Universität Heidelberg

Before you meet with a study abroad advisor be sure to complete the "Advising Form" linked at the top of this page.

Please note that you will not be able to apply for semester or yearlong study abroad program until you've met with a study abroad advisor.

Program Overview

Eligible students must be at the junior or senior level with at least two years of college-level German; GPA 3.0 preferred

This program is limited to three students per academic year. Additional fees may apply.

The American Junior Year (AJY) offers students a chance to study at Germany’s oldest university, consistently among the highest ranked universities worldwide according to both the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education Ranking.

At AJY, the goal is to assist students in becoming as fluent in German as possible. Many students take the major portion of their coursework in the areas of German language and literature and German/European studies. Others choose freely among the full range of courses offered by the university once they have passed the language proficiency exam. Each individual student is assisted in navigating the extensive course catalog and finding classes appropriate for his/her major or minor. Popular departments include economics, history, Jewish studies, philosophy, political science, psychology and transcultural studies. AJY also supports students who wish to pursue individual research or capstone seminar projects.

Above all, AJY presents students with choices: excursions, internships, service learning opportunities, tutorials, writing workshops, office assistantships and a variety of extra-curricular activities.

Students are encouraged to discover Germany and explore Europe on their own or in small groups with the German Rail and Interrail passes provided by the AJY program. AJY welcomes its students with a meet & greet, celebrates Thanksgiving with a traditional dinner and gives a farewell reception at the end of every semester.

Located in the heart of the city on Heidelberg’s famous University Square, the AJY study center, where only German is spoken, is open daily between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Beyond housing classrooms and offices, the center provides various amenities to its students, including a lounge with German language TV, DVDs, newspapers and magazines, a fully equipped computer room and a small kitchen. Wi-Fi is available in all areas of the center.

Universität Heidelberg website


Internships are only available for full semester or yearlong students.

Each semester, a number of academic internships are offered through various partner institutions. These run concurrently with the semester at Universität Heidelberg. Students spend eight hours per week at their host institution and complete a term paper at the end of the internship.

AJY has a partnership with SAP, one of the world's leading software producers. SAP offers a paid internship for full-semester and full-year students only.

Academic Credit

Students are required to complete GLS 277 in the spring term prior to studying abroad in the fall.

Students earn 12-15 credits depending on courses selected. All grades earned abroad affect your North Central College GPA when transferred back. Students cannot take courses pass/fail.

For the first four weeks of the program, students take a combination of German language and culture courses four hours a day, at the end of which students take the DSH German language examination.  This examination is given to all international students and determines your level of German language proficiency. Students do not know what classes they will take before they leave to study abroad; courses taken abroad are determined once Universität Heidelberg has received students DSH examination results. Before classes start at the university, students have a week-long fall break for travel.

Housing and Meals

Single room in a shared apartment. In the apartments, NCC students have their own room and share a kitchen, lounge area, and bathrooms with their roommates (other international students and Germans).

Meals:  not included in program fee. Students must prepare their own meals in a shared apartment kitchen or eat at the student cafeterias (no meal plan).

Estimated Costs

Students in Direct Enrollment programs (i.e. Universidad Viña del Mar) pay North Central College tuition plus a $4,000 program fee. A $30 non-refundable application fee is due at the time of application submission. This program fee includes placement, orientation and guidance fees, as well as standard self-catered housing. The College selects accommodations; if students choose to upgrade, they are responsible for paying any difference in cost. Unless otherwise noted, the fee does not include airfare, travel to and from airport, meals, visa fees, departure tax, books, national insurance, personal travel or spending money. North Central College financial aid does apply.