Mittwoch, 1. Juli 2009

Kultur in Dortmund

Dortmund is part of 'Ruhr.2010 - European Capital of Culture'.

The TU Dortmund has just published their own homepage about it.

Check out the official homepage 'RUHR.2010' in English here -
with information about projects, dates and more.

"The view from outer space shows that the Ruhr is the third largest urban conurbation in Europe after London and Paris: a coherent urban area with its own particular character. There was never one particular centre here, never a single urban core, nor will one ever exist."
picture and text from RUHR.2010

One part of our project was 'Kultur in Dortmund'
- here are links to the other results:

* Twins 2010 - key project of the initiative 'RUHR.2010'
--> development of a European cultural network

* Parks in Dortmund

* Hanging Around in Dortmund

* Biking Tour - including the Mountain Bike Arena in the picture to the right

* a podcast project Kultur 2010 0002

Other interesting links about Dortmund:

Check out the Tourist Information or the English version, the official Dortmund city information system, online!

Here you can get many information about e.g. culture, sports, leisure and science and research in Dortmund.

Some specific examples of what you could do:

Tours in Dortmund
"Go on a discovery tour of Dortmund and the Ruhr District - interesting and exciting things are waiting to be explored around every corner. Specially for groups, we have arranged tours which will show you Dortmund and the Ruhr District in all its diversity. Let us know when you are coming, and we will organise your tour.
The DORTMUNDtourismus also offers guided walks and tours on fixed days. These are ideal for the individual traveller."

So if you cannot find a big enough group, check here for fixed dates.

Maybe this one?
The Dortmund Experience
"Discover the highlights of Dortmund by coach. You will see,for example, the largest canal port in Europe, the Borsigplatz - birthplace of the football club Borussia Dortmund -, and the Hohensyburg Casino. Use the break at Syburg for a stroll or have a coffee in one of the many cafés. Afterwards we will show you the Technology Park, the University, the Westfalenhallen, the football stadium and the "Florian" television tower. A visit to the Town Hall will end this tour."

Or this one?
"Dortmund without the football club Borussia Dortmund - unthinkable for us today. But this was not always the case. Discover on this tour the exciting history of Borussia Dortmund. You will visit Borussia's birthplace - the Borsigplatz and Trinity Church. A guided tour of the football stadium will give you an idea of the fascinating atmosphere that reigns at the Westfalen Stadium. View the changing rooms of the players - you can feel the sense of concentration and urgency. And last but not least experience the whole black and yellow story from the northern part of the stands."

Maybe you want an eventful day?
How about a...
...Brewery Visit with a 'Beer Test'?
"This is a lot of fun for groups (minimum of 10 people): first you are shown round the small brewery, then you take the "Beer test" and after that you will regain your strength with a typical brewers meal.

The master brewer will welcome you and give an introductory talk;
you will taste two types of beer; take the "Beer Test" - with a prize for the winner; two glasses (0,3 l) of beer straight from the barrel with the meal and a "Hopfen-Tropf" Schnapps to finish."

... trip From Pedal to Paddle
"Discover the most beautiful parts of the Ruhr Valley. You will cycle along the idyllic and meandering route of the "Ruhr Walking Trail" to the banks of the River Ruhr. After a short induction course the trip will start, and the experienced tour guides will not only show you the right paddling techniques but will also talk about all the sights you will pass along the way.

Canoeing equipment, bicycles, tour guide, induction course, drink during the break"

Also helpful are links to the general points of interest and to further information, which for instance include:
- City map Dortmund
- Fly Dortmund - Citymap - Cityguide
--> just download the audio files, copy them to your mp3 device,
and walk through the city with your personal guide :D
- Sigts and tours
- 360 degree panorama
- Monuments
- Zoo
- 'Floriantturm' TV tower in Dortmund
- Local radio 91.2
- Internetcafés
- 'Was ist wo' in Dortmund
- Rhino-Souvenir
- Mailpostcards from Dortmund
- Dortmund's Online Quiz
- Public bathrooms in Dortmund
- Chronics of Dortmund
- WLAN Hotspots in Dortmund


entry by Anna Schmitter

Freitag, 5. Juni 2009

Where to Eat on Campus and Surroundings

It is always easier to study with a full stomach. The University of Dortmund offers great facilities to do so. The Mensa (refectory) is open from Monday until Thursday from 11-14.15 am and on Fridays from 11-14 am.

