Finding Accommodation. A Guide for International Students in Gießen & Friedberg - PDF

Finding Accommodation A Guide for International Students in Gießen & Friedberg Issued by: Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, Office of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk Gießen),

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Finding Accommodation A Guide for International Students in Gießen & Friedberg Issued by: Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences, Office of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk Gießen), Justus-Liebig-University Editing and Layout: Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (International Office), Office of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk Gießen) (Dept. Social Counceling and Services) Layout: Verena Müller, Michael Prinzler Translation: Barbara Bahr Photos: Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (Sabine Scheele), Michael Prinzler, Stadt Friedberg, Studentenwerk Gießen, press office of the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences First edition and first printing: July, 2011 Impressum Table of contents Introduction 3 1. Student Dormitories Leased Through the Office of Student Affairs 4 2. Searching For Housing in the Private Housing Market Internet Housing Portals Other Places to Check in Order to Find Privately Advertised Housing 6 3. Private Dormitories in Gießen 8 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search Shared Flats Communal Living in a Shared Flat Support When Viewing Rooms and Flats Obtaining Furniture and Furnishings Emergency and Short Term Housing Gießen Friedberg Leases (Rental Contracts) and the Landlord and Tenancy Laws Abbreviations in Flat and Room Advertisements 17 2 Introduction The purpose of this brochure is to give you information and tips regarding finding a place to live and helping make your search easier. This can possibly be difficult in Gießen and Friedberg. At the beginning of the winter semester available dormitory rooms (German: Wohnheim) and shared flat rooms (German: Wohngemeinschaften, abbreviated as WG) are scarce. Thus we suggest that once you have received your acceptance to study in Gießen or Friedberg and have decided to study here you quickly begin to look for a place to live. The nearer the semester draws, the more difficult it is to find a room. Because more students apply for dormitory rooms belonging to the office of student affairs (German: Studentenwerk) than are available, it is often necessary to search for shared flats, dormitories, or flats in the private housing market. We cannot give any guarantees in regards to the quality of the rooms and flats found through this brochure nor can we guarantee that this brochure is all encompassing. You may discover tips about finding rooms in this region of which we are not aware. Thus we appreciate your feedback, ideas, and suggestions as to how to improve this brochure. Introduction 3 4Student Dormitories / Office of Student Affairs 1. Student Dormitories Leased Through the Office of Student Affairs (Studentenwerk Gießen) The office of student affairs leases inexpensive student dormitory (Studentenwohnheim) rooms starting at 180 monthly in Gießen and Friedberg, but, many students apply for these rooms. Consequently, it can happen that one does not get one of these rooms in the first semester of study. Should this be the case for you, you can have your name put on the dormitory waiting list. Your name automatically remains on this list for the following six months. These six months begin with the date you give as the date you desire to move into the dormitory. Should you not obtain a room within these six months, but still desire one, then you need to inform the office of student affairs. Sometimes the office of student affairs asks those on the list whether they are still interested in obtaining a room before the six months have passed. In such a case you will receive a written inquiry. You must make sure that the office of student affairs always has your correct postal address. If you do not reply to this inquiry, your name will be taken off of the waiting list. If you do reply, your waiting time begins anew as of this date. If you are interested in a room in the student dormitory please contact the office of student affairs. Studentenwerk Gießen Wohnheimverwaltung Gießen Otto-Behaghel-Str Gießen Tel.: / 303/ 304/ 305 General information: Studentisches_Wohnen/ Dormitory application: Studentisches_Wohnen/Wohnheimantrag.html 2. Searching For Housing in the Private Housing Market In this section we present information in regards to finding a room in the private housing market in Gießen and Friedberg. Of course, we cannot grant guarantees in regards to the quality of the rooms or the flats. It is advisable to view the property being offered before agreeing to take it. Train connections between Gießen and Friedberg are good and the towns are only about a 20 minute train ride apart. Since there are more shared flats available in Gießen than in Friedberg, it might be a good idea for Friedberg students