• Germany edition
 
My Germany - Osnabrück
'You don't feel the cold in Osnabrück'
Photo: Private

'You don't feel the cold in Osnabrück'

Published: 01 Mar 2013 09:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Mar 2013 09:41 GMT+01:00

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on people's adopted home towns. This week, Mohamed Selim Khalil shares his fondness for Osnabrück

Egyptian expat Khalil has called the city in Lower Saxony home since March 2012 after arriving to pursue a master's degree in political science at the University of Osnabrück. He talks to us about what to do, where to eat and the one time of the year every local comes home.

What do you love about Osnabrück?

Although I originally come from Cairo in Egypt, Osnabrück represents home for me. I like the simple, relaxed life here – it is a great place to work, relax, rest, take a short walk, do some sport or just for a simple dinner out in the evening. I love that the city has a historically rich culture. There are many cultural places like museums and art events, which cater not only to a German audience but also to an international one.

There are open-air theatres, or lectures at one of the educational institutes – the Hochschule or the University of Osnabrück. There's always something new happening. You don't feel cold here the way you might in other German places because the people and the city itself is so warm. You constantly see familiar faces and greet them as you pass them by on the street. Life here is simple and family oriented. Osnabrück is an old city in terms of its culture, but young in terms of the people, especially the students.

What do you do on a typical weekend?

On the weekends, I go out for movies, attend student parties, read a lot, attend lectures at the university or go to an open air event. I also like sports and play indoor sports like squash and basketball in the winter. In the summer, I go hiking in the countryside, take a long walk or go fishing.

What aspects of Osnabrück do you wish you could change?

Sometimes, people here can be very shy and reserved when they first get to know you. I wish I could change that. I think that's just small town culture. But once people open up to you, they become your best friends – they help you out and you can completely rely on them. In fact, this is something I'd like to tell people who are new here and who might feel like people aren't friendly - it's not the case.

Is Osnabrück a friendly city for foreigners?

Yes, absolutely. Speaking English here is not a problem at all. The locals will not insist on you speaking German. When I first came here, I didn't know German and it wasn't a problem for me at all. Even when the people here don't speak English, they understand it and if you ask them something, they reply to you in German.

What do you miss about Egypt?

The sun and the warm weather are the only things I miss. I can even read the newspaper I used to read in Egypt here. Earlier I used to read the online version, but sometimes, on a Sunday morning, for example, you just want the printed paper along with a cup of coffee. All I need to do is order it from the press shop. So everything I need is easily accessible.

What about the food?

You can get Middle Eastern food here. There are a lot of family owned supermarkets which cater for foreigners – for Turkish, Lebanese, Arabic – and I usually find certain Egyptian foods there. As for restaurants, I like this place called "Arabesque". It is a simple restaurant with the best Lebanese food, which is similar to Egyptian food. If you want something specific, you can ask the cook for it in advance and he can make it for you the next day.

What would you say is the one thing a tourist should not miss in Osnabrück?

The Stadthalle (city hall) shouldn't be missed because is a historically and culturally important place. It represents not only the city itself, but Western Europe and Germany as well, because the Treaty of Westphalia was signed here.

I would also recommend the restaurant "Rampendahl" – it is the best place for students. On the weekends they have an open buffet and their beer is excellent. I also love "Weinkrüger", which is my favourite restaurant serving traditional German food.

Can you tell us something that only the locals know about Osnabrück?

I can tell you something typical about people from here. If a local is studying somewhere else or out of the city for work, they always make it a point to come to Osnabrück in May for Maiwoche (May week), which is a traditional festival held every year with parties and concerts, where you can hear some of the best singers and bands of the country in great weather. So every Osnabrücker marks it in their calendar.

Want your German career featured on The Local? Contact us at: news@thelocal.de

Interview conducted by Mithila Borker

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:39 March 4, 2013 by Istabraq
This must be why Germany is now the top holiday destination. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20130304-48317.html
Today's headlines
April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

German arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,051
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd