An insider’s take on Ulm vs Neu-Ulm, Germany

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Author: Catherine Camara
Program: International Business
Study Abroad Location: Bavaria, Germany

Between the green borders of the German provinces Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, split between a wide winding river, lies Ulm and Neu-Ulm.

This place has been my home for five beautiful months. It has natural beauties and urban treasures. It can be a place to escape, build a family, start a business, even study a semester abroad. Ulm and Neu-Ulm are extremely small in comparison to Toronto but don’t be fooled by their size as they have much to offer for any student abroad.

Getting a job is possible here even if you don’t speak German. You can always use your own language to your advantage. It’s possible to find jobs in translation as well as jobs that don’t require speaking at all. There is always a need for dishwashers or back of house workers in local restaurants. It’s also possible to find a job through the University by inquiring with the International Office at HNU. I was lucky enough to find a job in translating web pages for a local company which allowed me a few hours a week to have a little bit of extra spending money and didn’t take up too much time.


Twenty-five minutes on foot from the student residence in Neu-Ulm, you will find yourself in awe at the sight of the Ulm Munster. This church is Ulm’s pride and joy sitting 750+ steps high (which you can climb!) as the world’s tallest church. Climbing up these steps is exhausting and to be honest, quite terrifying, however it’s worth the view once you reach the top.

The city of Ulm is a mix of old and new. It has historical heritage that blends in with its student culture. I would describe Ulm as a student city. There are many Universities in the area and local bars and restaurants that cater to students with free entry with student cards. There are restaurants offering varieties of food from Italian, Spanish, French, Asian and Arabic.

Here is a list of some great things to do if you ever find yourself in Ulm:

Climb the Ulm Munster for an incredible photo opportunity. – Your legs will hurt the next day!

Explore the Canals. – Ulm has a magnificent canal belt with old German architecture, it’s a beautiful area to wonder around on a cool fall day or grab a coffee at a local café terrace in the summer.

L’Osteria. – If you’re ever in the mood for Italian, head over to L’Osteria. Their pizza is the largest I’ve ever seen, a great value for the price and it’s delicious. Try something different on your pizza like tuna fish. I had no clue this was a topping but apparently it’s a popular one around Germany.

Christmas Market. – I haven’t been myself, but I have heard it is one of the largest and takes place right in front of the Ulm Munster in the city square.

Grab a Kebab. – Kebab shops are all over Germany and they’re extremely cheap and filling! I think the best I have had in Ulm is at Firat Kebab and it’s even open late!

Transportation between Ulm and Neu-Ulm is easy once you become familiar with the routes. Local trains and buses are free for students on weekdays after 6 p.m. and weekends, so buying a bus pass isn’t needed! It’s possible to take a train from either Ulm or Neu-Ulm to Stuttgart, Munich, Frankfurt and connect to close major cities like Paris, Berlin, Dresden, Salsburg, Amsterdam and more. The cost of travel is relatively equal to the TTC in Ulm and Neu-Ulm but further journeys like Paris and Berlin can be between 20-50 euro one way.

HNU is locatated in Neu-Ulm, in the province of Bavaria. The student residence is within a five-minute walk from the University, close to a grocery store, movie theatre, lake and restaurant. Although Neu-Ulm is much smaller then Ulm, it does have its charm. Neu-Ulm has a small downtown area, train station and mall, making it easily accessible and a great place to live and study with all of its amenities. With Ulm a short distance away, you can enjoy city life while living in a beautiful area.

There are many things to do in Neu-Ulm, such as:

Go for a run (or walk) along the Danube. – This river separates Ulm from Neu-Ulm, Baden-Württemberg from Bavaria. It’s beautiful at sunset or sunrise, or any time of the day really.
If running isn’t your thing you can always opt for a picnic!

Half Price lunch at peach pit. – Close to campus is an American style restaurant with amazing burgers and fries. Get there before 3 p.m. and the menu is half price!

Go to the lake. –
There are many lakes nearby that can all be accessed by bus. There is one lake a short walking distance from the University which is most popular with students. Here you can BBQ, swim, play volleyball, football and much more.

