By Ann Mabel Sanyu
1.How can one get housing in Hamburg?
Housing in Hamburg can be a little tricky as many students coming to study in the city create a stiff competition for the student housing. You need to be aware that there are many fraudsters waiting to take advantage of desperate students, so do not transfer any payment before you are certain of what you are paying for.
The first step would be getting in-touch with Sabine Hoffkamp the student adviser for the Mundus program at Hamburg University, after which a membership application is sent to you through this link http://www.uni-hamburg.de/internationales/studieren-an-der-uhh/erste-schritte.html three to four months before your studies at Hamburg University.
For some general tips on what to be aware of when looking for housing, check out this blog post.
But in case you are not able to find a place to live even after following the above procedure, here are some helpful websites on house sharing:
2. Where and how can one get a part time student job?
Finding a student job in Hamburg depends first your language skills, and what your job interests are. There are a number of student jobs in Hamburg and one needs to have persistence and versatility to find some work. This blog has a post on finding a student job in Hamburg and there are a number of links that you can go to for more information.
Don’t forget making contacts and asking friends about job postings is also an easy way to finding work. Keeping your eyes and ears always open for information on notice boards at the University or going to the office responsible for international students is also another way of getting information on finding jobs in Hamburg.
3.What are the best options of getting an internship?
First of all, you would need to know what are you interested in, either media, Public Relations or working in an NGO. Getting an internship in any media house in Germany depends on your language proficiency skills. Most media companies require the levels of B1 or C1, but it is best to check before you send in an application for internship.
For English speakers or non-Germans the best option is Deutsche Welle, although the competition for internship places is quite stiff, its worth a try, here is the link http://www.dw.de/journalism-internships/a-3399107.
Internships can also be found at UNESCO Institute for Life long learning, follow this link for more information http://uil.unesco.org/about-us/internships/.
For German speakers, most of the media houses offer internships, the best option to find out more information would be checking out the websites of these respective media houses or contacting them by phone or email.
This blog post also has useful advice on how to find an internship in Hamburg.
4. How can one live on a student budget?
Hamburg is truly a student friendly city and living on a minimum budget is not entirely an impossible undertaking. Usually it gets easier if you have cheap accommodation like a student dorm, and if you can pay both the accommodation and insurance, then the rest of the budget will depend on your taste. Ideally food can amount to 20 euros a week, so including rent and insurance, as well as some money for miscellaneous like shopping or going out can amount to around 550 to 600 euros.
5. What leisure activities are there that we can engage in? What should I see or do in Hamburg?
Hamburg is a big city and there are activities everywhere and whenever. There is plenty to do, the city has a vibrant night life. Joining clubs like PIASTA where International students meet up for fun activities is also a start.
Keeping yourself informed by reading notice boards and generally just being observant can also offer clues on what is happening in the city. I normally like to watch the telly on the train as it advertises events happening and where they are happening in Hamburg.
Also a quick place to start would be to read some of the interesting pieces on this blog, like “10 reasons why I love Hamburg.”
6. Will I love Hamburg?
Hamburg is a student friendly city, with lots of events such as festivals (most of which are free) and generally cheap costs of living especially when you compare it to Aarhus in Denmark.
There are many reasons to love Hamburg, the water canals, the parks, and the nightlife. The people from different backgrounds also add an interesting aspect to the city. There are many Asian and African shops where you can buy food from these cultures, as well as exciting events like the Africa festival held every year in Altona. Frankly I can only think of so many reasons to love this great port city!
But it is always good to remember that getting comfortable in a new place also depends a lot on your attitude,and willingness to make the most of your experience.
7. What are the challenges students face in Hamburg?
One of the challenges for me was learning German, especially since it was my first contact with the language. Once you get your German skills sorted, everything else just falls in to place, like finding jobs and getting around.
8. Does Hamburg have awesome used clothing sales like Aarhus? Where can one find this in Hamburg?
Hamburg has numerous shopping malls which always offer sales for most of their clothing, usually when the seasons come to an end. There are also flea markets where one can buy clothes, books, house items and find almost anything at ridiculous prices, so finding awesome clothing sales should not be a problem.
9. How cold does it get in Hamburg?
The weather in Hamburg compared to other parts of Germany like the south, is colder. Sometimes the temperatures can drop drastically, and the Alster lake might freeze over in the winter, then you know its been a icy winter. But if you have experienced the winter in Aarhus, then Hamburg may not be any different.
However you must keep in mind to be keep fit in the winter by doing sports, eating healthy and wearing warm clothes. This nourishes both your mind and you body keeping you away from common colds and winter blues :). Check out the piece on winter blues on this blog for some more tips!
10. Are there any Christian student groups?
There are numerous Christian groups in Hamburg, and the best place to find information would be contacting a church. Here is a link on a christian organization for students in Hamburg http://www.christenanderuni.de/smd.