Justus-Liebig Universität

Justus-Liebig Universität
Giessen, Germany
Traveling to Giessen
“Getting to Giessen by plane :
1) via Frankfurt Main Airport
Frankfurt is one of the largest, if not the largest, airports in Europe. There are two terminals (1 & 2).
Both have foreign as well as domestic flights. For example, Lufthansa is the major airline in Terminal
1, whilst Delta and British Airways are the major carriers in Terminal 2. A free shuttle train "SkyLine"
connects the two terminals. After obtaining your baggage, if you want to come to Giessen with the
train, go to Terminal 1, lower level B (arrivals = Ankunft).
The train station is below the airport. Here, you can buy a ticket for Giessen at one of the travel agents
(one way = einfach) or at one of the automats signed RMV (the local public transport company. From
the GLEIS 1 (Platform 1) there is a train (Line S8) every 20 minutes to Frankfurt main station until
midnight (but with this latest train you will not get a connection from Frankfurt to Giessen). Last
possibility from Frankfurt HBf (main station) to Giessen is at 23:28, arrival at Giessen main station
0:23. The third stop is Frankfurter Hauptbahnhof "tief" (main station-lower level). At Frankfurt
Central Station you will arrive at one of the underground platforms. To change trains, you have to go
upstairs to the main platforms. Trains to Giessen (usually the trains leave platform 14, 15 or 16 - but no
garantee) are relatively frequent during commuter times (for time schedule check Die Bahn service) .
A fast one (RE or IR) will only stop in Friedberg and Giessen and later in Marburg. The journey to
Giessen takes about 45 minutes. A single ticket from Frankfurt to Giessen costs EUR 11.”
Helpful hint*be sure to have the correct ticket for the train that you are on. Getting caught
riding without the correct ticket is a fine of 40 Euros!!! *
 Giessen is located approximately 45 min by train
North of Frankfurt-Main.
 Only a short train ride from Marburg, the town where
the Brothers Grimm studied.
Living Arrangements
 Giessen offers many different dorms that international
students have the opportunity to live in.
 The main dorm complexes are Eichendorffring,
Unterhof, and Grünberger Straße.
 These dorms are different than the typical dorms in
 Each “flur” or floor has between 8-15 residents.
 A kitchen, bathroom, and common area are shared by all
residents on the same flur.
 Flurs are coed, but each resident gets his or her own
Living Arrangements
 You can move in at the beginning of the month, and
move out at the end of the month.
 Orientation for the Intensive Language program
offered before classes begin for the semester, begins in
the middle of the month. Students pay rent for the
whole month. So to get your money’s worth, it might
be better to move in a week or two before orientation
 Be sure to email the school so they know if you are
arriving early and figure out what arrangements you
need to make with Studentenwerk. (student services)
Dorm Rooms
 Residents get their own room which includes:
 Twin bed
 Desk
 Chair
 Cabinets
 Shelves
 Sink
What to bring
 Bedding
 Some you could throw away at the end of your stay
Possibly use your old dorm bedding
 Add some color to your room!
 Pictures
 You will miss your family & friends from home. It will help to see their familiar,
smiling faces on your walls.
 Towel
 You can throw it away at the end.
 Journal
 Writing down your experiences during your stay will ensure you will remember
those small things. Its great to look back on your experiences later in life! 
 School Supplies
 It is cheaper to bring your own (pens and pencils) and throw it away at the end
of your stay.
What to buy after settling in
(Shops are generally closed on Sundays and don’t stay open late)
 Curtains
 Not all rooms provide curtains. They can be bought at a
cheap price at places such as Kartstadt or at other shops
near Marktplatz. (bus stop)
 Small Fan
 It gets warm in the summer and the rooms do not have
air conditioning. So it can get a little toasty!
 Extra pillow
 The pillows provided can lose fluff easily. It’s always nice
to have an extra little pillow around for comfort.
What to buy after settling in
 Detergent
 Laundry detergent can be found inexpensively in shops such
as PennyMarkt and DM.
 Hair dryer/straightner
 Because of the electrical current difference between America
and Europe, it is best to buy a hair dryer and hair straightener
in Germany. These can be bought for a low price (about 5-20
euros) at Mediamarkt at the mall near Marktplatz. American
products can burn out with just an outlet adapter.
 Clothes pins
 Doing laundry can be expensive. Hang drying clothes in your
room can help save about 3 euros per load.
What to buy after settling in
 Food
 Every student will have access to a kitchen on their floor. Take advantage of your
space in the fridge for lunch/dinner/snacks.
 The Mensa (cafeteria on campus) is not exactly close to the dorms. It’s a great
place to eat while on campus, but not convenient while off campus.
 Canvas shopping bag
 It’s not only great for the environment but also great for your wallet! In most
stores in Germany, grocery bags are not free. You must either bring your own, or
buy a bag every time you shop at the stores.
 Ethernet Cord
 Internet is provided, but it is not wireless and you need a password to log on
initially. (The cord, like many other items, can be bought at MediaMarkt.)
