• Germany's news in English
 
My Germany
'Braunschweig: totally friendly to foreigners'
Photo: Palani Kannan Kandavel

'Braunschweig: totally friendly to foreigners'

Published: 03 May 2013 07:44 GMT+02:00

How did you end up where you currently live in Germany?

I was looking all over Europe for somewhere to go for my research career. I applied for several research institutions across Europe and ended up in Braunschweig for my PhD research in Leibnitz Institute – DSMZ - in 2010. Braunschweig has a diverse international environment and international research institutions, not only the DSMZ but also the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, the Julius Kunst Institute, etc. The diverse, international scientific environment in Braunschweig attracted me.

What do you like to do for fun in the city?

Braunschweig has many lakes and is surrounded by beautiful villages like Mascherode, Kanzlerfeld, Rautheim. My friends and I have barbecues, go cycling and swimming around these lakes and nearby villages. There are also several regular cultural events in the Stadthalle, Statstheater and Uni-Max. Those programmes are highlights. In the winter, the Christmas market in town and ice skating in Kreuzteich are great fun. For youngsters, Braunschweig is also a good choice for night life. Downtown at the weekend is full of people for whole night and many nightclubs stay open till morning.

Is it a friendly city for foreigners?

Braunschweig is absolutely a friendly city for foreigners. During my early time here, I couldn't speak or understand German. The shopkeepers, bus and tram drivers, receptionists in public offices helped me kindly without any hesitation. They treat foreigners the same as locals. Most of the youngsters in Braunschweig speak English which is supportive for German beginners.

Do you need to speak German there?

For daily life in Braunschweig and my work, the German language is not necessary but to socialize with the locals and integrate with them, I had to learn it. Many people here are encouraging and help to learn German. The locals are generous in correcting language errors when I speak.

What should a visitor not miss in your hometown?

The visitor can feel the combination of classic and modern environments in Braunschweig. The downtown sights are traditional and historic but the modern clubs and bars give the city a modern feel. The lakes, Oker River, and parks are the highlights - visitors shouldn't miss them. The renovated Braunschweiger Schloss, Braunschweig Lion statue, Altstadtmarkt and Kohlmarkt are also highlights in classic Braunschweig.

What is your favourite spot/activity there?

My favourite spots are downtown and lakes. I go swimming, cycling in and around the lakes. Downtown is also a favourite spot for outdoor restaurants and cafe in the summer. The classic market area in Braunschweig is a nice place for walk around.

Tell us something about your German hometown that only a local would know.

Mumme (a kind of beer) and asparagus are the special foods in Braunschweig. Braunschweiger mumme has been exported to several countries since the Middle Ages. Braunkohl and Bregenwurst, Braunschweiger Lebkuchen are some more traditional food from Braunschweig. Only local people know about these.

How much longer do you plan on living in Germany?

I wish to live in Germany for at least five more years, depending on the availability of a job. My current job contract continues through this year. Personally I feel there are more things to explore and experience in Germany.

Have you had difficulties in Braunschweig?

As Braunschweig is not a big city, there are only a few social communities (except student communities) and this makes it more difficult to integrate with the local community. As Braunschweig is a developing city, there are also frequent road blocks in the main city area. As in all of northern Germany, versatile weather is a major difficulty for many foreigners as well as some locals.

Want your hometown featured on My Germany? Contact us at: news@thelocal.de

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport
Photo: DPA

Turkish 'spies' arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. READ  

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is having an excellent month. Photo: DPA

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence. READ  

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Bodo Ramelow looking low on energy at a sitting of the Thuringia state parliament. Photo: DPA

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family. READ  

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP
Edathy preparing to face questions in Berlin Photo: DPA

'Wrong but legal' claims child porn case ex-MP

A former rising star of German politics who resigned after pictures of naked children were allegedly found on his official laptop said Thursday what he did was "wrong, but legal." READ  

This week in history
A Brandt name to relaunch a country
Willy Brandt being sworn into office in 1972 Photo: DPA

A Brandt name to relaunch a country

We know him as Willy Brandt - but that was just a pseudonym the former chancellor took to avoid the Nazis. READ  

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find
A similar bomb defused in Potsdam in September 2013. Photo: DPA

10,000 evacuated after WWII bomb find

Local authorities evacuated some 10,000 people from central Potsdam after an unexploded Second World War bomb was found on a building site. READ  

Sunny outlook for business this winter
Photo: DPA

Sunny outlook for business this winter

German business confidence rose in December on the back of falling oil prices and a weak euro, the Ifo economic institute said Thursday, as the prospects for Europe's biggest economy grew sunnier. READ  

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'
Photo: DPA

Merkel says Russia sanctions 'unavoidable'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Thursday that sanctions against Russia remain "unavoidable" until Ukraine regains its sovereignty and independence. READ  

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence
Photo: DPA

Reus fined €540k for no driving licence

Germany and Dortmund football star Marco Reus was hit by a €540,000 fine Thursday, after state prosecutors in Dortmund confirmed he has been driving for years without a licence. READ  

British and German troops relive Xmas truce
Soldiers in World War One period uniforms watch the football match. Photo: DPA

British and German troops relive Xmas truce

Teams from the British and German armies played a friendly football game in Aldershot on Wednesday in memory of the Christmas truce of 1914. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,194
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd