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Guide to life abroad in Germany with specific reference to Marburg and the Philipps-University


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Experiencing Germany Firsthand:
A guide to life abroad in Germany with specific reference to Marburg and the Philipps-University
By: Benjamin Ditter

Introduction-


Studying and living in a foreign country can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Before going anywhere to study abroad, a lot of time, preparation and effort have to be devoted to the cause. In many ways this process and our imagination create a set of hopes and expectations for the trip that are not always met. It’s difficult to predict what you’ll encounter, because as cliché as it may sound, textbook readings often deviate from real-life experience. One of the most baffling concepts to comprehend is clearly knowing a custom of a culture and yet finding it difficult to understand once you’ve experienced it first-hand. Another might be having spent years of learning the language and finding that in the immersion experience people will question the vocabulary you use or point out that parts of grammar you utilize are unnecessarily formal or rather antiquated. Ok, so it’s easy to say expect the unexpected, but hopefully through excerpts and examples of the time I spent in Marburg, Germany, I can give you a better idea of exactly what I mean by this.

There are things you should definitely know and make sure you have put together before you go. This rule sounds self-explanatory, but if you’re dealing with a very open-ended and self-directed program (like the Wisconsin-Hessen exchange), there’s nobody to hold your hand or make sure loose ends get tied up; it’s your responsibility. If you’re traveling solo, your journey from the major airport (Frankfurt International in my case) to your final destination (small town of Marburg) could be long and confusing. Though most universities offer an orientation program before the beginning of the semester, you might find that it hasn’t fully prepared you for your university experience abroad. Many questions are left unanswered. Intensive language programs are definitely desirable, but do not expect them to make you a fluent speaker in three/four weeks. When the semester begins, remember that you’re in charge. Compared to America and American universities, German universities offer little in the way of help or guidance. They believe that you, as a competent adult, can find your own way. Though not necessarily fair to the foreign student that may have never even been abroad before, you’re in their country; therefore, when in Germany, do as the Germans do. If you’re studying abroad for a semester or a year, you’ll most likely be surprised at the lack of regimentation in the university curricula (e.g. little to no homework, no required attendance in class.) Outside of the classroom, you may find the friend-making process rather slower or more cumbersome than in the US, but the friendships you do make will be very rewarding. During all of this it may feel as if you’re flying by the seat of your pants, and in some respect you will be. I know that’s exactly how I felt during my study abroad experience. Just remember that you’re not alone and that if you’re independent, strong-willed and determined, you’ll do nothing less than succeed admirably.


Index
1. Before You Go: Financial matters, preparation, and communication
2. Taking off: The journey from homeland to Ausland
3. Life in Germany: Establishing and acclimating yourself within your new city and country
4. The University: Intensive language course, orientation program, courses, and campus
5. Free Time: Social networks, friendships and fun
6. Cultural Differences: What you may or may not know
7. Nearing the End: Obligations before departure
8. Back Home: Post-abroad reflections
Resources


  1. Map of the Frankfurt International Airport

  2. University information sheet on the intensive language program

  3. Color map of central Marburg including downtown and historic district.


Links

  1. Map of the Frankfurt Main Train Station (Hauptbahnhof)
    (http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/exchange/hesguidebahnhofsplan.pdf)

  2. Map of the Greater Marburg Bus Lines
    (http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/exchange/hesguidemarburgbus.pdf)

  3. Certificate of proof of insurance
    (http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/exchange/hesguideinsurancecertificate.pdf)

  4. Orientation schedule
    (http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/exchange/hesguideorientationschedule.pdf)

  5. Task sheet that lists what all must be done in the time between arrival and the start of the semester.
    (http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/exchange/hesguidetasksheet.pdf)

  6. Example of a course completion certificate (Schein)
    (http://www.uwosh.edu/oie/studyabroad/exchange/hesguidescheine.pdf)

Chapter 1: Before You Go: Financial Matters, Preparation and Communication

Normally the preparatory time for a semester or year-long study abroad is one year. This gives you enough time to submit your papers, attend orientation meetings, confer with professors, save money and establish a budget before you travel to your country of destination. Many aspects of this process are the same no matter what program you choose, so I will only address here what was specific to my program in Germany (Hessen.)