 Cell Phone
 Can be bought at MediaMarkt. You need a proof of your residence. Only some
of the employees speak English so be sure to either know German or have
someone that can speak relatively good German.
Registering for Classes
 It is recommended to arrive at least a few days prior to the
beginning of registration for the semester.
 Many forms of paperwork along with proof of insurance are
Giessen requires students to have either insurance covered by your
home university or by the GermanAOK.
*TIP: Be sure that Justus-Liebig approves your insurance if you use
insurance covered by your university. If not, you MUST have the
GermanAOK to register for classes.
 The buildings that you need to go to are not necessarily close
to each other. You will do some traveling around town to turn
in the documents.
 The International office at JLU isn’t open for long periods of
time, so be sure to check the semester’s office hours.
Important Documents
 Be sure to bring all papers, receipts, etc that you have
received from JLU.
 Passport
 Copy of your passport in case it gets lost or stolen
 4 Passport photos
 Be sure to not be smiling in these. They are strict about
it in Germany. You may be sent to take another passport
photo with a straight face for your visa and other
 Student card from your home university
 Insurance forms (E 109 or E 111)
Getting around Giessen
 Bus system
 Giessen has a great bussing transportation system. With the
student card you can travel throughout the state of Hessen for
free. Be sure to have your student ID card with you every time
you ride the bus or you could get caught and pay a 40 euro
ticket!!! So if you may have forgotten your ID card, just pay
the small fee to your destination.
 A bus stop is generally a short walk from the dorms.
 A bus generally stops about every 15 minutes at the stops
during the day. (i.e. Eichendorffering stop, on the 06, 19, 34,
49 minute of the hour)
 Be sure not to be late!!! The German Bus System is known to
be strict on timing. It is rare for the busses to run late.
Getting around in Giessen
 Taxis
 Taxis generally charge 5 euros for each stop within
Giessen. If 3 of you are going to the same destination,
you can split the 5 euros by 3.
Be sure to pay with bills or larger euro coins (50cent and euro
coins are ok) *don’t forget that 1 and 2 euros are coins!
 Bicycles and walking!
 These are great ways to get your exercise and just enjoy your
day! Bicycles can be bought at flee markets for cheap too!
 For more information about traveling around
Germany, visit this website!
 http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
Where to eat (at least once)
 You’re studying abroad, so why not try new types of food?!
 For traditional German food such as Schnitzel, be sure to go
to Alt Giessen Hotel and Restaurant.
 Your exchange experience is not complete without eating a
Döner from Turhan! This is the BEST Döner-kebab haus in
town! (if not all Germany) The staff is friendly and loves the
regulars. (sometimes offering free drinks or delicious Turkish
Tea) They are even open late!
Where to eat (at least once)
 Mr. Jones (right by the Hauptbahnhof in Giessen)
 Great place to stop for breakfast (if you have time)
before you head out for your travel adventures.
 Kochlöffel (In the city center with all of the other
bistros and shops)
 This place has great bratwurst and currywurst for a low
 Any of the bakeries
 They all bake their own bread and have incredible
sandwiches! Don’t miss out on Käsebrot and
Schokobrotchen!!! (cheesebread and chocolate bread)
Night Life
 Lokal International
 Usually good for a low key night. Sometimes has large parties
which are a lot of fun!
 Audimax
 Party in lecture halls? Ja! Audimax is the largest lecture hall
on campus and hosts parties every Wednesday night! These
are not an event you want to miss out on!
 Haarlem
 Haarlem is a biergarten as well as a night club. This is a very
popular site when the World Cup is going on, hosting public
viewings. The inside (basement) is a dance club.
Night Life
 Ulenspiegel
 This “Tanzbar” (dance bar) also has a biergarten along with the
dance bar in the basement. This is a popular bar on the weekends so
be sure to get there early enough so as to not stand in line too long.
 Galant Bar & Lounge
 This is a more classy bar with cocktails. It is a good place to hang out
with friends.
 Ascot
 This is just a small, hole-in-the-wall pub. The owner/bartender can
seem unfriendly at first, but he is just a straight-forward person. It is
a great place to just hang out with friends and eat peanuts.
 Kitchen Parties
 Have a “family meal” with all your closest friends in your kitchen.
Get everyone together to eat, dance, and enjoy the night.
Trips with the University
 The international student program at JLU offers a few
excursions for students to go on. These vary in cost,
but all are very reasonable.
 The trip always begins with a tour. Students always
have time to walk around and explore the city for
themselves at the end of the day.
 A couple of destinations before classes actually start
are Marburg and Bonn.
 Marburg is just a small town a short train ride from
Giessen. It hosts great markets on the weekend, has
great cafés, and beautiful old buildings. This is where
the Brothers Grimm studied while at college. Every
visitor should make the uphill walk to the Schloss
(Castle). At the top is a beautiful view of all of
 Bonn is another beautiful city that the school takes a
trip to.
 This is the city that Ludwig von Beethoven was born and
raised in. You will get the chance to see the house that
they claim he was born in. But he was actually born in a
small house behind the one they say it is.
 Another site to see is the University. This was the bishop
of Köln’s castle years ago but is now the University.
