En Zittau/Görlitz as Place of Study
Studying in the tri-border area
The Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz (college of higher education) and the Internationale Hochschulinstitut Zittau (international institute of higher education) also present a varied assembly of major subjects and courses. Under the slogan „Studying without borders“ prospective students of the Hochschule in Zittau/Görlitz have the choice between different fields of study such as: architecture, communication psychology or cultural studies and management. Under the slogan „Studying without borders“ prospective students of the Hochschule in Zittau/Görlitz have the choice between different fields of study such as: architecture, communication psychology or cultural studies and management. Approximately 3,500 students, many of whom are from Eastern Europe are currently enrolled in the colleges of higher education of Zittau and Görlitz. Due to the relatively small number of students enrollend the two colleges at Zittau and Görlitz can ensure a student-orientated intensive workload and supervision on individual basis.
A unique university course is offered by the Neisse-University. There, they maintain the concept that students study one semester in Breslau/Poland, one in Liberec/Czech Republic and one in Zittau/Germany, with English as language of instruction. The normal duration for the major subject "Information- and Communication-Management" is three years and one graduates with the first academic degree of "Bachelor". Subsequently, the continuation towards the degree of "Master" is possible. Here the academic language is also English.
An important factor, typifying a study in Zittau/Görlitz, is the immediate vicinity of the Czech Republic and Poland. Both colleges are actively engaged in intercultural exchange with both neighbouring countries. Knowledge transfer, concerted research and projects, lively cultural exchange, scientific association and border-crossing local traffic: just a few examples of the international cooperation between Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
This international cooperation is very advantageous for students of the colleges of higher education of Zittau/Görlitz. They have the opportunity to amass knowledge on the levels of language, knowledge and science, and its immediate practical usage. The vicinity of the borders, but also the great number of international fellow students, give ample opportunities to exchange experiences. Excursions and/or a stay abroad are made readily accessible through the cooperation of the colleges; several research projects offer opportunities for practical training or student cooperation.
The Studentenwerk Looks After the Students
In Zittau and Görlitz the Studentenwerk Dresden has a branch office. Several halls of residence are available to students; next to the German students that live there, the international contingent comprises especially many Polish students. If they so wish, every student can be accommodated in one of these halls of residence.
The catering has also been taken care of. Zittau offers its students nicely renovated university refectories as well as extra food distribution points and cafeterias to allay their thirst and hunger.
As in Dresden, advice and counselling services are also offered in Zittau and Görlitz by the branch office of the Studentenwerk. Propagation of cultural activities is on the agenda as well.
Worthwhile Extracurricular Activities
Apart from their academic facilities, the cities of Zittau and Görlitz have a lot to offer as far as culture recreational possibilities are concerned. Embedded in the hilly countryside of Upper-Lusatia (Oberlausitz) and the Zittauer Gebirge (Zittau mountain range) the city of Zittau is situated in the immediate vicinity to the borders with both Poland and the Czech Republic. The Zittauer Gebirge – the smallest mountain range of Germany – offers excellent opportunities for walking and hiking. And when there is snow, the mountain range evolves into a popular winter resort with its well known tourist centres of Oybin, Jonsdorf and Waltersdorf. There are "green" border passages to the Czech Republic enabling one to enjoy the world famous beer of Bohemia in the nearest rural inn.
In June 2005 Zittau celebrated its town jubilee, since in 1255 the Bohemian King Ottokar II visited a rather young Zittau, deeming it so important that he ordered a considerable enlargement of the settlement and the fortification with city walls. As was customary, he circled Zittau on horseback, having a plough demarking the tracks of his horse with a furrow to ascertain the future circumspection. Since that time the city border has been what is now called the Grüner Ring (the green belt).
To anyone interested, Zittau offers ample sights and attractions to spend the day. The historical museum in the Franciscan abbey and the museum of the Kirche zum Heiligen Kreuz (Church of the Holy Cross) guard the town treasures: the small and the large Fastentuch (Lent cloth). The historical market-square with the storehouse, town hall and theatre as well as gastronomic facilities of all kinds are well worth a visit.
In Görlitz one can find 3,600 historical buildings belonging to the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as a compact ensemble from the Gründerzeit (architectural style of the newly unified German Empire, 1871-1873) and several jugendstil buildings. The charming historical flair of the town is an open invitation to roam the streets, to go to the museums and galleries and to spend time in cafés and restaurants. Theatre, cinema or a string of pubs and discos at night; Görlitz has something on offer for a range of different tastes. Regular events and festivals, such as the street theatre festival "ViaThea" and the Altstadtfest, (yearly festivities in the old town centre) form an extra impulse towards making the city more vibrant.
An additional characteristic of Görlitz is the fact that it is a border town and that the Polish neighbouring city of Zgorzelec can be reached on foot across the old town bridge.
Görlitz is a city in the heart of Europe. Already in the Middle Ages, important trade routes between Western and Eastern Europe and between Southern and Northern Europe led through Görlitz. Bohemia and Silesia were influential in shaping the city. The First and the Second World Wars interrupted the steady rise of Görlitz. In 1945, Görlitz lost the East City and the eastern district and became a border town for the first time. In the last 50 years, the population has diminished by a third. Nevertheless, the diligence, the toughness and the loyalty of the people of Görlitz to their home town, prevented a complete breakdown of the economic vitality and culture and avoided a serious structural deterioration of the historical buildings in the town centre. The re-unification of 1990 brought new hope and opened up possibilities for a renewed flourishing of the city as a mediator between East and West, helping to bring Europe closer together.
Together with its Polish neighbour Zgorzelec, Görlitz is applying for the title of Kulturhauptstadt Europas 2010 (cultural capital of Europe). Strong points in favour of Görlitz are its cross-border cooperation, the opulent cultural and educational setting, and an inner city that has been redeveloped to a considerable extent. Buildings dating back several centuries shine again in their original state. Should the application be successful, the attention of Europe will be focused even more on this unique city in the extreme east of Germany.