Tori's Ersti-Blog
First-hand reports from a first year student

Hello prospective students and students-to-be of the Technische Universität Darmstadt! My name is Viktoriia, also known as Tori. I am studying Architecture at TU Darmstadt since the winter semester 2023/24 and I am one of the new ambassadors at #studentsofTUdarmstadt. I will regularly update you on my start at university in my First year blog!

Published: Wintersemester 2023/24

B.Sc Architecture

Hi, I'm Tori! Experience the beginning of your studies at TU Darmstadt with me. In my Ersti-Blog, I'll be sharing my experiences and challenges with you.

Picture: Juan David Aleman

Published: 29 March 2024

“Hallo!” and “Guten Tag!” were the first expressions with which my long journey to Germany began back home in Ukraine. It's no secret that it all starts with learning the language, the basis for future everyday life in the new reality.

How beautiful it is now to look back on the time seven years ago and remember the feeling of pride when I was able to form my first sentence in German, when I was able to successfully apply the four cases and I did not confuse the application of accusative and dative.

Parallel to the language, I got to know the German culture and its customs: holidays, food, and taboos. To my surprise, the daily life of the inhabitants of Germany was not very different from my previous everyday life in Ukraine.

Let me begin in order…

When I came to Germany two years ago, I first got to know the city of Dresden, then I visited Munich and Berlin. Clean streets, architecture reminiscent of my hometown, and numerous accessible cultural events welcomed me in Germany.

The joy of seeing signs in German fuelled my emotions. This is the same feeling when you see a celebrity in person: you've been reading about someone in books for many years, and now it's time to meet them face-to-face.

In my mind, Darmstadt as a city of science was strict and probably monochromatic, but I was wrong! The city is adorned with bright building facades, old but well-preserved walls of the TU, and green, spacious parks. And there are a wide range of offers for students, from quiet study spaces to lively nightlife options.

By the way, we have a separate article on the topic of nightlife in Darmstadt. Stop by and discover the places #studentsofTUdarmstadt recommend!

Enrolment at the sought-after university is imminent. The city provided great joy. What's missing?


Around 40,000 students are among the approximately 160,000 inhabitants. Be aware that finding an apartment can be tedious, so you should take care of it in advance. My search for an apartment took me four months.

For four months, I was both disappointed and delighted with the apartments. The ratio of quality to price did not always meet my expectations. In Darmstadt, I looked at shared flats and one-room apartments. Most of the time, there was at least one significant drawback. Although I liked the apartment in terms of equipment and price category, I was not satisfied with the location.

For me, the focus was not on centrally located apartments but on apartments within the city limits of Darmstadt. Although Darmstadt offers affordable transport connections, I would prefer to utilize the time I spend on the road for studying or going for walks with friends.

My apartment search took a long time, and I discovered more tricks for myself with each new month. In addition to the apartment viewing:

  • Print copies of identity documents
  • Bring your enrolment
  • Create a graphic with a short biography

If you are on your own but want to consult with your parents, ask the landlord if you can take photos of the apartment or room. The landlord is likely to welcome your request rather than deny it.

When I managed to find an apartment a few months before the start of lectures at the Studienkolleg of the TU Darmstadt that was cheap in terms of price, location, and equipment, I moved immediately. I still had a month and a half to get to know the city and discover places I would love to visit with future friends. In any case, I liked Darmstadt immediately: sunny July, green Herrngarten, and many TU students browsing through learning materials on the lawn. This motivated me so much at that moment that I wanted to start a new learning routine as soon as possible!

In the city of Darmstadt, every international student will find something familiar from their home country, from a variety of restaurants specialising in cuisines from all over the world to themed parties in venues. Personally, I have repeatedly attended concerts by a Ukrainian group that came to Darmstadt. On those evenings, I felt completely at home.

Darmstadt is a city where all students find a common denominator and share the culture with other nationalities. What can unite people more than getting to know the traditions of each of us?

And I can't help but mention the phenomenon that catches your eye after the first week of your stay: Every day you meet your acquaintances and friends on the street! The city is not very big, and during a walk, someone can spontaneously keep you company.

Published: 27nd February 2024

As a first-year student at TU Darmstadt, I know how important it is to discover the university from all angles and learn new things. When the central student advisory service at TU Darmstadt organised the “100 days of studying” event in January, I immediately decided to take part in order to better understand what kind of support I can receive from the university and what opportunities there are still for me to explore.

During “100 days of studying”, I was shown that doubts are a natural phenomenon of newly arrived students at the beginning and that like-minded people can support me at any time.

