Settling into the Community
Language instruction specially designed for exchange students is also offered during the semester at the University’s International Study Center. Students are offered general German language courses for 4 to 8 hours a week, supplementing the university course. Upper level students will also have the possibility to attend several other courses (e.g. on German literature, film or business German).
Exchange students whose language proficiency is not sufficient for taking part in university courses in their subject may be admitted to a full-time German language course upon prior consultation with the Akademisches Auslandsamt (20 hours of teaching per week).
The Akademisches Auslandsamt organizes various language tutorials for international students. These include:
- language tutorials in which political, social and cultural issues are discussed
- a tutorial in which students are informed about subject related language, the preparation of oral or written presentations, etc.
All tutorials are offered once a week (2 hours) and are free of charge.
The Auslandsamt also provides a tandem service. By registering at our office (Infozimmer Studium im Ausland, room #139), international students who would like to have the opportunity to practice German with native speakers in a social setting can get in touch with German students who are looking for a language partner. The idea is that students speak for roughly equal amounts of time in German and in their mother tongue. The service is free.
Germanistik im Kulturvergleich is a degree course for international students wishing to work as teachers of German abroad or in other professions. Please note that courses are only suitable for those students who already possess a relatively good knowledge of German. However, in addition to regular courses for degree candidates, a certain number of courses is designed for the special needs of exchange students. The course catalogue with detailed course descriptions is available at: http://www.idf.uni-heidelberg.de/.
Detailed information on how to use Germany's oldest university library can be found at:
The University Computing Center (Universitätsrechenzentrum or URZ for short) is responsible for providing and maintaining computer services and facilities throughout the University. All students are entitled to use the computers and services provided by the URZ. Upon registration you will receive a user identification code with which you can access these services. With your user ID you are given a university e-mail address and can access the internet and your e-mail account at almost all of the computers on campus.
For more information about the URZ in general see the URZ web page at http://web.urz.uni-heidelberg.de/
All students are encouraged to take part in the sporting activities organized by the university. These include aikido, rowing, fencing, soccer, African dance, yoga and many more. Detailed descriptions, dates and deadlines are provided in the Sportprogramm, a yellow brochure available at the entrance of the Central Administration Building (where the Akademisches Auslandsamt is located), the Mensas or the Institut für Sportwissenschaft (Im Neuenheimer Feld 700). You can also visit: http://www.hochschulsport.uni-hd.de/
There is a large number of university groups within which students can pursue their musical interests. There are four university choirs (Capella Carolina http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/capellacarolina/index_en.html, Großer Chor der Universität, Kleiner Unichor www.collegium-musicum.uni-hd.de, Choir of the English Department http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~h70/chor/), an orchestra (www.collegium-musicum.uni-hd.de) as well as many other choral and musical groups. Information is usually found on flyers and posters in the cafeterias and libraries, especially at the beginning of the semester.
Many of the individual institutes and departments, particularly modern languages, have their own theatre groups in which you are welcome to participate. The English department is always looking for native speakers interested in drama. The Institut für Deutsch als Fremdsprachenphilologie runs a one-year theatre seminar that includes a basic course in acting in addition to putting on plays. Students can earn credits for participation in this theatre group called IDeFix.
We hope that you take the chance to travel around other parts of Germany. To this end the Auslandsamt offers a range of reasonably-priced trips to well-known places in Germany such as Berlin, Nürnberg, Köln, Rhine and Black Forrest. Please find more detailed information on the excursion program and on other activities offered for international students at:
The Studentenwerk operates four student restaurants (Mensa) and nine cafés. In the student restaurants, the offer ranges from the low-priced meal of the day to a buffet with a great variety of dishes. Of course, you will always find vegetarian and pork-free dishes. Two student restaurants are located in the Altstadt (the Triplex Mensa on Universitätsplatz and the Zeughaus at Marstallhof), the Zentralmensa is located in the Neuenheimer Feld area.
Of course these facilities are also centers of communication and cultural meeting points on campus.
Please note that you will need a student card /ID to pay for food and drinks in the student restaurants and cafeterias.
For further information and menues, see http://www.stw.uni-heidelberg.de/ --> "Foodservices" --> "In Heidelberg"