Mittweida: Small but very international

"Mittweida is what you make of it" – this is the motto of the small town in the federal state of Saxony. The university offers excellent conditions for studying technical degree programmes and has one of the most modern media centres in Europe. International students here are very active, and thanks to the friendly atmosphere you'll soon feel at home.

by Maria Horschig and Marlene Bauz

The Media centre © Horschig/DAAD
The Media centre . © Horschig/DAAD

Facts & Figures

Monthly rent:
259 €
Enjoy a doner kebab at the friendly restaurant "Bosporus"!

Welcome to Mittweida

Mittweida is a small town in the federal state of Saxony that lies between the cities of Chemnitz and Dresden. If you want to have a spontaneous barbecue in the park or go home in between lectures, it's no problem in Mittweida! The town is small and everything is within easy walking distance. You can get to most places on foot within 15 minutes!

Mittweida University of Applied Sciences offers ideal research conditions. The University's Laser Institute is one of the leading research facilities in the field of laser technology in Germany. The new media centre is considered the most modern in Europe. The university campus is very compact and the individual buildings are all within easy reach of each other.

Main building of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences © Horschig/DAAD
Main building of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences . © Horschig/DAAD

There are only a small number of international students so you'll soon get to know everyone – great for organising activities and parties together! Someone is always throwing a party, either in the student residence club room or in private accommodation.

You'll soon learn to appreciate the friendly atmosphere of the university and the town. Because of its size, you'll often run into fellow students and friends at the supermarket checkout or student club. And you'll soon feel very much at home here.

Market square © Horschig/DAAD
Market square . © Horschig/DAAD

The area around the market is particularly worth visiting. With its narrow winding streets, meandering stream and the Stadtkirche, Mittweida exudes a tranquil atmosphere. The market square with its historical facades is a popular motif for photographs and visitors like to linger here a little longer. 

Just outside the town is the water tower. This red-brick building is an attractive landmark and from the top, you can enjoy a magnificent view of Mittweida.

Living in Mittweida

Because Mittweida's nightlife is limited, private student parties are especially popular. During the week, you can go to the student club every evening. Table football, beer for one euro, theme parties or gigs – there's always something going on and you'll soon get to know everyone. Students organise a lot of big events here every year, such as the Campus Festival with band contest, the international festival or nations and sponsored walks.

Water tower © Horschig/DAAD
Water tower . © Horschig/DAAD

Many students go home at the weekends – but international students like to organise their own activities! Either there's a party, or the Cosmopolitan Club, the university's international student club, organises an excursion.

If you fancy seeing a film, watch out for the special offers: Tuesdays is student day and Wednesdays "Special Film Day". The projectionist winds film reels into the projector by hand just like in the old days!

If it's something sweet you're after, stop off at Blochberger bakery on Rochlitzer Strasse. You can't miss it because of the unique blue tiles in the shop window.

Our tip

Stop off at the "Bosporus" doner kebab place on Rochlitzer Strasse. The staff are really friendly and it has a nice atmosphere. If you're lucky, the owner Hamit will offer you a bright green apple tea on the house.

The Schwanenteichpark next to the university campus is beautiful all year round. Whether you want to go for a long walk, lie in the sun, barbecue or have a game of volleyball, there's always something going on here, and there's plenty of space for everyone. On spring and summer days, the meadows along the river Zschopau in Lauenhain are a great place to hang out. It takes just 20 minutes to walk there. You can lie on the grass and enjoy the peace and quiet, or hire a pedal boat. Or you can hop on a ferry to Kriebstein reservoir.

Burg Kriebstein, ten minutes from the reservoir, is one of the most beautiful castles in central Saxony. From here you have an impressive view of the river valley. It's well worth going on a guided tour of the tower. You can return to Mittweida either by bus or by ferry again.

Interview with Ala from Iraq

Ala El-Haery is studying for a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in Mittweida. He comes from Iraq and is 28 years old.

Picture of Ala from Iraq © Ala El-Haery
Ala from Iraq . © Ala El-Haery

Why did you decide to study in Mittweida?

I always wanted to continue my studies in Germany. A good friend of mine recommended Mittweida university to me because his brother studied here, that's what persuaded me! Apart from the fact that the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at HSMW has such a good reputation and a long tradition, the application procedure was also very quick and easy.

What should future students organise before they come to Germany?

First of all, they should bring with them all important documents, both originals and certified copies. Secondly, they should get in touch with their respective tutor. And of course it's also important to bring an umbrella! Otherwise you might end up like I did on my first day in Germany: wet from head to toe!

Excursion of the international students to Berlin © Horschig/DAAD
Excursion of the international students to Berlin . © Horschig/DAAD

And how did you find accommodation? Do you have any advice for others students?

The Studentenwerk Freiberg helps new students like me prepare for their stay. I applied a few months before the start of the semester and had no problems with accommodation during my stay. New students should apply as soon as the university confirms they have a place so that they have a better chance of getting accommodation.

What most surprised you about life in Mittweida?

The fact that the town is the perfect place to study in and doesn't have too many distractions. Almost everyone here is like a member of your family. I think that's probably fairly rare in Germany. And I think this has a positive effect on students and their studies.

At the Zschopau © Horschig/DAAD
At the Zschopau . © Horschig/DAAD

What do you like best about Mittweida?

Mittweida is a really beautiful little town. I really like the park "Am Schwanenteich" behind my residences. It's very relaxing there. Canoeing with the university sports programme is the highlight of the summer. The scenery near the river Zschopau is simply breathtaking and you can really switch off when you're on the river.

What's the best way of making friends when you're new in Mittweida?

There are lots of different ways, but I'm sure the HSMW's Cosmo Club is a good place for new students. They organise lots of activities, evening get-togethers and excursions. If that's not enough, I'd recommend the student club in the middle of the campus. You'll meet lots of other students there.

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