It’s back-to-school time, and EF College Break is having a special sale for the occasion.
This has me thinking about two cities on EF College Break trips where the local university plays a central role in the city’s atmosphere. I'm talking about Galway and Heidelberg.
The University of Ireland, Galway, was founded in 1845 and is a major part of the city today. It has about 17,000 students, making up almost a quarter of the city’s population. The college is one of the things that gives Galway the artsy and bohemian atmosphere it’s known for. You can’t go anywhere without hearing some kind of live music, whether it’s out in the streets or in any number of pubs. Galway is also one of the festival capitals of the world. They have tons of them, everything from the famous Galway Oyster Festival (coming up soon actually) to the Galway Arts Festival (takes place each July).
The other collegiate city on a lot of EF College Break trips is Heidelberg, Germany. This medieval city is home to Heidelberg University, which is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. It also happens to have been home to the inventor of the bicycle back in the early 19th century. A lot of history here.
These days, a lot of the Heidelberg city life revolves around the university. You see it in the youthful atmosphere around town, and you also see it in the sprawling university campus itself, which can be worth a visit. There are about 27,000 students enrolled. Highlights include the Studentenkarzer (an old detainment pen where misbehaving students were thrown back in the day) and a nice botanical gardens.
Photo: doistrakh via Flickr