Chemnitz is a large technological city in the state of Saxony, located near the central highland region of the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains). Its industrial culture, revered in the times of East Germany, is still alive and well today. Chemnitz is known for mechanical engineering, the automobile industry and microsystems technology. Most of the research activities are carried out at the Technical University of Chemnitz. Some of its institutes are even members of the prestigious German “Excellence Initiative”. Several well-known Fraunhofer Institutes also employ researchers.
Until German reunification in 1990, Chemnitz was called Karl Marx City. Today the city’s most famous landmark is a gigantic statue of the philosopher’s head. The monumental bust is displayed on a pedestal in the center of the city. The inhabitants of Chemnitz call it simply “Nischel” – which means “head” in the Saxon dialect. The seven-meter-high bronze statue is claimed to be the second largest portrait bust in the world after the Sphinx.
Chemnitz is a working-class city with a very eventful history. Thousands of people lost their jobs due to the economic turmoil caused by the collapse of East Germany. But over time there has been a recovery and the city has started to grow again. However, there are still a lot of empty apartments in the city, which is why rental prices are very affordable. It is not difficult to find a nice, affordable apartment.
Life in Chemnitz takes place in the city center. This is where you will find bars and cafes. The “Turmbräuhaus” opposite the town hall is a typical German neighborhood. The campus on Reichenhainer Strasse offers many options for spending time outside of class. The “Club der Kulturen” is an important meeting point, especially for international students. In the old pedestrian area “Brühl” near the main train station, there are many nice cafés and shopping opportunities in chic, alternative shops.
When the weather is nice, Chemnitz residents like to spend time at the lake “Schlossteich”, a little north of the city center. This is a place where you can hang out, meet friends or rent a kayak in the summer. But one of the favorite things about the foreign students living here is “the ease of getting to Dresden and Leipzig”.
LIFE IN CHEMNITZ
Chemnitz Studierendenwerk runs 9 dormitory complexes in the city. But there are many rental alternatives in the city and the easiest thing to find is a place to stay. Living in the city is cheap and therefore it is an ideal location for students. Let me tell you that in my rental searches, I was able to find around 2000 alternative rentals for less than 300 Euros. There is a table below for average expenses, but you can manage your lunch and dinner at mensa (student canteen) with an average of 2 Euros each.
CHEMNITZ BY THE NUMBERS
|Number of Students
|Number of beds provided by Studierendenwerk
|Rents for accommodation provided by Studierendenwerk
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