One major factor that you have to ascertain is your budget. I would highly recommend that you save as much money as possible before you go. I thought that saving around 1,000 US dollars would get me through, but unexpected occurrences such as the financial aid mix up unfortunately happen. Also, be mindful that your financial aid will reach you slower than if you were on the UW Oshkosh campus. I found myself laden with bills and fees when I first arrived and again ended up depending on my parents to assist me financially until the system decided to actually transfer my aid to my bank account. If you can, try to find somebody that you can rely on while abroad to assist you in financial matters. Universities have thousands of students that they have to serve and can at times seem indifferent to your needs. Therefore, if you know somebody you can trust (most likely parents or maybe a significant other) that can manage your finances at home; it will make things easier for you while abroad.

Another fact to keep in mind is the beginning and end dates of the semester in which you will be partaking. Determining when to arrive and when to depart can be tricky. For instance, although I was notified of the date of the orientation program, it was not specified if I should arrive before the first day or on the first day. In fact, I did not even know where I would be residing. Therefore, email orientation leaders or international office leaders as soon as possible to find out when the best time to arrive would be. I had difficulties in contacting representatives abroad. Many did not return my emails. Expect a significant amount of time to pass between your correspondence and the return correspondence of a German authority. I was eventually told that it was unnecessary to come before the first day of orientation, especially since I would not have any sort of lodging before then. Ironically when I arrived on that day I was told by another authority that I was late and that I should have arrived earlier. Among German departments you will often find this contradictory nature; if one office tells you something, another will instruct you to do something completely different. Conversely, determining when to leave will be important as well. For the Philipps- Uni in Marburg the winter semester ends after the second week of February. Until the beginning of April, they have a vacation period. The spring semester ends in mid August and they have a vacation period until October. Make sure you buy your ticket with a departure date that gives you adequate time to finalize all aspects of your stay in Germany. I will discuss these later in the handbook, but know that you will need to give yourself time (at least a week) to complete all of these tasks. This might include deregistering yourself from the university, visiting the Stadtbüro (city hall) to inform them of your departure, giving your Kündigung (notice of termination) to your respective residence hall director (Wirtschafter(in) ), etc. In addition, you may choose to stay longer to visit with friends, work or travel within Germany and/or Europe.

Another important matter to address before you leave is that of the language course. For the Philipps-University in Marburg and most likely in many German universities, they will require that you pay the language course fee before your arrival in Germany. This was a confusing and difficult process for me because I had never done a wire transfer of money before. My bank also seemed a bit unfamiliar with this process, oddly enough. Depending on which financial institution your university goes through, this may be an easier or more difficult process. Even more so, depending on which bank you conduct the wire transfer can make this an easy or difficult process. The German university should give you the sufficient information for transferring the money. After determining that the funds have been transferred correctly, make sure that you have taken into account all administrative fees. Though I thought I had addressed them all, I found myself with a bill for twenty five Euros in my first week of the language course.

Lastly, beyond packing and saying good-byes, I would just like to take a moment again to emphasize that while it is ok to have hopes for your trip abroad, try not to set expectations; more often than not it will leave you disappointed and make it more difficult for you to appreciate aspects of life abroad, or at least make it more difficult to learn from them.



Chapter 2: Taking Off: The Journey from Homeland to Ausland
The flight over to Europe from O’Hare International lasts about 8 to 9 hours. If you’re at all like me, I have difficulties sleeping on an airplane, so you might want to bring something to occupy your time (books, video games, music, etc.) Although a bit intimidating, I found O’Hare to be rather easy to navigate. On the other hand, navigating through the Frankfurt International Airport can be a bit more difficult. Being my first time in a foreign country and certainly my first time in the Frankfurt Int. airport, I honestly had no clue where I was going. The best you can do is pretty much to follow the signs. A guidebook can be helpful, if you find the right one. Unfortunately, mine contained mostly colored pictures and was of little use. Make sure to purchase a guide with good information, even if it may seem more complicated or difficult to read. Maps can help somewhat too, though there aren’t many good ones available for the Frankfurt Int. Airport. I’ve attached the best map of the FIA I could find for reference (a). The important thing to look for here is directions to the train. You’ll find the train in the lowest level of the airport. There is a service desk there, but you’re better off and usually expected to use the train automats. These terminals will give you a list of different destinations and options for various sorts of tickets. Look for the location that will bring you to the main Frankfurt train station. There is more than one train station in Frankfurt, so remember that you are looking for the Hauptbahnhof. It will be confusing at first because of the different train designations and locations, but in time you will get used to them.

