European Business School (Oestrich-Winkel, Germany)

by Gisela Liu

Introduction: 

First and foremost, EBS is located in a small town of Oestrich-Winkel located in the Rheingau (Wine) region in central-west Germany. My first mistake was thinking that I would be situated in Frankfurt, so you could imagine my shock when I arrived in this 12,000-populated town, practically in the country. However, the location itself is beautiful and is a stark contrast to the metropolitan hub that is Sydney and for my exchange experience, it’s definitely something I will forever cherish and hold dear to my heart.

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Accommodation:

EBS is a private and the leading business university in Germany and as such, its campus size is relatively small, approximately half the size of lower campus at UNSW. There is no on-campus accommodation but there are multiple avenues in which you can find accommodation. EBS hosts its own accommodation platform called Flat Hunt where are first-come first-serve basis allows you to browse potential accommodations through search filters like the number of roomies you would like to have. Otherwise, you can find accommodation yourself through the EBS Wohnungen Facebook Page – . This page is great because it is compulsory for local EBS students to go on exchange during their degree and so they will be looking to rent out their place/room for the semester

Campus: 

As mentioned above, EBS campus is pretty small and has several campuses. The main campus is called the Schloss (castle) and is a historic-semi castle situated along the Rhine river. There is also the Burg campus located two minutes away from Schloss where you’ll often have your language classes. EBS also has a Law Campus situated in the nearby city, Wiesbaden, which is a 15 minute train ride away. In terms of facilities, Schloss has a nice ‘quad’ like area which is perfect to have lunch at, right outside the Cafeteria (die Mensa). Otherwise, there is a library with all your printing needs and the main forum which has various study rooms that you can book.

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Academics:

At EBS, I mostly completed Finance subjects and I mostly found it to be on par with UNSW difficulty. If anything, EBS employs the best professors in the field, so don’t be surprised when you have 8 hour lectures on a Saturday. Unlike UNSW, class schedules are not fixed to a certain amount of hours each week and thus, you could finish a class in just 4-5 lectures. Most subjects do not have ‘tutorials’ so read your course outline and see what is compulsory. To be honest, in my second semester abroad, there was a month where I was in class for 2 days because I was travelling the whole month and most subjects have a 100% final exam or group assessment. EBS gives you a lot of flexibility to travel so take advantage of it, study hard when you need to and go experience Europe at every chance you can get!

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Night Life:

EBS has its own International Exchange committee which organises social events for exchange students. These include clubbing nights (Wednesdays are student nights in a nearby city called Mainz where we go to Star Club for free), various local bars in Oestrich-Winkel and if you’re bothered, Frankfurt has all the main techno and ‘clubbing’ spots. The Canadian, Brock-Dual Degree students (they stay at EBS for 1.5 years) run the Kafta (cute café-like spot within EBS) as part of their program and hold various fun beer-pong nights etc. Don’t forget to go to EBS’ own Oktoberfest Party and there are always Start-of-Semester and End-Of-Semester parties on EBS Schloss Campus which are always fun and rowdy!

Surrounding area and travel:

Germany and Frankfurt is literally situated in the heart of Europe, so travelling is so convenient! In terms of local spots to see, definitely check out the university city of Heidelberg – it is a beautiful, university city with a famous castle that you can visit – which is only a few hours away by train or car. Wiesbaden is the closest ‘city’ nearby and has all your needs in terms of bars, restaurants, shopping and culture! Don’t forget to go on the cable cart which overlooks the whole Rheingau region as it is absolutely stunning. Otherwise, take advantage of Ryanair and take cheap flights to various destinations within and outside of Europe from Frankfurt Hahn airport. Buses will literally be your best friend, they are comfortable, cheap and can get you from one country to another in no time! Or be adventurous and meet new people by using the car-pooling service called BlahBlahCar! Go with a friend when you start and you’ll have the best times travelling city to city and meeting new people along the way 🙂

Extracurriculars:

EBS has a lot of different societies and sports teams that you can be involved in! I was in the EBS Cheerleading team for a semester and depending whether you’re in Fall or Summer semester, EBS is involved in a major multi-university sporting competition like the Euromasters. This is a great opportuntity for you to meet your German counterparts and travel to Hamburg, for the 3-day tournament filled with sport, fun and loads of drinking!

General Tips & Conclusion:

Since EBS can be considered as a private, snobby, university, you’ll make most of your friends with your Exchange co-hort. There is always a Facebook group created for each co-hort and you’ll be notified of upcoming social events or travel destinations that your exchange peers will be attending. Definitely attend the first few exchange events EBS organises as this is where you’ll make friends! Most exchange students also enrol in the Intensive-Week German Learning course and this is something you should consider – you can learn a bit of German and meet your potential best friend!

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