Hannover is one of the cities I am most familiar with and visit due to my profession (As you know, the world’s largest “Information Technology Fair” CEBIT was held in this city). The city, which I was interested in due to my profession, has now become a second address after my son started his medical education here. You might think that we have one foot there. Well, I guess I can pull some strings in the introductory article.
Since 1947, the city has been hosting a large number of professionals throughout the year with the world’s largest trade fair “Hannover Messe” (the world’s largest exhibition center with 26 halls, 5 pavilions, 463,285 m² exhibition area and 58,000 m² open area). The fame and success of this fair, where all kinds of technologies and new trends were introduced, gave birth to the CEBIT fair focused on the field of IT and made it a tradition to bring IT professionals from all over the world together here once a year. In the city, where around 110 fairs were organized annually before the pandemic, students studying there usually work at the fair stands (students need pocket money, don’t they?)
With a population of 560,000, Hannover is considered a big city on the scale of Germany. It is one of the greenest cities in Europe with a green area ratio of 11.6% and 640 decares of “Die Eilenriede”, one of the largest urban forests in Europe (more than twice the size of New York Central Park). There are more than 45,000 trees planted in the city for landscaping purposes and around 500 new trees are planted every year.
Due to its geographical structure, transportation is very good. Transportation within the city is very comfortable and there are many options. Whether you want to use the 540 km of bicycle paths, 170 km of which pass through the greenery, or the excellent public transportation network of metro, tram or buses, your longest journey will take half an hour.
With its short distances, cultural diversity, vibrant neighborhood culture and affordable prices, the city feels like a garden city with a natural rhythm to everyday life. According to surveys, 91% of the city’s residents either like or love living here.
When we talk about Hannover, another topic we cannot pass without mentioning is “Hochdeutsch” (High German). Although High German means the German spoken in the highlands of Germany, it is more commonly used in the sense of “the standard and simplest German dialect”. I have often mentioned the cultural and linguistic differences between the regions in Germany in previous articles. Nevertheless, all academic circles, politicians, leaders and public figures try to use “Hochdeutsch” when speaking. “Hochdeutsch” has become a kind of state language. Hannover is the center of this dialect. In a sense, it is one of the conditions of respectability to speak like a Hanoverian all over Germany. This is also the reason why Germany’s most famous television announcers live in this city.
Speaking about the transportation advantages of Hannover, we should also mention its geographical advantages. Hannover is located almost in the middle of Germany. Although it is not geographically in the middle, it would not be wrong to say that all roads pass through Hannover because it is located right in the middle of the North-South and East-West railways. The city has direct connections to all metropolises of Germany. Cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen are only an hour or two away, while the Ruhr basin, Germany’s most densely populated region with ten million inhabitants, is only a few hours away. You can also reach cities like Frankfurt or Munich in 2 to 4 hours. Being a fair city, the city also has a busy airport traffic and welcomes 6.5 million passengers every year.
Hannover is also known for having the most beautiful city hall in the world (the last mayor was a Turk from the Green Political Party), one of the best train stations in Germany and a zoo. The city also hosts one of Germany’s biggest folk festivals, “Maschsee Festival” and welcomes more than 2 million visitors during the festival. The city is also popular with students and researchers. Leibniz University is the most well-known of the eight universities in the city, but Hannover is especially famous in the fields of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Around 50.000 students give the city a young atmosphere.
Hannover can be described as a true medical city. Together with the neighboring districts, the region has a population of 1 million and one-seventh of the working population (about 65,000 people) work in the health sector. There are around 3,600 health facilities and businesses in the region, including hospitals, clinics or companies that work and research on medical issues. In addition, four of the world’s 3000 most cited scientists teach at the Hannover Medical School.
LIFE IN HANNOVER
If you search the internet or ask anyone who has lived there, the only bad comment you will get about Hannover is the weather. For most of the year you will see constant gray skies, rain, wind and cold. If you don’t mind the weather (Germans don’t, because it’s not something you can control!), the large student population makes Hannover relatively cheaper than other large and medium-sized cities in Germany.
In addition to being cheap, Hannover’s local people are open-minded, helpful and well-behaved, which is another motivation to live here. The Turkish population in the city is also quite high and one out of every 10 people you meet on the street is of Turkish origin. I can say that it is one of the most comfortable cities for foreigners and you will feel a general spirit of positivity in the city. (It is one of the most civilized cities in Germany)
Since 2014, the city has been recognized as a UNESCO City of Music. International Jazz festivals attract thousands of listeners every year. Hannover people love music and singing. There are more than 400 choirs active and they give regular concerts. The sounds of music coming from under the manhole cover in front of the main train station are very interesting and attract everyone’s attention. As you may know, the famous rock band “Scorpions” also originated from this city (our generation knows it well).
One of the things to mention when talking about Hannover is the beer called “Lüttje Lage”. The beer with an interesting presentation is drunk from two glasses held in the same hand. Although it requires some skill to drink it, they provide aprons for beginners (you are guaranteed to spill it on yourself on the first try). Served in two glasses, one small and one large, the drink consists of 5 cl Broyhan beer in the small glass and Uhle beer in the large glass. You hold the two glasses with one hand and as you drink, the beer from the small glass flows into the large glass and you drink the mixture in one gulp. It’s hard to describe. Try it please. (By the way, you will see 2-3-4 versions of this, they exaggerate and exaggerate)
When it comes to living costs, rental options are plentiful and prices are relatively reasonable. One bedroom apartments start at 450 Euros. It is possible to stay in shared apartments with a 300 Euro contribution fee. Private dormitories start at 600 Euros. It is possible to stay in state dormitories between 200-400 Euros, but as everywhere else, it is difficult to find a place here, you have to wait a little bit. I am sharing studentenwerk and two private dormitory links below.
Please Note !!! Be suspicious of commission-free apartments, photos that look like hotel rooms and utopian low rental prices: they are often fake. You should also always be suspicious of landlords who are supposedly based abroad and demand money before you even see the apartment.
HANNOVER BY THE NUMBERS
|Number of Students
|Number of beds provided by Studierendenwerk
|Rents for accommodation provided by Studierendenwerk
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