Life beyond the classroom is a bit different in Germany than in the US. A lot of activities and daily routines take place in the city and at home rather than on campus. This requires students to be more socially self-reliant and independent, at the same time as it is a great chance to use the German language and to gain a deeper insight into German society. Students find this to be a refreshing time for new adventures and challenges.
Dickinson-in-Bremen students are usually accommodated in the student apartments at “Spittaler Straße.” Modern, clean, and safe, the student housing is close to the university’s campus. But unlike American dorms, Spittaler Str. is made up of little apartments for either one or two students. Each apartment is equipped with a kitchenette and a bathroom, and each student has his or her own private room. Dickinson-in-Bremen provides necessary furnishings, kitchen utensils, carpets, bedding, towels, and more, so that students arrive to a fully functional and equipped home.
All Dickinson-in-Bremen students are enrolled in the German public health care system and all of the monthly fees are covered by the Dickinson-in-Bremen Program. Once enrolled, students can seek medical advice and receive necessary medical treatment without additional charge. This applies to everything — from getting a prescription for a minor cold at the local physician’s office to medical treatments in hospitals and emergency response treatment. Dickinson-in-Bremen has a list of recommended physicians and will assist in getting an appointment if requested. Coverage starts on October 1 for full-year students and on April 1 for spring semester students.
SOCIAL and CULTURAL LIFE
One of the benefits of a mutual exchange program is that upon arrival Dickinson students already know the Germans who were recently in Carlisle. Dickinson-in-Bremen tries to include those Germans in as many program-related activities as possible. Other social contacts evolve through attending classes or becoming involved in a sports course or club.
Another great way to interact with German students is the through the Study Buddy and Tandem Program offered by the University of Bremen. Interested Dickinson students are paired with German students who are interested in exchanging ideas about their fields of study (Study Buddy) or would like to focus on mutual language practice (Tandem – German/English). The students can also easily meet other international students by attending ERASMUS meet ups and events, which are organized by German students who are interested in meeting international students.
Group excursions are one way students explore the rich cultural landscape of Bremen and other German-speaking cities. Because each student has unique interests, Dickinson-in-Bremen also offers reimbursement for a limited number of cultural activities like visits to exhibitions, museums, concerts, cultural events, and the like. This encourages students to independently pursue their personal interests, to explore the city, and to deepen their cultural knowledge.
The University of Bremen offers a variety of different sports classes that usually take place in the evening hours. A fitness center is located inside the sports tower and the swimming pool and other sport venues are located around it. Dickinson-in-Bremen reimburses students for up to 50 € worth of phys ed classes a semester. This usually covers up to three normal classes. However, the money can also be used to cover the costs of joining one of many local sports clubs. This is a great opportunity for students to get involved in social life outside of the university and to get to know Germans of all ages and backgrounds.
TRANSPORTATION and TRAVEL
Included in the semester fees is a public transportation pass or “Semesterticket.” This ticket allows students to use busses and trams within the city limits of Bremen as much and as often as they want. In addition, it is also valid for regional trains to Hamburg, Hannover, and other Northern German cities and towns within the state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen).
For longer trips or distances within Germany, Deutsche Bahn often has special offers for travelers booking in advance. The Bahn-Card is an additional option to lower the costs of train tickets. In addition, the Bremen Airport serves most European destinations and is a major hub for the low-cost carrier Ryanair and is conveniently located on the same tram line as the university.