Backyard Bauhaus

Story: Eeva-Kaisa Ahlamo IMP09
The third year in the studies of IMP09 students has kicked off. For many of us it means student exchange, since it’s part of our programme’s spirit. I have been happily residing in Weimar, Germany, for the past couple of weeks, so I guess it’s about time to update some news from down here.

When we seriously started to talk about student exchange last year, I was soon quite interested to have Weimar as my study place. The world famous Bauhaus University is one of the partner schools of TAMK, so through ERASMUS exchange it was easy to get through. I arrived here in the middle of September and haven’t regretted a day! The universities in Germany start in October, so it’s been pretty lazy until now. (In fact, I’m eager for the school to start, because I’m interested to see how it’ll be.)

Weimar is astonishingly beautiful little town right in the middle of Germany and European culture. (It was the European Capital of Culture in 1999.) The mention of Weimar lights up a fire in the eyes of any German, after which they inevitably chant the names of Goethe and Schiller as well as Liszt. It is understandable when you walk around the town, the whole place is like an open air museum: apart from the men mentioned above also J.S. Bach and F. Nietzsche lived here among others. And even if the Bauhaus movement didn’t stay in Weimar for long, one can feel its roots in street names and in the campus area. All this naturally draws multitude of visitors from all over the world. That’s why the locals have learned to be very helpful and show the tourists that they are holding the map upside down and that the Liszt House is actually not far away but in the other direction and that yes, they should definitely try Thüringer Bratwurst.

The life as a student in Weimar seems very fair. There is some student party every night somewhere and if you are not that much a party person you can always explore the rest of Thüringen. Local students travel completely free in regional trains and Weimar’s buses! Even if architecture students are in majority, there are few other faculties, too. Media has surprisingly large selection from Media Management to Media Culture and Media Art and Design (my field).

The only thing that has been stirring trouble for some of the exchange students is that not all workers in different offices speak English. Considering that Thüringen used to be part of  East Germany it’s also no wonder. The students who don’t speak German are offered with an intensive course in the beginning of their studies, but it helps greatly if you happen to know German already before the school really begins. Still, everybody is very kind and helpful, so everything works out in the end.

On top of all this, the weather has been stupendously good for the last couple of weeks. They do say that it should rain here regularly, but so far the sun has been shining every day and the temperature has been around +27°C at best. Not a bad way to start my exchange studies in Weimar! :)