to also look in Gießen for a place to live. In addition to looking for a place to live in Gießen and Friedberg, it might be of value to also look elsewhere in the surrounding region. Frequently the rent costs are considerably lower in villages outside of Gießen and Friedberg and the bus and train connections are often acceptable. The JLU and THM semester tickets make it possible to use local public transit-services ( Nahverkehr ) without any cost to the students, thus the use of buses and trains does not result in any additional costs. In many cases, you can also post a free advertisement (ad) there for a room. A few online portals are listed below: Gießener Express You will find many shared room advertisements on the online version of the Express magazine: Click on Wohnen: Biete Giessen Many shared flats are advertised in the following portals: Further online portals are, for example: suche.php (Gießen) (Friedberg) 2. Searching For Housing in the Private Housing Market 2.1 Internet Housing Portals The best way to privately search for a room in a shared flat or for a flat for yourself is to look into the internet housing portals. 5 62. Searching For Housing in the Private Housing Market 2.2 Other Places to Check in Order to Find Privately Advertised Housing Housing ads can also be found on the AStA homepages The THM Gießen AStA Wiesenstr. 14 next to the cafeteria CampusTor wohnungsangebote The Justus-Liebig-University (JLU) Gießen AStA Otto-Behaghel-Str. 25 Haus D next to the cafeteria Otto-Behaghel- Straße The THM Friedberg AStA Wilhelm-Leuschner-Str. 13 There is a folder with ads for rooms and shared flats in front of the AStA room in Friedberg (Wilhelm-Leuschner-Str.13). This folder can be found on the ground floor in Building C (if you do not find the AStA room, ask for it at the Information ). It is worth your while to check this folder because it is kept in good shape and most of the ads are up to date. The office of student affairs housing market The office of student affairs lists private rooms and flats for rent under main.php Click on Wohnungsanzeigen auflisten (Biete) Posted Notices Many shared flats hang up notices when they have a room to rent. You will find such on the bulletin boards at the THM campus (for example at the THM cafeteria entrance, on the THM campus in the connecting hallways between Buildings A B C, in the different college departments). A larger number are to be found at the Justus-Liebig-University, for example at the cafeteria Otto-Behaghel-Straße, Philosophikum 1 bus stop Rathenaustraße; old cafeteria-otto Eger Home, Ludwigstr.; Philosphikum 2 foyer; university library, Otto-Behaghel-Straße Philosophikum 1; university main building, Ludwigstraße. Local Newspapers and Magazines Local newspapers and magazines are good places to find shared flats and, especially, flats. An overview of the local newspapers and localities where you can read or hang up notices can be found under: studienbeginn/wohnen/anzeigen Here are a few examples: Gießener Anzeiger Click on Anzeigen Immobilien Miete, Zimmer / WG Accommodation ads are in the Friday print version of the newspaper. Gießener Allgemeine Click on Anzeigen Immobilien Vermietung, Zimmer und Wohngemeinschaften Accommodation ads are in the Friday print version of the newspaper. Wetterauer Zeitung (for Friedberg) Click on Anzeigen Immobilien Vermietungen MAZ - Mittelhessische Anzeigenzeitung This is delivered on Wednesdays free of cost to all households. Information pertaining to the Pendleton Barracks housing project in Gießen (where you will find student shared flats and subsidized housing) can be found under: ESG and KHG Housing The Protestant Student Community (Evangelische Studierendengemeinde or ESG) will rent out twelve unfurnished student rooms in the upper flights of their newly reconstructed Martin Bucer-Haus in the Henselstr. 7 as of winter semester 2011/12. Active participation in the broad spectrum of topics of the Protestant student activities is desired of the tenants. ESG Henselstr Gießen Tel.: Send applications to: The Catholic Student Community of Gießen (Katholische Hochschulgemeinde Gießen or KHG) has two shared flats, one with 5 rooms and the other with 3 rooms. They are furnished. They can be leased to needy students. Participation in various Catholic forums is desired of the tenants. Send your applications to Father S. Karl, Wilhelmstr. 