Information for Students
Whichever your country of origin, all information can be found here http://www.zv.uni-leipzig.de/en/study/international-study.html. If you need to have someone to help you in person, you should contact the Akademisches Auslandsamt. Their contact information can be found on the same website.
Student ID – UniCard
Once you are a student, you will get your Studentenausweis (student ID). It has several functions:
You can take all public transport in the region of Mitteldeutschland using your student ID. See the Local Public Transportation section.
With the ID, you can rent books from our university libraries, have access to online sources and are allowed to enter the 24h open campus library at night.
You can load some money on your card and eat at all university cafeterias and bistros at the cheapest price.
Printing and Scanning
At the university computer and printing stations, you need your card to print, scan and copy.
Reduced Admissions and Prices
Outside of university, you often pay less admission to theatres, movies, clubs and concerts. In some shops and restaurants, you get a discount on displaying of your ID when buying something.
Transport from the Airport to the City Center
From the Airport, follow the signs to the S-Bahn (city train). You will need to take the S5 in the direction of Altenburg or the S5X in the direction of Zwickau (Sachs). Trains depart every 30 minutes. The ride to Leipzig Hauptbahnhof takes approximately 25 minutes and costs about €4. The University is a short walk from the main station. A taxi from the airport to the city center takes around 30 minutes and costs about 35-40 €.
Local Public Transport
Leipzig’s public transportation system includes city trains (S-Bahn), small trains/trams (Straßenbahn/Tram) and busses (Bus). Tram tickets can be purchased (with cash or coins) at the ticket machines at the tram stops or even in the trams themselves (with coins). There are machines for the city trains at their stops; here you can also pay with card. Tickets for the bus can be purchased directly from the driver. Just say: Eine Fahrkarte, bitte. (One ticket, please) and hand over your money.
If you have paid the semester fee because you are a university student, you can ride all means of public transportation within the region of Middle Germany (Mitteldeutschland) for free with your student ID.
To look up prices, routes, transportation schedules and more, go to http://www.lvb.de/
Leipzig is also very bike friendly – biking is cheap, fast, and environmental friendly! There are a lot of bike stores around the city but Lucky Bike has a big used bikes sale every first Saturday of the month.
Germany’s currency is the Euro (EUR, €). There are plenty of ATMs (Bankautomat) and many bank branches for withdrawal or money exchange available.
Banks: In the city center/ near the main station:
Sparkasse Leipzig, Humboldstraße 25, Leipzig www.sparkasse-leipzig.de/
Deutsche Bank, Martin-Luther-Ring 2, Leipzig www.deutsche-bank.de/start
Commerzbank AG, Thomaskirchhof 22, Leipzig www.commerzbank.de/
Aareal Bank AG, Neumarkt 2, Leipzig www.aareal-bank.com/
HypoVereinsbank UniCredit Bank AG, Ratsfreischulstraße 5, Leipzig www.hypovereinsbank.de/
Credit Cards: Major credit cards are generally accepted in hotels, restaurants and numerous department stores but it is always safer to carry some cash in case the store does not accept credit cards. In coffee houses, smaller stores, bars and clubs credit cards are mostly not accepted. The most widely known cards in Germany are VISA and Mastercard.
Tipping is expected in any restaurant or café with servers, also at the hair/nail salon, for taxi drivers and for hotel concierges. A normal tip in a restaurant is between 5 to 10% but students usually tip less or for small amounts just round it up to the full euro. In a restaurant, the tip can be handed to the server directly or can be handed over together with the money for the bill. Just say “Stimmt so.” (“That’s alright.”) and you won’t get any change back. Germans usually don’t leave the tip at the table when they leave.
Internet and Telephone
The university as well as few coffee shops or restaurants have wifi. Good places to go for internet access are always Starbucks and McDonald’s. Also Leipzig’s main station has wifi.
Before you leave for Germany, ask your home phone service provider (at&t, Verizon etc.) if you will have full service in Germany. If that is not the case, some companies offer to give you a travel phone for your time away. For some phones it works to buy a German sim card to slot into your phone which you can buy at the phone stores around the city (O2, Vodafone) or even more conveniently at the supermarket (Netto, Aldi, Lidl). If your phone has no reception here and no sim card slot, you can buy a cheap phone for around 40 Euros at Saturn in the Main Station or at Mediamarkt in the big shopping center Höfe am Brühl. You can choose their sim card offer or buy one yourself at the stores listed above.
Shops: Mon-Sat 9 am – 8 pm (at Main Station: 9:30 am – 10 pm), Sundays closed
Supermarkets: Mon-Sat 8 am – 8 pm (Kaufland: 7 am – 10 pm), Sundays closed
Aldi (Supermarked) at Main Station: Mon-Sat 8 am – 10 pm, Sundays 12 pm – 6 pm
Post Offices: Mon-Fri 8 am – 6 pm, Sat 8 am – 12 pm
Banks: Mon-Thu from 8.30 am – 4 or 6 pm, mostly early closings on Fridays around 1 – 3 pm
Sprachenabend: The Sprachenabend (language night) is a great possibility to get to know people while practising some languages. You just choose your language table and talk to some nice strangers-soon-to-be-friends in a relaxed setting with some drinks and maybe some food. Language nights happen every Tuesday at 8 pm. “Die VILLA”, Soziokulturelles Zentrum, Lessingstraße 7, 04109 Leipzig. http://www.sprachenabend-leipzig.de/
Tandempartner: If you want to learn German and hope to find someone you can spend some time discovering Leipzig with, why not try a tandem partnership. Your partner will teach you German and you will teach him/her your native language. While doing this, you can do some fun stuff in Leipzig together. http://www.uni-leipzig.de/sprachenzentrum/hi.site,postext,tandem-buero.html
Tandempartner: Your partner will teach you German and you will teach him/her your native language. http://www.uni-leipzig.de/sprachenzentrum/hi.site,postext,tandem-buero.html
Volkshochschule: Volkshochschule Leipzig offers German classes for little money. Volkshochschule is something like an open school everybody can take classes at. They offer every level of German, from total beginner to intermediate or nearly expert. To register, you need to go to the Volkshochschule in person during their registration hours. Volkshochschule Leipzig, Löhrstraße 3, 04105 Leipzig. http://www.vhs-leipzig.de/index.php?id=60&kathaupt=1&katid=185&katvaterid=183&katname=Deutsch+als+Fremdsprache
Classes at the University: The Herder Institute at the university offers a program called interDAF. Participants can take intense two month long German classes and at the end gain a certificate if they pass a final exam. Classes cost around 1,200 € and come within a small cultural program. They also offer summer and winter schools. https://www.uni-leipzig.de/interdaf/learn-german.html
Private German Schools: Some private language schools offer German lessons. Berlitz is fairly expensive, whereas Studio Lingua is quite cheap. http://www.berlitz.de/en and http://www.studio-lingua.de/en