Almost as good as home

For small and large appetites – the Student Services’ canteens and the ‘Mensa’ at Erlanger Langemarckplatz. (Image: FAU/Erich Malter)

For many new students, starting at university means leaving home for the first time. While you may experience a few challenges, there’s no need to worry – Student Services is here to help.


Student Services has six cafeterias in Erlangen and Nuremberg that usually offer three meals each lunchtime including one vegetarian option. There is a vegan dish on offer once a week and fish is served on Fridays. You can also find soup, sides and a range of delicious desserts at the cafeterias. There’s also a salad buffet for when you’re in need of a vitamin fix. Despite the trend for healthy eating, the most popular items on the menu are still chips and currywurst. Main meals are often available for under two euros for students. For the budget-conscious, a large portion of stew or the soup of the day and a bread role is available for just 1.20 euros. You can pay at all cafeterias and cafés with your FAUcard. And with regard to coffee: Student Services only sells fair-trade, organic coffee.

The best place to meet up in Nuremberg is the Insel Schütt cafeteria in the city centre. In Erlangen, the Langemarckplatz cafeteria has been renovated three years ago and, as well as the standard cafeteria meals, also has a grill and wok station, a pizza/ pasta and salad bar, and the new vitamin-rich, low-fat mensaVital menu. The cafeteria on the Southern Campus in Erlangen is also worth a visit. There you will find a daily deals counter and an organic veggie point offering crunchy veg and soup made from only organic ingredients. Information on the cafeterias and menus is available online.

If you just need a little snack or want to take a coffee break, you can visit one of the 16 cafés. Here you will find sandwiches, cake, sweets and, of course, drinks. Some of the cafés are open in the mornings for breakfast and have special offers in the afternoons. There are also vending machines at various locations around the University where you can get something to eat when the cafeterias and cafés are closed.

Newly opened! The southern restaurant (Südmensa) in Erlangen can get pretty busy at lunchtime. The new ‘Südblick’ cafeteria right next door has been opened to ease the pressure. In Erwin-Rommel- Strasse 1a you can enjoy a savoury snack, something sweet, or hot and cold drinks. Our tip: try the frozen yoghurt!


Finding somewhere to live isn’t always easy, but Student Services can help you with this too. It has student accommodation at 16 locations in Erlangen and Nuremberg with space for around 3,900 students. The newest addition is the housing area Campus Süd which was completed in 2018. The advantages of student accommodation are that the rooms and apartments are inexpensive and you are guaranteed to meet a lot of your fellow students. Demand is high though, so you will need to apply early. You can apply online through the Student Services website.

If you don’t get a place in student accommodation or would like to live somewhere smaller, it’s worth checking the private accommodation on offer at the referral service, which has offices on the ground floor of the Studentenhaus at Langemarckplatz 4 in Erlangen and at Andreij-Sacharow- Platz in Nuremberg. You can also find the addresses of student accommodation run by other operators in the WERKsWeiser brochure (German) and on the Student Services website.

If you’re willing to spend a few hours of your free time volunteering, you might be interested in the Wohnen für Hilfe project. Students who take part help their landlord – a senior citizen or a family, for example – with shopping or gardening, help their children with their homework or walk their dog. In return, they are charged very low rent and often become good friends with their hosts.

Various websites such as or (German) are also a good place to find accommodation. You can also contact the Mitwohnzentrale service or look out for the many notices on the notice boards in the cafeterias, around the University and in student accommodation posted by people looking for flatmates. The local daily newspapers also publish advertisements for accommodation, mostly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you are still unable to find somewhere to stay by the start of the semester, you can always stay in the local youth hostel until you have your own accommodation.


Student Services can also help you with financial questions. It provides advice on BAföG and is the place to submit applications. Simply contact the Training Assistance Office at Student Services Erlangen- Nürnberg, Hofmannstraße 27, Erlangen, phone: +49 9131 8002-900 or Andreij-Sacharow-Platz 1, Nuremberg, phone: +49 9131 8002 59.


Once you have transferred your semester fees, you can print your semester ticket for the VGN network. This allows you to travel throughout the entire VGN network area between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays and all day at weekends – so why not take a trip to the water sports centre at the Großer Brombachsee, go climbing in Fränkische Schweiz, or do a bit of sightseeing in Bamberg? You also have the option to buy an additional ticket each semester which allows you to travel at any time of day.


If you have any legal issues, such as with your landlord, the Examinations Office or your employer, you can make use of Student Services’ legal advice service which is free of charge. The psychological counselling service can help you with anxiety about examinations, conflict with your partner, social anxiety and other personal issues. The social counselling service provides advice on topics such as studying as a parent or with a disability or chronic illness.

And much more

Student Services also provides music practice rooms and offers assistance to students who want to organise their own cultural events. At the Musenhäppchen, which take place twice a semester, student artists have the possibility to showcase their talents. In addition, Student Services supports students with children through four day care facilities in Erlangen and Nuremberg, one of them in cooperation with a parent association, and a parent and child café at the campus on Regensburger Straße in Nuremberg. Children with at least one parent who is enrolled at the University can receive a special card for free meals at the cafeterias on request. (German)

Now you’re cooking!

Chili con carne is one of the big hits in the canteens in Erlangen and Nuremberg. This recipe – from the head of university catering Mathias M. Meyer – is also perfect for a party. It easily feeds no less than 30 people.

Ingredients for 30 people:

25 tbsp. olive oil | 5 kg minced beef (or pork and beef mince) | 1.5 kg onions | salt and pepper | 3 tbsp. sweet paprika | 1 tbsp. cumin | 1 tbsp. coriander | 1 tbsp. oregano | fresh coriander leaves for serving and flavouring (optional) | 2.5 litres meat stock (or 2.5 litres water and 5 stock cubes) | 5 big tins (850 g) strained or chopped tomatoes | 30 cloves of garlic | 15 to 20 small chilies (depending on taste and how spicy you want your chili) | 5 big tins (850 g) red kidney beans, | 5 big tins (850 g) white beans | some tinned sweetcorn (optional)

Chilli con carne

(Image: shutterstock)


Heat the oil in a big pot (approx. 15 litres, or several pots that add up to 15 litres) and add the mince. Stir continuously until evenly browned. Add the peeled and chopped onions, and fry with the mince. Then add the herbs and spices, garlic (peeled and cut into thin slices) and chilies (cut into small rings). Pour in the stock and allow it to reduce a bit. Then add the tomatoes, the drained beans and the sweetcorn (if using). Cook for around ten minutes and season with the herbs and spices. Your chili con carne will be extra tasty if you let it stand overnight and then heat it up the next day. That way the garlic, chilies, herbs, and spices will really have time to develop their flavour. Divide the chili into bowls and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with ciabatta, flatbreads, tortillas or nachos.


Don’t rub your eyes after handling fresh chilies. It burns like crazy, even after you’ve washed your hands.

Guten Appetit, and enjoy the party!

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frisch! 2019

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