To make sure that you are well prepared for your stay, we created an overview of the most important information for you. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
- Your tution fee includes the ticket for public transport (busses, some ferries and regional trains: REs) in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Speed trains like ICE and IC and ferries on weekends in summer (see https://www.sfk-kiel.de/de/tarife/semesterticket/) are not included. You can get an electronic ticket (in the Nah-SH app) or a card. Keep in mind that your CAU-card is not a valid ticket!
- The best way to get aroud in Kiel is by bike. Busses run frequently as well, but they can be very crowded at busy times and are often behind schedule. That’s why it is often faster to go by bike. There are many bike-streets without traffic lights and the Veloroute (like a highway for bikes), which make it very easy to avoid traffic. To get a bike for one or two semesters you can either buy one on Ebay and sell it at the end of your stay or you can rent one. Swapfiets lends bikes for about 17€/month including maintenance and repair service and theft insurance. An insurance and a good lock are very recommendable in Kiel. Also make sure that you place your bike somewhere safe like the backyard or a bike-shed. If you leave your bike outside at night, it might be gone by the next morning.
- Another good alternative to the bus is skating, but mainly in summer when the streets are free from litter.
- The ferries get you across the Förde to the Faculty of Engineering and to the beaches. You can go to the pier by bike and take it with you or leave it there. But sometimes it will cost extra to take the bike with you, especially if you take the ferry to beaches. It usually takes longer than going by bus, but isn’t it nicer to sit on the deck of a ferry and breathe the fresh sea-air than sitting in a bus full of people?
- The best way to get to the airport in Hamburg is with the Kielius. It is a bus that takes you from the train station in Kiel directly to the terminal in Hamburg and back. For students a one way ticket Costs about 7€ and a return-trip is 12€. So if you know that you will also do a return it is best to buy the 2 tickets at the same time. But you might have to pay in cash, so make sure you have the money with you. Another option to get back from Hamburg airport, which is included in your transport ticket from university, is to take a bus or metro from the airport to Hamburg main station, from here trains are going to Kiel about every hour.
Your CAU-Card serves as Student-ID card, ticket for University Sports, cafeteria (mensa)- and library card. At the beginning of each semester you will have to validate your card at one of the validation-terminals on campus to activate it. To buy food at the cafeteria (mensa) you will need to top up your card (with cash or EC card) at one of the top-up-machines, which are located in the cafeterias (mensas). If you want to borrow a book from the library, you will have to get your card registered there first. After that you will only need your card to borrow books and get access to the online platform, where you can renew your loans. If you want to participate in university sports you will have to go to the sports office once to get your card registered. Only then you can book classes online and enter the sports hall with your card. If you loose your card or if you break it, you can request a new one for a small fee (approx. 10€). For more information click here.
Money and bank account
- The main payment methods in in Germany are cash and EC-card. EC cards from other European banks should work just fine, but check with your bank if you are unsure about yours. You might have to pay a fee to withdraw cash or pay with your card. Credit cards are often not accepted, even in big supermarkets. If you don’t have an EC-card or the withdrawing fees are to high, you should consider opening a German bank account. This will require you to make an appointment with the bank (ask which documents you need to bring!) and will take about a week. Many banks offer free accounts (e.g. „Förde-Sparkasse“ in Kiel or the online bank „DKB“). If you choose an online bank you can open the account via video-chat.
- If you are only here for a few months, it is best to buy a prepaid card (e.g. AldiTalk, O2, Lidl, congstar etc) at the supermarket or online. You can top up the card in supermarket and monthly decide which option you want to book (how many GB etc). The cheapest options are around 8€/month. One great advantage is that you can terminate the contract after each month. Other contracts usually include a minimum duration of 12-24 months.
- In Germany when you are ill, you need to go to the family doctor (Hausarzt) first. He will then send you to a specialist, if necessary. Except for dentist and gynaecologist, where you can go without seeing your family doctor first. If you are staying for a longer period or you know that you will have to see a gynaecologist, it is helpful to go there for a check-up at the beginning of your stay. This way it will be much easier and faster to get an appointment in the future and your doctor will already know you.
- In Germany you can get weaker medications, like painkillers or nasal spray, without prescription at the pharmacy. For stronger medications you will have to get a prescription from your doctor first.
Food and Grocery-Shopping
- As a student you are often living on a budget. So here are some tips on where to buy food and eat out in Kiel without spending a fortune:
- On campus the cheapest lunch option is, of course, eating in the cafeteria (mensa). Dishes usually cost between 2 and 4 euros and there is always a vegetarian option. There are also other cafeterias and cafes on campus where you can get small dishes, like sandwiches or salads, and drinks. If you are not on campus and don’t want to cook, you can get FastFood like Döner (Kebab) and Pizza almost at every corner for 3-5€. You might find some healthier options in a bakery or cafe. Lunch in a restaurant or cafe around town will cost you about 5-10€.
- There are many nice cafés in Kiel where you can hang out with friends, drink good coffee and eat vegan banana bread. They also offer breakfast and brunch (some all day long), and usually have lots of vegetarian and vegan options. If you want to enjoy your coffee with a view, go to one of the beach bars/cafes along the Kiellinie.
- Regarding grocery shopping you have many options: You can find cheap supermarkets like Lidl, Aldi, Penny, Netto etc at every corner. Rewe, Schlemmer Markt, Markant or Famila are more expensive, therefore they offer a greater variety of products. If you want to buy organic food, you will find some Bio-markets in the city center or on the Holtenauer street. The drug stores DM and Rossmann also offer some organic products.
- Another way to buy lokal and fresh food, is at one of the farmers markets (Mondays and Thursdays on Blücherplatz, Wednesdays and Saturdays on Exerzierplatz, open till 1pm). There are venders selling everything from vegetables, over fish and meat, to cheese, bread, spices and much more.
- Asian and oriental markets are also worth a visit! They offer more exotic products and are usually very cheap. Have a look at all the different spices, sauces, antipasti, beans etc! The Asian market at Fleethörn even offers almost everything (nuts, seeds, oats, rice, ...) organic and unpacked. Another option for bulk buying is the „Unverpackt Laden“, which is a bit more expensive.
- If you want to safe money and food from being wasted, check out ‚To good to go’ (an app where you can buy leftovers from bakeries and restaurants for a few euros) and ‚Foodsharing’ (they collect food from supermarkets, that cant be sold anymore). Be aware that ‚Containern’ (‚saving’ food out of waste containers of supermarkets and restaurants) is not allowed in Germany.
The public library of Kiel offers a great variety of different books (fiction and non-fiction, thrillers, cookbooks…). They also have lots of textbooks and exercise books to learn languages including German. You can also borrow magazines, DVDs, CDs and board games. As a student you get the membership for free. The library is located next to the main bus station. So it is definitely worth a visit!
- During your stay you will probably have to print some course work or scripts. In some institutes and in the library there are printers that you can use with your CAU-card (5 cents/page), but you have to register for the service first. Click here for instructions. Another option is to go to a copy shop. There is one on campus called „DocuLounge Kiel“. It’s also 5 cents/page (black and white) and there is always a member of staff to help you out. At the beginning of the semester and at busy times (right before and after lectures) you might have to queue in front of the shop though.