The Mensa building is located in the middle of the campus and easy to reach on foot; either from one of the main buildings as well as from the dormitories. It is a popular place to go to because it is cheap and it offers a great variety of food. There is, for example, a vegetarian counter, a salad bar and so on. Every week a different menu is presented and if you want to know where to find the menu, here is the link:


Well, it’s a refectory, but it’s a good one. The Mensa has a lot of choice and weekly specials. Depending on your financial situation you can choose between the very cheap – but nevertheless good – daily meal, meals 1 & 2 or the vegetarian meal and the buffee, grill counter or other vegetarian meals. Every week there’s a topic, so you can also take the ‘Aktionsteller’, which than could be an American Burger or Chinese noodles etc... On occasion they also sell Crêpes with chocolate cream and bananas etc.
I like the Mensa in Dortmund, because it has good student prizes, full plates (the meals mostly include a salad and a dessert as well) and nice atmosphere. The quality is good and as far as I know they only buy un-manipulated vegetables.

Anna, student from Dortmund

There are also cheap restaurants that are easy to reach and close to the university, for example Divan. It is known by many students because on a Sunday it provides students with food when the fridge is empty. Are you familiar with this problem? Then you can rely on their specials every day a week and their delivery service. You only need to take the H-Bahn and get off at Eichlinghofen. It is located on the other side of the street. In the following you will see some recommendations of the restaurant by national and international students. For further research you can find the link to the restaurant here:


Divan's is a nice spot for a quick meal, especially because it means you get to ride the H-Bahn (who doesn't like a monorail?); it's right across the street from the last stop. Once there, try the "Sucuk Tasche," a spicy Turkish sausage all chopped up and served up doener-style. Delish!

Patrick, international student from America

I love Divan!
This slogan is written on the T-Shirts of the staff and it totally fits my attitude towards this wonderful restaurant. It’s not only the quality of food which is incredibly good but also the amount of different offerings. Every day in the week they have got different attractions. For instance on Tuesday you only have to pay 3,90 Euro for every kind of Pizza. For me it’s the best way to buy cheap food with an extraordinary high quality. Not only because of this reason, Divan is the best restaurant in Dortmund and probably the best attraction in Eichlinghofen.

Florian, student from Dortmund

There’s a broad variety of meals from Italian to Turkish. Prizes are average, but the special daily offers are really good, e.g. Tuesday any Pizza is only 3,90€, same goes for any noodle dishes on Thursdays.
Also, if you enter on the right, the restaurant is nice to sit down and have dinner out. Try the apple tea, it’s amazing!

Anna, student from Dortmund

Next to the train station Eichlinghofen, you can also find the diner Uni Falaffel. On the left hand side next to the train station you can find the diner.

Traditonal Turkish food and an amazing Döner on Mondays even for 2,50€.
Small place, but a very friendly owner and cheaper than Divan.

Anna, student from Dortmund

Furthermore, there are restaurants in the city centre of Dortmund, but it takes a while to go there, for example King Kebap on Brückstrasse (easy to reach from the stop Reinoldikirche). International students said that it was a good diner for a late-night snack.


entry by Isabel Weber

Parties on Campus

A big difference to e.g. the USA is that there is lots of parties on Campus!

Every faculty has its own parties every semester!!!

The engineering parties are always good. You should definitely check them out!

Although most parties include DJs, beer, occasionally even something to eat (in summer mainly barbeque sausages etc.) it can also include 'kicker' tournaments (what you might refer to as 'table soccer') and with the computer science parties it always includes karaoke, cocktails and guitar hero.

Here are some pics from last years engineering party - all of them are international students.
In this case: USA, France, Turkey and Czech Republic

The biggest party on Campus is definitely CAMPUS TOTAL!
Every semester the Student Service organizes this amazing concert on both North and South Campus. Eight different musical areas and over 20 DJs and bands for only 5 or 6€.

