Studying in Jena

Jena, the City of Science 2008, was appropriately described by Goethe as a city “stacked” with knowledge.  Nestling in the picturesque Saale valley, the town couldn’t be more convenient in terms of location or size: here, nothing is far.

Jena is a city of diversity: the university offers a wide range of courses and actively promotes contact between students and scientists from different fields. This attention to networking is one of the reasons behind the success of the dynamic and aspiring city over the last 20 years. Business and academia (in the form of the university and the neighbouring Max Planck and Leibnitz Institutes) work hand in hand, and “town and gown” also collaborate successfully to ensure that Jena continues to develop into a student paradise. Free use of public transport, the absence of university fees, attractive recreational facilities, an exemplary social infrastructure - especially for young families, and a cosmopolitan climate attract over 2000 new students to Jena every year.

Biology has a long tradition in Jena. The city was the workplace of the zoologist Ernst Haeckel, the botanist Matthias Jakob Schleiden and the geneticist and botanist Otto Renner. The infrastructure available to students and scientists in the field of evolution, ecology and systematics is internationally outstanding and includes the renowned zoological collection and exhibitions of the Phyletisches Museum, the Botanical Gardens, the Haussknecht Herbarium (the largest in Germany), the long-term research facility “Jena Experiment”, the biodiversity exploratorium in the Hainich National Park and, of course, a well-stocked library.  

As mentioned earlier, distances are small in Jena. This applies too to that between research and teaching which are so closely integrated that students are able to grow confidently into their subject and to learn in an atmosphere of openness and cooperation between the institutes and tutors involved.