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liveliest, most friendly University towns in europe?

liveliest, most friendly University towns in europe?

Jul 31st, 2010, 09:16 AM
  #1  
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liveliest, most friendly University towns in europe?

What are your opinions? Basically, I'm looking for a place that's going to be very fun and welcoming for an American to study the local language and meet people. Obviously if the city is pretty that's a plus too. Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg are probably my preferred countries.

Thanks!
dtmowns is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 09:20 AM
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My votes for Heidelberg!I stayed there for one month and have missed it ever since leaving!
chapla is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Freiburg usually gets highest marks for "livelihood" (is this a word?.

Located in the SW corner of the Germany on the foothills of the Black Forest, it has the best weather, a beautiful old town, vineyards, very "green" city management (you can go everywhere by bike), and a top-notch uni. Despite its compact size, it has a "young" and not provincial atmosphere (because of the uni).
Both France/Alsace and Switzerland are just around the corner.

Costs of living probably the lowest or at the lower end in Germany if you compare grocery shopping, going out, restaurants/pubs, or rents with your other options.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 09:58 AM
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Montpellier, France.
StCirq is online now  
Jul 31st, 2010, 10:36 AM
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We enjoyed Tubingen Germany, a large university city. [Twenty five thousand students]. Easy to get around, friendy people/students. Were there five nights visiting the granddaughter doing a semester abroad. Richard P.S. General information http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tubingen
iris1745 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Leiden, The Netherlands would work if you were willing to
go that country.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 10:46 AM
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I've heard good things about Utrecht too. The Netherlands seems nice!
dtmowns is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Cowboy's suggestion has my vote. Beautiful city, the best weather in Germany, loads of students.

Tübingen is also a good choice.

Heidelberg is too touristy for my taste. I lived there on an army base for five years in the 1960's, and when I've returned I've been really shocked at how much it's changed. The Goethe Institute used to have a three or four week course there, and I assume they still do. Perhaps that's far enough away from touristy places that one can get a real taste of Germany.

I like Goethe Institutes for German language study. You can spend a month in one city, like Dresden, Munich, etc., and then spend a month at a different city. You meet people from all over the world, most of them younger (although I'm oooooold) and most friendly and fun.
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Jul 31st, 2010, 12:29 PM
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Paris is too big to be a university town, so the university is totally disolved in it.

In France, the main university towns are considered to be Aix-en-Provence, Montpellier, Grenoble, Rennes, Lille (Villeneuve d'Ascq) and, more recently, Amiens.
kerouac is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 01:11 PM
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I also vote for Heidelberg!
annesherrod is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 01:16 PM
  #11  
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Paris has a section though that is young and lively though right..the 6th arr i believe?
dtmowns is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 01:17 PM
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haha don't know why i used though twice
dtmowns is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 01:21 PM
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Jeez -- the 6th arrondissement is for American tourists over the age of 55. I thought the Fodor's site made that clear.
kerouac is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 01:33 PM
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Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden, Tilburg, Groningen all great student cities in the Netherlands.

Unless you have some prior qualification in Dutch you won't be able to study it at a Dutch university, though many offer intensive summer courses.
And if you want to learn Dutch just by immersion it will be tough as everyone will speak English to you.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 02:04 PM
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Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg are probably my preferred countries.>

Ones i have enjoyed

Germany - Tubingen (near Stuttgart)
Holland - Leiden and Amsterdam
Belgium - Leuven (Walloon or French speaking i believe)
Denmark - well right across the Sound in Lund, Sweden

Scotland - St Andrews - and you can learn Scottish!

France - Aix-en-Provence

Spain - Salamanca
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 02:44 PM
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@hetismij : I Know you can learn Dutch without any knowledge of it from Leiden University.
dtmowns is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 04:15 PM
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Montpellier, France is an awesome university town and not too touristy. That's where I did my junior year abroad.

Aix-en-Provence and Heidelberg are great towns, but have too many Americans and too many locals who will just switch to English as soon as you open your mouth. I had a friend who studied in Aix while I was in Montpellier, and I was shocked when we went out and she just ended up speaking English everywhere. No one ever did that to me in Montpellier. Same with Heidelberg, plus it just doesn't have as "German" an atmosphere with the huge American military presence.

Tuebingen is a great idea - gorgeous old town with a very lively student scene.
hausfrau is offline  
Jul 31st, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Leuven is a really nice university town, 20 minutes form Brussels. Brussels and Bruges might be nice too.
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Jul 31st, 2010, 05:15 PM
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You didn't mention Ireland, but when we were at Trinity College in Dublin, we talked to some American students and they really liked Trinity. They were all in line to use the ATM as the rates were favorable for them.
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Jul 31st, 2010, 05:58 PM
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The military presence in Heidelberg will diminish, as the headquarters of United States Army Europe is moving elsewhere next year.
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