With a 280.000 inhabitant-population, Münster is a medium-sized university city located in the northwest of Germany. It is also known as "the bicycle town" because it's the most popular mode of transportation for almost every student.
As a university town, Münster is a perfect place to explore restaurants, pubs and the cultural scene in the Old Town as well as in the harbour area.
The city has a lot to offer, for example traditional pubs and beer gardens, wonderful green spaces, idyllic Castle grounds and many more. Other attractions include the All-Seasons Zoo and the Lake Aa with the recreational area around it.
History of Münster
Muenster in 1570. Copyright: Georg Braun & Franz Hogenberg
Münster has a long and colorful history, which makes it even more charming. Starting at around 600, at the place where today is the Dom (the main church of Münster), was a small settlement called Mimigernaford. Later a monk called Liudger founded a monastery (lat. monasterium) at the river Aa. This is where the name Münster derives from. In 805 he became bishop of Münster.
In 1170 Münster became a city, and with an increasing number of inhabitants, it soon became the largest city in the region of westphalia. When Münster became a member of the trade association "Hanse", it´s wealth increased. Today you can see this at the "Principal Markt" (there´s also a picture here which shows it by night) and it´s beautiful merchants homes. But Münster wasn´t always as peaceful as it seems today. In 1543 Jan van Leyden, the leader of the religious movement "Wiedertäufer" (of Anabatists in English) declares Münster the "kingdom of Zion". Of course the original Bishop wasn´t to happy with this, gathered his troops and slayed the Wiedertäufer and their leaders. They were tortured and killed and hung up in cages at the Lamberti church to remind the citizens not to revolt against their bishop. The cages are still in place today and at night times three lights symbolize their lost souls.
In 1648 Münster was place of the signing of the westphalian peace, which ended the 30 year war. Later on, during World war II Münster was heavily destroyed and a lot of the beautiful historical buildings hat to be restored. Today Münster is a calm city with a lot of students. The many green areas and parks make it very charming and relaxing, but you can check that for yourself!
There are many different hospitals in Münster. The university hospital UKM, the Clemens hospital, the St.Franziskus and others. Most people know English but you have a big advantage if you are able to speak German, especially with patient contact. On your first day someone from the exchange team will bring you to your work and introduce you to the doctors. Your work depends on the ward, your experiences, your knowledge and the doctors you are working with.
The university Hospital (UKM) is one of the biggest Hospitals in Germany (1,500 Beds). The teamwork from all clinics and research insitutes, the modern technical-medical facilities und motivated colleagues give the chance to improve every year therapy for around 50,000 fixed and 370,000 ambulatory Patients, which come to Münster not only from the region, all over Germany and from abroad. Also has Münster as training post for future Doctors and Scientist a international reputation. The departements are manifold and there certainly will be a place in the department of your choice.
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Things to bring
The following things are very useful for your work at the hospital:
- white coat and trousers
- name tag
- optional: eye light, reflex hammer
Other useful things:
- Student ID (you get a lot of discounts as a student)
- swim suit (Münster has a lot of great places to swim, especiall in the summer time!)
- insurance documents
Normally our Students will get a room in a living community, which is a pretty common way for students to live in germany. 2-5 People live in one apartment and share one or two bathromms and the kitchen. There are many advantages compared to living alone. You have direct contact to German students to practice the language and to get to know the culture. Don't worry, of course you will have your own room. But you will also have someone living in your flat who can help you with the every day life in Muenster. For example show you where to shop or go out with you! You will be placed in the central city, so you can reach the hospital by bike in a short time.
Food: Food is very important for germans and we will also take care, that you will be well fed! We will provide a pocker money for you every week. So you can decide for yourself, if you want to cook your own meals or try out the hospital canteen.
Bicycle - Münster is Germany's bicycle capital. The distances are short and the fastest way is by bike. You can borrow for free a bike from the local exchange officer in our medical student office. It´s very safe, as there are special roads only for bicyles. You can also go on a bike tour to the surrounding areas. There are rarely and mountains in the area of Muenster, so travelling by bike is easy, too!
