Town and Country

Although there's plenty to keep you busy on campus in your free time, it's definately worthwhile taking time to explore the area around HFU and the major cities which are easily accessible by public transport. The International Center also organizes student events and excursions throughout the year.

The Beautiful Black Forest
Taking a degree at Furtwangen University also means studying where the world goes on holiday. The Black Forest is one of the world's most popular tourist areas, offering a wide range of recreational and cultural activities all year round. Germans love outdoor activities and the area boasts many well-marked hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. The Black Forest generally gets a lot of snow in winter and besides several small ski hills dotted around the area, there is also a large ski resort on the Feldberg, the highest mountain in the region. Our spectacular location explains why so many top athletes, particularly in the areas of winter sports and mountain biking, decide to study with us.

You'll get an idea of how beautiful our region is on these websites:

Explore Europe
And our location in the heart of Europe, close to major cities, means there's always something new to experience. The medieval cities of Constance or Freiburg are only a short train ride away, and for weekend adventures, France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy are all an easy drive from here.

Organized Excursions and Events
Our International Center also offers an extensive programme of inexpensive excursions and events each semester. These include trips to Berlin, Heidelberg, Munich and Strasbourg; visits to companies, such as the Daimler car factory or a local brewery; cultural events such as visiting the Stuttgart Opera; and various outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing and hiking.

Cultural Activities and Events

Swabian carnival - Peter Donecker/
Swabian carnival - Rudolpho Duba/
Swabian carnival - Birgitta Hohenester/

There are many cultural offers in our area, from museums (including the German clock museum on campus in Furtwangen) and art galleries, to theatres, concerts and dance performances.

There are also many annual festivals which take place in and around the area throughout the year. Of course, the biggest party of the year is "Fasnet", or the fifth season of the year, the Swabian carnival which takes place in February/March each year. Although the main festivities last for only one week, loud and colourful parades take place in almost every village and town during the weeks leading up to the main event, too. This is really an unforgettable experience for our international students.

Summer is party time in Germany and every town and village and every club hosts its own "Sommerfest" with typical German food, drink and music. The Schwenningen "Kulturnacht" in July celebrates the town's multicultural population with music and dance performances on every corner and plenty of international food and drink to try out. The main stage in the centre of town hosts international performers and the evening ends with a spectacular fireworks show.

It's also open-air and tent festival time and there's something for everyone. A colourful recent addition to the festival calendar in Schwenningen is the "Holy Gaudi Festival", which attracts young people from the whole area with modern music and the coloured powders which are tossed around. Some of the most popular music festivals in the area are the Honberg Sommer tent festival in Tuttlingen, the 3-day Southside Festival near Tuttlingen and the ZMF tent festival in Freiburg, but there are many, many more.

The local tourist informa¬≠tion offices will be happy to provide you with information about any of the events in our area and to tell you more about where you can go and what you can see in the area. Many of these events will have student discounts, so be sure to check. 

Pubs and Clubs

Germany is rightly famous for its pubs and of course the beer served in them and Furtwangen, Schwenningen and Tuttlingen have no shortage of either. So at the end of a long day of study, there are plenty of typical German pubs to choose from. And for those who are feeling more active, there are also several nightclubs in the area.

Sporting Activities

Hiking in the Black Forest - Rainer Sturm/

The Black Forest offers great opportunities for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, climbing, hiking, snowboarding and skiing, both downhill and cross-country.

As a larger town (actually two towns in one) Villingen-Schwenningen also offers a wide variety of sporting activities, both indoors and outdoors, including judo, badminton, tennis, handball and football, to mention only a few. Schwenningen also has its own Arena, home of the Wild Wings Ice Hockey team, so you can enjoy the excitement of a top level spectator sport, too.

And of course, there are many other local clubs of all kinds who appreciate interest in their activities and always welcome new members.

Learn something new

If you have always wanted to learn Swedish or want to try your hand at baking some German Christmas specialities, the evening classes offered by the local adult education organization, the VHS (Volkshochschule), are the right place to go. They offer a broad range of inexpensive courses ranging from cooking and baking, to yoga, pilates,foreign languages and computer skills. There is literally something for everyone.

Films in English

Current films are shown in the English original once a week in the Cineplex cinema in Schwenningen and sneak previews of newly released films are also screened once a month in English. Art films are also occasionally shown in the English original at the Cinema Clubs in the Capitol Cinema in Schwenningen and the "Kommunales Kino" in Villingen and for film buffs, there is a short film festival in November every year, too.