 Bonn is the home of the original Haribo factory, and still
exists today.
 The romantic Rhine river runs through this wonderful
More Places to Visit
 Botanische Garten-Botanical gardens in Giessen. They
are beautiful! On a nice day, take a relaxing walk
through the garden to clear your mind.
 Mathematikum
 Hands-on mathematics. Challenging puzzles, giant soap
bubbles, deceiving mirrors, mysterious bridges and
more are offered at the Mathimatikum. You are
encouraged to touch and play with everything!
Traveling Outside of Giessen
 Plane (Frankfurt-Hahn)
 Most of the time if you’re traveling around Europe by plane, your
cheapest bet will be through Ryanair. To get to the airport you must
take a train to Frankfurt-am-Main. A bus to Frankfurt-Hahn airport
will be outside the Hauptbahnhoff. This bus is 12 euros each
direction. Be sure to check all of their travel restrictions! They only
offer one free carry on bag, extra luggage has a fee.
 Train
 Traveling by train can be much cheaper. A group ticket is
available within Germany, or just the state. The ticket usually
costs about 35 euros but up to 7 people may be on the ticket.
This brings the cost of traveling down immensely. Just be sure to
plan for the travel time. Taking the train across the country
could take most of the day.
Phrases to Know
 “Entschuldigung” – Excuse me.
 “Schönes Tag” – Have a good day.
 “Guten Tag”- Hello/Good day.
 “Wo ist die Toilette?” – Where is the restroom?
 “Sprechen Sie English?” –Do you speak English?
 “Pröst!” – Cheers! (be sure to make eye contact!)
 “die Polizei”-The Police
 “der Bahnhof” – The train station
 “der Flughafen” – The airport
Extra Information
 In buildings, the ground floor is called the
“Erdgeschoss” and the first floor up is the “first floor”.
In elevators the Erdgeschoss is represented with an “E”.
 Unlike in America, in Germany you must pay to use a
public restroom. It is usually only about 50cents.
 There are no screens on the windows so be careful!
 You will need a bank. Sparkasse is a common bank
with Geldautomats (ATMs) all around town.
Comments from Past Students
 "My time in Giessen was a life changing experience. I met new and
exciting people from around the entire world and created lifelong
friendships. I would not trade my experience in Giessen for anything in
the world." -Tony Behrens, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Comments from Past Students
 “At first, I didn't know if I would like Giessen. Everything seemed small:
my dorm room, the town, my group of friends... But somewhere between
midnight coffee with my Yemeni, Lebanese, Ukrainian, and German
floormates, the dinosaur statues in the Marktplatz, and nights out at
Haarlem followed by bleary-eyed morning language class, I fell in love with
the place. I can't even begin to explain how much I want to go back - you
just have to do it yourself to understand. And try the Doener at Turhan - its
probably the best anywhere!”-Lisa Colburn Wesleyan College, River Falls
Comments from Past Students
 “When I compare study abroad stories with friends who did other programs through my
school, I realize how unique my time in Giessen really was. Rather than travelling with a
huge group from my home university, I went by myself to a real German University, with
real German students who would always turn their heads when I spoke English in class. It
was really cool if you think about it. Classes were great, there are some great professors in
Giessen. Travelling was unreal, completely amazing to go to a different city or country
every weekend. And the people I met were fantastic, hands down the best part of my
study abroad experience because really, I met a ton of other students doing the same
exact thing as me. They left their home to live in an amazing part of the world for a
semester. Even looking back a year later, it's almost unreal that it ever even happened.
But in all honestly, going to Giessen was one of the best choices I've ever made.” – Jennifer
Graham, Suffolk University, Boston
Comments from Past Students
 “It was great studying in Germany. I got the chance to learn another language
and out of 4 exchange programs I have gone through, that was my favorite.
People were awesome and I really made friends for life. I guess that this whole
situation of being away from home and going through pretty much the same
problems brings people together. What amazed me the most was the trip
opportunities we got... everything seems to be so close, just a few hours away
you are in a totally different country, listening to another language, and facing a
distinct culture. I seriously don’t think there is any better way for you to grow
up and see that the difference is good and is what makes life interesting.” –Jorge
Faria, Univeristy of Brasilia- Brasilia, Brazil
Comments from Past Students
"About my Erasmus experience in Germany, I can only say that it has been marvelous. I
have improved my English skills and I learned a little bit of German as well. For my
artistic career it has been really positive because I was working there all year. I made
many important contacts that I’m actually using to get many international gigs outside of
Spain. The most important part is the friends I met from all over the world. I’m totally
sure that if I travel to some of their countries I will visit them, even years later. I think we
made a nice group and everyone would be happy to be visited by any other one of us.
Actually, I started missing my Erasmus year since the moment I left. I even cried when I
had to say goodbye.
While at the university, at least in my case, I received so much help from friends and
teachers. They made our time there easier, I´ll be thankful forever. Ultimately, I suggest
everyone to take this adventure out of your country, your friends, and your family because
it has shown me that I can adapt myself wherever I am.” Kimy Gomez Kaefe (DJ Kaefe)Badajoz,Spain

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