Danau Fest. – This festival takes place in the first week of July. Vendors sell all different types of German food, clothing, trinkets, jewellery and art, which line the shores of the Danube (river).

Schwörmontag. – This event takes place July 18th and is one of the largest festivals in Ulm/Neu-Ulm. Businesses, schools, families and friends make their own boats (or buy them) and sail them down the river for hours, eating, drinking and listening to music. The sides of the river are littered with people, vendors and live music.

With city life in Ulm so close by and beautiful scenery in Neu-Ulm just a walk away, it’s the best of both worlds here in the south of Germany.

Safe travels!

Catherine Camara

A Place Like Home

Catherine Camara - profile picture new
Author: Catherine Camara
Program: International Business
Study Abroad Location: Bavaria, Germany

Arriving in Neu-Ulm was a smooth transition in lifestyle for me. Since we arrived a couple days ahead of time, I had the perfect opportunity to take a tour of my new city and get to know my surroundings. Neu-Ulm is located in the Bavarian province of Germany. The city is filled with beautiful sites such as the Ulm, Munster and “Blautophf”, the nearby natural spring. Neu-Ulm is a relatively smaller city than Toronto, but similarly as vibrant with a lot to offer!

My transition into starting school at HNU was also a smooth process. The school had planned two weeks of registration, activities, language classes and events that not only helped me stay informed, but also kept me busy and allowed me to make some great friends! I had already taken care of my Visa and Health Insurance before I left Toronto. All that remained for me to do when I arrived in Neu-Ulm was set up a bank account and register my seat of residence. The International office at HNU was very accommodating throughout the whole process and I immediately felt comfortable settling in. A key factor that helped ease my transition into HNU was being paired up with a student tutor.

One thing I learned while travelling abroad is that it is really important to keep an outgoing mind-set, be confident and stay organized. It is also a great idea to connect with your student tutor prior to leaving for your trip. I lucked out when I was paired up with my student tutor, Sophie Jonke, because Sophie and I have similar personalities. We both share a love for travel, food, business and an overall enthusiasm for life. Therefore it was easy to become friends with her and even make plans to travel together for the upcoming semester break! Sophie picked me up from my hotel on move-in day and helped me get settled in at home. She was even nice enough to bring me to IKEA afterwards for some much needed shopping!

HNU had planned some fun activities for us such as bowling nights, brewery tours, laser tag, intercultural classes, and day trips to Munich and Stuttgart. Attending these events was a great way to meet and hang out with other International students who were travelling on their own as well. In a way, living in Neu-Ulm is very similar to living in Toronto where everyone is from somewhere else! In Neu-Ulm, there were students from Sweden, Jordan, Croatia, Spain, Russia, Finland, China, Turkey, Mexico – the list goes on. This made my trip interesting because not only did I have the opportunity to learn about German culture but I also had an amazing chance to experience different customs, languages and meals from around the world!

Germany has great food options for anyone that loves to eat! The local grocery stores offer a large variety of different ethnic foods including Mexican, Italian, Asian, and pretty much every thing you would find at a local grocery store such as Metro in Toronto (thank you globalization!).

A traditional German dish in Neu-Ulm is Weisswurst, which translates to White Sausage. Tasting this dish was a nightmare at first. The texture of the sausage was too rubbery and not very visually appealing either. It took some time for me to get used to it but I must say the sausage has grown on me (especially when its drowned in German mustard!). If you are ever visiting Bavaria, I definitely recommend giving Weisswurst a try. If pork is not in your diet, the chicken schnitzel is a great alternative and a popular traditional dish in all of Germany as well. There is also no better way to top off a meal in Germany than with a butter pretzel and a litre of brew.

In Germany, it feels as though everything is so different yet so similar in many ways. Realizing the similarities between Toronto and Neu-Ulm helped make my transition that much easier. I was pleased to find out how accommodating the school was and how friendly people around me were. I truly feel right at home! Although I am settling in well, I also know that there is still so much to do but I look forward to it!

Safe Travels,
Catherine Camara