Germany has a well-developed if relatively expensive public transportation system. Most people use the Deutsche Bahn for medium to long distance travel. There is also an extensive local bus and tram system in Heidelberg and the surrounding area. Detailed information about the regional public transportation system (tickets, prices and connections) is available on the internet site of the VRN. Employees of the University of Heidelberg can apply for a Job Ticket, which makes the holder eligible for reduced prices on the public transportation system.
If you plan on travelling to Germany by car, you can find more information about driver’s licenses and car permit regulations on the internet site How to Germany. For the occasional use of a car, entering into a yearly contract with the organization Car Sharing allows you to rent a variety of cars throughout the city at reasonable prices.
Finally, it is very easy to get around Heidelberg by bicycle and there are many places to purchase a used bike. For more information, please see our download center.
The University of Heidelberg offers a wide range of activities for the musically inclined. The International Study Center (Internationales Studienzentrum – ISZ) of the University hosts the Capella Carolina, which is made up of three choirs:
Anyone with choral experience and good musical and vocal abilities is welcome to take part.
The Orchestra of the University of Heidelberg and the Collegium Musicum also regularly hold auditions for new members. Further information is available particularly at the beginning of the semester on flyers and posters at the cafeterias and libraries.
Several excellent musical events take place during the year in and around Heidelberg:
- Heidelberger Frühling, an important international forum for classical and contemporary music
- Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele, with 700 radio performances the worldwide largest radio festival for classical music
- Enjoy Jazz, one of the most important jazz festivals in Germany with the motto “international festival for jazz and other music”
- Mannheimer Mozartsommer (every second year in alternation with the International Schiller Festival), concerts and events having to do with Mozart
The internet site Metropolregion Rhein-Neckar lists important events in the metropolitan area such as the Heidelberger Stückemarkt, the Heidelberger Schlossfestspiele, the Internationale Schillertage, the Niebelungen-Festspiele, the Internationales Straßentheaterfestival Ludwigshafen, the Wunder der Prärie, and the Festspiele Ludwigshafen.
Most movies shown in Germany are dubbed into German; however, a few independent movie theaters also show films in the original language with subtitles. The Website Kino Rhein-Neckar gives information on cinemas in Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar-Region.
The Welcome Centre also sometimes organizes film events especially for international scholars at the Guest House INF 370 (see News).
The Mittwochskino organized by the International Office and the Seminar für Deutsch als Fremdsprachenphilologie (SDF) is a program of specially selected movies on the large screen and in stereo. The movies are selected for the information and impressions they provide about Germany, its culture and language. A discussion about the themes of the movie is held after each showing.
Two film festivals take place annually in the Rhein-Neckar metropolitan area:
- Das Internationale Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, after the Berliniale the second oldest film festival in Germany
- Das Festival des deutschen Filmes at the Parkinsel in Ludwigshafen/Main.
- Sightseeing in Heidelberg, Mannheim and in the surrounding area
- Museums and galleries in Heidelberg and Mannheim
- Nature in Heidelberg, the Heidelberg Zoo, University Botanical Gardens, the Mannheim city parks
- City tours
- Rhein-Neckar boat tours
The Welcome Centre for International Scholars also organizes an extensive program of events and excursions.
There is a lecture series within the Studium Generale at the University of Heidelberg every semester which international scholars are welcome to attend.
The German-American Institute (Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut-DAI) also regularly puts on lectures and readings on current topics.
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