University of Heidelberg

EMMA: Erasmus Mundus Mobility with Asia

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What's the weather like in Heidelberg? What kind of clothes should I bring?

In Germany there's no differentiation between the rainy and the dry season. There are four main seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In summer (may - september) the average temperature in Heidelberg is about 15-20°C. The maximum temperature can exceed 30°C. In winter (december - march) the average temperature drops to about 2-3°C though the minimum temperature can reach about -15 to -20°C. So we recommend to bring a variety of clothes for all seasons. In winter you definitely need a jacket and some warm clothes!

Is the tap water suitable to be used as drinking water?

Usually it is. There are some exceptions though.

What's the currency in Germany?

The currency in Germany as well as in many other european countries (like France, Italy, Austria, ...) is the Euro (€).
1 € is about 1,42 US-Dollars.

Do I need a local bank account? Where can I open one?

We strongly recommend you to open a local bank account. Upon your arrival we will assist you on opening your own account.

Can I bring my own cellphone or should I buy one in Heidelberg?

Mobile phone providers in Germany use the GSM 900/1800 standard, so you need to check if your cell phone is compatible. You should buy a prepaid card in Germany. We will assist you here as well.

Where will I live? What does my apartment cost? How big is it, how many people live there and what is it equipped with?

There's no general answer here as each beneficiary is accommodated differently.

What's the easiest way to get from A to B in Heidelberg? By Bike!

The answer is definitely by bike. This is the preferred way of transport in Heidelberg of most students. If you are staying for at least one year, you should consider buying a used bike. There are several shops for used bikes:

What about public transport?

The local transport organisation is VRN. Enrolled students at Heidelberg University are eligible for the "Semesterticket" which is valid for 6 months (1 semester) from the 1st of september/1st of march. It allows free travel by bus, tram, "S-Bahn" and "Regionalbahn" within the pay scale area of VRN. You can buy it for 127 Euro with your student ID card or your certificate of matriculation in the VRN Kundenzentrum (close to the central station, Kurfürsten-Anlage 62) or in one of the InfoCenters of the Studentenwerk (see below).
All students of Heidelberg University (including doctoral students and post docs) with a valid student ID card are allowed to use busses, trams daily from 19:00 (only within Heidelberg, Eppelheim, Dossenheim/Schriesheim and Leimen/Sandhausen/Nußloch).

What is the Studentenwerk?

The Studentenwerk is an institution responsible for the social care and support of the students. You should visit their page for more information concerning foodservices or general support. The InfoCenters offer help and information, maps, stamps and phone cards, the Campuscard and the semesterticket.

What is the URZ? Where can I use a computer and print documents?

The URZ (Universitätsrechenzentrum) which is located at the campus Neuenheimer Feld (INF 293) offers many services concerning computer usage, printing, soft- and hardware. After obtaining an URZ-account you have access to the computers in the building

Where can I use the Internet?

There are many possibilities:
  • If you already have an URZ-Account (which you should automatically receive with your immatriculation, otherwise you have to request one at the URZ (Im Neuenheimer Feld 293)) you can use one of the computers on campus (e.g. in the InfoCenter Neuenheimer Feld, the URZ or the Marstall-Café).
  • With your URZ-Account you can use wlan on campus after installing Cisco VPN Client (click here for the Windows XP Version).
  • A few cafés offer free wlan access as well.
  • Do not forget to check whether you have wlan or cable internet at home.

And what about TV?

In Heidelberg many flats are wired for television. In this case you can receive foreign channels as well as german ones. Check your lease agreement or ask your landlord for details.

Where can I wash my clothes?

The student dormitories have washing machines in the basement. You will also find some "Waschsalon" in downtown Heidelberg and some suburbs. Here's a small selection:
  • Waschtrommel: Rohrbacher Str. 10
  • Die Schleuder: Dreikönigstr. 25
  • Regina's Waschsalon: Kettengasse 15

Is there a map of Heidelberg?

Check out Google Maps for an online version. A paper version is available in many bookstores or in one of the InfoCenters of the Studentenwerk.

What about shopping malls and supermarkets?

Heidelberg offers many smaller and bigger stores. Various supermarkets are located all over the city. You can find some Asian stores in the following locations:
  • Rohrbacherstraße 8 (Bergheim, "Carré") !!
  • Römerstraße 46 (Bergheim)
  • Bergheimerstraße 38 (Bergheim)
  • Ziegelgasse 23 (Altstadt)
  • Rohrbacherstraße 17 (Leimen)

Are there any Asian restaurants?

There are plenty of them. Follow this link to to look at a selection of them. Or just walk around in Heidelberg and find one yourself.

What are the opening hours of shops in Germany?

Most shops close at 20:00. In Handschuhsheim there's a supermarket (Rewe) which is open until 24:00. On sundays most shops are closed (though bakeries and some other shops in the Altstadt might be open).

Where can I eat on campus?

Both in the Neuenheimer Feld and in the Altstadt there is a mensa where you can eat. Therefore you need a "Campuscard" which you can obtain in one of the InfoCenters of the Studentenwerk. Check out their page to see the exact location of the mensas. The Studentenwerk manages some cafés as well where you can obtain drinks, snacks and meals. Apart from that you will find a bakery both on the campus Neuenheimer Feld and in the Altstadt.

What does a meal in the mensa cost?

The cheapest menu is about 2 €. The buffet offers much more variety but it may become a bit more pricy.

Is there a map of the Neuenheimer Feld?

Sure. Click here to see a complete map of the campus.

Where do I find Institute xy?

Just follow this link where you can find maps showing you the location of any institute of Heidelberg University.

Do I have to buy books for university?

You don't have to buy any book. There are several libraries where you can borrow books. It might happen that a special book is not available. In this case it is possible to use interlibrary loan.

Which libraries can I use?

There is even more than one! Check out the pages of the "UB" (Universitätsbibliothek) for more information about locations, opening hours and on how to obtain a user account. Apart from the Universitätsbibliothek almost every institue has it's own library with professional literature which you can use inside.

What about meetings for foreign students?

Heidelberg University is offering several meetings for foreign students. Most well known is PFIF - Partners For International Friendship, a group that regularly meets at the university guest house and also organizes excursions, visits and other stuff.

Where can I do sports?

In fact there's a special University Sports programme for students and employees of Heidelberg University. On this page you can find the courses offered (most of them are free, some need registration/payment).

Is there a Volkshochschule?

Yes, you can find it in
Bergheimer Str. 76
69115 Heidelberg

Is it possible to continue learning german after my course? Where can I learn english? What's the price?

Check out the Language Centre for more information about english courses offered by Heidelberg University which cost about 80 €. The Volkshochschule Heidelberg offers german and english courses for every level as well. These courses are quite expensive (150 - 250 €).

M.Winckler, M.Diener, 
Last Update: 05.10.2016