28, Gießen, Telefon: , 2. Searching For Housing in the Private Housing Market 7 83. Private Dormitories in Giessen 3. Private Dormitories in Gießen In addition to the dormitories that are run by the office of student affairs, there are private dormitories in Gießen. Privatwohnheim Marburger Straße Gießen Administration: H. Münch, Tel.: single rooms, 30 maisonettes Privatwohnheim Bleichstraße Gießen Administration Tel.: single rooms Privatwohnheim Watzenborner Weg Gießen AdministrationTel.: (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 9-12) de 123 single rooms with kitchenette and refrigerator Privatwohnheim Am Bergwerkswald 2a Gießen Administration: W. Steinbrecher Turnsstr Buseck Tel.: apartments, 28 shared flat rooms 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search 4.1 Shared Flats Many students in Germany live in shared flats. This entails sharing a flat with other residents. Usually this means having a room to oneself. Bathrooms and kitchens are shared with the other residents. If you lease an entire flat, it is common that the landlord asks first to see proof of your income or for a signed document from someone willing to vouch for you as the potential tenant before he/she offers you a contract. This practice is usually not the case in shared flats Furnished versus Unfurnished Rooms Furnished rooms are not common. Sometimes one can discuss if some of the prior tenant s furniture may be bought from him/ her. But, if not stated otherwise in the ad, assume that the room is unfurnished. If you are leasing as an interim tenant, then the room will probably be fully furnished. For more information concerning leasing as an interim tenant see the next section below; for more information as to where you can obtain inexpensive furniture furnishings see the section Furniture and Furnishings Interim Rental Interim Rental means that a room or flat is sublet for a given amount of time. This is frequently the case when the tenant spends a semester abroad or does an internship elsewhere. Subleasing a room may be a good solution for the beginning. Although this means having to move out when the tenant returns, it is often less difficult to find a room to sublet since these are less popular than leases which have no fixed termination day. While living in a sublet room, you then have time to look for a room in which you can stay for as long as you wish. Furthermore, it is not rare that during the period that you sublet one of the other flat sharers moves out and thus you can take over his/her room as a long-term tenant Contacting Shared Flats Living in a shared flat usually means living with people similar in age. Thus, it is not common to use formal language when making contact and therefore one usually uses the German Du form of address. Normally one either rings up or writes an to the shared flat that is looking for a resident. If you are writing an , include your telephone number and also tell a bit about yourself. The following is an example for this type of enquiry (first in German and then translated into English): 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search 9 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search Liebe WG, mein Name ist Selma und ich beginne im Oktober in Gießen BWL zu studieren und bin auf der Suche nach einer netten WG. Ich bin 21, weiblich, habe bereits einen Deutsch- Sprachkurs in Deutschland absolviert und während der Zeit auch in einer WG gelebt, habe also schon WG - Erfahrung. Ich bin Nichtraucherin, ordentlich und unkompliziert und würde mich freuen, wenn Ihr Euch bei mir meldet, damit wir einen Termin zur Besichtigung und zum Kennenlernen ausmachen können. Hier ist meine Telefonnummer: Viele Grüße Selma Dear flat sharers, My name is Selma and I will begin my studies as a business administration student in Gießen in October and I am looking for a nice shared flat in which to live. I am 21, female, and have already taken a German language course in Germany. During this time I lived in a shared flat thus I have had experience living in a shared flat. I am a non-smoker, orderly, and uncomplicated and would appreciate it if you would contact me so we can make an appointment so that I can see your flat and meet you. My telephone number is: 0176 Best regards, Selma Viewing Shared Flats The next step is to view the room and to get to know the people who already live in the shared flat. Afterwards, one usually sits together for about minutes to get acquainted and to see if you take a liking to one another. Because shared flats are very popular in Germany and there is a scarcity of rooms in Gießen and Friedberg, there probably will be several candidates who will come to view the room. The residents then decide which candidate fits best into their shared flat. One usually gets a response from the residents whether one has been chosen within a few days after having viewed the flat. 4.2 Communal Living in a Shared Flat Communal Shared Living Flats versus Shared Flats Out of Convenience How much is done collectively in a shared flat varies greatly from one shared flat to another. In some shared flats one frequently spends time together in the kitchen, goes shopping together, and cooks together. In other shared flats the tenants hardly see one another. If an ad for a shared flat has the text: We are not a shared flat out of convenience (German: Wir sind keine Zweck-WG ), this usually indicates that the residents are interested in a communal daily life. Shared flats out of convenience are usually such that the residents spend little time with one another and the primary interest in living together is to save money since it is cheaper to share a flat than to live alone Shared Flat Fund Frequently the refrigerator is divided into sections according to the shelves and compartments so that each resident can