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Prof. Heidi Krömker


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Student Life

Ilmenau and the University

Ilmenau and the University

© TU Ilmenau/H. Dietz

"I always liked being here and still do; I believe, it is because of the harmony that everything exudes here. Region, people, climate, everything that people do and not do. A peaceful economical quest […] and in spite of being relatively isolated the lively traffic with the world as in many small towns in flat, easily accessible areas."

Quotation: a letter written by Goethe to Schiller on August 29, 1795 

The town of Ilmenau is located on the northern tails of the Thuringian Forest and at the geographical center of Germany. It's population amounts to 26,000. First Ilmenau was a mining town. During the 18th century Ilmenau was famous for its glass and porcelain production.

Ilmenau is now characterized by Ilmenau University of Technology, which has about 6,300 students and a staff of over 1,400 employees.

It was founded in 1953 and includes the following five departments: 

  • Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
  • Computer Science and Automation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Economic Sciences and Media

The Students live right next to each other on campus or in neighboring residential areas. Either on foot or by bicycle, all restaurants, shops and free time facilities are easily reachable. The short distances between classes, living quarters and nightlife guarantee a vibrant campus culture and a personal atmosphere.

For more information about the university see the University's website and the welcome center's website.

Arrival and Accomodation

Arrival and Accomodation


Every student has to plan his arrival individually. There is no airport in Ilmenau, but it can be reached via train or bus. It is recommended to arrive on October 1 respectively April 1. When arriving earlier, it can not be guaranteed, that your room is already free. When arriving on another date contact the service network "we4you" for help.

By plane: The closest airport is located in Erfurt. Since this is a small, regional airport, international flights usually arrive in Frankfurt (Main) or in Leipzig.

By train: To reach Ilmenau from the airport, taking the train is recommended. Train connections can be found and booked on Deutsche Bahn. From Leipzig it is about a 2h20 train trip to Ilmenau, from Frankfurt 3h20. If you look for connections from Frankfurt make sure you search for "Frankfurt (M) Flughafen" as the airport has it's own train station. For the main station of Ilmenau choose "Ilmenau" without addition.

By bus: The most popular German bus company is called "FlixBus". There are lines going directly to Ilmenau station. For some origins it might be recommendable to choose Erfurt as destination and take the train from Erfurt to Ilmenau.


There are different possibilities for students to live in Ilmenau. The most convenient possibility are the student dormitories but also private apartments are a good alternative.

Dormitory: The dormitories in Ilmenau are administered by the "Studierendenwerk Ilmenau". Here you can find information about the different houses, the prices and the application. When you receive your admission letter apply as soon as possible for a room. You'll have to confirm periodically that you are still an applicant. The placing of the rooms will be started six weeks before start of term at the earliest.

Private room: Another possibility is to rent a private room in a shared apartment or a single apartment. A popular platform is "WG-gesucht". 

For more information about your arrival, the accomodation and other important information before the semester's start check the university's FAQs.

Free Time Activities

Free Time Activities

Whether you love to spend your free time in the nature, to play tennis or to make musik with others - Ilmenau offers a broad range of activities and clubs. Especially the large number of media related clubs like the University's TV is remarkable.


© TU Ilmenau/M. Reichel

The university has its own sports center, called "Universitätssportzentrum". In the beginning of every semester you can sign up for courses like soccer, badminton and yoga. Most of the courses have a fee of only 15 Euros per semester. The enrollment takes place in the beginning of every semester, the dates will be published on time on the link "Einschreibung". To sign up you have to create an account on the "Einschreibelisten". Make sure you sign up on time since the demand on many courses is very high and they are booked out quickly.

Furthermore the USZ also offers a gym. You have to sign up in the beginning of the semester for the course "Fitnessraumnutzung (individuell)".

In addition to the sports center there is the "Sportverein TU Ilmenau e.V.". These teams take part in competitions and are a mixture of students and non-students.

Apart from the university's sports offers there are many more possibilities in and around Ilmenau to be active. Located in the Thuringian Forest there are great hiking trails around, skiing areas in winter and bathing lakes in summer.

For more information see the university's sports overview.


© TU Ilmenau

Whether you want to be a barkeeper in one of Ilmenau's five student clubs, be part of the students' radio or organize the annual "Bergfest" week - you will find the matching club. 

Especially from the media field there is a variety of clubs, such as:

  • HSF student radio: Here, especially students from the Ilmenau media majors, as well as technology and radio interested, unite.
  • Hochschulfilmclub: The university's cinema is run by students and takes place once a week in average.
  • iStuff: Students interested in movie and TV production can pursue their interests at the university's television.
  • Ilmpressions: This group produces a student feature film that makes the hearts of cineastes beat faster every year.
  • FEM: The "Forschungsgemeinschaft elektronische Medien e.V." is a research group that is active in several fields of new media.

Ilmenau's cultural scene, clubs and bars are international and diversified, which can be attributed primarily to the students and their own initiative. The students operate several cafés and popular clubs located around the campus. 

Another big event is the largest European international student festival (ISWI), for which even Nobel Prize winners travel to Ilmenau. Furthermore the students also put together well-known university student conventions or are actively involved in Amnesty International and the university's debating club. For more information about the cultural organizations see this university's cultural overview


Besides athletic and cultural acitivities there are representations of interests and subject-specific initiatives.

Ilmenau's close proximity to many culturally and historically important cities such as ErfurtWeimarJena and Eisenach make Ilmenau the ideal starting point to explore Germany's history. May it be the Wartburg Castle as central structure and starting point of the German revolution of 1848/49 or the legacies of important figures like Goethe, Schiller, Bach and Luther.

With your student ID you can travel unlimited by train within Thuringia. Erfurt is a good origin to travel to cities like Berlin and Prague.