The Baden-Württemberg Program encompasses nine universities in the state of Baden-Württemberg: Freiburg, Heidelberg, Hohenheim, Karlsruhe, Konstanz, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Tübingen, and Ulm. It offers study in virtually all academic disciplines. For descriptions of the universities and links to their home pages, please scroll further down or look at the separate web page for each university on this site.
The program is administered by the UMass Amherst International Programs Office which offers a pre-departure orientation in Amherst. In addition, our program center in Freiburg offers a two-day on-site orientation program, and our Resident Assistant Director will support and advise students on all aspects of life in Germany during their stay.
Read these blogs on what students in Germany have to say about their experience.
The Baden-Württemberg Program accepts graduate and undergraduate students in good academic standing. All majors are welcome to apply. Program participants enroll directly in one of the participating German universities. For students planning to earn credit by taking regular university courses taught in German, a good command of German and a strong background in the major field are important. Most universities also offer German language and culture classes for foreign students as well as an increasing number of courses taught in English. Actual course offerings are determined shortly before the start of each semester.
Prior to the official start of the semester the German universities sponsor a mandatory language and culture course for new, international students. This introductory language and culture course consists of a grammar review, composition exercises, practice in text analysis, oral comprehension and speaking exercises, as well as an introduction to university life.
While the partner universities in Baden-Württemberg offer courses in virtually all majors, most courses are taught in German. More and more courses are available in English, however and to see an overview of which Baden-Württemberg university will have a sufficient number of course options taught in English in your major, please check the Baden-Württemberg Study Options
and the BW Partner Overview.
Have a look at the Links to Course Listings
at the universities in Baden-Württemberg.
Advanced undergraduate students and graduate students may also be interested in Degree Programs taught in English
Students live in dormitories, all of which have kitchen facilities and single rooms. Prices for dormitory rooms range from Euro 180-350 per month.
The program fee includes the pre-semester language and culture course and comprehensive German health insurance for 5 or 10 months for students under the age of 30. The program fee may be subject to change.
Living expenses, including accommodation, meals, and incidentals, are not included in the program fee. Because exchange rates can change drastically, we strongly advise you to keep track of them. Bear in mind that travel and other monthly expenses vary according to personal habits and arrangements, so that your costs may fall short of or exceed our estimates. For our current cost estimate please see our Program Cost Estimate at the top of this page.
Scholarships of up to Euro 400 per month are available through the program. Graduate students engaged in graduate study may be eligible for up to Euro 500 per month. Scholarships are awarded for 5 months for semester students and for a maximum of 10 months. These stipends are awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit. Preference is given to students enrolled in degree programs at UMass. Non-UMass undergraduate applicants may be considered for scholarship awards in cases of need and/or exceptional merit. Non-degree graduates are ineligible to apply.
Students from outside the UMass system should check their home institutions' regulations for overseas study and should remain enrolled at their home institutions while participating in the Baden-Württemberg Program.
Before You Go and While Abroad
The Region Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany is bordered by France and Switzerland. The region enjoys Germany's mildest climate and includes a mix of cosmopolitan centers and modern industrial/technical areas, medieval towns and vacation resorts, vineyard-covered hills, the mountains of the Black Forest and the ancient volcanoes of Hohentwiel. The region provides a wide range of cultural and recreational activities: you can hike in the Odenwald, taste wine from the Kaiserstuhl, tour the Porsche factory, celebrate the "Ball der Vampire" in Heidelberg, shop at the farmer's market on Freiburg's Münsterplatz, ski in the Black Forest, sail on Lake Constance, and discover the works of Otto Dix in the new Kunstmuseum in Stuttgart.
Baden-Württemberg is home to the oldest, most renowned and prestigious universities in Germany, such as the universities of Freiburg, Heidelberg and Tübingen. Eight of the nine universities in Baden-Württemberg were selected as top schools in the nationwide Initiative for Excellence.
Because of its scenic beauty, relatively warm and sunny climate and easy access to the Black Forest, Freiburg is a popular travel destination and a popular place to study abroad. Freiburg has slightly more than 200,000 inhabitants, of which approximately 30,000 are students and a large number of them come from abroad.
The university was founded in 1457 and has long ranked as one of Germany's outstanding universities. The faculties of Law, Medicine, History, English Studies, Biology, and Pharmacology achieve especially high recognition for excellence. The university has been home to some of the greatest minds: Hannah Arendt, Hans Adolf Krebs, Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, to name a few. Freiburg has an abundance of restaurants and bars, including the local brewery 'Feierling', which has a Biergarten. On warm summer nights, hundreds of students gather there for beer, blues or bigband music. Freiburg is known as an "eco-city"; in recent years it has attracted solar industries and research. The UMass program office is located at Eckerstraße 1 in Freiburg.
