I realized in the year and a half I’ve been in Germany, I never wrote about my university. This week I’d like to show you a part of Hochschule Offenburg – and since I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love food – why not begin with the ‘Mensa’.
Mensa is the German word for canteen. The canteen here is very different from the ones I had back in Undergraduate School (in China). Since that was a much larger university, we had 7 canteens to choose from, and they each provided breakfast, lunch and dinner. One of the canteens was open all day from 6am to 10pm (Monday to Sunday), so you could have food at anytime of the day.
In Hochschule Offenburg, there is just one canteen, which is fair since this is a rather small university. But I was surprised to find that the canteen only opened for lunch from 11am to 2pm (Monday to Friday) and was not open for dinner. Breakfast or light food i.e. sandwiches and bread, however were available from 7.30am to 3pm.
In Undergraduate School, the canteens were huge and held around 10 to 15 different counters, if not more, on one floor. Every counter offered a different range of food, and each counter had about 20 different menu items. The canteen at my Graduate School here, on the other hand, has one counter with two menu items. And another buffet counter where you could pick anything you wanted out of the options provided. The two menu items from the first counter almost always has a full veggie option, and the other option contains meat. The menu changes every day of the week, and can be found on the canteen website https://www.swfr.de/en/food-beverages/menus/mensa-offenburg/. This is something I find really thoughtful and is something the canteens back in my Undergraduate School did not provide. Not only can you check the menu online, but you can also check the ingredients i.e. if a menu item contains pork, beef, alcohol, antioxidants, preservatives, sweeteners and so on. This is super thoughtful and considerate since there may be a lot of students who can or cannot consume certain food items, and to be able to have this information so conveniently is really great.
Guten Appetit ! 🍴