If you live in a dormitory you have to have a German banking account. Student accounts usually are free of charge, e.g. at Deutsche Bank. Ask you mentor for help.
Usually international students buy a German SIM card for their mobile phones. Several companies, e.g. blau, simyo, or Congstar, offer pre-paid SIM card for approximately 10 Euro. You can also get a free SIM card from us. We have a partnership with Ortel who offer special rates for international calls. If you interessted, please click here or write an e-mail to info[at]esn-jena.de
In all university buildings you can use free WiFi (Germans say WLAN) with your phone and computer. Read here how it works.
Eat and drink
In the dining halls / mensas you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting from 1.50 Euro. There always is a vegetarian option and vegeTable at Ernst-Abbe-Platz is fully vegetarian. Usually, you can pay with your Thoska (if you have enough money on it). For home-cooking you find a lot of stores in the town centre and near the dormitories. There is a bio food shop in Zwätzengasse. A variety of food is available, e.g. Russian, Asian, and Arabic. On the market square there are fruit and vegetable markets at least twice a week.
In Germany exists a quite complicated deposit system for glass and plastic bottles even we don't understand really. So, check whether you can get money back for your empty bottles (Mehrweg) or you can throw them away (Einweg). Beer always has deposit.
Some advice from our side: Try Thüringer Rostbratwurst! It’s the speciality of the region. But be aware: Eating it with ketchup rather than with mustard identifies you as a Non-Thuringian.
Also try fries from Fritz Mitte! Best fries in town and they make their own sauces (also Vegan). And last but not least eat and drink out in Wagnergasse. There are various cafes and bars.
To find accomodation might be the hardest part of your stay in Jena. You definitely should apply for a room in a dormitory by the Studierendenwerk Thüringen. If they offer you a room, we highly recommend to accept it. Also you will have a dorm tutor at your building who can help you with almost anything. Otherwise you probably will end up camping or stay in a hostel for several weeks (That's no joke!). If you really want to look for a private accomodation wg-gesucht.de might be the best address.
Jena university wants you to feel comfortable in your first days and give you the chance to get an mentor who helps you with bureaucracy all other problems of the first days. More information here.