Tip for discoverers: Great views of the “Seenachtsfest”

The summer Seenachtfest is a real spectacle, not least because of its fireworks, which are put on by a team of German and Swiss pyrotechnicians.

If you’re not too keen on spending lots of money, just find a spot near the Bismarckturm, make yourself comfortable and enjoy the fantastic views (if the skies are clear, that is) – or join the party at the “Fantastical” festival on the Swiss side. Admission is free on Fridays and Saturdays. On Saturdays, admission to the fireworks is CHF 10.00 (advance booking: CHF 7.00), which is a lot cheaper than usual.

Tip for bargain hunters: Microsoft for 4 euros

Writing term papers, presentations and theses without Microsoft Office? Impossible! But a licence can be expensive. Lucky you! As a student enrolled at the University of Konstanz or the HTWG you may download Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus for your PC and Mac for 3.99 euros! And the best part: you can use it on up to five different devices. For more information, visit the IT Service Centre and office für bildung pages.

Tip for bargain hunters: Get a GEZ exemption

Since 1 January 2013, every household has had to pay the so-called “Rundfunkbeitrag” (TV and radio licence fee). That means: It doesn’t matter how many people you share your flat with, as long as one person pays the fee the entire household is covered.

BAföG (German Federal Training Assistance Act) recipients may apply for an exemption from paying the Rundfunkbeitrag. If you or one of your flatmates are granted an exemption, the others won’t have to pay the fee either.

It’s best to apply for an exemption from paying licence fees within two months of having your BAföG application approved. You must do this in order for your Rundfunkbeitrag exemption to take effect retrospectively on the day your BAföG starts. If you don’t apply within two months, you will not be exempted until the following month.

Tip for discoverers: Stermann & Grissemann on ORF

Those who have set their radio to FM4 have already settled nicely in Konstanz or Kreuzlingen. The figureheads of the Vienna-based cult radio station are Dirk Stermann and Christoph Grissemann. They even have their own talk show on ORF television. You can watch “Willkommen Österreich” (Welcome Austria) every Tuesday evening. Highly recommended to friends of coarse humour and/or the German TV entertainer Harald Schmidt. And while you’re at it, make sure to give the university and HTWG radio stations a try, as well as the regional Seefunk station!

Tip for bargain hunters: Zebra, the home of underground cinema

A film for 6.50 euros (students and pupils only 5.50) – where would you find that? At the Zebra cinema in Konstanz of course! For more than 30 years, the non-commercial Zebra cinema has been well-known for its excellent film selection beyond the mainstream. Their motto is “Andere Filme anders zeigen”, which is to say they aim to show different films in a different manner. The programme is organised by a team of volunteers and consists of various film series and thematic emphases. A special treat for real film buffs: They also show 35-mm films! Drinks are very affordable and on Mondays (Kinotag) admission is a sensational 4.50 euros!

Additionally, the Zebra team organises the low-budget »short.film.festival« every autumn. 2016 saw its 13th instalment! In several film blocks, you can watch short films lasting a maximum of 30 minutes each. Make sure to get your glamour on: numerous film directors will be present!

Tip for bargain hunters: Fairkauf, recycling depot, Brockenhaus

You need crockery for your apartment, a wardrobe, or a used vacuum cleaner? Have a look at the second-hand store „Fairkauf“  or the Warenbörse (merchandise exchange) of the Wertstoffhof (recycling depot) . Both are Caritas initiatives where you can find great bargains from time to time.

In Switzerland we recommend the Brockenhaus, called „Brocki“ by everyone (there are two inKreuzlingen!).

Tip for discoverers: Educational discount on PC software

Need new software for your PC? Then you might want to visit the Cobra Shop in Stromeyersdorf (or try their online shop), where pupils, students and course participants can buy software at affordable rates (educational discount). Cobra collaborates with Microsoft and Adobe, among others. You can enquire via phone and email too. And for as little as 4 euros, you can download Microsoft Office 365 Pro plus! More information is available here.

Tip for the cautious: Imitating Swiss-German?

Trying to learn a dialects is basically impossible. If you do try, it only seems artificial and embarrassing. Non-locals might manage the Baden dialect when saying „Konschdanz“ (Konstanz) after some time, but when Germans try to speak Swiss-German, the Swiss only scream with laughter. It’s hard enough to understand what they are saying, anyway.

Tip for discoverers: the best ice cream in town

Summer is around the corner and you’re wondering where to find the best ice cream in town? If you’re looking for a truly exceptional selection of flavours, look no further than the Zandanel café in Konstanz’s pedestrian area (Wessenbergstraße). They have it all: from plum to tangerine to Raffaello. And they’re particularly famous for their custom flavours, which really make all the difference! If artisan ice cream is your thing, you might also love the Pano: Sorbets, frozen yoghurt or regular ice cream – at the Pano, every season comes with its own range of choices.

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