Göttingen is the capitol of Lower Saxony and can be found at the center of Germany. The Georg-August University of Göttingen is the foremost university in the city and with several Max Planck Institutes and other educational institutions, there is a large student population. Göttingen’s Old Town dates from medieval times, with twisting and narrow streets and a plethora of half-timbered houses. Much of the city center is pedestrianized and walking and cycling are popular ways of getting around. There are many bike parks to leave your cycle, including near the train station and bus stops. The main shopping street is Weender Straße, with many bars and cafés. The Wochenmarkt takes place three times a week and there are two professional theaters in Göttingen as well as several museums to explore. Expats living in Göttingen will find that life in this city is not that difficult. German is the main language, but as the student population is multinational, English is widely understood. Joining InterNations, the online global community of career-driven expatriates, is nevertheless an excellent way of networking with other expats to find business and social contacts in Germany, and Göttingen as well.
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Göttingen has good transport links; Intercity trains connect Göttingen with Hamburg, Munich and Berlin and various other towns and cities. There is an extensive bus network in the city and its environs, run by several companies. The A7 autobahn runs north-south near to the city, allowing fast access to the rest of Germany. Göttingen has some quaint traditions, including carting recently graduated PhD’s from the university to the Art Nouveaux statue of a goose girl, the “Gänseliesel”, to climb up and kiss her - even though it is illegal to do so! Nevertheless, relocating as an expatriate is a stressful and demanding process, and problems almost certainly arise. Specific advice can be obtained from expat members of InterNations who have experienced moving to Germany, simply by networking and posting questions on to the many forums. InterNations members are highly qualified, often leading lights in their chosen professions, who choose to network with fellow expatriates to enjoy the communal support and friendship offered through the InterNations portal. More general queries can often be resolved by reading the online InterNations’ Expat Magazine, which contains a wealth of articles on a wide range of topics to assist expats in Göttingen and throughout the world.
Göttingen has a worldwide reputation in the sciences, and the prestigious Max Planck Institutes, the German Primate Center and German Aerospace Center, together with the Georg-August University of Göttingen, are all based in the city. Over four thousand people are employed by the Sartorius Group in Göttingen, manufacturing precision equipment for biotechnology and mechatronics. Göttingen is also home to the production and development site of Carl Zeiss Microimaging GmbH, with bioscience, industrial and production divisions. Göttingen is a center for biotechnology and biomedical research. As an expatriate working in Göttingen, you need to satisfy several German legal issues, and for advice on the system, the InterNations expat community should be able to provide the information needed, many having lived and worked in Germany and even Göttingen itself. Socializing with fellow expats is possible via the InterNations website. Finding and meeting the local InterNations members enables group activities and visits to be organized with like-minded friends and their partners.