The Baden-Württemberg Germany Exchange Program (BW-Germany Exchange) is a State of Connecticut program, and offers all eligible Connecticut four-year college students the opportunity to earn college credits from one of Germany’s top universities. Students may spend an academic year at one of nine universities in Baden-Württemberg, Germany: Heidelberg, Freiburg, Tübingen, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Konstanz, Hohenheim, and Ulm. With a population of 11 million, Baden-Württemberg is the third largest of 16 German states, and is one of the most prosperous regions in Germany as it is the center of automotive, electronic and biomedical industries.
The BW-Germany Exchange began in 1991 as the result of a legislative partnership between the State of Connecticut and the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The program was administered by the Connecticut Office of Higher Education until July 2015, when program administration was transferred to the University of Connecticut. The exchange agreement invites all students enrolled in Connecticut’s four-year colleges and universities to study at any institution of higher learning in Baden-Württemberg. With nine universities from which to choose and a large number of Fachhochschulen and Kunsthochschulen, students of all disciplines are welcome to apply.
This is a reciprocal exchange program, meaning that Connecticut students prepay their usual tuition, and then trade places with a German student from the Exchange who has paid their German tuition. The program offers many unique features, among them:
A four- to six-week preparatory language course at your German university where you will meet students from all over the world;
A substantial language program (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) to improve your German more than you ever dreamed possible;
Dormitory housing with Germans and other international students;
Access to peer advisors (native German students) who know your German university well and will guide you during the first few weeks, as well as the rest of the year;
A customized program that responds to your needs. (You decide which university and language program are best for you!); and
A generous scholarship fund to help you with airfare and other expenses.
The BW-Germany Exchange is designed for an entire academic year. Over 80% of BW-Exchange participants choose to do so for the entire academic year. However, students who wish to apply for only one semester can also be accommodated in our Sommersemester Plus option. Although 99% of the students who have participated in this option wish they could have stayed for the entire academic year, this is not always possible due to personal circumstances.
If you go to Baden-Württemberg for two semesters, you will begin your year with a four- to six-week preparatory language course at your host university. This language course is offered by your host university and generally runs through the month of September. The course is designed to familiarize you with German culture and customs and jump-start your language abilities.
After your preparatory language course, you will enroll at your host university and begin the first of your two semesters in mid-October. Based on your language skills and the course requirements at your home university, you will enroll in a combination of Deutsch als Fremdsprache (DaF) and regular university courses. Depending on how many classes you take during each semester, you should receive about the same amount of credit for your year in Germany as you would as a full-time student at your Connecticut college or university. Final credit evaluation is determined by your home university. As such, you should consult with your academic advisor before your departure to determine what credits you will attempt to fulfill during your year in Germany.
Due to the differences in the academic calendars of American and German institutions of higher education, students wishing to spend one semester in Baden-Württemberg are advised to go during their spring semester.
Located in the southwestern part of Germany, Baden-Württemberg shares its borders with France, Switzerland and Austria.
This region is filled with picturesque beauty and historical landmarks such as Heidelberg Castle, the Black Forest and Lake Constance.
This region also is a powerful economic engine within Europe. Some of the world’s most successful companies are located here: Mercedes-Benz (Daimler-AG), Porsche, and the German computer software giant SAP are but a few.