Rostock: Studying with a view to the Sea

In the far north of Germany, the city of Rostock welcomes you with wide, sandy beaches along the Baltic Sea, a quaint university and a downtown full of large parks and greens. And in the summertime, Rostock rolls out a vibrant cultural programme for students.

by Corinna Schlun

Lighthouse at the beach © Schlun/DAAD
Lighthouse at the beach . © Schlun/DAAD

Facts & Figures

Monthly rent:
288 €
Enjoy a fish sandwich on the beach in Warnemünde!

Welcome to Rostock

More and more students complete their studies at the University of Rostock every year. This large city in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has a lot to offer – beaches, a beautifully renovated historic city centre and a large harbour. The Hanseatic city attracts countless tourists every year.

Summer in Rostock is especially beautiful. It takes only twenty minutes to reach the beach at Warnemünde by suburban railway. You can relax there, go swimming, or take a sailing trip. And from the beach, you can watch the ferries heading to Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

City centre © Schlun/DAAD
City centre . © Schlun/DAAD

Rostock boasts one of the oldest universities in Germany, located in the centre of town. The university itself and many buildings downtown were constructed in the brick Gothic-style and are still very well-preserved. Among the rows of buildings, you will find numerous greens and parks, such as the Botanical Garden, the ramparts and the city harbour, where students like meeting in the evening.

More photos

Living in Rostock

Many students choose to live in the district of Kröpeliner Tor-Vorstadt (KTV). In addition to many flats, you’ll find one café or bar after another. The “Bahnhofsviertel” (train-station district) with its newly renovated historic apartments is popular among students as well. Of course, the rental prices in these areas are somewhat higher than in other parts of the city – between four and eight euros per square metre.

Harbour in Warnemünde © Schlun/DAAD
Harbour in Warnemünde . © Schlun/DAAD

The rental prices are less expensive the further away you live from the centre of town. In the outer districts, you can’t walk or ride your bike to campus or downtown. However, every student receives a “semester ticket” from the university, with which they can use all modes of public transportation free of charge.

The Rostock Studentenwerk allocates rooms in student halls of residence, most of which are located in the southern district (Südstadt). The cost of a room is only 90 euros a month, but you usually have to share your room with someone else. A one-person apartment is more expensive and can cost between 130 to 420 euros a month.

If you want to take a break, there are many things to do in Rostock. Students like meeting at Café Central or the Stadtpalast. You can also go to Heumond, located downtown, where you can relax after a stressful day at university with a cup of coffee or a meal.

Hanse Sail © Hanse Sail Rostock
Hanse Sail . © Hanse Sail Rostock

When students go out at night, they usually meet up at one of the student clubs in town. The Studentenkeller hold parties at the weekends, and during the summer, you can watch movies together with friends in the back courtyard. Or you could go to one of the two best-known student clubs in town – the “LT” or the “ST”. LT stands for “Landwirtschaftstechniker” (agricultural engineers) and ST is short for “Schifffahrtstechniker” (marine engineers). Long ago, those were the students who congregated there, but nowadays both clubs are open to all students.

My tip

If you’re in Rostock, buy yourself a fish sandwich and sit down on the beach in Warnemünde. There’s no better way to experience the Baltic Sea!

You can attend cultural events at the Volkstheater. Students at the Rostock University of Music and Drama regularly stage concerts and plays as well.

Due to Rostock’s proximity to the sea, many of the attractions during the summer take place on the water. You’re guaranteed to see a wide variety of sailing regattas, or races. The university sports programme at the University of Rostock offers an especially diverse range of water sports.

At the second weekend in August, you can experience Rostock’s cultural highlight of the year – the Hanse Sail. Close to a million visitors travel to Rostock at that weekend to watch sailings ships of all shapes and sizes enter the harbour. You can meet up with your friends at the funfair and gaze at the huge ships passing by.

Interview with Oyunka from Mongolia

Oyunka Tsogtoo is 21 years old and originally comes from Mongolia. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Political Studies.

Oyunka from Mongolia © Private
Oyunka from Mongolia . © Private

Why did you decide to study in Rostock?

My home university in Turkey has close ties to the University of Rostock through the Erasmus programme. Since I had always wanted to come to Germany and get to know German culture better, I took advantage of the programme offered by the universities.

How did you prepare for your stay in Germany?

To be honest, I didn’t do much to prepare at all. When I arrived in Germany, I took a German course at the Goethe-Institut. By taking the course, I was able to get accustomed to Germany.

How did you find your accommodation? Do you have any advice for others looking for flats?

When I finally decided to participate in the exchange with Rostock, I registered online for a room at a residence hall on the Studentenwerk Rostock website. If you’re only planning on studying for one or two semesters in Rostock, the best option is a residence hall. If you live in one of the large residence halls in the Südstadt, you can get downtown very quickly.

Beach chairs © Schlun/DAAD
Beach chairs . © Schlun/DAAD

What surprised you most about life in Rostock?

The Bürgeramt in Rostock (municipal administration) pays every student 100 euros as a welcome gift when they register as a resident of the city. That was a surprise, but a very nice surprise.

My first days at the shore were also surprising to me – the beach is really very beautiful. But suddenly I realised I was standing in the middle of the FKK area! [Editor’s note: the specially marked area of the beach, reserved for nude bathers].

What will you do after your studies? Can you imagine staying here in Germany?

I’d like to get my master’s in Germany. But I haven’t made any other plans after that.

What’s the best way to come in contact with other students?

The best way to meet other students is through the Local Erasmus Initiative (LEI). LEI is the best! They organise numerous activities and help foreign students with everything, even students who aren’t in the Erasmus programme. My advice is to get involved in many different activities and meet new people that way. They hold a “Stammtisch”, for example, every Wednesday.

What do you like best in Rostock? What’s your favourite place?

The beach at Warnemünde is beautiful in the summer. But there are also many beautiful parks in town where you can sit down and read a book.

Complete the sentence: “For me, studying in Germany is…”

… definitely an opportunity that I enjoy very much. I’ll never forget my time here in Germany!

How would you describe Germany in a few words?

Eventful history, persevering people and of course, beer and sausage!

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