Welcome to Witten!
New country, new language, new (nice) people
Every time we travel to foreign countries, we imagine what will happen to us. Are the mountains really that high? Are the sunsets really that breathtaking? Is the sea really that blue? When planning your semester abroad in Germany you ask yourself: Is Berlin really that hip? Are the Germans really that much on time? Is German beer really that tasty?
And then you come to Witten. Not Berlin, not Munich, but this small town in the Ruhr area that is guaranteed not to appear under the search results "top sights in Germany" on Google. Therefore, our international students have to ask the question: What can I expect in Witten?
After all, Witten has almost 100,000 citizens and is located in the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia, surrounded by cities with large universities, such as the TU Dortmund and the Ruhr University Bochum. Cities with great cultural offerings such as Düsseldorf, Essen and Cologne are only a few stops by train away. Nevertheless: Why Witten of all places?
This is easy to answer: because the University of Witten/Herdecke is located here!
UWH students come from all over Germany and move to Witten at the beginning of their studies. They live in the direct environment of the university and spend almost all of their studies here. The UWH is a small university, which is why there is a familiar, intensive and almost family-like student life here. In summer we spend the evenings on the beautiful green riverbanks of the Ruhr or in our student club, the Unikat. Readings and concerts take place there on a regular base and whether you go alone or with friends, you always meet familiar faces on site.
In addition, you can also get involved in numerous student initiatives, such as Students for Future, Add Action and Herzergreifend. So it rarely gets boring, but we still try to expand the range of activities for our incomings.
The semester for international students usually starts with a welcome party. Here you can get in contact with other international students and with German students from the UWH.
The following weeks are filled with German classes and introductions to the everyday life at the university. Before the start of the semester, every international student is paired with a Witten student. In order to make it easier for these "buddy couples" to get started, we also organize a Buddy Brunch in the university cafeteria during the introductory week.
And in the following weeks we organize further events. Whether excursions to Berlin or the football stadium, game evenings in student homes or an "International Cooking Evening".
For the "International Cooking Evening" we rent a large room with a kitchen in the nearby "Christopherus Hof" and 10 to 15 students cook traditional dishes from their home countries. Then a large buffet is set up and up to 50 people sit together with various delicious dishes and a talkative atmosphere!
Even though Witten is not Berlin, Hamburg or Munich, at the end of their stay our international students can say that they have experienced a lot and had a great time in this beautiful little Ruhr area town.
Looking forward to see you here in Witten, Anais Gion.