Oestrich-Winkel: Internationality in a romantic setting
Among historic castles and romantic landscapes lies the quaint city of Oestrich-Winkel. Wine is the most important product of the region. It attracts numerous visitors and distinguishes the character of the town. You will encounter regional culture everywhere you go, but at the university you are sure to find a high degree of internationality.
by Marlene Bauz
Facts & Figures
- Monthly rent:
- 299 €
- A hike to Schloss Vollrads.
Welcome to Oestrich-Winkel
Oestrich-Winkel is a small city in the Rhinegau region (near the Rhine River), known for its wines and magnificent landscapes. It is comprised of four parts which were combined in the 1970s to form one city. Yet you can still sense that small-town feeling today: traditional houses, narrow streets and individual shops exude a village-like atmosphere that quickly makes you feel at home. But there is also a lot to discover, for example, the "Grey House", the oldest stone house in Germany, and the Brentano House, which once received a visit from the famous poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
With so much history, it’s no wonder that Oestrich-Winkel is a popular destination for tourists who wish to escape the hectic pace of life in the big city. With the Rhine River flowing past and countless vineyards stretching out into the distance, you’ll quickly feel like you’re on holiday when you need a break from studying. The tranquillity and fresh air in the vineyards along the Rhine is not only good for the grapes – it provides welcome relief to stressed-out students as well.
The wine-growing industry is very important to the economy, which is evident wherever you go. Taking a walk down the main street, you’ll notice that almost every other building is a wine estate where you can try out regional wines and have something to eat. But even for tourists passing by on a ship, it’s no secret how important wine is to Oestrich-Winkel; right at the edge of the Rhine, you’ll see the "Oestricher Crane" which had once been used to load wine barrels onto ships for export to other cities.
Life in Oestrich-Winkel
While other students have to revise for exams in the noise of the big cities, you can study here in peace and quiet with a view of the Rhine River. You can take a break with friends on the shady lawn around the old castle ruins on campus before heading to your next lecture. You will almost definitely meet other international students because the university receives around one hundred students from abroad each year.
There is also a lot to experience off campus in Oestrich-Winkel. Numerous events are held in town throughout the year. The "Dippemarkt", for example, is a big city festival where vendors from Oestrich-Winkel sell their wares and local restaurants serve food to hungry guests on the street. The festival has an age-old tradition and is a perfect opportunity to become better acquainted with the culture and cuisine of the Rhinegau region. Of course, you can do that in the other months of the year, for example, by taking a hike along the Flötenweg. The Flötenweg is a trail that takes you through the lush vineyards of Oestrich-Winkel and its many traditional wineries. Its name refers to the typical wine bottles of the region, called "Flöten" (flutes).
My tipTake a hike to Schloss Vollrads and try their estate-grown wine!
If you’d rather explore the Rhinegau region by water, taking a boat trip along the Rhine is just the thing! From the water, you can marvel at the many romantic castles and endless vineyards of the Rhinegau. And after returning to Oestrich-Winkel after a long day on the river, you can treat yourself to a delicious dinner at the Bistro Cornel’s on the main street of the Winkel district. From Friday to Sunday, they offer scrumptious burgers and potato salad with fresh ingredients from the region.
Interview with Owen from Hong Kong
Owen Lam is 26 years old and comes from Hong Kong. He earned a master’s degree in Finance at the EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht in Oestrich-Winkel.
Why did you decide to study in Germany?
Germany is a global economic player and I had met many Germans in Hong Kong who were all very friendly and with whom I could talk to easily. Germany is also a country with a good quality of life.
I decided to go to EBS because it’s a very praxis-oriented university and we always did projects which had a connection to current practices in the business world. We can always take advantage of their network of alumni in Germany and Switzerland, which is very important for us students in Finance and Management.
How did you prepare for your stay in Germany?
I think it’s important to consider what direction you want to take professionally and personally. Germany is a country with very good companies in the IT sector, for example. So if you’d like to pursue a career in that direction, Germany is a good option.
And also learning German is very important. I attended intensive German language courses during my first three months in Germany – two months at the Goethe-Institut and one month at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in the beginning?
I was often disappointed that many people in Germany believe that Hong Kong and China are the same. We have different passports, different cultures and legal systems, so you have to be patient sometimes to explain that to people. I think it’s simply because people in Germany like to identify other people by their nationalities.
Could you imagine staying in Germany after your studies?
I want to stay in Germany! I’ve been getting the feeling more and more every day that that’s what I would like. Right now I’m looking for a long-term position, but I believe the prospects are very good for people with an international education and experience.
What did you like best about studying in Oestrich-Winkel?
What I liked best was that I was able to meet students from around the world who were always so nice to everyone. I also gained lots of experience with companies which, for example, participated in a workshop at the university. There’s always something you can learn about German companies.
What advice would you give to an international student who just arrived in Germany?
To learn German and be interested in Germany! It’s important to try to integrate yourself – so be brave and self-confident. And if you feel sad sometimes, stay hopeful because life goes on.