everywhere there last year (and right now as well apparently).
Studentenwerk at the university also have a job notice board: https://www.studentenwerk-leipzig.de/service/studentenjobs
____________________________________________________________________________________ A SMALL MESSAGE FROM THE AUDITOR (Me, Ivan!)
____________________________________________________________________________________ First off, in addition to what was mentioned in the presentation, you may find the following general tips and bits helpful while you are on your year abroad!
Overdose on your German credits no matter where you go.
Same for your overall credits. If you do more than 60 it’ll show you’re making an effort
Most universities offer a September course – a few weeks of German classes before the start of term – you might have to pay for it but make sure you do it. It’s the best way to get settled in and meet people and an easy way to earn German credits.
If your university offers a tandem partner service, do it and ask for a way of being able to record the hours you do. UCC can offer German credits for this at the end of the year.
Write down everything your teachers say during class, not just the content of what they say but also little phrases they use while they’re talking. For example:
Going out of a room: “Ich komme gleich!” (I’ll be back in a second).
Coming into a room: “Hallo zusammen/miteinander” (Hi everyone)
Thinking of an example: “Was weiss ich…” (I dunno ammm…)
Here a native English speaker would probably say “Ich weiss nicht…” as a direct translation, but it’s not very German! By listening to how your teachers speak as well as the content of what they say you can pick up neat little colloquial German phrases.
Tell your lecturers you’re an Erasmus student
You might be given a different assessment to native speakers which suits you better!
Get Teilnahmescheins where you can but also get ‘Nichtbestandenscheins’
Certificates which show you took part in a class but just didn’t pass the exam.
UCC take all this into account
Don’t live with your friends, there will be catfights. Your friends will more than likely be living down the hall from you anyway.
Most shops/most businesses close on a Sunday in Germany! Do a Saturday shop!
Pfand! Hold on to your bottles in Germany. The majority of them you can bring back to the shop once they’re finished and recycle them for money.
There is obviously no obligation to get a job while in Germany, it’s completely up to you! We’ve just given some possible options recommended for each area for those who want to give it a go!
If you have too much stuff to bring home at the end of the year, go to your nearest DHL (or GLS in Marburg/Hermes in Vienna) and send a few boxes home
They’re in all the areas UCC do exchanges with.
You can send a 30kg home for as little as €20
If you’re caught at the airport with more than your luggage allowance you could pay 2x that!
Regarding health insurance we heard of no instances where the EHIC card didn’t cover what a person required health-wise while abroad. But if you want total peace of mind there are loads of international health insurance packages available to choose from! VhIGlobal was recommended to us last year and that’s what most people we spoke with went for. But search around for what suits you.
NB: Just for your own sake however, when you come back from finishing your year abroad, remember to get back on your old insurance plan (should you have one) the DAY you get home so as to ensure you have no break in coverage (that’s ages away of course but just keep it in mind!)
As far as phone plans go abroad the general consensus is to keep your Irish phone and get a German sim card (“eine Tarife”)
Keep in mind however that German phone plans are different!
In Ireland you text to get a credit plan (free calls and texts to 50222 etc)
In Germany you get a plan with the sim and you’re stuck with it.
We recommend the Vodafone CallYa Fun 15 card plan
€15 a month
Free internet (why you should keep your Irish Smartphone)
100 free minutes to all German Networks
And of course there’s Skype to video home for free and Skype credit to all European landlines is 1c a minute if your parents aren’t great with computers!
But of course, do what’s best for you! If you want a German phone, get a German phone!
But above all else, keep in mind that UCC is very fair when it comes to evaluating your grades at the end of the Erasmus year. There were plenty of instances this year where people did not get the credits that were expected of them when they came home from their year abroad and everyone is now happily (well… contently) continuing on with the final year of their degree! You will NOT be asked to return to Germany to repeat your Erasmus year again!
And for those of you reading this who may still find the idea of studying abroad a bit daunting, just remember that the crowd that are over there now are already more than half done (and at the time of writing, on a two month semester break as well I might add!) Plus, Erasmus is a great way of putting off final year (which I would advise you all to do for as long as you can!!).
So go out, take all the pictures, get all the grades, earn all the money, eat all the Milka, embarrass yourself loads and ENJOY your year abroad! It can and will be done!
Yours sincerely (and jealously)
UCC German Society
PS: Send me an e-mail if you’re still stuck! email@example.com We’re here to help :)