• Germany's news in English
 

'You don't feel the cold in Osnabrück'

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

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)

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
Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair
Photo: DPA

Robots woo crowds at Hannover trade fair

Collaborative robots and intelligent machinery may have wowed the crowds at this year's Hannover Messe, but experts see German industry as having some way to go towards incorporating them on factory floors in what could become the fourth industrial revolution. READ  

Thousands protest EU-US trade talks
Photo: DPA

Thousands protest EU-US trade talks

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Europe on Saturday to oppose the world's biggest free trade pact between the US and European Union. READ  

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire
Photo: DPA

EU-US trade talks prompt German ire

In much of Europe any mention of TTIP might receive a blank stare, in Germany the proposed US-EU free trade pact is likely to prompt a volley of angry words. READ  

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record
Photo: DPA

Auschwitz expert slams Nazi justice record

Oskar Gröning, 93, a former Nazi known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", goes on trial in Germany on Tuesday in what could be the last Nazi war crimes trial while an expert calls the country's judicial record 'miserable'. READ  

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots
Photo: DPA

Turkish Airlines: married pilots are safer pilots

The general manager of Turkish Airlines has urged single pilots to marry, after the Germanwings tragedy blamed on a pilot with psychological problems. READ  

Germany and Greece
'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'
Thanasis Glavinas outside one of the German parliament's buildings. Photo: Private

'It hurts when Germans call Greece a failed state'

With the war of words – and cashflows – between Greece and Germany showing no sign of dying down, The Local meets one young Greek who's come to see what the Germans have to teach about running a country successfully. READ  

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations
'Loitz doesn't need any asylum seekers' reads the graffiti. Photo:DPA

Interior Minister wants quicker deportations

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière called on Friday for state governments to speed up deportations of failed asylum applicants, in the latest round in a war of words between the federal government and the states. READ  

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours
Photo: DPA

VW CEO survives despite departure rumours

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has dodged a broadside from company chairman Ferdinand Piech which many thought would unseat him from the troubled car maker. Instead, the steering committee has offered him an extension to his contract. READ  

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola
Tension on the touchline: Guardiola, Schweinsteiger and Müller-Wohlfahrt Photo: DPA

Bayern doctor quits in spat with Guardiola

The resignation of iconic club doctor Hans-Willhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt on Thursday evening threatens to unleash internal chaos at Bayern Munich after their Champions League humiliation at the hands of FC Porto. READ  

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline
An InterCity train in Hannover's main train station. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bahn flirts with drivers' strike deadline

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn has until 3 pm on Friday to respond to demands from the Train Drivers' Union (GDL) for a "reasonable provisional result" in talks over pay, conditions and union representation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

7,264
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd