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Living and Studying in Bonn

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The theatre group LaClínica at a modern production of the Maya dance-drama “Rabinal Achi” on “Tag der Offnen Tür” (“Day of the open door”) in the Villa Hammerschmidt, June 4th, 2018
(photo: Antje Gunsenheimer)



Living and studying in Bonn at one of the largest universities in Germany has a lot to offer. Directly located on the Rhein River, Bonn provides extensive cultural and professional opportunities with its many international organizations, public agencies, federal ministries and foundations as well as a diverse student (night-) life. Yet, it remains manageable with short distances and quick access to recreational areas. We have put together some preliminary information for the preparation of studies in Bonn.  


I.   Accommodations
II.  Transport
III. Board/subsistence
IV. Offers by the student council for (first-semester) students
V.  Artistic leisure activities with the theater group LaClínica
VI. The OXIS Group


I. Accommodations

The city of Bonn, with its nearly 320,000 residents, distinguishes itself from other cities through its well-arranged infrastructure and short distances. The Department for the Anthropology of the Americas and Ethnology is on Oxfordstrasse and consequently located in the immediate vicinity of the city center. The surrounding districts (Altstadt, Zentrum, Endenich, as well as Poppelsdorf and Beuel) offer both private living options and student housing. A detailed overview of accommodation options together with links to sites for finding a room/apartment, etc. can be found on the information page for international students and on the general information site of the University of Bonn.

Studierendenwerk (Student Union)

The “Studierendenwerk” also offers accommodation options. General information about Studierendenwerk and accommodation details can be found on their website. For a room application to be successful, a non-binding request must be completed, for which neither a certificate of enrollment or letter of admission is required. Due to waiting times, it is advisable to apply as soon as possible after the choice of study locations.










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II. Transport

Almost everything in Bonn can be reached with a bicycle. Therefore, it is advisable to acquire one. There is normally a bicycle market on the first Saturday of each month on the field in front of the main university building. Inexpensive bikes and accessories can be found there. Detailed information is provided by the AStA. Along with the possibility of purchasing a bike, the AstA also offers a bicycle workshop where you can repair your own bike with guidance.

The student identity card allows for the free use of all local public transit in North Rhine-Westphalia. After 19:00, an additional person or bicycle can be taken with the Studiticket in the VRS service area (Status: August 2018 – because the agreements are constantly changing, the AStA website should always be consulted for the current regulations).


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III. Board/Subsistence

Students of the University of Bonn may eat at any of the dining halls (“mensas”). Here, students can pay with either the Mensa-card, which can be acquired on site, or with cash (in the new mensa in Poppelsdorf, payment is only accepted with the Mensa-Card). The menu can be found on at their homepage. Along with different entrees, which may be freely combined with various side dishes, the Mensa also offers a salad bar and vegetarian and vegan options. In addition to the mensas, numerous restaurants, bars and cafes can be found in the city center (for example food trucks in the Marktplatz during lunch time), on Bertha-von-Suttner Platz and in the immediate vicinity of the main university building.


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IV. Offers by the student council for (first-semester) students

The student council of the Department for the Anthropology of the Americas and Ethnology is an independent body composed of students from the fields of Latin American and Ancient American Studies (bachelor) as well as Ancient America/Ethnology (Magister). It represents the interests of students and offers them a contact point for questions and problem related to studying in our department.

Anyone interested in supporting the student council in their work is always welcome! The student council is ever searching for committed people who make studying in our department a positive experience and expand the circle of active members. Detailed information about the student council and important information, especially for first-semester students, can be found on their webpage. They can also be contacted via email at: fachschaftethno (at)



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V. Artistic leisure activities with the theater group LaClínicA

“LaClínica” was founded in 2006 as a Spanish speaking theater group of the Department for Romance Studies at the University of Bonn under the direction of Dr. Elmar Schmidt. The actors are mainly students of Hispanic Studies and Latin American and Ancient American Studies. Past performances of the group in 2011/12 include the well-known Spanish tragedy “Bodas de sangre” by Federico García Lorca (from 1937) placed in a modern context. LaClínica also performed the modern Chilean piece “Herencia” at the Brotfrabrik in Beuel under the direction of the author and director, Antonio Fuentes (2014).

The above photos show scenes from the performance during the 2018 “Tag der offenen Tür” (“Day of the open door”) in the Villa Hammerschmidt, Bonn. The theater group performed the Spanish-language drama, “RESET. La Última Revolución”. It is based on the original ideas of the Guatemalteca dance theater, “Rabinal Achí”, from the early colonial period. The new production of “Rabinal Achí” arose from the collaboration with the Chilean director, Pedro Fuentes. In doing so, the two basic ideas of kingdoms competing for resources and that of the fates of the two princes, Rabinal Achí and K‘iché Achí, were used to discuss inequality between the global north and south in different scenes over the course of the play.

Current information and announcements can be found on their Facebook page.


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VI. The OXIS Group

The OXIS Group (die Gruppe OXIS) is an initiative from Bonn that deals critically with current debates from and about Latin America. They organize events, such as the annual independent film festival, “Mira”, photo exhibitions, film and lecture series, etc. and especially try to take on topics that otherwise rarely receive attention. Their goal is to highlight differentiated perspectives and agents and to provide them the chance to speak. Additional information is available on their webpage.


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