In the first two months of my degree programme, I asked myself whether I had made the right choice. I found the answers to all my questions together with Studierendenwerk Darmstadt, who not only helped me with my personal problems and conflicts, but also supported me with my studies.

In addition to the new information, all participants had the opportunity to take part in an interactive activity organised by betterTUgether and treat themselves to sugar-free, protein-rich snacks.

I pay a lot of attention to my health as part of my studies and thanks to the betterTUgether workshops, I have learnt how to prepare a nutritious and vegan diet.

My first semester in my architecture degree programme is coming to an end, but not my first semester at TU Darmstadt:

I got to know TU Darmstadt at the Studienkolleg, where I made new, very close friends and began my integration journey in Germany. Thanks to the knowledge I acquired during the two semesters of study in the T-course at the Studienkolleg, I feel as confident as possible in my studies at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

The in-depth learning in subjects such as physics and maths has borne fruit and now my building designs not only focus on aesthetics, but also on calculating the maximum stability of the structure. In February, my first and longest awaited presentation of the parasite for design 1 took place…

What is design 1?

First, I would like to introduce to you the Design 1 module and explain why it is so significant. Through small architectural design exercises, we will approach, in conjunction with the lecture series, the semester project, which is intended to be developed at the Lichtwiese campus.

We were divided into pairs at the beginning of the semester and worked together on a parasitic architecture for one of the buildings on the Lichtwiese campus. The aim of the task was to support the team spirit through the ability to compromise, in addition to the design and concept development

Now I would like to look back four months and reminisce with you about how I developed our first draft with my irreplaceable project partner and now very close friend.

Working in a team always means disagreements and disagreements of ideas on both sides. Moreover, thanks to the mutual support within our group of two, the doubts faded away: now I am more than sure that I made the right decision by choosing architecture as my specialisation and that I can bring my design ideas and construction skills together!

I stayed at the university until late in the evening drawing the A1 format plans and making models. I looked after my wellbeing by preparing my food at home and taking it to university with the help of advice from betterTUgether.

Don't neglect your mental and physical health during your studies and the exam period! Visit the Studierendenwerk website and don't be afraid to seek support if you have any worries or doubts about your choice of study programme.

Our mindset is directly linked to our physical well-being. BetterTUgether will prove to you that staying active and eating a balanced diet is not difficult at all. Quite the opposite: it fits easily into your daily study routine and serves as a source of energy for the body!

My big tip: keep up to date with the latest university events and join in! Nothing adds more colour to your everyday study life than your own initiative.

Published: 22nd January 2024

Dear blog readers, I am delighted to welcome you to the new year 2024! Here we are after the first half of the winter semester 23/24. For me, it was the first winter break at TU Darmstadt since I graduated from Studienkolleg.

I decided to spend my first winter vacation at TU Darmstadt abroad and at the same time recreate the atmosphere of my childhood. My choice was undoubtedly the Czech Republic, namely Prague, where I went with a friend of mine.

After three months of studying architecture at the Technical University of Darmstadt, I saw the luxurious buildings, churches and cathedrals of Prague from a different perspective. How great it is to broaden your horizons and observe in real life what was shown on slides by lecturers during history lectures; to walk along Charles Bridge and understand the principle behind the statues on it.

For me, a change of scenery is part of relaxation and I try to spend each of my days off in a new place. You get distracted by new impressions and it helps you to relax. Now I'm ready to get back into the learning routine and face new challenges!

To be honest, it was the most intense and diverse 3 months of my life that TU Darmstadt gave me. Thanks to TU, I not only learned to understand the statics and concept of a building, but I also gained the skills in time management and self-organization.

I used to not put so much emphasis on a clear daily routine, but time management is the most important tool for successful studies. After research and practice, I have selected the five most effective time organization methods for myself.

In this blog post, I would like to share tips with you that I use myself all the time:

I always learn and work in my Einstein window, i.e. the period during the day when I reach my maximum mental capacity. However, this window is different for everyone! Experiment learning at different times of the day to discover your unique window.

I always start with the most difficult and unpleasant tasks. Once I've completed the difficult tasks, the others are just a piece of cake. It keeps me motivated all day long!

I don't like to be distracted by social networks and technical devices. That's why I always create a schedule in advance in which I enter when I will reply to text messages or notifications on social networks. Of course, it's important to stick to the schedule exactly.

I always allow myself a few breaks during work. I generally work for 30 minutes at a time, followed by a 5-minute break during which I don't use my mobile phone. Then the whole thing starts all over again. After a few rounds, I take a slightly longer break.

During the week, I record exactly how much time I need for the various tasks. At the weekend, I look at these notes and try to organise my daily routine so that I do the things that take up the most time first. That's how I optimise my daily routine!

