„Yeah, sometimes you get a chocolate bar for free, but only at full moon and if you’re body size doesn’t exceed 160cm.“ I guess this is not just my boyfriend’s opinion on the Heimspiel voucher programme. It offers 145 discounts to students who have registered their principal residence in Göttingen. After a first look at the Heimvorteil-booklet, which lists all the discounts you can get in different shops and at various events, I tended to agree with my boyfriend. Usuallly you receive a discount of 2% to 10% on certain articles, but only on specific days (e.g. 5% off at the Bodyshop from Monday to Wednesday). On the other hand Heimvorteil is promoted on Göttingen‘s website as providing “fat moneysaving benefits” . When frequently used, the website says, it could help save 13€ a day. Calculated for one semester that would mean savings of up to 1100€. But the example is not entirely realistic: Who gets a haircut, eats at a restaurant or rents a car every day? People with these consumption patterns usually don’t need to resort to voucher schemes.
I’d rather put Heimvorteil to the test on its actual student suitabilty. In short: How useful is it with respect to nightlife? Totally motivated and eager to save money, I start with the planning: I want to spend a whole evening using Heimvorteil to its full capacity. I try to convince my friends to spend a Saturday evening away from the places we usually go to. I’m presenting them a new route that I created in the hope of making the best use of Heimvorteil: Our starting point is the Gartenlaube, a cafe 20 meters away from Gänseliesel.
I’m tempted by the offer: “Every cocktail 4,10€“, but my beer drinking friends complain that 2,80€ for a Hefeweizen is not what they call a bargain. Next station: Shishalounge Club Barbilon. „”Is that really where you wanna go?” Well, until now it hasn’t been my number one location either, but you can get a Shisha and a Cocktail for 9,99€. Just for the sake of savings, I even forget that I usually don’t smoke. Unfortunately, our joy was short-lived: the offer is not for Saturdays. Lucky we didn’t leave already! What else do I have in mind, my friends ask with a sarcastic smile. “Well, in the Alpenmax we could get a 5€-drink for free”, I say, almost gingerly. It’s getting late and I admit that I should cross out the headline “Cheap and happy through the evening with the Heimvorteil“.
So I keep on looking through the guide, searching for….oh, no how silly!….just some months ago I got a library card for 20€. Had I shown my student ID to the librarian, I would have paid only 10€! I go on: Oh yes, didn`t my friend want to do a Salsa class? At Salsa Sabor in the Musa you get 30% off for that. And there are even more savings at the Musa: had I read the voucher booklet before the Bukahara-Concert recently, I could have gotten a free shot there (however, I notice whilst reading that many students must have missed at least one lesson to get a discount…). What about the money off at McDonalds, Subway und Bäckerei Ruch? Everybody has been there once, right?
So having the Heimvorteil is actually paying off sometimes. And it’s easy to get: After having registered at the town hall, you can get the Heimvorteil logo printed on your ID at the glassbox in the ZHG. But the registration does not only give you the advantages of Aktion Heimspiel: Göttingen gets financial support by the government. The amount depends on the number of registered people. The more students register, the more the town can invest into infrastructure (e.g. renew the public swimming pools, improve the public transport or extend bicycle paths). And this is what we all benefit from! If you now want to try the Heimvorteil yourself and test how much you can save with it, you can find all related adresses and advantages on the website of Aktion Heimspiel.