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Student Kuß in her university town of Freiberg: “Hiking, walking, enjoying the fresh air – that’s what makes my everyday life here.”

Photo: Andreas Hiekel

For more than 850 years, people in Freiberg, Saxony, have wished each other with the miner's greeting “Glück auf!”.

Here, at the foot of the Ore Mountains, silver was found as a mineral treasure.

To this day, mining shapes the city – and studies.

Alexander von Humboldt studied in the “Silver City” at the end of the 18th century.

Thousands of students followed him - including Sarah Kuß, 23. She grew up in the Erzgebirge and came to Freiberg in 2018 because of the unique chemistry course there.

Campus life: location, cafeteria and café

»Freiberg is the only university in Germany that still offers chemistry at the diploma level.

For this reason, I applied here after graduating from high school.

The difference to the Bachelor-Master system lies primarily in the examinations: diploma students have more oral examinations, which suit me better.

We can also decide more freely when we hand in our coursework, the equivalent of a bachelor's thesis.

You can also study chemistry here for a bachelor's and master's degree.

The teaching buildings are spread out.

You could also say that the campus extends across the entire city.

But Freiberg is small and the distances are very short.

The cafeteria is a five-minute walk from the chemistry building.

My favorite meal here is the egg dish Shakshuka for around three euros.

The dishes never cost more than four euros, and there are vegetarian and often vegan options.

From the cafeteria I walk another ten minutes to the main building and student café, both of which are in the city center.

Nobody actually uses public transport here, although there are a few bus routes.

By bike or on foot, no route takes longer than 15 minutes.

That’s why we don’t have a semester ticket.«

Housing: shared apartment prices and districts

»At the beginning I lived in a student dormitory.

The dormitories are located on Winklerstrasse, which leads into the old town.

My room was really big at 20 square meters.

I shared the kitchen and bathroom with a roommate.

For this I paid 215 euros including all costs.

Today I have my own apartment in the city center.

I pay 350 euros in rent for 36 square meters.

Many of my friends live in shared apartments.

Since housing in Freiberg is still very cheap, students can afford really nice apartments.

This is a big advantage of living in a small town.

A particularly popular district is Friedeburg.«

Leisure: culture, pubs and clubs

»Freiberg is surrounded by forests.

My friends and I like to walk dogs from the animal shelter here.

It's nice to see how excited the dogs are to get out and sniff around.

I take part in the university sports program several times a week.

I particularly enjoy volleyball, acro yoga, dancing and, in the summer, tennis.

When the weather is good, I relax by the small stream that flows near the main university building.

Or on the Winklerwiese, where the summer festival and a volleyball tournament take place every year.

In winter the atmosphere in Freudenstein Castle is magical, and an ice skating rink is set up in the courtyard.

I prefer to go to the “Momo” café.

The coffee is roasted here.

Freiberg doesn't have as much to offer in terms of gastronomy as a big city.

There are also few bars and clubs.

I sometimes go to the student club “ErdAlchemistenClub”, or EAC for short.

The drinks are really cheap here and there is a colorful mix of music playing.

If you want to really party, the best place to go is Dresden.

This takes around 30 minutes by regional train and just under 45 minutes by S-Bahn.

So nightlife is not a reason to move to Freiberg.

I like the ease of life: that everyone knows everyone and that nature is right on the doorstep.

Hiking, walking, enjoying the fresh air – that’s what makes my everyday life here.«

After graduation: what happens next?

»After I graduate, I would like to stay in Freiberg.

I love the coziness and the proximity to greenery.

I also appreciate the family environment at the TU.

Through my studies I met great people, including my boyfriend.

My fellow students and I have already gone on vacation together twice.

One more tip at the end: the experimental lectures in my course.

There we think about a play and incorporate chemical experiments into the story.

Last year I took part as an actress, which was really fun.

Everyone is invited to watch the lecture.«