Universität zu Köln/University of Cologne (Business Administration)
If I had to go again, I would try to meet more German people. The problem was that some of them are quite closed, and I met lots of people from all around the world (mostly exchange students), but maybe not lots of germans, apart from the people from the CEMS Club. As we didn't mix with many German in the classes (in the CEMS classes we were most of us exchange), it was difficult to meet them.
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All the parties and trips are well organised, the city is very nice, specially in summer (with the Biergartens, etc.), and Cologne is geographically located in the center of Europe, so it is easy to travel and make nice trips.
The german system from a public university is difficult for students who come from a small, business school, more adaption to the use of praxis and case studies should be used.
|Hochschule||Universität zu Köln/University of Cologne|
|Titel des Studiengangs||Business Administration|
|Fachrichtung||Wirtschaftswissenschaften - BWL|
CEMS - The global alliance in management education
Studienbedingungen und Ausstattung der Hochschule
The work load was not excessive, although it was in German and an extra-effort for my part was required. Moreover, some of the CEMS Students coming from other Business Schools found the system not challenging at all: too much theory, and lack of case studies and
The university is huge, with lots of students. The building and facilities are very old, and as it is a public ç university maybe there is no so much technical equipment as we are used to in Esade. THe Computer lab in the Business Faculty was small and always full of people. However, in the University there were other computer labs that were better (Ask for Rechen Zentrum) Regarding the library, there is a huge library where you can find anything, and also small libraries for every specific department. The best thing in the Uni were the Sports facilities: there was a wide range of courses and different sports, dances, etc., and most of them were free.
There is a CEMS/PIM club that is pretty well-organised: they were taking care of us at any time, preparing parties, and all kind of events or just coming with us in order to show us the city. Their help was very important in order to meet all the exchange students an also know different places in the city
Services und Angebote
I do not have any idea, because I did not look for an internship or a job in Germany. However, I know that some special sessions were given, in order to inform about internships and all this stuff.. and most of the exchange students found an internship in Germany.
Kosten und Gebühren
I don't know exactly how much I spent. There are some fixed costs: approx. 250 for the university (for transportation pass), the accomodation is about 400 DM per month, you can eat in the University Mensa, it's quite cheap... Shopping in supermarkets was a little bit more expensive as in Spain (in things like, i.e. vegetables, ) but not much. The big "investment" was on night life and parties.. beer is not expensive (3DM), but other drinks (like long drinks) are more expensive. You should also consider that you'll spend some money making copies of all the academic material. There are lots of readings and material that you have to borrow from the library and copy.
Everything that the CEMS Club organised was pretty good. Lots of activities during the welcome week (maybe there were some sessions not necessary : like to hours to see the computer labs). In general, the student organisation was very helpful at any time. There were also Buddies assigned to each student , and most of them (well, maybe my buddy was not like that!) were helping the exchange students until the end, even taking them to the airport the last day!! The international office from the university was not so nice as the students, although their behavior was mostly correct. However, it was difficult to contact them, because the office was opened just a few hours per day.
I travelled to Cologne with a friend by car (from Spain to Germany). Although it was quite a long trip, having the car was useful to travel around during the exchange. It is not necessary to drive in the city (the students have a transportation ticket that can be used at any time; moreover, most of the students ride bicycles). However, if we wanted to make weekend-trips (to Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, etc.), having the car was a good option. Anyway, all the train and bus system is not very expensive, and easy to use.
Das sollte man mitbringen
I opened a bank account there, it was required in order to pay for the rent. It is required to bring the passport (within the UE visa was not needed). Moreover, if you are a student you don't pay any fee. Regarding medical precaution, if you are coming from another UE country it is easy to use the public service, no private insurance is needed. Remember to go to the Health Office in your country and ask for the document (I don't remember the name) that you can use as a student when travelling abroad. Type of clothes: do not forget to bring winter clothes. I was there from March to July, and even in Sommer (July), pullovers or jackets were needed depending on the weather. It also rains often: do not forget your umbrella. If you already have a mobile phone that can be used with any company, it is easier just to buy a pre-paid card. Otherwise you can also buy the device, there are cheap special offers, I bought one for 100DM including 25DM of calls.
I lived in what it is called "Wohngemeinschaft", they are like appartments for students. The ZIB Office (the International Relations Office), helped us to find an appartment before arriving to Cologne. Some of my friends found the accomodation in that way. However, I travelled and once I got there, I looked for the accomodation. It was not very difficult, there is an office Studentenwerk, that helps s students, and the appartments are quite cheap.
SUGGESTION: asked exactly what the appartment looks like. I expected to find a living room (some kind of place with sofas to meet my room mates), but there was none. Some of the appartments are places where each person has its own room, they share the kitchen and bathroom, and nothing else.
It was organised for the exchange studets a Tram-Party, that is, a party inside a Train that was travelling around the city. It was very funny to see 100 people inside a wagon drinking beer and dancing for four hours!!!
People are nice, specially young people. However,the culture is more individualistic and cold than, for example, the Spanish culture. The traffic is not a problem in Cologne, we used the car everyday to get to the Uni and we could always find a parkplace. In the center of the town there are many shops (clothes, etc.), and you can find supermarkets, drogerie markets, etc. almost everywhere. A remark: watch the opening hours, some of them are closed very early, at 6 pm.
Near Cologne you can also visit Düsseldorf, a very nice city with nice shops, and Bonn. I also travelled to Belgium (Brussels) and to the Netherlands. It is specially nice there in May, with all ç the Tulips season. A visit to Amsterdam is also recommended, specially on the National Day. If you also have time to travel, I also suggest to go to Freiburg, in the South of GErmany, a beautiful village which is full of students and young people, specially in summer.
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