Getting started

Important dates to plan your stay
Applying to Heidelberg University
Arranging accommodations
Residence Permits

Important dates to plan your stay

The academic year is divided into two semesters. The winter semester runs from October 1st to March 31st and the summer semester from April 1st to September 30th. Classes are held from mid-October to mid-February and from mid-April to late July.

Fall/Winter Term
(Wintersemester) 2019/20          
 October 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Deadline for Applications to
the University
June 15, 2019

Preparatory German Language
Course for ExchangeStudents

September 4 - 27, 2019

Lecture period October 14, 2019 to February 8, 2020
Orientation October 8-10, 2019 *
Christmas break December 23, 2019 to January 6, 2020
Spring/Summer term                                      
(Sommersemester) 2020
April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
Deadline for Applications to
the University
December 15, 2019
Preparatory German Language
Course for Exchange Students*
March 3 - 31, 2020
Lecture period April 20, 2020 - August 1, 2020
Orientation* April 14-16,  2020*


*) tentative dates, subject to change!

Students wishing to take part in German language courses offered at the International Studies Center have to attend the placement test for exchange students.

Students not attending preparatory language courses are advised to arrive in due time before the start of the lecture period in order to be able to deal with administrative matters as well as to participate in Orientation, the placement test and other introductory events.

The Registration form for the Preparatory Language Course for Exchange Students is available from your advisor or international office.

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Applying to Heidelberg University

All incoming exchange students need the following documents for formal admission to Heidelberg University:

  • nomination letter from your home institution
  • application form for exchange students (not for ERASMUS students!)
  • transcript of records

Application deadlines are:

  • Fall/Winter Term: June 15th            
  • Spring/Summer Term: December 15th

After your application has been processed, you will receive a Zulassungsbescheid (letter of admission) which you must bring with you when you come to Heidelberg. This letter is proof of your admission to Heidelberg University and you will need to show it on many occasions such as during registration and when applying for a residence permit.
Please note that students who wish to take part in the Preparatory Language Course have to fill in the registration form for this course and send it to the Akademisches Auslandsamt by June 15/ December 15. The Registration form for the Preparatory Language Course for Exchange Students is available from your advisor or international office.

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Arranging accommodations

Student residences: Student residences at Heidelberg University are administered by the Studierendenwerk, an independent organization providing various services to the student population. Although the number of available rooms is quite limited (only 15 per cent of all Heidelberg students can be housed in student residences), the Akademisches Auslandsamt cooperates with the Studierendenwerk to secure rooms in student residences for international exchange students coming to Heidelberg.

The Studierendenwerk maintains a large variety of student residences. 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 is 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. More detailed information about Studierendenwerk student residences (including pictures of each residence) is available on-line at http://www.

Students who have special housing needs due to a disability, allergy or other health problems should indicate this on their application for admission (Part 2: Housing - not for ERASMUS students!) in order to receive the appropriate housing. Students who intend to bring a laptop/notebook and wish to live in one of the rooms which are directly connected to the University Computing Center should indicate this on their application for admission (Part 2: Housing - not for ERASMUS students!). Other room preferences can also be indicated; however, due to the limited housing availability, specific room preferences not arising from a disability or health concern cannot always be met.
Please note: Student residences in the Altstadt are not connected to the University Computing Center and therefore do not have direct internet connection. Internet conncetion can however be established via private phone companies on your own initiative.

Private Accommodation: The Studierendenwerk also provides information on how to search for private accomodation in the region. For details please click here. You might also contact the accommodation service at the Akademische Auslandsamt at

Please note that private sector rents are considerably higher than rents in student residences (a minimum of € 400 - € 500 per month plus a deposit of two to three months‘ rent).

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Residence Permits

In order to study in Germany, foreign students (except citizens of EU-countries) need a valid residence permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung zu Studienzwecken).
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Japan, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Brasil, El Salvador, Honduras, and EFTA countries may apply for their residence permit after arriving in Germany.

Overview of visa requirements:

Citizens of countries not mentioned above must apply for and receive a valid student visa before entering Germany.
Be aware that a visa application can take up to twelve weeks to be processed – it is important to apply well in advance of your visit.

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Latest Revision: 2019-05-07
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