Goethe University is home to a thriving community of over 48,000 students, including around 7,600 international students from some 136 different countries. A great variety of student organisations, activities, events and educational opportunities help keep the three main campuses lively.
A picture says more than 1,000 words - visit us on Instagram. Images from our different campuses will help you acquaint yourself with life at Goethe University Frankfurt. Especially if you don’t have the opportunity to visit the university before applying, this will hopefully give you a sense of what it’s like to study and live in Frankfurt.
Cafes and Cafeterias
The Studentenwerk, an independent non-profit organization which supports the 55,000 students of the Rhein-Main area in economic, social, health and cultural matters, runs both larger student cafeterias, called Mensen, and numerous smaller cafes and coffee bars on all five campuses. You can find reasonably priced lunches (€4 or less) with various side dishes and always at least one vegetarian meal. The cafes sell snacks and drinks throughout the rest of the day, and all coffee served at the Mensen and cafes are Fair Trade Certified.
The Studentenwerk website provides weekly menus (in German) of what’s on offer at the various locations.
The independent Cafe Sturm und Drang offers a slightly more formal dining environment at the Westend Campus with an impressive view across the campus.
Goethe University has campuses in Bockenheim, Westend, Riedberg, and Niederrad. While very different and distinct in character, all campuses are conveniently located and well serviced by public transportation.
The new Westend Campus with its park-like ambiance and beautiful travertine-faced buildings is one of Germany’s most attractive. In addition to state-of-the-art lecture rooms, the campus has a beer garden, and several light-filled restaurants and cafes.
The former main campus in Bockenheim is scheduled to be closed within a couple years.
RiedbergCampus is a home for the natural sciences at Goethe University—geo-sciences/geography, physics, biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, and biology. Modern buildings offer state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories. The new Otto Stern Center forms the heart and center of the campus, providing not only a library and lecture hall center, but a place for students and faculty to gather.
Set directly on banks of the River Main, Niederrad Campus is the seat of the Medical Faculty and the University Hospital. It is also undergoing reconstruction and expansion, and offers a mix of modern, new buildings and charming old ones.
The university library system consists of the Johann Christian Senckenberg University Library as the central library, specialised libraries, as well as additional departmental libraries.
The specialised libraries of the university are the Law and Economics Library, the Humanities and Education Library, the Library Centre for the Humanities, the Art Library, the Library Centre for the Natural Sciences, and the Medical Library. Each of the departmental and institute-based libraries serves a corresponding academic department or research institute.
With its extensive holdings and collections, the University Library Johann Christian Senckenberg is one of the leading research libraries in Germany. It was founded in 2005 when the Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main (StUB) and the Senckenbergische Bibliothek (SeB) merged to become the university’s central library. The histories of both libraries go back centuries. The Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek originated from the Ratsbibliothek of the City of Frankfurt am Main in the 15th century; the Senckenbergische Bibliothek was founded in 1763 by Johann Christian Senckenberg, a Frankfurt medical doctor after whom the library is named today.
The holdings of the University Library, specialised libraries and departmental libraries can be accessed via the Frankfurt Catalogue Portal.
Sports and Fitness
All Goethe University students, faculty, and staff have access to numerous sports facilities and classes through the Zentrum für Hochschulsport (ZfH; Center for University Sports). More than 40 sports are on offer, including badminton, basketball, fencing, gymnastics, judo, karate, riding, rowing, skiing, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. There is also a large fitness center with state-of-the-art facilities, and organized excursions and courses in hiking, climbing, sailing, skiing and many other sports throughout the semester.
Visit the Zentrum für Hochschulsport (in German) for more.
The Studentenwerk currently manages more than half of all dormitories in Frankfurt. Seventeen dorms offer more than 1,850 rooms for students at Goethe University and two other universities in Frankfurt. Residence halls vary greatly in the size and types of accommodations on offer, from single rooms and apartments to rooms in shared apartments.
Visit the Studentenwerk website for detailed information on housing and how to apply.
Housing in dormitories is limited and many students choose to look for private accommodation, Many live in Wohngemeinschaften (also known as “WGs”), shared apartments with other students. As a special service to students in Frankfurt, the Studentenwerk offers free assistance in finding private housing, including offers for rooms and apartments for rent displayed at the ServiceCenter of the Studentenwerk.
The student housing office is located at Bockenheimer Landstraße 133, 3rd floor, rooms 319/320.
More than just a student identity card, the Goethe Card gives you access to services and attractions that the university and the city of Frankfurt have to offer. The card serves all of these useful functions:
- Student identity card (including photo)
- Library card
- Chip card to use in cafeterias and copy machines (money can be added at machines on campus)
- Key for lockers on campus
- Free use of public transportation through the RMV-AStA semester ticket
- Admission to the Palmengarten (nearby botanical garden)
Please note that upon arrival you have to apply for the Goethe Card (during enrollment), and you will be notified when your card is ready to be picked up at the SSC Student Service Center (in German).