Various live-areas from House and R´n´B, over Classics and Charts to Funk and Rock – all colours of music can be found. In addition there is "Uni Rocks!" – the newcomer stage on the South Campus, which brings bands from all over the state to Dortmund and hence offers a stage to especially young bands...

More information about the summer edition 2009 of Campus Total is here.

If you want to read up on the winter edition 2008:
the Ruhr Nachrichten published an interesting article online.

source: see link to Ruhr Nachrichten above

They also have photo galleries online: one, two and another photo gallery is at


entry by Anna Schmitter

Parties in the student accommodations

Students love to party, and of course the students meet their own demands .D
Every day of the week another student accommodation has its party, Wednesday's is 'Spunk'-night in the 'Dorf'.

Here are some pictures of international students enjoying a 'Spunkabend'.
In winter it's too cold to go outside, but in summer students gather outside as well.

The good thing about these parties:
a) your bed is in walking distance
b) plenty of other students to meet
c) veeery cheap prizes!
Beer for 1€ from tab, Coke etc. for 0,50€ - what else do you need?

In addition to those regular events, once a year every student accommodation has a big summer fest, here at the early hours of the 'Dorfparty' (students were still arriving, but the light was still good enough for my camera...)
The 'Dorfparty' has three different musical areas (on the picture is the life stage area) and is spread over the whole area of the 'Dorf'.

Here are pictures from 'Meitnerweg' and it's summer party:
btw: that's the Signal Iduna Park (soccer stadium) which you can see in the back.and now by night^^


entry by Anna Schmitter

Student Accommodations

Living in the student accommodations at the TU Dortmund is an amazing international experience.

Because between 14-15% of the students at TU Dortmund are international students, most of them live in the student accommodations around campus.

There is many different dormitories, which are listed up here.
You can also see sketches of the rooms:

This is what a 2 people flat share could look like:

Furniture and fixtures vary, but mostly you will have these at least.

Some apartments and flats are also reserved for handicapped students.

I have marked down the student accomodations in my google map, look out for the blue lines:

TU Dortmund auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen

In difference to other big cities, living expenses are really low in Dortmund. In e.g. Düsseldorf, Köln or Bonn you easily pay double the prizes than you do here in Dortmund (that goes for drinks in the pubs etc. as well!). The student accommodations are very affordable: from 166 to 235€ you can get single apartments or a flat share of two, three of four people.

In difference to what e.g. American students will be used to, flat share in Germany means that everyone has there own room! You just share the kitchen and the bathroom. Even in the 4 people flat share you will mostly find two bathrooms, that only two people share those.

I live in the 'Dorf', which is one of the nicest student accommodations I have seen so far. It is like a little village - hence the name 'student village' - and very close to the University as well as the busses and trains. More Info about the old Studi I and the new Studi II.
Here you can get an impression of my area.

My room is in the left house on the second floor.
Here is the view from one of my windows:

The 'Spunk' is the pub and gathering place in the 'Dorf''.
Every student accommodation has its own pub and meeting place.
The Spunk has several events, such as film night on Tuesdays (also in English :D), Sunday morning breakfast (very yummy), games' night on Thursdays and most important:
Wednesday is PARTY!
(more about the parties in the student accomodations later)
The TU Dortmund is involuntary host to many, many rabbits.
Of course, you can also find them in the 'Dorf'.
From April onwards it's especially nice,
cause all the tiny, little, small, just-born rabbits are hopping around!
or sun-bathing - just like the students.

This is the morning before the students were up...
... and this is the morning after :D
Generally, students love to barbecue!
This year me and friends opened the barbecue season on 3 January :D
Yes, students love to party, and if you want to meet new people, this is a good place to start.
Please go to the next post for more information.


entry by Anna Schmitter

Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2009

Study Abroad - Interviews with International Students - part II

Hosanna Okamura from Tokyo:
“Dortmund was big enough to have culture, like art and music, but it was calm enough for me to focus on my student life. I do not like having too much entertainment because then it becomes a distraction and takes energy away from learning, but I definitely wanted to be in touch with culture. I think Dortmund had a good balance.
I grew up in Tokyo, so I knew how stressful it can be to live in a city that large and crowded. I appreciated Dortmund's calmness, and also loved going to the museums around the Ruhr-Gebiet!”

