Studyıng ın Germany

My Personal Research and Experıences

Being a student in Dortmund

Dortmund is a modern, cultural city. But it wasn’t always like this. For a long time it was known for its coal mines and smelting furnaces. Google “Dortmund” and the first thing that comes up is the famous soccer team. Football is such a passion here that it has overtaken the whole city. It is very common to see football-crazy fans everywhere in the city, supporting their club BVB with deep pride (reminds me of Trabzon; it is exactly the same in our part of the world). But let me tell you that Dortmund is also home to the most popular shopping street in Germany.

With around 600,000 inhabitants, Dortmund is the largest city in the Ruhr area. While it offers all the benefits of big city life, don’t expect a city covered in stones. Almost half of the city is covered in parks and greenery.

Dortmund has long been known for coal mining and steel production. Mines, tall smokestacks and elevator towers were the defining features of this working class district. Thanks to coal mining, the entire “Ruhrpott” went from being the center of heavy German industry to repositioning itself as a cultural city. The entire region, home to more than five million people, was named European Capital of Culture in 2010.

An image from Extraschicht 2018

In order to attract more visitors, the city of Dortmund organizes the Industrial Culture Night “Extraschicht” (translated as overtime) and uses former industrial facilities for art and cultural activities. For example, the former mining plant “Zeche” is now a museum of industrial culture. Dortmunder U – Center for Art and Creativity – is a famous landmark near the train station. The “U” regularly hosts exhibitions, lectures and concerts. Dortmund is also known as a brewing city. Once there were many breweries here. Today you can visit the Brauerei Museum and learn how beer is made.

I mentioned before that when you think of Dortmund, you think of soccer. The residents of Dortmund are big soccer fans, especially when it comes to their own club – BVB (Ballspiel-Verein Borussia). Whenever there is a match, there is a buzz in the city.  Everyone hangs flags and pennants, wears shirts and decorates everything in the club colors (black and yellow). The BVB stadium is the biggest football stadium in Germany with a capacity of 80,000 fans, so you get the idea. But you can also watch the matches in many pubs, like the dockland pub “Subrosa” in Dortmund (with a beer of course).

Dortmund Stadium


There are many things to do in Dortmund, but to get the best impression of the city, you should go up the “Florian”, the television tower in the Westfalenpark, and watch the city from the 140-meter-high platform. When the weather is nice you can go to Phönixsee (Lake Pheonix) in the district of Hörde. The man-made reservoir sits at the top of a former industrial area. It’s the perfect place for jogging, rollerblading or boating. You should also visit the harbor of Dortmund, where the “event ship” Herr Walter is docked. And after a stressful day at the university, you can unwind on the beach in the sun loungers and beanbags.

For a great evening out, I recommend going to the night flea market in the Depot. From 17.00 until midnight, you can rummage through the treasures on the stalls while listening to live music. Dortmund is a city where you can shop until you drop from exhaustion. Westenhellweg in the city center is the most visited shopping street in all of Germany. You can also go to the “Thiergalerie”, a large shopping center where you can shop or just hang out when the weather is bad.

There are many options for accommodation in Dortmund. Being a working city, you can find many low budget apartments. In the short research I did, I found around 270 alternatives for less than 400 Euros. But I should mention that although the North side of the city is cheaper, I would say don’t give up on the South. Studierentenwerk runs 10 housing complexes and hosts around 2650 students. With a compulsory semester fee of around 300 Euros, students can use all means of transportation in NRW for free.


City Population 587.010
Number of Students52.647
Student/resident ratio% 9
Number of beds provided by Studierendenwerk2.644
Rents for accommodation provided by Studierendenwerk209-368 €
Source – CHE Ranking

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