place his/her own items into his/ her section. In some shared living flats some groceries and other commodities (for example: butter, milk, salt, sugar, oil, cleaning supplies) are bought and used jointly. Other shared living flats have a communal fund into which everyone pays regularly and all of their groceries and other commodities are financed in this matter Household Cleaning Plans and Winter Duties In order to make communal living as pleasant as possible and avoid conflicts some shared flats have a household cleaning plan in which it is marked who is responsible for what and when. Many shared flats also have rules in regards to the washing of dishes. Some cleaning plans also have remarks in regards to the winter duties. If there is no janitor and the city does not take on the responsibility, the tenants are responsible for removing snow from the sidewalk and steps in front of their building. This is very important because if someone falls and gets hurt because of snow and ice that was not removed, the tenants are held liable for (medical, etc.) costs that may result. Similarly, tenants may also be responsible for regularly cleaning (wiping) the shared staircases and hallways in buildings shared with other flats in which more than one living unit exists. How tenants take care of this varies from shared flat to shared flat. In order to avoid conflicts, ask your flat mates how they handle this. 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search 11 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search Waste Separation The waste is separated into various components in most German households. Usually there are organic wastes (leftover food, etc.) and the yellow sack (German: Gelber Sack) for packaging that has a green dot on it and is not made of paper or glass. Furthermore, paper and glass products are also placed into separate containers. Most other items are placed into the Restmüll container. If you have questions about the waste separation system, ask one of the tenants with whom you live Smoking There are also varying rules in regards to cigarette smoking. Some shared flats do not want to have any smoking in the flat, not even in the residents own rooms. Other shared flats allow smoking in some of the rooms, for example, in the individual s own room; other shared flats allow smoking in all rooms. If it is important to you how the shared flat deals with this, ask when you look at the flat or when you ask for an appointment to look at the flat. The above points are only some examples of possible shared flat rules. Each shared flat has its own rules by which they live. Generally speaking, in order to ensure a sense of well being in a shared living unit, it is necessary that all tenants are friendly and respectful of one another. When you are uncertain about terms of your rental agreement and other policies, it is bet to ask for further clarification, and not to let your questions go unaddressed. 4.3 Support When Viewing Rooms and Flats The Catholic Student Community Gießen (Katholische Hochschulgemeinde Gießen, abbreviated as KHG) offers to escort international students when viewing flats and rooms. The escorts are local students who are willing to come along with you to view an object. They have all had experience in applying for shared living flats or apartments. For further information contact: beratung/340-unterstuetzung-beizimmer-oder-wohnungsbesichtigung Katholische Hochschulgemeinde Gießen Wilhelmstraße Gießen Tel.: Fax: Obtaining Furniture and Furnishings In addition to the large furniture stores in the greater Gießen area, there are numerous other possibilities to obtain inexpensive and possibly used furniture and furnishings. Here are a few examples: The online edition of the Gießener Express advertises used, inexpensive furniture and furnishings. Click on Möbel / Hausrat Flea Markets: There is for example a flea market on the Karstadt department store parking place in Gießen: Karstadt department store parking place Rodheimer Straße Gießen Flea market from April to October on Saturdays from 6 AM to 3 PM veranstaltungen/8702-am- Karstadt-Schnaeppchenmarkt 25 every Tuesday or Wednesday. You will find household items and furnishings here: It is also advisable to check for notices concerning furniture sales around the THM and JLU and the cafeterias. 4. Shared Flats, Tips for your Search Student online advertisements: used furniture from students for students: The Jugendwerkstatt in Gießen sells used, sometimes repaired furniture, at very inexpensive prices. produkteundleistungen/daskaufhaus/index.html The daily newspapers Gießener Anzeiger and Gießener Allgemeine have a flea market for the sale of items costing up to 13 5. Emergency and Short Term Housing 5. Emergency and Short Term Housing If you are looking for a place to stay to bridge a short time period or if you are still waiting to hear about a shared flat enquiry, the following dwellings might be of help: 5.1 Gießen Youth Hostel Gießen Heiko L. Gibhardt Richard-Schirmann-Weg Gießen Tel.: One night plus br
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