Amy Hill from the USA:
“The trains always go, you can get home at 4 am easily. You can always go out, no matter where you are in Germany. It’s pretty cheap in Dortmund, too.”

Susanna Strand from Uppsala, Sweden:

“I was positively surprised when I arrived because I was so well taken care of. I don’t think we give the same welcome to exchange students at home, so I did not expect that. Making friends was really easy because of the German course and the tutorium and because everyone is so open and friendly. The thing I was the least prepared for was choosing courses, but I think that was mainly because of lack of communication between my coordinator at home and the department here. I was also unhappy at first about the accommodation, but now I’ve grown used to it and quite like it (mainly because of the other people living there!). I still find it a bit expensive though (246 euro and no internet). I haven’t travelled much because I haven’t really found the time. Also, I enjoy being here in Dortmund and experiencing the area around here. I must say that the NRW-ticket is great though, and I will certainly miss having something like that when I go home!
I love all the parks in and around Dortmund, it’s so beautiful! When my mum was here I took her around the Westfalenpark and Rombergpark for example and she really enjoyed it. I also like the atmosphere in the city – German people are nice!”


Video messages

Here, Danielle Nicole Chapman from the USAgives us an insight of her Dortmund Experience:

Danielle also has a blog about her experience in Germany. Check it out here.

Pedro Garcia from Portugal is fascinated by the German culture and likes the way Dortmund people live in the city:

How the University keeps a good eye on their exchange students, this tells you Maxi from Germany:

Fullbright Professor Reed is honoring the American studies department as a guest lecturer this semester. His stay and teaching experiences have been very exciting so far:


entry by Kristin Walter

Study Abroad - Interviews with International Students - part I

Study in Dortmund! Currently, more than 2600 international students from over 100 different nations are studying at the Technische Universität Dortmund. In an interview, nine students and one professor gave an insight into their experiences and observations:

Montevallo goes Dortmund

Heather Liston is a student from the University of Montevallo, Alabama, USA. She studies English Literature and Journalism as a major, and German is her minor. She has been studying in Dortmund since March, 2009 and stays here for one semester.

Heather at a BVB game

Question: Why did you like to become an exchange student?
Heather: I wanted to experience the culture of another country.

Q: Why did you choose to come to Dortmund or Germany?
H: I spent time in Germany as a child and wanted to come back as an adult. My school has a program with TU Dortmund, so that is why I ended up coming here.

Q: What were your expectations before coming? What have you heard of the Exchange Program and Germany? Did you have prejudices?
H: I tried not to have too many expectation before coming that I didn’t have about Germany from the last time I was here. I wanted to keep an open mind to whatever was coming my way.

Q: What experiences did you make (e.g. arrival, orientation week, German language, campus, mensa, library, classes, habitation, making friends, traveling)?
H: Goodness, this has been two months of experiences. It is hard to put it all down into one little space. However, I think that one of my favorite experience so far has been going to a BVB game. There is nothing quite like that in America. We may have die-hard fans of American football but they don’t all know the same cheers or stand and get into the game the way they do at the football games here.

Q: What do you like about the city of Dortmund? What would you suggest somebody to see, go to or do?
H: I love the openness of the city. I love how you can get to everything pretty easily by public transportation or walking. And I love how old everything seems to be split between old and new. I would recommend for someone to go see the Reinoldikirche downtown. It is so beautiful inside and out.


Cordoba meets Dortmund

This student is from the
University of Córdoba, Spain. She has been studying at the
TU Dortmund since September, 2008.

Question: Why did you like to become an exchange student?
M: Well, this is a decision that I took long time ago. To Study abroad is a unique experience, not only in the academical field, because I learned a lot and it will help me in my future, but also in the personal life. Become independent helps you to mature, and when you live alone abroad, you learn a lot of different customs and it makes you more tolerant.