Bus: The bus network is excellent at day and night. We will provide you with a map showing all connections and bus lines.
Train: If you want to get to know other cities, there are very good connections but it is quite expensive if you travel alone. You can check out bahn.defor more informations.
Plane: The airport Münster-Onsabrück is close to Münster and offers a lot of connections. If your an international traveller, the airport Duesseldorf is also not far away.
historical buildings and the famous restaurant Kiepenkerl
Münster offers a lot of different and interesting places to visit within the city limits. If you are interested in nature, Münster offers a variety of places to visit, for example the Zoo with its manifold animals, the Aasee, a place to meet friends, lay out in the sun of enjoy a barbecue, and last but not least, the botanical garden with its many flowers. Of course, a bike trip to the smaller villages surrounding Münster is especially beautiful in the summertime.
Münster is located near some of Germany´s most interesting cities which can be reached easily by train. Here you can find a short list of interesting cities in the area. Of course we´ll help you with travel planning!
- Cologne (150km)
- Duesseldorf (130km)
- Amsterdam (250km)
- Enschede ( 70km, also Netherlands, direct train connection!)
- Hamburg (300km)
- Berlin (500km)
Sightseeing in Münster
Schlossfeeding penguins at the zoo Münster
- St. Paulus Dom Münster's famous church. Construction startet as early as 792.
- Market at Domplatz Every Wednesday and Saturday it takes place in front of the Dom. You can buy all kinds of delicious foods from the area, for example cheese and vegetables. Open from 7 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
- Prinzipalmarkt Old Market street with beautiful old merchants-homes. You can find the historical town hall here.
- Lambertikirche Beautiful gothic church. Every night from 9 p.m. until midnight the so calles "Türmer" blows his horn on top of the church tower. Here you can also find the three cages where the leaders of the "Widertäufer" where hung up during the middle ages.
- Fürstbischöfliches Schloss built in 1767 by Johann Conrad Schlaun, it is now home of the University of Münster
- Botanical garden Right behind the "Schloss" it´s home of many wonderful plants. Perfect place to relax from a stressful day!
- Lake Aa Münster´s beautiful lake is the second home of students in the summer time. You can hang out, go jogging, meet your friends or have a barbecue.
- Zoo The zoo is open all year round. You can feed elephants and penguins. There are cheaper students tickets
Münster is a students city and so you can find a lot of bars and clubs. There´s for example famous "Jüdefelder-Straße" where you can find popular bars. Fo example Cavete (Münster´s oldest students pub with a charming old fashioned interior), Barzillus, Gorilla-Bar or infamous Destille. In the harbour area you can find clubs like Heaven, Fusion or in the summer time the beach club Coconut Beach, where you can relax in the sand with a refreshing cocktail. If you´re more into rock music check out AMP or GoGo.
There´s not only partying of course! At café Fyal you can get great coffee and changing art exhibitions. Picasso Museum Münster shows changing works of the famous artist and at the Münster theater you can watch great staging. Smaller cinemas like Schloßgarten show great movies that are a little more challenging than the great block busters
Highlights in Münster's cultural calendar include the annual Christmas markets in the historic Old Town, the Send fairs taking place three times a year and so on. Throughout the summer there is a wonderful flea market around the castle, that takes place five times, also during the night.
This unique combination of history and young lifestyle is one of the reasons why Münster was ranked as one of the most worth living cities
So, come and see!
During the summer months (June-August) we usually have temperatures around 20-30°C. During the winter months (December-February) the temperatures sometimes drop below zero and at some point it will snow for sure. During spring and autumn the weather can change often and the rain probability is quite high. Rain protection is needed all year round, so please bring appropriate clothes and a rain coat.
German is the native language here, but english is taught in school and most younger people can speak english. With older people it is a little bit more difficult and senior citizens mostly ony speak german. If your German is not the best, we recommend departements like surgery, anesthesiology or radiology, where contact to patients is not so intense. In a lot of departements you´ll need german to communicate with the patients. Some useful german phrases:
- Guten Tag! = Hello (litterally this means good day)
- Wie geht es dir? = How are you?
- Ein Bier, bitte! = One beer, please!