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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
  Location   Heidelberg, Germany
  Autumn Semester / Academic Year
  Spring Semester
  Credits   20-25 UW credits per semester
  Eligibility   Junior standing or above by time of  
  departure; min. 3.0 GPA
  Language   German 103
  Adviser   Mike Renes |
  Jan. 15 (Autumn Semester and Academic Year)
  Spring Semester priority deadline
  May 15 (Spring Semester)
  General   This is a great opportunity for students to
  work on advancing German language skills
  while also directly enrolling in university
  courses taught in either German or English.
  Heidelberg is a beautiful, historic and
  culturally rich setting in the heart of the
  Baden-Württemberg region of Germany.
  Where You Will Study
  Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships
  Application Process
  Program Evaluations
  Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.


Where You Will Study

Heidelberg was the centre of the epoch of Romantik (Romanticism) in Germany. Throughout the year there are different regular festivals and events hosted and organized in Heidelberg. Though it is receptive to modern developments, Heidelberg has retained its character as a "romantic" place of study. The high quality of education and research and the town's beautiful natural setting and its historic sites – the crooked streets of the Old Town, the Philosophers' Way and the Castle are always favored destinations – attract visitors, students and scholars from all over the world. They all contribute to the city's open-minded and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Heidelberg is also conveniently located in Germany, very nearby to the Black Forest area and within easy travel distance to other parts of Europe including France and Switzerland.



Founded in 1386, Heidelberg is Germany's oldest university (and one of Europe's oldest) and is still today one of the most research-intensive higher-education institutions in Europe. Currently, around 27,600 students study in one of the university's twelve faculties, more than 5,000 are foreign students. With some 20% of its students hailing from as many as 130 different countries, Heidelberg is clearly a front runner among Germany's traditional universities also in this respect.

The academic year is divided into two semesters. The winter semester runs from September 1st to February 28th and the summer semester from March 1st to August 31st. Classes are held from mid-October to mid-February and from mid-April to mid-July.

In general, teaching and examinations at the university are conducted in German. Students should therefore have a solid knowledge of German in order to effectively follow your courses. Students who need additional support regarding their German language proficiency are offered a large variety of different language programs at the University's International Study Center. It offers an intensive four-week language course before the start of the semester as well as language instruction during the semester, supplementing regular university courses.

Please note that it is not possible for exchange students to participate in courses offered at the school of medicine and dentistry and that access to courses in biosciences and law is restricted.

In general, German universities place a greater emphasis on independent learning than most undergraduate programs in the United States. In contrast to American universities, where course syllabi delineate the professor's expectations of the student for each week of the academic term, most German professors rely on the student's self-direction, research and study outside of the readings to guide the courses of their learning. In this way, the curricula are comparable to graduate programs style of scholarship in the United States. (Students in the fields of science or engineering might find their course curricula to be more structured than that of the humanities or social sciences with a strong emphasis on laboratory work.) Students are responsible for their own learning and must be self-motivated and committed to their independent studies in order to succeed.

There are several course classifications in Germany universities: Vorlesungen (lecture courses); Proseminare (courses taken by students prior to their intermediate exams, equivalent to upper-division courses in the U.S.); Übungen (exercise classes); Praktika (labs). Vorlseungen are generally large classes that may or may not be combined with smaller Übungen. Vorleseungen may or may not require a final exam. If no exam is administered as part of the course, UW students must make special arrangements with the professor to write a paper or take an exam at the end of the term in order to receive UW credit. Seminaire are very similar to courses in the U.S. Class sizes are limited, attendance is required and a written or oral exam is taken at the end of the term. Übungen are similar to seminars in that they require attendance, exams and/or papers. However, they are more oriented to practical skills than an in-depth discussion of a specific topic. Pratika are the equivalents of lab courses in the U.S. At some universities, Deutsch als Fremdsprache classes designed for international students are offered with a focus on German language and cultural studies.

German universities issue course certificates (Scheine) rather than transcripts. In most cases these Scheine are graded. Grades are assigned on a 1-5 scale with "1" representing the highest grade possible and "5" representing the lowest (that is, a failure). UW students participating on an exchange are required to return to the UW with a minimum of 8 graded Scheine (4 courses per semester).

You can begin your search for courses right here:

Heidelberg course information

If you’re looking for a record of how courses from this institution have been transferred in the past, visit the credit equivalency database to help you determine what foreign courses might satisfy your academic needs here at the UW.

For more information on how these courses will appear on your UW transcript, please visit: credits for exchanges



Student residences at Heidelberg University are administered by the Studentenwerk, an independent organization providing various services to the student population. Although the number of available rooms is quite limited (only 13 per cent of all Heidelberg students can be housed in student residences), the Akademisches Auslandsamt cooperates with the Studentenwerk to secure rooms in student residences for international exchange students coming to Heidelberg.

The Studentenwerk maintains a large variety of student residences. Almost all of them were built after 1983 or have recently been renovated (many of the buildings in the Altstadt are renovated heritage properties). Students usually stay in single rooms sharing kitchen and bathrooms in groups of 2 – 4, or in dormitories with kitchens and bathrooms on each floor. There are also a small number of single apartments available. The residences are located in different parts of the city and very close to public transport. Shopping areas are usually nearby.

Students who prefer to live in private accommodation can receive information about private rooms and apartments in the area through the accommodation service at the Akademische Auslandsamt.


Program Expenses, Financial Aid & Scholarships

As a participant of a university exchange, you pay an exchange fee equivalent to UW tuition (1.5 quarters of UW tuition for semester-long exchanges, and 3 quarters of UW tuition for academic year exchanges). Exchange fees are determined by UW residency status: in-state students pay an exchange fee equivalent to in-state tuition, and out-of-state students pay an exchange fee equivalent to out-of-state tuition. The exchange fee and IPE administrative fee are charged to your UW account and due by the UW tuition deadline for your term(s) of study abroad. You should also budget for additional expenses such as international airfare & transportation, books & course materials, visa & passport fees, study abroad insurance and personal expenses.

For the total estimated costs of this particular program, you may request a budget by filling out a Budget Request Form.

For more information about budgeting, financial aid, and scholarships for study abroad visit our page on Finances.


Application Process

To apply for this exchange, click the "Apply Now" button and follow the prompts to create an application. After you create your application, click on each of the links on your study abroad application homepage and complete the remaining application requirements: questionnaires, material submissions, and electronic signature documents.

University exchanges may also require completion of a secondary application specific to the host institution. Instructions about this process will be provided to you by your study abroad adviser following your selection for the exchange.

See  Applications and Recommendations for additional information about the application process and tips for recommendations.

See Withdrawal for UW program withdrawal policies.



Program Evaluations

After participating in a UW Study Abroad program, students are asked to complete a Program Evaluation Report detailing their experiences abroad and giving advice for future students. These reports cover all aspects of a student's time abroad, including orientation, academics, housing, finances, and cultural differences. 

To see past students' evaluations for the University of Heidelberg Direct Exchange program, click on the link below.

There are currently no program evaluations for this program on file.

Note: student names and contact information have been crossed off for confidentiality reasons. If you would like to get in contact with a previous participant of this program, please inquire at the Study Abroad Office or email