Q:Why did you choose to come to Dortmund or Germany?
M: I chose Germany because I wanted to learn German, and also practice English because all my lessons in the university are in this language. I have always liked Germany and I chose Dortmund because a friend told me it was a calm place near Köln and Düsseldorf, well connected with other cities, not too cold in winter and with a lot of party.

Q: What were your expectations before coming? What have you heard of the Exchange Program and Germany? Did you have prejudices?
M: I have never heard anything negative about the Exchange Program, on the contrary, everybody agrees that is a great experience, I recommend everyone to do it, it changes your life. At the end, everyone finishes the program and goes back home satisfied and with thousands of stories to tell. Before I came to Germany I knew that I had to study hard here, but also that I was going to know a lot of interesting people and go to a lot of partys.
I thought that all Germans were very punctual, that the buses and trains never go with delay... but I loved to realized that Spanish and German are not very different.

Q: What experiences did you make?
M: At first, I was scared when I arrived, but there was Uta, a girl of the university that helped me with everything. She helped me to open an account in the bank, to have the papers for the housing in order, the doctor, show me the campus, how the library works... EVERYTHING. I don’t know what I would do without her  because I had no idea of the German language (thanks that Germans can speak very English).
Well making friends...It wasn’t difficult to meet other people, I thought it was a great idea that the first week the university prepared events, partys and travels to visit the cities near to Dortmund, all the Exchange Students together... We all came in the same condition, so it was easy to have contact with people.
I think the Dortmund University is very organized in terms of exchange students and knows how to manage with them, help them, organize events etc. This doesn’t happen in other universities, here they helped me in everything, all was just perfect.

Q: What do you like about the city of Dortmund? What would you suggest somebody to see, go to or do?
M: Dortmund is not very big, I like the people and the calm of this city. In Kampstraße, you can go shopping and it's a long street with a lot of shops, Rombergpark and Westfalen Park are wonderful, also the pubs and clubs aren’t bad. What I like of Dortmund is that there are a lot of cultural events and things to do. If you are bored one day, you can read the magazine Colibri and see what's going on and what you can do for having fun.

Q: What would you regard as your best experience?
M: All the year, I cannot say just one. I learned German, now I can understand it and speak it. For me this is great, you can’t imagine how difficult is the German for a foreign with this grammar, the exceptions and accusative, genitive...etc (unfortunately, I don’t control it perfectly), but I am satisfied and I made a lot of German friends that are incredible.


Montevallo goes Dortmund

Alesha Dawson is a student from the
University of Montevallo, Alabama, USA.
She has been studying Literature and
German at TU Dortmund since
September, 2008, and is staying for two

Alesha with Dortmund's famous emblem – the rhino

Question: Why did you like to become an exchange student?
Alesha: I really missed traveling and really wanted to learn a new language.

Q: Why did you choose to come to Dortmund or Germany?
A: I have always liked the German language and wanted to learn it. Also my university has a direct exchange program with Dortmund.

Q: What were your expectations before coming? Did you have prejudices?
A: I expected it to be fun and to learn a lot, not just in school but about the culture and about anything I could possibly learn. I expected it to be difficult to be away from my family, but I knew they were supporting and loving me and I them... so we were able to make it :) I had no real prejudices because i have been to Europe a lot before and could remember a lot of things about it.

Q: What experiences did you make?
A: Well, I met a lot of really amazing Germans and amazing foreign exchange students. Although from different countries, we were all able to become friends and for the most part get along well because we are all in the same situation. I also was able to travel a lot while I was here. I did this purposefully because of my love to see new and interesting places.

Q: What do you like about the city of Dortmund?
I love Dortmund because it has a nice comfortable feel and great public transportation system. It is a smaller city without a lot of tourism but you are close to Düsseldorf and Köln and it is easy to get to a lot of other cities such as Berlin and München. Great university city!

Q: Your best experience?
A: All of it. I mean that is cliche but I really do regard both the good and the difficult times as either enjoyable or character building. I loved being able to travel to places that I wanted to see. But I really loved the people I met and the friendships I have made. A lot of them, I may never see again but will always think of very fondly... and a few of them I know I will have in my life forever.


entry by Kristin Walter