The TU Darmstadt turns spare time into fun time

For me, the university experience is more than just going to lectures and studying, but also everything else that’s going on around. TU Darmstadt has a wide variety of extracurricular activities, which makes it very easy to meet new people, take part in different sports and pursue my interests in various clubs. In the current Corona crisis, the university has managed to create online alternatives for several activities. Want to know more? Perfect, then you're in the right place!

Denise Frey,
39, 2nd semester pedagogy

TU Darmstadt really does offer its students a huge range of extracurricular activities: Uni sports with hundreds of classes, a good dose of culture and super exciting university clubs, like the DART Racing Team. And even in these uncertain times, the university has reacted quickly and created a great online replacement programme.

Picture: Britta Hüning

Experience campus life virtually

Deciding what university to attend and so what city you’ll be living in for the next few years is a pretty difficult choice. Because, sure, you don't only want a great learning and teaching environment, you also want to make new friends, find a wide range of extracurricular activities, be able to play sports and even broaden your cultural horizons a bit in your new city. Whew, that might seem like a long list, but I can tell you that TU Darmstadt has it all. I’m totally happy with everything my university has to offer. Even now, when the Corona crisis has really cut down on events and stuff, I’m still totally thankful to TU Darmstadt. It reacted quickly and not only did regular classes and lectures go online, but some of the extracurricular activities did too. Pretty cool, huh?!

So even though we can’t enjoy the great campus and its highlights, such as the LesBAR in the university library, the beer garden at the Lichtwiese Campus or the Botanical Garden for a while longer, but believe me, as soon as everything is open again: You’ll love it!

Picture: Katrin Binner

It’s all good: Online fitness classes with TU Darmstadt

With or without Corona, I need to work out! Besides my daily run through the beautiful Herrngarten (the big park surrounding some of the Campus Stadtmitte), I also take part in the virtual fitness classes run by the Unisport-Zentrum (USZ). The USZ is part of TU Darmstadt and organises a totally diverse sports and exercise programme for all students and staff. You can find everything an athlete's heart desires! From A for aerobics to Z for Zumba, there are tons of great classes and activities. Looking for something a little more unique? Well, how about quidditch (yeah, the Harry Potter fans out there read that right), parkour or climbing? Some really cool trips are paragliding in the Vosges Mountains, cycling in the Alps or surfing off the Atlantic coast. Well, these trips probably won’t happen this year, but absence makes the heart grow fonder.

The university isn’t letting this crisis disrupt everything at TU Darmstadt and is working with the USZ to find solutions. Together they came up with an alternative online programme. So it’s now possible to meet your fitness buddies digitally on Zoom and work out together or do one of the tons of different training videos the USZ has created! I’ve actually been doing a cross-training class for a week. The first class took place a few days ago and you can take part via Zoom. I really liked it and I'm looking forward to continuing over the coming weeks.

Campus life at TU Darmstadt

Student life at TU Darmstadt is, of course, very limited at the moment due to Corona. But as soon as the government lifts the restrictions, life will slowly return. To give you a taste, we’d like to introduce the various things that TU Darmstadt has to offer:

Food

With its cafeterias and bistros, the Studierendenwerk Darmstadt makes sure that no one leaves campus hungry. Students will find a wide range of options from breakfast, snacks, baked goods and various dishes and combinable side dishes at lunchtime. If you like cooking for yourself, you can find free groceries in the Open Room of AStA via the Foodsharing Fairteiler.

Mobility

With the semester ticket, students can use local transportation, as well as travel with RB and RE trains throughout Hessen and sometimes even beyond Hessen’s borders. You’d rather travel by bike? Then try the Call a Bike rental bike system or repair your own bike at the Fahrradwerkstatt zwanzig.

University sports program (Unisport)

Sweat fit, parkour, quidditch, climbing or maybe yoga? TU Darmstadt and the Unisport-Zentrum (USZ) offer a wide variety n of activities which take place before and after lectures. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities for free activities at the university stadium or the university swimming pool. Admission to both is free for students.

University clubs

You just want to think outside the box, try out interesting things and meet new people? Then maybe one of the university clubs at TU Darmstadt is just the ticket.

Student Politics

How can you actively shape TU Darmstadt yourself? If you have asked yourself this question, you should take a look at the TU Darmstadt's student government. The departmental student councils and the General Students' Committee (AStA) offer interested students a variety of opportunities for getting involved in. shaping higher education policy and determining what’s important to them as students.

How about a little culture?

Over the last few semesters at TU Darmstadt, I’ve been a huge fan of the cultural opportunities that you get as part of the semester ticket. Did you know that you have unlimited free admission to the Staatstheater Darmstadt, for example? Awesome, right? But not only that, you get discounts to lots of concerts in Darmstadt and you can also visit museums for free. Well, sure, you can only do all this after the Corona restrictions are lifted. But maybe you can already tell, Darmstadt has a lot to offer and TU Darmstadt has negotiated great deals for its students.

You don't want to give up your dose of culture now either? No problem. I have a tip for you. The Kunstforum at TU Darmstadt offers a pretty cool virtual tour through its rooms, for example. You can take a look at the current exhibition in peace and quiet.

Picture: Katrin Binner

The perfect university club for everyone’s tastes

So, I’ve already described your fitness and cultural options. You may be thinking that’s all well and good, but it’s still not exactly what you’re looking for? No worries, I’ve got one last ace up my sleeve. TU Darmstadt has a whole range of university clubs devoted to various areas. For example, do you feel like building a racing car, acting, or just making music with your fellow students? It’s all possible at TU Darmstadt!

Are you a tinkerer, love the water and enjoy sailing? Then maybe the Darmstadt Sailing Team is right for you. Its mission is to develop and build an unmanned and energy self-sufficient sailboat that can cross the Atlantic. Water not your thing? What about the glider club, the, Akademische Fliegergruppe Darmstadt (AKAFlieg)? TU Darmstadt students have been designing and building gliders in their spare time in this club for 100 years. By the way, you can also get your glider license at TU Darmstadt's very own airport. Another winner is the DART Racing Team. Students develop, design, build and test a solar-powered formula racing car every year. Everything from concept considerations, CAD models and simulations to the production and then putting the car together is done in-house! Or maybe you’re a real space fan? Then have a look at the TU Darmstadt Space Technology e.V. website. The group offers its members the opportunity to experience space close up while they’re still at university.

It’s probably pretty obvious, but the university clubs aren’t able to meet in person right now because of the Corona crisis. But lots of the groups have come up with creative solutions to continue working on their projects, at least virtually. The DART Racing team, for example, has shifted its focus to static disciplines, such as computational models for the time being and sends out a newsletter to anyone who’s interested. Most university groups are having regular online meetings, and events are still taking place and there’s lots of lively discussions in WhatsApp and Facebook groups.

Yah, so this year everything is really different, but I can promise you that you have a great partner at your side with TU Darmstadt, who won’t abandon anybody in the Corona crisis. Are you uncertain at the moment as to what extent your academic programme is affected? Then definitely make an appointment with the Central Student Advisory Service. The team is always there for you even during the Corona crisis and can advise you by phone, e-mail or in a Zoom meeting. Whatever suits you best.

Picture: Britta Hüning

Denise Frey, 39

Hey there, I'm Denise and I started my second degree in pedagogy at the TU Darmstadt two semesters ago. I’m a big fan of TU Darmstadt and as a mom I get lots of support., Besides the great range of academic classes, what I really appreciate are all the different university clubs and Unisport. You can basically find anything your heart desires, plus make friends super easily. Maybe we'll run into each sometime!