I have lived in Chemnitz for around 10 months (oct 13 to aug 14). I have traveled to most of the places in and around Chemnitz (quite a small city actually) and I have lived both in dorm and also in WG (you know a bunch of people living together) with 4 Germans. In this article I would like to share some stuff regarding the life in Chemnitz and what you can expect and what your expectations should be before coming here. This article is focused on everyone and not just on people coming from India.
The first and most important advice from me before coming to Chemnitz would be to look for a Wg house rather than a dorm . and try to live with people from other countries or ethnicity. Why? Because its time for you to finally come out of your comfort zone. and add some fun and excitement and spice in your life. And by spice am not telling you to live with an Indian (which you can and should and not because i am from India, but because we are one of the most different and intriguing humans you guys would ever come across :) ) .
Your life would be much more unpredictable and filled with enthusiasm. People usually tend to live with their own kind (Germans with Germans, Indians with Indians (and worst north Indians with north Indians and south Indians with south Indians etc). I took the name of people specially from these two countries because :
1) Chemnitz is in Germany so obviously many Germans will be studying here and they tend to live with other Germans (either because they are comfortable only with Germans or people who can speak the German language).
2) The Indian population in Chemnitz specially of students is huge (and by huge i mean it !! and its ever growing and ever increasing. I think it might be highest Indian population in a university outside of India and in Engineering you can find everywhere people with brown skin and black hairs sitting in front,back and around you )
So, try to live with people from other ethnicity and if possible with opposite sex (specially guys should try to live with girls because they make you more disciplined and the life is much more beautiful not just because every girl is beautiful but because you can look at life with a perspective of a stranger girl). And try to learn to cook their food or speak to them in their language or try to learn about their culture. Thus, your life is much more interesting and you can make friends from different groups and countries easily. You can search for house in wg-gesucht.de website and here just remember one thing. Never transfer money before coming here if someone in that website asks you. The website is full of fraudsters and it will be really difficult to recover your money back. Its not easy to persuade a German to give their room to you specially if you are from India. So, try to write a nice e-mail, explaining why they should live with you and why you are the best person to live with(turn into the best salesman and do live up to the expectations you have created).
Next don't bring lots of clothes ( I was such a douche). You can get most of the clothes here for more or less the same price. Focus more on jeans and undergarments. The brands here are not good for jeans at least and they tend to be pretty costly sometimes. But I could sometimes find even good quality jeans for less price. So, don't waste your time and breath in lot of luggage. This point I just added so that you guys have to go through less pain than me. You see am a well wisher :P .
Now coming to the life after you reach here. If you don't speak German , don't expect too much of interactions with people here unless if you live in wg (one more reason to go for it) and you have German friends. And I am talking not only about Chemnitz. People do learn English here but they are speaking mostly a little bit(average) English (some of my friends do speak above average but still not good enough for them, and thus they tend to switch to German). And some speak very little English and thus to save themselves from embarrassing( which I think they are not) they usually converse only in German. If you do live with Germans, then during get-together s or during meetups or parties , everyone speaks mostly in German , unless if you ask someone something in English some stuff. But they would take interest in you unless you do something interesting enough and if they know English very well. Else, believe me you are doomed. A common notion is you can only involve in conversations if you understand what others are saying and getting points from those and talking something out of it. But since you don't get anything you just start talking sometimes something different and it sometimes feels kinda weird (this has happened with me :P ). Even if you get some English words from their conversations in German, you tend to make a different meaning out of it !!!
