Justus Liebig University Giessen is one of Germany’s best known universities for life sciences and cultural studies. Established in 1607, the institution took its current name after one of the nineteenth century fathers of organic chemistry Justus von Liebig - the inventor of baking powder, fertilisers and chloroform. It is among the oldest institutions of higher education in the German-speaking world.
Its wide-ranging programmes are mostly taught in German. However, some degrees are also available in English including economic development, biotechnology and genomics, world food economy, cultural studies, geography and applied theatre. International students benefit from free German language classes, and can take a year to learn German before doing their degree.
Giessen is truly a student city, with a higher student ratio than any other university town in Germany. It is located 40 minutes away from Frankfurt by car. Among the extracurricular activities offered on campus is its famous orchestra, playing in national and international performances. The campus also has a Botanical Garden, created in 1609 as a medicinal herb garden. Mathematikum, JLU's mathematics museum, offers a hands-on experience with more than 120 exhibits.
Some of the university’s most respected research is carried out across agricultural science, ecology, nutritional sciences and biotechnology at the Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition. A large proportion of the university’s student body are international students doing PhDs.
Its list of famous alumni include Noble Peace Prize winner and Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai, German politician Brigitte Zypries, economist Michael Huther, botanist Johann Jacob Dillenius, zoologist Elie Metchnikoff, and jurist and Israel’s first president of the Supreme Court Moshe Smoira.