I don't cook at times when I'm particularly stressed. Grocery shopping and the cooking themselves take up a lot of time. The Studierendenwerk Mensa takes care of these time-consuming activities for you! If you don't have much time and live near the Mensa, then I definitely recommend you pay them a visit to save time and eat well at a reasonable price.

The Mensa has a daily changing selection of dishes that are freshly prepared for you on site. Be sure to download the Mensa app from the stores. You can use the app to see which dishes are available that day and you can also keep an eye on your Athene card balance at all times.

You can find out more about the Athene card in the #studentsofTUdarmstadt post .

Published: 6th December 2023

Christmas Market

The second month of study at TU Darmstadt is slowly coming to an end and it's time to squeeze a visit to the Christmas markets into your schedule! When it's cold and cloudy outside, I'm greeted at the Christmas market with hot drinks and the bright lights of the huts and stalls. The smell of freshly baked goods and sausages fills my nose.

Holiday Spirit with Friends

Every Friday I visit the Christmas market with my new friends, where we meet other new students and share our experiences of the second month of study at the TU.

What could be better than chatting and eating hot crêpes at the same time?

Meeting new people with TUtor International

But I would also like to reveal a little secret as to where I like to spend my free time. When I want to use my free time in an informative and interesting way, I check the weekly TUtor International events programme to choose one of the many leisure activities.

Personally, I am a creative person and TUtor International has wonderful creative evenings where you can do handicrafts. To make my idea of designing a small table shelf a reality, the tutors kindly provided me with all the necessary materials and off we went!

We spent the whole evening laughing, telling stories and sharing jokes. For me, taking part in events is a cultural development as I get to meet new people from different countries and learn the ins and outs of different cultures.

Study groups at TUtor international

Some students may think that there is not enough time for entertainment due to all the studying material and the upcoming exams and all they have to do is study constantly as the exam period is just around the corner. Don't stress, here is my solution!

Tishaan ,

With study groups, we provide you with a safe place where you can study without stress, deadlines, time pressure and scores.

Picture: TUtor International

With TUtor International, you can spend your time not only pleasantly but also usefully, as three study group meetings are organised every week for the Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes.

Instead of passively studying topics for hours on end, you can now form your own study groups!

At TUtor International, I also had the opportunity to take a virtual cultural trip to my home country, Ukraine.

It was an unforgettable evening where Ukrainian students from TU Darmstadt prepared a wonderful presentation showing and talking about our cultural peculiarities and afterwards the participants were treated to a traditional Ukrainian dinner with borscht, vareniki and homemade drinks. What captured my heart was the live music as the musician played the traditional Ukrainian instrument, the bandura.

TUtor International

There is always a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at TUtor International.

Picture: TUtor International

Final Thoughts About Tutor International

Everyone is welcome at TUtor International, international and German students alike! Bring your friends and fellow students and make new contacts! Participation is free of charge, registration is not necessary.

Further information can be found on the Instagram profile of “TUtor International”.

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Follow my regular updates on the Ersti-Blog at #studentsofTUdarmstadt, by following us on Instagram and Facebook!

Published 7th November 2023

Ever since I was a child, I have dreamed of becoming an architect because I can create art with my own hands. Over time, photography became an integral part of my life and I was able to combine my two favourite pastimes.

In summer of 2022, I moved to Darmstadt and got to know the TU. At the Studienkolleg at TU Darmstadt, I prepared myself for studying in Germany. As a Ukrainian, that helped me a lot with my integration into German society.

I'm here for you and I'd like to recommend the Ersti-Blog to you, so that we can take a look behind the curtains in the life as a first-year student (“Ersti”).

What is this blog about and why is it worth your attention?

If you are looking for a suitable university for you, or if you already have specific information about the TU and Darmstadt, if you are struggling with finding a place to live or problems with the German language, follow this blog regularly to find solutions to the challenges ahead and get tips from me!

Together we will take a photo tour of my Lichtwiese campus and the Stadtmitte campus. I'll show you how future architects work and how designs are made. I'll tell you how cordially TU Darmstadt welcomes and supports first-year students and what opportunities are offered to you as TU students.

#studentsofTUdarmstadt, Ambassador Tori // #studentsofTUdarmstadt, Ambassador Tori
Picture: Viktoriia


Hi! I'm Tori, I study architecture at TU Darmstadt. Before starting at TU, I went to Studienkolleg to prepare for university in Germany. When I got my admission from TU, I was really happy. I will regularly blog about my start at TU as a #studentofTUdarmstadt. What inspires me every day are the many different people in the diverse and scientific Darmstadt.

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