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Heidelberg is an 800-year-old university town with 150.000 inhabitants. The famous castle, the old city center and its location at the Neckar River and the foot of the Odenwald make Heidelberg one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations, especially for visitors from overseas.

Heidelberg's history as well as its world-wide recognition have been significantly shaped by the Ruperto Carola, Germany's oldest university, which is celebrating its 625th anniversary this year. Currently more than 30.000 students from 130 different countries are studying at the Ruperto Carola. Overall 20% of all students and 35% percent of all PhDs come from abroad. The high amount of international students, researchers and scientists studying and working in Heidelberg accounts for the city's multicultural and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The city has a vibrant student life and offers numerous possibilities to meet up with like-minded people. There are a number of student groups in various fields of interest. These groups range from political parties, NGO's and religious student groups to literature clubs, a debating society, the university orchestra and several choirs. Heidelberg’s student newspaper is one of Germany’s largest student-run newspapers. Moreover, the Heidelberg University offers a broad variety of athletics, such as teams in various court sports and courses in diverse disciplines such as martial arts, swimming, dancing and yoga.

The "Studentenwerk" (student services) is an important institution independent from Heidelberg University. It is mutually funded by all students and supports them in all questions concerning life and studies, i.e. housing, finance and social care. The "Studentenwerk" also operates several student residence halls in different parts of the city. 40 - 50% of the rooms are reserved for international students. Rents vary between € 160,- and 250,-. In general the monthly rent for a private room in Heidelberg is rather expensive, ranging from € 210,- to € 350,-. Furthermore, at the beginning of every winter term there is a run on the limited accommodation available, so it is worthwhile to plan ahead.

Heidelberg has a well-established public transportation system which grants mobility throughout the city and connects it to Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and the wider metropolitan area. A student ticket can be obtained for € 133,- per semester. The central service facilities of Heidelberg University and most of its other institutions are in general quite close to each other and can easily be reached by bicycle.