• Germany's news in English

'Kassel has become friendly to foreigners'

The Local · 19 Jul 2013, 09:13

Published: 19 Jul 2013 09:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

I come from Mianwali - Punjab in Pakistan, the same town from which the famous cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan comes from. I came to Kassel for my Masters in Electrical Communication Engineering in October 2008. After completing my studies in 2010, I was hired by the University of Kassel as a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter or research assistant, also in the field of Communication Engineering, whereby I am also doing my PhD.

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

I love taking a stroll in the historical Karlsaue Park, on the western bank of the river Fulda, that contains the Orangerie palace (built by Landgrave Charles between 1654 and 1730).

Is it a friendly city for foreigners?

The University of Kassel has more than 20,000 students, more than 10 percent of whom come from over 120 countries. Since there is a large number of foreign students, the city and its inhabitants have become accustomed to them, and hence Kassel has become a friendly city for foreigners.

Do you need to speak German there?

Yes, you do. Basic German is needed for most day-to-day tasks. English is not much of a problem at the University though. Places where German deficiency is felt the most are the Ausländerbehörde (aliens authority for residence permits' applications) and the Einwohnermeldeamt (local residents' registration office). Kassel is still not as international as Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf or Hamburg.

What should a visitor not miss in your town?

A visit to the Bergspark Wilhelmshöhe, now a UNESCO heritage site, is a must. The monumental water displays, begun by Landgrave Carl in 1689, are a treat to watch and so is the lighting of the park at night on the first Saturday of each summer month. A climb up to or down from the Herkules monument gives great views of the city of Kassel and its surroundings.

What is your favourite spot/activity there?

A walk on the bank of river Fulda on the border of the Karlsaue Park. An occasional hike up the Herkules monument in the Bergspark Wilhelmshöhe is something I enjoy too.

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

A view of the city centre atop the Galeria Kaufhof building at the Friedrichsplatz is something only locals know. I got to know of it after four years only through a local who gave us a short guided tour through the city centre

Story continues below…

How much longer do you plan on living in Germany?

My PhD will probably take another two years, after which I plan on post-doctoral research. I see myself here for at least another three years or so.

Have you had difficulties in Kassel?

Not at all. The existence of an international community here made it easy to settle down. Since the masters program I was enrolled in is an iternational one, we had international tutors to help us out during our first days in Kassel. In terms of daily life, Kassel is a small city, and as such does not have the usual hustle and bustle of a very large city, the long commuting times, the many transfers on public transport etc. Life here in the very green Kassel is peaceful!

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd