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Furtwangen Campus

A feeling of freedom in every breath

The Furtwangen Campus, the original and largest of our 3 campuses, is located in the centre of the small, picturesque town of Furtwangen (Furtwangen street view), in the heart of the scenic Black Forest region. At first sight Furtwangen may look like a traditional, sleepy Black Forest town, but in reality it is a bustling student town and truly international. HFU welcomes students from around the world –  from France, Hungary and the Czech Republic in Europe, for example, and from as far away as India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan and South Korea. Students come to Furtwangen to take academic courses which are often more cutting-edge than anything offered in universities in the big cities. Our international visitors love the tranquility and slower way of life in Furtwangen, where distances are short, the streets are safe at any time of day or night, and the locals are friendly – even if you don’t speak German! As one of our international students told us, "It isn‘t a city full of shops, so we saved our money, but it is a city full of kind-hearted people, so we learned how to be more open and kind." There is a great sense of community in Furtwangen. Being small makes it easier to meet other people, whether it’s in the common room of the student halls of residence, at the swimming pool or the gym, or at student parties or events such as the International Festival.

We admit, Furtwangen is a little off the beaten track, and it does take a while to get here by bus, but the spectacular landscape you travel through on the way makes it worthwhile. In Furtwangen you are surrounded by unspoilt countryside of mountains, forests and farms, offering endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as walking, hiking and mountain biking. And in winter Furtwangen transforms into a winter wonderland making it a paradise for cross-country skiers. Students who have never seen snow before describe the fairy-tale landscape as an unforgetable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. One student described the atmosphere in Furtwangen as, "…this feeling of freedom in every breath."

The Black Forest is world-famous for its cuckoo clocks and Furtwangen was historically an important clockmaking town. The university itself can trace its origins back to the clockmaking school established in 1850 by the Archduke of Baden. The modern campus is now home to 5 faculties offering innovative degree programmes designed to prepare our graduates for the modern workplace, and which reflect the strong tradition of engineering and computer science for which we are reknowned — the first engineering degree programmes were introduced in 1947 and the first computer science degrees date back to 1971.

Approximately 3,300 students in total study at the 5 faculties on the Furtwangen Campus:

Computer Science
Business Information Systems
Digital Media
Business Administration and Engineering
Mechanical and Medical Engineering
Health, Safety and Society

Students on our Furtwangen campus enjoy ideal study conditions. While our programmes are innovative, and facilities cutting-edge, the campus has retained an intimate atmosphere, where small student classes mean students and staff get to know each other well. Our outstanding student services mean there will always be someone to help out if you have a problem. And when you want to take a break from your studies, the great outdoors and clean, fresh forest air is not far away. In the evenings and at weekends, if you are not taking part in some of the many student activities organised on campus, you can relax in one of the cosy, traditional pubs and restaurants of the town with a glass of traditionally brewed local beer and a some typical German food.

With a bit of planning (mobility options available), there are plenty of fun and interesting places to visit in the surrounding area and further afield at the weekends. The medieval walled town of Villingen and the university city of Freiburg can both be reached in about 45 minutes by bus, while the French province of Alsace, the Swiss city of Basel and beautiful Lake Constance are all close enough for day-trips. Our international exchange students love the inexpensive excursions and activities the International Center organises every semester. They are a great way to get to know other students and see other parts of Germany.These include trips to Heidelberg or Berlin, visits to the opera in Stuttgart or to a Black Forest cuckoo clock factory, and skiing and hiking trips.

Tips for your free time in and around Furtwangen

Things to do for free
Get to know students from around the world in the International Student Community. (ISC facebook page)
Take part in the international festival in the town market place run by HFU students.
Enjoy the atmosphere of the weekly farmers market where you can buy fresh meat, fruit and vegetables from local producers. (market information)
Hike up to the tower on the Brend hill for a fabulous view over the Black Forest. (Brend Tower views and webcam)
Walk through a winter wonderland in the Black Forest. (winter walking routes)
Climb the huge granite blocks of the Gunterfelsen. (Gunterfelsen photos)
Hike to the source of the Danube, the second-longest river in Europe. (student hiking video)
Take a tour of the German Clock Museum, a well-known tourist attraction right next door to the University. It's free with your HFU card. You can even earn some money by giving tours yourself in English, French or Spanish. (German Clock Museum website)
Things to do on a student budget
Discover more about the region and other parts of Germany on the inexpensive International Center excursions.
Join a club, or start one of your own through the Student Union (AStA). There are various sports clubs such as badminton and volleyball, and many other free-time activities such as e-games, drone racing, dancing and manga drawing. (Student Union website)
Rent an e-bike and go on a bike tour round the Black Forest, one of the most popular biking areas in Germany. (20 best mountain bike tours in the Black Forest)
Try out some winter sports: cross-country skiiing, sledging or downhill skiing. The small hills with single lifts are ideal for sledging and beginner skiers. (Cross-country skiing trails and sledging and ski hills) For more experienced skiiers the Feldberg ski resort is only about 30 minutes away. (Feldberg ski area)
Take part in a fun run organised by the University. (Black Forest Run on Instagram)
Join in the carnival festivities at Fasnet. (Furtwangen Fasnet Club website)
Take the panorama bus from outside the university to Triberg, or in the opposite direction to Titisee-Neustadt, two of the most popular tourist destinations in the Black Forest. (panorama bus route), (top 10 things to do in Triberg), (Titisee-Neustadt tourist information)
Take advantage of the carsharing and ridesharing possibilities organised through the university to get out and about in the local area while keeping your ecological footprint to a minimum.
Things to do with a bit more time and money
Go downhill skiiing at the largest resort in the Black Forest, or try out snowshoeing. (Skiing on the Feldberg) and (snowshoeing in the Black Forest)
Enjoy one of the many summer music festivals in the area, such as the Honbergsommer and the Southside in and near Tuttlingen, the Hohentwiel Festival near Singen, or the Tent Festival in Freiburg.
Rent a car and do a tour of the southern Black Forest. (Southern Black Forest road tour video)
Take a trip through the Black Forest in an historic steam engine on the Sauschwänzlebahn railway.
Visit Triberg at Christmas to wander round the magical Christmas market and see Germany's highest waterfalls lit up. (Triberg waterfalls webcam)
Go for a romantic ride through the Black Forest in a horse-drawn carriage in summer, or sleigh in winter. (Black Forest carriage and sleigh rides)
Do a tandem parachute jump at Schwenningen airport.
Spend the day relaxing in one of the many spas in the area. (Thermal baths in the Black Forest) or (Thermal baths on Lake Constance)
Mingle with the rich and famous for a day in Baden-Baden with its high-class shops, cafés, famous thermal waters and historic casino. (Baden-Baden video)
Rent a car for the day and enjoy the wonderful mediterranean atmosphere on Lake Constance. (10 things to do at Lake Constance)
Take in a Schwenningen Wild Wings hockey game. The team plays in the German national league.
Catch the train to Stuttgart or Freiburg (Germany), Straßburg (France) or Zürich (Switzerland) for the day. (videos of Stuttgart, Freiburg, Zürich and Straßburg)
Get your thrills at Europapark, one of the best funparks in Germany.
Go on a road trip and visit several countries in one day, e.g. Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria, or Switzerland and France. (video of weekend road trip through Germany, Switzerland and Austria)
Visit a fairytale castle in our area, such as Sigmaringen or Hohenzollern.

Furtwangen's finest spots

Click on this link to explore some of the interesting things to see and do round Furtwangen: Furtwangen's finest spots