Life in Potsdam

Throughout the centuries, Potsdam has played an important role in German history for about 1000 years. Residence of Prussian kings, it’s the place where Hitler’s government met for the first time, while it is also the place where the ‘Potsdamer Abkommen’ ended Nazi-power in 1945. After the ‘Wende’, the ‘Bezirkshauptstadt’ became the capitol city of the new state of Brandenburg. Situated at the river ‘Havel’ and home to the Babelsberg Film Studios, Potsdam has grown to be one of Germany’s internationally recognized centers of science, research, and culture. By offering the advantages of urban life combined with easy access to the outdoors of its unique landscape, the city makes it easy for everybody to feel at home.  

Founded in 1991, the University of Potsdam is Brandenburg's largest university and the fourth largest in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan area. Known for its excellence in research, the UP contains 5 faculties (Faculty of Law, Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Human Science, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science) on 4 campuses connected by public transportation. At UP, about 20000 students enjoy a quality of teaching that the Stifterverband für für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Business innovation agency for the German science system) rewarded with the ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Award in 2009.

Students join the student community in Potsdam by getting engaged in a variety of clubs or groups, for example the Literaturbühne 90; the Sprecherkreis, and the schreib, a Zeitschrift für junge Literatur. Then there is the Campus Cantabile, Sinfonietta, the student choir „Pura Vida“, History Club Havenvolck e.V., Film Club der Potsdam University. In the Studierendenkeller Nil e.V. students organize music events from metal over punk rock to singer/songwriter gigs and karaoke. The Cultural Student Center Potsdam (KuZe) offers a variety of student events throughout the year. While you may spend your break in the park of Sans Souci, you may opt to spend the afternoon on Berlin's museum island and go to see a live gig at one of Berlin's music clubs. (Travel distance between Potsdam main station and Berlin Zoological Garden: 20 min.)

Health and Fitness

Aside from having access to the UP Gym for about 15€ a month, students can choose from more than 100 courses ranging from team sports (i.e. ultimate frisbee), and water sports to endurance / strength training and martial arts to mindfulness workshops. 

Dining Halls and Cafeterias

Aware of the German saying, “You can’t study on an empty stomach”, Potsdam’s Association for Student Affairs (Studentenwerk) makes sure dining halls and cafeterias offer choices that support a balanced diet including a large large selection of healthy, diverse, and tasty foods and drinks on all three campuses. The dining halls (Mensa) offer fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and they provide vegetarian and vegan menu options. In addition, cafeterias, outdoor terraces, and a coffee bar (Griebnitzsee Campus) serve as popular meeting spots for studying with a group, for meeting friends, or for just hanging out.