After arriving at the main train station, I spent almost two hours wandering around trying to get my bearings and find the right train to my destination, Marburg. It was rather embarrassing because I had a pack on my back, one on my chest and I was dragging a third one along. When you arrive at the Hauptbahnhof, remember that you are in the lower level of it. Therefore, you have to go up the escalators and you will know when you’ve reached the top. As Frankfurt is a very international city and a major hub of transportation within Europe, you’ll find that many Germans speak excellent English. In addition, there is a specific help desk for English-speakers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because the last thing you want is to end up on the wrong train! It is a little overwhelming at first because there are crowds of people everywhere, various restaurants and shops and certainly many train lines leading to places all over Germany and a few occasionally outside of Germany. Here again you must buy a ticket to your city. You can use one of the train automats or there is a very large service area where you can find help and purchase a ticket. Here I have attached a reference map of the main train station to hopefully facilitate your way through (b).

There will be a large board posted on the opposite side of the trains over the service desk that will list the arrival and departure times for all the trains at the station. Look to see when the next train will depart for your destination. Often your destination will be on the way to the train’s final destination, but you will want to take it because it will stop at your city. Above all the trains there are screens that indicate their destinations and stops in between. Trains are numbered because it is possible that they might both have the same final destination but will take a different route with different stops on their way. Unfortunately, if you’re going to a smaller town you might have to wait a bit longer to catch a train. On the other hand, trains running to Kassel, Giessen and Wiesbaden run usually once an hour. If you are unsure as to whether or not you’re getting on the right train, ask somebody. This is especially important because there are different types of trains; ICE trains cost more money and are faster than the regular trains. Once the train starts moving, an authority will check your pass. Therefore, you won’t be able to simply exit the train. You could end up in trouble if you get on this train without the correct pass! I was scared to ask at first because I thought I might seem ignorant, foreign, or just sound stupid in German. The girl I ended up asking was very nice and it made me feel more secure that I knew then for sure that I was on the right train.

When you are approaching your destination, be mindful that a city might have more than one train station. Even in a smaller city like Marburg there are two. One is the southern station and the other is the main station. When you exit, you’ll make your way out to the upper level where you’ll meet the city first hand. Again, as a first time international traveler I was taken aback by my new surroundings. It’s an unsettling thing to not know anything about a city and be expected to navigate your way through it. Although I had directions to the orientation program, they proved to be of little use. One thing I will address later is the bus system. For now just keep in mind that the buses mostly travel in a circulatory path. If you’re waiting at a stop on the right-hand side of the street your destination will be different from the train on the left-hand side of the street. To explain this a bit better, when you first come out of the train station, look straight across the street. You should see a tanning salon and a Döner shop (Turkish fast food.) Cross the street at the crosswalk and you will see to your left a bus stop. Wait at this bus stop until a bus comes that is going to Rudolphsplatz (18). Not being familiar with any of the street or plaza names, I found the system almost incomprehensible at first. Don’t worry! You will get used to it as time goes by. I attempted to ask one of the drivers which bus I should take to get to my orientation, but unfortunately I did not find him to be very helpful. After several bus rides all over the city, I finally located the orientation program. Once you get to Rudolphsplatz, getting to the orientation will be easy. Upon exiting the bus, walk to the right until you see Biegenstrasse. Here I was fortunate enough to meet one of the administrators who got me a taxi to bring me to the Studentendorf (student village) where I would be staying during my semester. They will be able to arrange this for you as well once you arrive. If this all still seems confusing, I have attached a map of the Marburg bus system at the back of the packet (e). In addition, I have included an example of the schedule for bus line 1. This is what the bus schedules will look like when you observe them at the bus stop. Line 1 will lead from the Hauptbahnhof (1) to Rudolphsplatz, though there are others that will as well (f). Make sure you get off at Rudolphsplatz! If you don’t you may be stuck on the bus for a long time.

At best the situation is undefined and uncertain. Unfortunately, locating the orientation program and student living in your city might be trial and error like mine. I would recommend, if possible, procuring a map of the city before you leave. In addition, if you can, find out anything about the local bus system before you leave. It will definitely be to your advantage. The link to Marburg’s Stadtwerke (9), their public transportation administrative office, is http://www.stadtwerke-marburg.de/detail/13197.

