Sure, studying abroad is pretty trendy right now, but tell that to Leipzig—its’ been a hotspot for international students for over six hundred years. Ever since Leipzig University opened back in 1409, the city has been known for top level education and a cosmopolitan mix of cultures.
Leipzig makes an ideal place to study if you’re at all interested in German language and/or history. The city itself is well represented in German art, music, and literature, from Bach and Goethe to Bertold Brecht. It’s a much cheaper alternative to Berlin or some of the western cities, and you’ll learn lots about its history under communism. In fact, some of East Germany’s largest anti-communist demonstrations took place in Leipzig only 25 years ago. And because many adults in the East learned Russian, not English, you’ll have a much more immersive language experience. While your student friends may speak English, the bus driver might not.
History and culture aside, the city is simply an easy place to live the student lifestyle. There are tons of cheaper student-geared options for food, accommodations, and entertainment. There are museums that encompass everything from ‘café culture’ to Wagner’s music to Stasi spy methods.
If you somehow get tired of Leipzig’s offerings, world-class cities like Berlin, Dresden, and Munich are a day-trip away. You can even get to another country in a few hours—the Polish and Czech borders are easily accessible, and you may not even notice you’ve left Germany if you drive around enough!
All in all, Leipzig is a busy, thriving city with new experiences around every corner. Sure, it might not be as big as Frankfurt or as well-known as Berlin, but that’s just another part of its charm.
Amanda Tragert recently graduated and not only studied abroad in Japan and Germany, but also speaks Japanese and German!