Join Zuzanna's story of her experiences, why she moved to Hanover from abroad and chose THE FIZZ as her new home.
First things first…
Hanover is the capital and the largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. It has about 535.000 inhabitants which makes it the 13th-largest city in Germany as well as the third-largest in Nothern Germany after Hamburg and Bremen. Hanover’s urban area comprises the towns of Garbsen, Langenhagen along with Laatzen.
These basic information about the city named Hanover can of course all being googled. Those few sentences are just from a stranger’s perspective. But Hanover is so much more than what you are going to read on the internet. So let’s make it more vivid, maybe even personal. Let me tell you a story that takes place in the magical, underrated gem of Lower Saxony.
When I was moving away from home, my friends kept asking me this one question: “Why actually Hanover?”. Back then, the only reason was the fact that I got accepted to my dream studies. I didn’t choose Hanover, Hanover chose me. It was one of a few cities in Germany that offered what I wanted to study and I was lucky enough to have gotten a place. And that was it. At that point, I had no idea what awaited me here…
Starting a new chapter in life can be hard, especially when you aren’t just moving from a city to a city, but a different country. I bet a lot of you can relate, right? You pack your bags, say goodbye to your friends and family, and get on a plane with a destination: the future. Well, that’s what I did at least. I decided to step out of my comfort zone to make my dream, studying abroad, come true. And I am so glad I did because that one decision changed my life completely.
When I arrived in Hanover, the most important thing for me was to settle in properly, get to know the city, and prepare myself for the first day at the university. Before my move, I made sure to find a nice place to stay in the city since it was going to be my new home. While doing my research, I stumbled upon THE FIZZ, an all-inclusive student accommodation located in the university district. Their internet site looked very appealing with beautiful pictures covering the common facilities, like the study room, the communal kitchen, or the green courtyard. I made up my mind after taking the 3D tour around the house, so I booked a room and before I knew it, I became a part of a special community.
On my first day at THE FIZZ, I met a whole bunch of people who shared the same experience as me: they were international students who were new in Hannover and wanted to check out the city before the start of the semester. And that’s exactly what we did.
We managed to cover pretty much all of the most important sights during one walk… starring at the ground the majority of the time. What we did was follow Hannover’s Red Thread, a self-guided walking tour that journeys through the heart of the city. It is a 4,200-meter red painted line that leads you to 36 significant stops featuring notable buildings and monuments. You can get a brochure from the information center for about three euros, which includes detailed information about each landmark and an additional 45-minute route along the banks of Lake Maschsee.
That’s where we went next for a change of scenery. This 78-hectare, man-made lake near New Town Hall was a product of the Great Depression. Hanover had long suffered from spring floods, and as a means to ease both flooding and the mass unemployment of the period, the city began work on a lake in the floodplain of the River Leine in the 1930s. Nowadays it is one of the most popular areas in Hannover, as it is an oasis in the middle of the city. This six-kilometer walk around the lake was a perfect idea for our afternoon stroll.
We then headed back and passed by the central square called Kröpcke with a replica of a nineteenth-century clock which is a popular meet-up location in the city. By the time we got to Seven Sundays for a late lunch, we were all starving! This restaurant was recommended to us for two reasons: one being close to the city center and two having delicious pancakes! You could really kill for them, believe me!
To burn some case-closed calories, we decided to check out another must-see in Hannover, the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen. I highly recommend you to go there when you need a break from reality or feel like going for a run in nature. This chain of gardens from the days of the Imperial Electors and Kings of Hanover is called the pride of the city for a reason. The Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen give you plenty of sightseeing opportunities that are surrounded by beautiful flowers, fountains, and unique sculptures.
This expansive park is home to four Baroque and Renaissance gardens, namely Großer Garten, Welfengarten, Berggarten, and Georgengarten. The show-stopper is the first one, a 50-hectare garden in a Baroque French style fronted by a palace and enriched with a box-hedge maze, not to mention an orangery. It is safe to say that we spend there a couple of hours, casually wandering around, chilling on the grass, and playing some card games.
But as it was getting darker outside and we didn’t want to call it a night just yet, it seemed to be the perfect time to go to Linden. While technically being a part of Hanover, this unique neighborhood makes a worthy destination all on its own. Packed with cool restaurants, cafes, bars, independent shops, or street art, Linden has become THE gathering place for students. Naturally, one of the top things to do here is to go “limmering”, so stumbling from kiosk to kiosk, treating yourself to a new beer at each stop… And just to tell you, we all came back home safe, and by “home” I mean THE FIZZ Hannover.
Over two years have passed since that day, but it still feels like yesterday to me. Looking back at all of the amazing memories I made with my international friends, I still cannot believe it all happened because of this one decision: moving abroad to study.
Student life is so much more than just going to university. It is about enjoying the freedom in this phase of your life, exploring the city you live in, and experiencing lots of exciting stuff in your free time. Why not do it in a place that isn’t your hometown or even your home country?
I can tell you from my experience: It’s really worth it! If someone asked me now “Why actually Hanover?”, I would simply say: “Well, because it never ceases to amaze me.”
All photo rights by International Campus GmbH.