Living in Bonn

Bonn has slightly more than 300,000 inhabitants who live in and around the city center. It is located right along the banks of the Rhine river, the entrance to the Middle Rhine Valley, an area filled with a cultural landscape shaped by history (and wine!).

Traveling around Bonn and surrouding cities is simple. Cologne is located just 25 minutes north of Bonn via the regional trains, and Frankfurt is 1.5 hours south via the InterCity Express trains. The closest airports to Bonn are the Cologne-Bonn International Airport and the Düsseldorf International Airport.

University of Bonn is one of the most excellent nationally and internationally recognized research institutions.

International Hub

ZEF and BIGS-DR are located in Bonn. Bonn is home to a number of international research institutions, UN agencies (UNU-EHS, UNCCD, UNFCCC), and national actors in the field of development cooperation and policy, such as the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung/Foundation, the German Development Institute (DIE), and many others.


Welcome Events

BIGS-DR has several orientation events in the very beginning of the semester for new students to get to know the city, the university, and each other. Students are typically encouraged to arrive a few weeks to a month before the beginning of courses so that they can complete the necessary bureaucratic steps and familiarize.

  • To introduce the new students we invite to an institute-wide sustainable BBQ-Party in ZEF´s courtyard 

  • The first day of orientation at ZEF and University Bonn takes place in the beginning of October. Students get to know to the course structure and study rules.

  • During the first semester, BIGS-DR organises an international dinner event hosted by the new students.

  • Throughout the semester, BIGS-DR organizes workshops, excursions and events were students are introduced to the region and local culture.




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