- Larissa Schuchardt
Studying medicine in Lübeck – all you need to know in a nutshell
The UNESCO declared the existing cityscape of Lübeck to be a World Cultural Heritage Site. Discover more reasons, why Lübeck is so special.
Picturesque old town Foto: Katharina Reustle
Numbers and facts
Population: 214.420, thus the second biggest city in Schleswig-Holstein after Kiel
Students: around 8000, 3500 of them at the University of Lübeck (there is also the Lübeck University of Applied Sciences with 4000 and the Lübeck University of Music with 500 students), ca. 1500 medical students (200 per year)
University of Lübeck: founded in 1964 under the title “Medical Academy of Lübeck”), 12 degree courses offered in the life-sciences area
UKSH (University clinic of Schleswig-Holstein, with sites in Kiel and Lübeck): 1200 clinic beds on the Campus Lübeck
Merchants and Marzipan
Around 800 AD, Lübeck was founded as the Slavonic settlement “Liubice” – meaning “lovely”. Because of its port and the proximity to cities like Hamburg and Lüneburg, Lübeck grew to be an important trading town. In the 14th century it was even known as the “Queen of the Hanseatic League”! Around this time most of the famous brick gothic architecture buildings were built by rich merchants, and the city has kept its medieval charm with its narrow cobblestone streets until today.
The famous Holstentor
The Niederegger company, world-famous for its marzipan, was founded in 1806. Above the classy café rooms there is a tiny marzipan museum where you can find some more information about the sweet delicacy – even the exhibits are made out of marzipan! Afterwards you should treat yourself to a hot marzipan chocolate and some cake and enjoy the view of the beautiful town hall at Lübeck’s main shopping street Breite Straße.
Where to live in Lübeck – and how
If you are moving to Lübeck it’s a good idea to look for shared flats in the historic city centre. It is based on an island, the Altstadtinsel. Here you have cosy cafés, bars and beautiful flats with high ceilings. In winter, the amazing Christmas markets are just around the corner, as well as the canal and the river Trave for quiet walks and jogging trips in summer. A lot of students live here! Lübeck’s old town is not very expensive, but when you’re stretched for money or have your own car you can also look in close-by neighbourhoods. There you can find lovely houses as well as parking sites – cars and the city centre are basically incompatible. Also in the university quarter (Hochschulstadtteil) there are nice and affordable new-built flats directly next to the Uni, and by bike or bus it’s only 15 minutes to the city centre.
The old town is also where Lübeck’s nightlife takes place. Tiny, comfortable bars are everywhere, the most famous one being the “Blauer Engel” which was founded and is still run by students. There are also several clubs like “Parkhaus”, “Hüx” and “Cargo-Schiff”, each having their own music styles and audience. A Must-Go is also the first-semester-party at the Uni cafeteria and the parties run by the University of applied science – the latter probably being the only Lübeck-wide event where you can find more guys than girls…
Left: Sunset over the old city centre Right: The "Gängeviertel", historic district in Lübeck
But Lübeck also offers a wide variety of cultural highlights. In the afternoon you can visit countless museums like the Buddenbrookhaus or the Günter-Grass-Haus. Thomas Mann, who wrote the Buddenbrooks (in Germany it’s a well-known novel about a family from Lübeck) and Günter Grass are both Nobel prize laureates who lived in Lübeck. The newly-built European Hanseatic museum is also worth a visit. In the evening you can always drop by the theatre and see whether you can get a spare seat for 5 €, or visit the KoKi (“Kommunales Kino”) cinema. There you can watch current OV productions as well as old movie classics that fit perfectly into the cosy living room-atmosphere along with a glass of red wine.
In the summer, the river Wakenitz is only five minutes away – ideal for swimming, tanning and picnics. If you prefer sandy beaches, Travemünde and the Baltic Sea are just 30 minutes by train or bus! Train tickets and visitor’s tax are even included in the students’ semester ticket. If you’re up for a barbecue the park at the Krähenteich is always crowded with young people, slack lines and guitars, you just shouldn’t mind other people’s music. Later enjoy a beer on your (or a friend’s) apartment building’s rooftop watching the sunset – a lot of cities may claim this, but in Lübeck, you’re definitely studying where other people spend their holidays.
The medicine course at the Uni Lübeck
But also university studies in Lübeck enjoy an outstanding reputation. In the CHE ranking, Germany’s biggest ranking system, Lübeck’s Uni got top marks in 11 categories out of 17! Also concerning the first and second state examination results Lübeck is usually in the top group.
Outside term-time there are no mandatory classes or exams. This allows students to organize their courses to work on a doctoral thesis, which 70% of Lübeck’s students finalize before they finish university. 60% spend an Erasmus semester abroad and still almost 80% manage to complete their studies in the 12 semesters that are usually required for a medical degree!
The Uni Lübeck also enables the pursuit of scientific research and exchange. There are three national graduate schools as well as one international one working in the fields of the University’s three main foci: “Infection and Inflammation”, “Biomedical Engineering” and “Brain, Behaviour and Metabolism”. For a medical doctoral thesis the Uni also offers several scholarships as well as guidance concerning research topic and host institute. Now you just have to choose: are you more interested in clinical studies, statistics or doing lab work?
The University of Lübeck is – compared with other German university towns – a young and certainly not very big university. But exactly that is what`s making it so special! You get to know so many people across the semesters and even meet your prof at the supermarket checkout. This kind of familiar atmosphere came to particular prominence in 2010, when the government in Schleswig-Holstein tried to close the university. Students, teachers and Lübeck’s population alike stood up for their Uni, went to Kiel for countless demonstrations and eventually averted the government’s plan. You’ll see that the Uni Lübeck is special – and whenever you need a helping hand, you will get at least three.