Chapter 3: Life in Germany: Establishing and Acclimating Yourself within Your New City and Country
Most likely your living situation while in Germany will be in a Studentenwohnheim (dormitory facility.) If you have German contacts already you may opt for a Wohngemeinschaft (living in an apartment with other Germans) but otherwise this is difficult to do. Though at some universities facilities may be closer, the Studentendorf (student dormitories) in Marburg were located about forty five minutes away from campus. By bus some of the main campus buildings were about 15 minutes away. The campus in Marburg is quite spread out and different Fachbereiche (academic departments) are located within different parts of the city. From the Studentendorf the downtown area is located about 10 minutes away by bus. Here you’ll find the supermarkets (Tegut, Lidel, Aldi’s) (11, 13, 14), shops (H&M, Ahrens) and many bakeries. From the downtown area you’ll have the option of going to the Oberstadt/Altstadt. Both of these terms are used because for one, this was where the original medieval center of Marburg was located and it is situated on the incline of a hill. In the downtown area you’ll find an abundance of shops and cafes. As well, you’ll come to the old town center where open air markets are held every Saturday morning. If you continue up the incline, you’ll eventually reach the Marburger Schloss (15). This is the city’s medieval castle, surrounded by large gardens. Here you will find a breath-taking view of the entire city and valley. Enjoy!

Now I will address the bus system because like I said it can often be confusing and there will be times where you will end up somewhere and have no clue as to where you are. The student dormitories are located on top of a hill. There are two main bus stops to use there. One is located on top of the hill and the other is located at the bottom of the hill. If you are using the bus stop at the top of the hill, make sure you use the one on the opposite side of the street. This means that when you walk up the hill and see the bus stop, cross the street and wait at the one on that side. Otherwise, if you walk up the hill and do not cross the street, the bus will lead you to the Marburg Clinic. If you’re using the bus stop on the bottom of the hill, this one is across the street as well and will take you all the way through town. It is easily visible with a forest and ascending hill behind it. All of the bus stops will be designated with a number and their respective street/place name. Bus routes can sometimes be fickle and subject to change. Although Germany, in comparison with some other European countries, has a very prompt and effective bus system, there are often delays of about 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes catching a different bus to get to the same destination can save you time; I would advise, however, that you stick to a few reliable routes until you feel you have a good grasp on the system. Throughout the bus there are red buttons that indicate that you wish to stop, labeled sometimes as Halt. Don’t forget to press this, because sometimes a driver will not stop if there aren’t any passengers that wish to exit at that particular stop. Also, be aware that the bus can often be crowded, noisy and smelly. Coming from a culture in which most people drive a car, I found this particularly difficult to get used to. After a while I ended up for the most part walking wherever I went. German cities are extremely accommodating to pedestrians and you will be surprised at how many people you see out and about in the city during the day. Again, when taking the bus, you can refer to the map of the bus system for the greater Marburg area, published by the Stadtwerke Marburg (5). I have also included an example of bus line 7 (g). This is a line that runs from the Studentendorf to the train station and into the downtown area. Again, to find the full schedule for all lines and for answers to additional questions, the website http://www.stadtwerke-marburg.de/detail/13197 can be somewhat helpful.

Another cause that Germans take very seriously is that of protecting the environment. Their cities are impressively immaculate and throughout town there are garbage cans reminding you to clean up after yourself. Many appliances (including dryers, to my woe) are also adapted to be more energy efficient and thus environmentally friendly. This means that no matter how many times you try to dry your clothes in the dryer, they will not dry! So please, do not waste your money. Instead, you will have to do like most Germans and other international students do; you will hang your clothes on clothing lines. There is a room connected to the washer/dryer room in which all students in the dormitory hang their clothing to dry. As an American, I found this very strange at first. As well, I didn’t like how awkwardly and stiffly my clothes dried, but unfortunately it’s just something you have to adapt to. Buses use a combination of fuel and natural gas to meet cleaner air standards and achieve better fuel efficiency. Regulations on cars, even their outer appearance, are rather strict and therefore you will hardly see an older vehicle on a German street. Cars with rust are verboten and most students either walk or ride their bicycle. This is something to watch out for. You will normally here the ringing of a bell as a bicycle approaches you from behind, but often pedestrian and cycler compete for the same pathways and sidewalks.