Heidelberg, a city of 143,000 inhabitants, is located in the Neckar river valley where the Odenwald opens towards the plains of the Rhine valley. Heidelberg is known for its medieval charm, picturesque architecture, narrow streets, and the world-famous Schloss (castle).
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität is the oldest university in Germany; it was established in 1386. With 28,000 students, it is also one of Germany's larger academic institutions and boasts a wide spectrum of academic studies, from Egyptology to American Studies to Computer Linguistics. Together with the thousands of annual visitors, Heidelberg is truly an internationally and culturally diverse destination, despite its small size. Mark Twain wrote of his adventures in Heidelberg and described the student life at the university in his travel book A Tramp Abroad and it still rings true.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Having grown out of a 19th-century agricultural school, the Universität Hohenheim was officially recognized in 1967 as a multi-disciplinary university. Today it is housed in a castle and offers a wide range of courses in natural sciences, agriculture, business, and economics to about 6,000 students. The old town of Hohenheim is about a half-hour by public transportation from Stuttgart, where students can also take courses.
The town of Karlsruhe was founded in 1715. Karlsruhe's distinctive center was designed to imitate the sun's rays, with its streets and avenues fanning out from their central point--the tower of the baroque palace and its palace gardens. The city is full of green spaces, gardens, sport complexes, parks and bike riding trails, and has been rightly named the 'Stadt im Grünen'
(The City Surrounded by Nature). Karlsruhe is a city of approximately 285,000 inhabitants and is a center of culture, commerce and the German judiciary branch of government.
The Universität Karlsruhe is the oldest technical university in Germany. Its 12,000 students are enrolled in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Architecture, Engineering, Computer Science, and also the Humanities and Social Sciences.
Konstanz is a town of 80,000 inhabitants located on the border of Germany and Switzerland; it straddles the Bodensee
and Rhein river. Due to its location on the picturesque lake, Konstanz offers plenty of entertainment, recreation and relaxation opportunities. Konstanz has a medieval city center, yet the University of Konstanz is modern and based on US campus style universities.
The city of Mannheim is laid out on a geometrical pattern of rectangular street blocks, where the Rhine and Neckar rivers meet. The city contains 325,000 inhabitants and the larger metropolitan area including Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen totals 2.4 million inhabitants. Mannheim is one of Baden-Württemberg's major industrial and cultural centers.
In 1763 Kurfürst Karl Theodor founded the Kurpfälzische Akademie der Wissenschaften, which received university status during the 1960s. Today the Mannheim Palace houses the university, with approximately 11,000 students. The university offers most academic fields, yet the faculties for business, economics and social sciences are ranked at the top in Germany and among the best in Europe.
Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, is located in the Neckar River Valley. The city holds 590,000 inhabitants, and the larger Stuttgart Region has approximately 3.5 million inhabitants. Stuttgart is one of the most beautiful of Germany's larger cities; it is spread across many hills, valleys, vineyards and parks. Stuttgart is known for its industrial reputation, (the headquarters for Daimler, Porsche and Bosch are located in Stuttgart), yet the city also provides an abundance of cultural and recreational activities, like the Staatstheater
and the Staatsgalerie
The university has 160 years of experience in the technical and natural sciences. Today it boasts 130 institutes, 14 departments, and 18,000 students. The more recent addition of curricula in the humanities, arts, and social sciences has introduced a new element into the environment of engineering and natural sciences in this economic and cultural center of Baden-Württemberg.
Tübingen is also located in the Neckar River Valley, about 25 miles south of Stuttgart. The nearby nature park Schönbuch has abundant hiking and biking trails throughout the forest. Tübingen's 22,000 students dominate the comparatively small city of 84,000; Tübingen is ranked as the city in Germany with the youngest average population. It also boasts being ranked as the city in Germany that offers the best quality of life for its residents. This is attributed to its many cultural opportunities, the city's liberal politics and its academic flair.
The Eberhard-Karls-Universität dates from 1477-- one of the oldest universities in Germany. While the majority of the university's liberal arts departments are in the old part of Tübingen, the modern Science Center is on the overlooking the town.
The old town of Ulm today has 110,000 inhabitants and is located at the edge of the Swabian Alb on the Danube river, about one hour from Stuttgart and Munich by train.
The university was founded in 1967 and has a modern campus, with approximately 7,000 students. It is especially renowned for its medical studies and natural sciences. Exchange students from UMass can also participate in the Ulm summer program (June through July) at a very affordable price and receive credits for a German language course and a course in physics or economics/political science.
UMass Amherst Dept of Germanic Languages & Literature