North Central College - Naperville, IL

Universität Heidelberg

Universität Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany

Fall Term

Full Year 

Schuring Heidelberg

Ryan Schuring studying abroad at AJY at Universität Heidelberg for fall 2015


Program Overview

The American Junior Year (AJY) offers students a chance to study at Germany’s oldest, and currently highest ranked, university in the QS World University Rankings®.

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, 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/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: internships, service learning opportunities, 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.

Located in the heart of the city on Heidelberg’s famous University Square, the AJY study center, in which 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 available

Each semester, a number of 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.

Eligibility Requirements 

Junior or senior level with at least one year of college-level German; GPA 3.0 preferred


Academic Credit

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 all German and culture courses four hours a day. The fifth week, students take a field trip. Upon return from the field trip, students take the DSH German language examindation. 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.


Housing and Meals

Single room in a residence hall or shared apartment. If choosing to live in an apartment, past NCC students suggest that future students choose to live in the city rather than the suburbs, and more specifically the "old city" area. In the apartments, NCC students have their own room and share a kitchen and lounge area 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.


Estimated Costs

Students in Direct Enrollment programs (i.e. Universität Heidelberg) pay North Central College tuition plus a $3,500 program fee. This 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.



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Last Updated: October 30, 2015