A Comprehensive Guide about Living in Dortmund

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  • Daiki Saito

    When my company decided to send me to Essen, I took a quick look at the local community and said: Please do!

Life in Dortmund

Dortmund is the largest city in Germany’s Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with close to 600,000 inhabitants, including expats from all over the world. A modern, cultural city built on the river Ruhr, life in Dortmund is by no means a concrete jungle — almost half the city is covered with green spaces and parks.

Education in Dortmund

Germany can guarantee an excellent educational system: expats living in Dortmund can choose between a wide range of international institutions, either public or private: an overview can be found at English-schools.org. For primary education, expats can choose an international school, either a bilingual or British/American, more information about which can be found on the website of the federal Ministry of Education.

With over around 50,000 higher Education students, Dortmund is a popular place to continue studies. Universities in Germany are open to students from all countries, and Dortmund’s institutions host a number of programs for international students, many in English.

Private universities are becoming more popular despite tuition fees from 1,800 up to 5,400 USD per term. They offer small study groups and strong links with industries, plus shorter courses and a more international approach. However it is important to ensure the private university is recognized by the state.

Culture and Leisure

Dortmund is an old city with a rich and varied history. The largest city in the Ruhr region by area and population, it has changed greatly since its past prominence as a center of coal mining and steel manufacturing. Now former industrial complexes host music, dance and theatre during events like the Night of Industrial Culture, and the Zollern II/IV Colliery, in a former mining area in the north west of the city, is now home to a museum about industrial culture. Many cultural events take place in the downtown Dortmunder U, an Old Union brewery which now hosts art exhibitions and concerts.

The sporting people of Dortmund take their football very seriously, and during home games the city comes alive with fans cheering on their local team, Borussia Dortmund. BVB, as the team is known, play at Signal-Iduna Park, a stadium which has room for 80,000 fans.

For a great view of Dortmund, there is a 140-meter high platform on the TV tower, known as the “Florianturm” in Westfalenpark. There are also night flea markets, at the Depot, where shoppers can seek out treasures while enjoying live music.

Transportation in Dortmund

Dortmund Airport serves both national and international travel and from there, an airport shuttle bus goes straight to the train station in the center of Dortmund or nearby Holzwickede Station. Dortmund Station connects national rail with subway and regional trains. It’s easy to get into the city center or any suburb using the extensive Stadtbahn, the city’s 8-line underground train network, or bus system, and also to nearby cities.

Within the city, the H-Bahn, or “hanging railway”, is a driverless, suspended railway, connecting the north and south campuses of Dortmund University with a link to the center.

Dortmund also has its own port, which is the largest canal harbor in Europe, terminating the Dortmund-Ems Canal and connecting Dortmund with the North Sea.

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