Within the walls of the student dormitories, you will find quite a few challenges. Keep in mind that these are only the facilities of the dormitories of the Uni-Philipps campus in Marburg and that facilities on other campuses can vary greatly. It’s best if possible to ascertain where you’re going to be staying in advance and then if possible research the facilities (see if you can find any photos of the dorm room, the common room, etc.) to make sure that it’s right for you and decent enough to live in. My experience with the dorms in Marburg was disappointing as a result of the lack of research. In my defense, however, I wasn’t made aware of my living situation until a week before I left. Before I arrived, I had hoped that I would be living with other Germans and thus have the opportunity for better cultural/language immersion. Instead I ended up living with mostly international students that kept to themselves. Although I eventually made friends with the few Germans that did live on my floor, they normally were very busy with school and had little free time. Keep in mind that it will take quite a while to make German friends while abroad. They are slow to warm up/ trust, but they are amazing friends once you’ve formed a bond with them. On the other hand, the language course proved to be one of the best places to meet people and make new friends. The international students from this group formed a tight-knit group that held parties and outings throughout the semester. The English-speaking students (namely Canadians, Americans and Australians) formed a group for the natural reasons of a shared language, culture and support. Depending on your desired level of immersion in the country and the fluency in German that you wish to acquire, it may be more or less desirable to spend a lot of time with fellow Americans/English-speakers. I would suggest spending time at first with them because some may have already been there for the summer or a semester and will be a great help when trying to find your way around the city or within the university system. Afterwards, I personally spent less time with them and the international students because I wanted to further my knowledge of the German language and culture. This is completely a preference but something to keep in mind.

Concerning the facilities and organization of the dormitories, there are several that are each administered by a Wirtschafter or Wirtschafterin. You will rarely see this person and unless you have a problem within your dorm, the interaction with this figure will rarely go beyond a series of notes they may leave in the common area/ kitchen reminding you to clean up after yourself or admonishing the floor for lack of adherence to the rules. You will get your keys from the Wirtschafter (or possibly from someone else) when you first arrive and must make an appointment to check out of your room at the end of the semester. I was surprised that I did not even receive a formal welcome by the director or a tour. Be prepared to familiarize yourself with the facilities at hand.

My room was very small and contained a desk, a closet, a small table, a narrow bed and a sink. If you have sufficient funds, you can compliment your Spartan conditions with a variety of items from Mediamarkt (the German equivalent of Best Buy) or other shops within town. I personally made collages, bought rugs and hung lights to make my room feel cozier. My room was one of nine single rooms on one side of the floor, and nine rooms stood on the other side of the floor. For each side there was one bathroom and one shower. These scant conditions can make going to the bathroom or showering difficult to time. The kitchen was positioned as the intersection of the two sides of the floor and there everyone cooked, socialized and watched TV. Some floors had much better facilities in their commons than others. Unfortunately our floor was one of the most under-funded of them all. Be prepared to have to compromise with fellow roommates as to what is being played on TV. Sometimes I would be watching a show and someone would up and change the channel on me without even asking. The Germans always asked permission, however, before changing the channel. There are two large refrigerators that everyone shares. Each has his or her own section of the fridge. Sometimes again certain people start to place their items in space that isn’t theirs. In the freezer you’ll be lucky to find any room. Depending on whether or not you cook while in Germany will make this matter more or less important. I found the meals in the Mensa (5) (student cafeteria) to be bland and repetitious; therefore, I opted to cook for myself. Again, some kitchens in the dormitories are abundant in cooking utensils while others are severely lacking. You may want to buy your own pan and pot so that if you decide to cook while others are cooking, you don’t have to wait around to actually make your meal. Outside of the dormitories in the Studentendorf area you can find cigarette machines, telephones and a small shop where you can purchase snacks and beer. This shop is located within the Schwartzweiss, the only bar within the student village and a common gathering place for students living there. Often the Schwartzweiss will hold special events, many featuring an ethnic flair, and on certain days they will have discounted beer. Here, like in many other places, you can order other drinks, but you’ll soon find that the majority of Germans overwhelmingly prefer beer to anything else. This probably will not be a surprise to anyone who already knows something about German culture.

