By Ann Mabel Sanyu
Other than being the biggest harbour this side of Europe, Hamburg is a cool city to study and live and has a lot to offer students both academically and on the social scene.
The first reason why I love Hamburg is the frei KartE. This little green card welcomes you to Hamburg with a V.I.P treatment. The card entitles you to access of over 10 museums, theater, Ballet and even the Opera. I was able to go to museums around the city for free and to the Opera as well. The card gives you 3 months unlimited access to the Art culture in the city at no cost, what more could you ask for.
Second on my list of things to love in Hamburg are the cheap Mensa (canteens) at the University of Hamburg. Coming from Denmark where food and everything else is pretty expensive, the cheap prices for a plate of food in the Mensa is a pleasant surprise. The food ranges from tasty curries, to German dishes, and with the variety of meals offered there is something for everyone.
I have never been one for fitness or exercises. But I when I came to Hamburg, I made an exception. The sports card was so cheap! 50 euros for the whole semester, and you can have your choice of sports classes to go to. From Zumba, to Jazz dance, all kinds of sports classes are offered at the Hochschulsport at Hallerstrasse. It’s up to you to choose the time and sports that suit you best.
Learning a new Language can be a challenge. But also quite rewarding in the sense that you are acquiring a new language skill that can look good on your CV. Having spent a year in Aarhus Denmark, I took for granted that every Danish I came across could speak english and I did not even have to ask.
However Hamburg is different, I had the chance to attend a two-week thorough course on German offered by the University and it was quite an experience. I used the little German I had learnt so far to get me around, especially when asking for the directions around the city. Since the German classes are free, I would recommend the non-German speaking mundusians to familiarise themselves with the language. It does not hurt, on the contrary it may probably give you insight to understand the Germans better!
Another pleasant surprise about Hamburg was that I did not have to pay for a transport ticket. The semester ticket given as part of the fees just made moving around the city easy, especially if you don’t have a bike. Also as a student living on a budget you get to save loads as you do not have to pay transport costs separately from the school dues.
Apart from free museums, you can also watch documentaries in English at the Abaton Kino (Cinema) close to the Allende Platz building where we have all our classes offers free documentaries every month from all over the world. You can check out the films on offer on this site
Hamburg being a big city in the heart of Europe another added advantage is the cheap travel means that you can find. I mean car sharing at mitfahrgelegenheit.de! This site gives you a chance to hitch a cheap ride to any of Germany’s neighbours. I was lucky enough to catch a ride to Amsterdam for one of the biggest documentary and film festivals in Europe, the IDFA in November. It was also a good opportunity to visit fellow mundusians there and attend one of their classes.
I have not really exhausted myself here, there are many more reasons why I love Hamburg, the night life, beautiful canals in the city, the habour, the Alster lake and the fact that it is Europe’s greenest city!
Hope you are looking forward to living and studying in this wonderful city!