But what if you are living in dorms (v52, v70 are the best out of the worst dorms around the TU Campus). Here people usually mind their own business. Sometimes events are organised by CDK ( the university club called as club of cultures or in German Club Der Kulturen), but most of them are pretty boring and more focused on cultures and stuff than on parties. You do have salsa nights, game boards nights etc but don't expect much fun unless you find someone really interesting enough or some event really interesting enough for you. But these events happens usually once or twice a week.So, What about other days? Let me tell you one thing. The classes organised by the university comprise of only 5-10% of your day . Maybe less if you skip few of them. So what people usually do after this time? Well there was a time in winter when going outside was pretty difficult due to snowy weather, so people usually tend to be inside watch movies or have beer. If you don't drink beer ( and believe me many students at least from India don't in case you are wondering), then let me tell you that life would suck pretty bad in parties and clubs: maybe not that bad in clubs but in parties or get together s there is a high chance that you would feel lonely since most people would be drinking beer and it won't be that nice and cool to just be there trying to converse. Also to remind you these events are almost finished during examination and during the holidays. Dorms have their own pubs and clubs (for example wind canal is pretty famous). But then again, mostly its a small place with not much place to even dance. So, for me it was not much fun.
Don't expect that you will start building robots or that you will be the reason for the revolutionary changes in the world after you start your studies here( with a perspective of an engineering student :P). After reaching Chemnitz, and as soon as your course starts, the focus will be more on the theoretical aspects and on getting a good score rather than actually trying to do something new and innovative (you do have practicals but still they are more like a curriculum rather than projects and self do it yourself kind of stuff). If you have come from a place where education was really bad (like me) and you have a feeling that you are going to study in Germany which is land of research and technology, so it will be awesome and everyday you will learn and create something new then I guess you should drop such lame thoughts. If you really want to involve yourself with some research then you should either do it voluntarily spending your own money and buying your own stuff or else approach a professor for any work or any project which has a place left and fits your skill set. He might actually pay you if you really do a good job. But mostly they don"t pay you( has happened with my friends here).
Again if you don't speak German don't expect to get a part time job that easily in Chemnitz. Most jobs expect you to speak German even if it involves cleaning a floor or working in a market. So, while coming here make a mindset regarding your survival without any job and how you are gonna do it. Best place to look for jobs is via online website called as jobmensa. You can find all kinds of part and full time jobs in this website. Also quite useful is the tu-chemnitz website where each department has listed jobs related to their department (the only difference between jobmensa and tu website is that, all the technical jobs are in tu website, while jobmensa has both technical and non-technical jobs). Specially students love the amazon job , which is given during December month during Christmas. And, for one month they pay a lot of money.
I will continue more on this , in my second part of this article since I want to keep it short and come back on things which I have left. Chemnitz can be pretty fun , or damn boring depending on the kind of person you are and how you are trying to live.
And to make your life more fun here. Here are a few:
Tips to make your day/night life a bit more fun without much cost-
There are a lot of clubs and places where entry is free and you can have fun.
1) Kraftwerk Mitte in Dresden has free entry for students till 11pm every Friday- Just check what kind of party there is in their website (because sometimes there is gay and lesbian party and you don"t want to actually end up there). Travelling till the club is free using the TU Card.
2) In Chemnitz there is not much to do but you can go to brauclub and Club Fx( aka foxclub i think its called that- its near to the TU Strana campus)
3) There are sometimes festivals near Chemnitz. One of the famous is Kosmonaut festival. The tickets costs 60 euros for 2 days but its worth it. Happens during June Month.
4)There are many barbecue parties going on so you can always join those. Check events in Chemnitz page in facebook
5) Sometimes University arranges visits to various places or events so those are quite fun as well.
6) You can always visit Prague-Warsaw during weekends or anytime in between if you are free. The best way is to go till Deichin for free(using TU card) and then buying the ticket to Prague (costs very less).
7) You should definitely visit Saxon Switzerland of Germany called as Bastei which is again in saxony and you can travel for free there. One Advice- Go during Summer.
8)Joining the Gym is the best way to kill time during evening/morning and staying fit.
9) You can also visit Tier Park if you like animals, and zoo and stuff. I think the ticket costs 9 euros for a single person but do check it.
10) There are also theaters and opera houses in Chemnitz but its not my kind of thing. But if you love it , then you should visit them in theaterplatz. There are shopping malls but you can't go there just for fun, unless if you have to buy something.
If you are from Chemnitz and you feel me (if your life had few similarities to this) then please like and subscribe to my blog. It will motivate more to write more for you guys.
I will also be following this up with articles on life in Munich ( since I live in Munich now) and also what you can do here. Stay tuned.