Choosing the university for your international exchange can be a lot to consider. You’ll also soon be thinking about finding things to do during your spare time, searching for great local restaurants and, once you decide on your new home, places to rent in Bochum.
Of course, all of this can be a bit overwhelming, and hopefully, you have good perseverance and pretty good organizational skills. But never fear! Housing Anywhere has compiled this informational guide to ensure that you don’t fall into any pitfalls when finding student accommodation in Bochum and that you fully enjoy your time abroad.
Bochum is a fascinating city in Germany that is undergoing a lot of change. You may even feel as if you’re in the midst of two worlds, between plenty of green spaces and old industrial facilities. Yet, Bochum has grown to become of Europe’s top cultural cities, nestled right in the middle of the vibrant Ruhr region.
As you may have already guessed, the official language of Germany is standard German. Plus, this West Germanic language is also the most popular language in the European Union, with it being the widest first spoken language throughout the continent. This can come in very handy for a student already speaking German because over 95 percent of the population speaks it fluently.
This also includes speakers of Northern Low Saxon, a dialect of West Low German, or North Frisian, spoken by many living in the area of Germany known as North Frisia, as well as Saterland Frisian, which is a language of East Frisia. Low German and West German are also dialects of the language. Of course, you’ll find that, especially in student areas, a lot of the residents can also speak at least a little English.
The climate in Bochum is generally enjoyable, and it can even be warm and sunny. However, there is a lot of rain throughout the year, so it’s quite smart to carry an umbrella. Even the driest month of the year can have some significant rainfall. Average annual temperatures can be around 9.6 °C. July is the warmest month of the year, with an average temperature of about 17.7. January is typically the coldest month, with an average temperature of 1.6 °C.
As a whole, the German people love to be outdoors, so as soon as a bit of sun creeps into the forecast, you will find them out enjoying the local parks and biergartens. Weather in Germany can often be unpredictable, so you never know when spring might arrive. Sometime it may snow in March, or it can change from rain to sun and then back again within hours in April.
In summer, the days are usually long and sunny, with temperatures between 22°C and 26°C. However, summer also brings a lot of rain, so be sure to be prepared.
In the fall months, the weather is still mild, with some sunny days and beautiful foliage. Germans refer to these last days of summer as Altweibersommer, or Indian summer. Again, the good weather can come and go, as can the wind and heavy bouts of rain. By November, things become a bit gray, and there can even be some snow.
Be sure to pack that heavy coat and boots, because winters in Germany can sure get cold! Even though temperatures may drop below zero, there are plenty of winter sports to make it worthwhile, as well as the beautiful views of the snow-covered Bavarian Alps. Other parts of Germany also have snowfall, but there is no guarantee.
The following public holidays are observed throughout all of Germany:
New Year’s Day - 1 January
Good Friday - The Friday before Easter
Easter Sunday/Easter Monday - The end of March/beginning April
International Labour Day - 1 May
Ascension Day Thursday - 10 days before Whit Sunday
Whit Sunday/Whit Monday - June
German Unification Day - 3 October
Christmas Eve - 24 December (afternoon)
Christmas Day/Boxing Day - 25/26 December
New Year’s Eve - 31 December (afternoon)
Additional public holidays in Bochum:
Corpus Christi- The second Thursday after Whitsun (June)
All Hallows’ Day - 1 November
German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) marks the day of the country's unification. This is when the Federal Republic of Germany and the Democratic Republic of Germany united, which created one federal Germany on October 3, 1990, which is the date for this annual day of remembrance.
All throughout the month that leads up to Christmas, Germans love to celebrate Advent. This is a time of celebration and general goodwill, and it is when the bustling Christmas markets are in full swing. These markets are not to be missed, as that they sell unique handmade items, such as food, candles, toys and much more. These markets are also steeped in German history, with the first opening its stalls all the way back in 1393!
New Year's Eve (Silvester) is celebrated on the traditional day of 31 December, which is the last day of the calendar year. Many parties are held on this night, and it is a time generally taken to look back over the past year and make plans for the next. At night, German television stations show the exact same short films and sketches every year, which will you give you a tiny glimpse into the culture of the country.