When the IUHPFL began in 1962, the city of Trier offered a home to the first IUHPFL students. Within two years Krefeld became the chosen site for German students and has remained a perfect location ever since. In 2014, Krefeld and the IUHPFL will celebrate its 50-year anniversary.
Since 1964 IUHPFL students travel to Krefeld to spend an unforgettable seven weeks surrounded by all things German. Named the greenest city in Germany, not too large nor too small, with the right mix of culture and fun, Krefeld offers an ideal backdrop to young Americans who look to immerse themselves into German life. The Krefeld factsheet provides additional information. A general factsheet featuring Krefeld and the IUHPFL is also available in German.
“I participated in IUHPFL and stayed in Krefeld, Germany, for the summer of 1993. I went on to study German at Indiana University and studied in Hamburg. I married a man from Krefeld and lived there for over three years, during which time our two daughters were born. We moved to Carmel in 2000. I now teach middle school German for Carmel Clay Schools. I have also taught at the IUPUI German Saturday School, Carmel Parks, and Athenaeum. I have also interpreted and translated for the NCAA and have consulted for Prudential Relocation International.” —Kim (Lyon) Gottschild
Krefeld, first mentioned in 1105, is situated in the mid-western region on Germany’s longest and busiest river Rhine and near the industrial cities of Düsseldorf and Cologne. Krefeld, the city of velvet and silk became famous for its production of cloth and fine silks. Today, ties are still manufactured in town. Krefeld’s 235,000 citizens have many choices spending their free time. Multiple green spaces, parks, a huge public indoor and outdoor pool and a network of bike trails invite to get active. At the Elfrather Lake visitors can hike, bike, surf and sail. Throughout the year, Krefeld showcases many cultural venues and events, ranging from the Kaiser-Wilhelm art museum to the German Textile museum to music offerings of jazz in the Jazzkeller Krefeld or live music and theatre in the “Kufa.”
The 12th century Castle Linn, named after Otto von Linn, is one of the most picturesque medieval attractions in the area. As one of the largest water castles along the Rhine, it is surrounded by a mote and tells a rich history of attacks, wars and takeovers. The castle with its towers and high walls contains a museum and is surrounded by a beautiful park, complete with a hunting castle. While parts of the historic Krefeld were destroyed during British bomb raids and subsequent firestorms in 1943, some historic architecture escaped unscathed.
On the south and west side of town, residential homes from the 19th and 20th century show their ornate trim and siding to passersby. A fully restored 16th century mill, old churches and the city palais, build in 1794, now functioning as city hall, provide a taste of history throughout town.