For most other necessities, such as groceries, banking and entertainment, you will have to make a trip to the downtown area. Here I will note as well that there are no computer or phone facilities in the Studentendorf. It is your responsibility and at your cost to bring a computer and obtain internet/phone service. One of the largest and most popular companies in Germany for this service is Deutsche Telecom (T Mobile). Their office is located downtown as well (12). I will warn you that T-Com tends to be very bureaucratic (like many German/European institutions) and you might find yourself frustrated by the kind of service you receive. As Americans, we expect prompt, friendly and efficient service. You will find a different concept in service in Germany, though signs will normally belie this with declarations of dedication to service. The alternative to not obtaining broadband and bringing your own computer is to use the university computer labs. Keep in mind though that there is only one main computer lab (located downtown) on the fourth floor and that it is in constant demand. You might wait anywhere from 5-45 minutes for a computer, depending on what time of day you go. I would advise going later in the evening or early in the morning. You’ll be more likely then to find open computers and get one right away. There are smaller computer labs located throughout the different academic buildings, but they are smaller and more limited in availability (the one for the languages was only open until 5 and used frequently during the day for classes.) The main computer lab is only open until 9 p.m. The operators of the computer lab will normally start asking everyone to leave and shutting the computers off 15 minutes early, so be prepared to pack your bags and clear out by 8:45. As for phone service, this is what I did. I went with some friends to Mediamarkt (6) and got myself a cheap cell phone (around 27 Euro) and had it activated on the spot. For the rest of the semester I purchased minutes through cards sold at Mediamarkt. A word of advice; do not purchase these cards from vending machines on the street. It may seem more convenient, but I lost money in those machines twice and there is little you can do to get that money back.

Weather in Germany can be somewhat tricky as well. At least in middle Germany, it rains continuously. Most of the time this rain is actually a sprinkle, but you should always keep an umbrella with you. This weather normally lasts from the beginning of October until late April. Summers are generally similar to those in Wisconsin. Temperatures are always given in Celsius; therefore, it would be advantageous to re-familiarize yourself with a simple formula to translate that to Fahrenheit, at least until you become accustomed to “thinking” in Celsius. Winters and summers are both generally relatively milder than the extremes that we experience in Wisconsin. These temperatures range from about 1 degree Celsius in January-34 degrees Fahrenheit to 19 degrees Celsius in July- 66 degrees Fahrenheit in the state of Hessen.



Chapter 4: The University: Optional Intensive Language Course, Orientation Program, Courses, and Campus
During the summer, the university will send you an information sheet regarding the orientation and intensive language program. There is a fee of about 250 Euro (330 US Dollars at a 1 Euro to 1.33 Dollar exchange rate- March 26, 2007). Since wire transfers can be tricky, and they do ask for the payment beforehand, make sure everything is done correctly. A few weeks after my arrival I was notified that I still owed 25 Euro for the program, though I did not understand why. Although it was not explained to me as to why I owed this money, I realized later that I had not paid my orientation fee. As well, make sure to depart two evenings before the first day of orientation. I was told to come within a few days of the start date, and when I arrived in the afternoon of the first day, I was reprimanded for having missed the first day of orientation. Although I previously laid out directions to reach Marburg, for the sake of clarity I will post here directions that come directly from the Philipps-University website:

If you arrive at Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport:

  • Pick up your luggage on the arrivals level

  • Follow the signs to the Regional Train Station (Regionalbahnhof)

  • Buy a train ticket to Marburg / Lahn (max. EUR 20) in the Travel Center (Reisezentrum)

  • Take the S-Bahn to Frankfurt Main Train Station ("Hauptbahnhof") (approx. 10 min.)

  • Change trains to go to Marburg

Arrival at Terminal 2 of Frankfurt Airport:

  • Pick up luggage on the arrivals level

  • Take the direct shuttle bus to the airport train stations (the shuttle stop is on level two just outside the terminal. The Shuttle leaves every 10 minutes from 5:00 am to 12:30 am. Between 12:30 am and 5:00 am you should follow the signs “Train Stations via Sky Line")

  • Buy a train ticket to Marburg / Lahn (max. Euro 20) in the Travel Center (Reisezentrum)

  • Take the S-Bahn to Frankfurt Main Train Station ("Hauptbahnhof") (approx. 10 min.)

  • Change trains to go to Marburg

Train to Marburg

The train trip from Frankfurt’s Main Train Station ("Hauptbahnhof") to Marburg Hauptbahnhof lasts about one hour. The trains depart every sixty minutes between 5:22 am and 10:22 pm and at 11:27 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the trains depart between 7:22 am and 10:23 pm. There is an additional train on Saturday and Sunday at 12:27 am.



Do not travel without a valid ticket! Please do not leave the train at the Marburg South stop ("Marburg Süd"), but continue on to the next stop, which is the Marburg Lahn Main Train Station ("Hauptbahnhof")!
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