Semester or Year Abroad
Students may attend the University of Konstanz in southern Germany , the University of Flensburg in far northern Germany, or the Humboldt University in the capital city of Berlin. They may study abroad for a period of one semester or a full academic year, preceded by a four-week intensive language course before beginning terms of study at a university.
Red: University of Flensburg
Humboldt University – Berlin
Founded in 1810, the Humboldt University became a model for the classical integration of teaching and research. The HU serves a student body of 30,000 with courses beyond the liberal arts in fields like archeology and anthropology and in critical languages like Chinese and Arabic. A four-week intensive language course precedes all programs, and housing is arranged by the University. The German placement exam is on-line (www.hu-berlin.de)
University of Konstanz
Founded in 1966 and located in Southern Germany on the Bodensee, near the borders of Switzerland and Austria, this university is based in the tradition of interdisciplinary study with emphasis on theory in the literatures and sciences (www.uni-konstanz.de).
University of Flensburg
Founded in 1946, the University of Flensburg overlooks the fjord and border to Denmark, has 2,500 students in a city of 80,000 and offers a culture integrative of the Danish-speaking minority. A professor in the English department counsels students in all areas of academic life. Housing is in dormitories on campus. Intensive Language Course Students receive one St. Olaf credit in German for successful completion of the language course offered on site at each university. Housing is assigned for the pre-semester course and runs through the full semester or year. Between the language course and the beginning of the university semester, students have about 10 days of free time. Those who stay for the full year have an additional two-month vacation between semesters (mid-February until mid-April). (http://www.uni-flensburg.de)
Curriculum and Transfer of Credit
A four-week intensive pre-semester language and orientation course is offered to all St. Olaf students at their chosen university in Germany. During this time, students choose university courses from a three-tiered system corresponding to St. Olaf’s 100-200-300 course system, beginning with Vorlesung (lecture) courses, followed by Proseminar, designed as an introduction to research, and then Seminar, designed for graduate-level research.
Upon successful completion of an approved semester-long program of study in Germany, students normally receive up to 4.5credits on the St. Olaf transcript if they complete an interim course at St. Olaf during the same academic year. Students normally receive up to 5.5 credits for an approved semester-long program of study in Germany if they do not complete an interim course at St. Olaf during the same academic year. Up to 3 credits normally count toward the St. Olaf German major. Remaining credits may apply to another major, general education or electives.
Upon successful completion of an approved full-year program of study in Germany, a student normally receives up to 9 credits plus 1 credit for interim on the St. Olaf transcript. Up to 4 credits normally count toward the St. Olaf German major. Remaining credits may apply to another major, general education or electives.
Credits toward other majors across the sciences and humanities usually must be pre-arranged with department chairs. Students should know that specific courses might not be offered during their time at the target university and discuss this possibility with their advisors and chairs. Grades earned for all courses taken are recorded on the St. Olaf transcript but not calculated into the Grade Point Average.
Eligibility and Admissions
All students who have successfully completed German 112 are eligible to participate in the exchange program. Students are able to take courses in German if they have completed German 251 or 252. Applications for both semesters are due on March 1 to the St. Olaf International Studies Office. After acceptance to the exchange program, students complete international student application forms, housing forms and pre-semester course registration forms for their chosen German university.
At all sites the universities arrange housing with kitchen facilities. Students may also eat in the university “Mensa.”
Students have two weeks of free time between the completion of their intensive language course and the beginning of the semester. In addition, classes are canceled for numerous national and religious holidays. Student organizations, such as the university’s AStA group, offer many affordable opportunities to travel with other students. Student travel discounts are available for virtually all aspects of travel in Europe.
The cost to an Ole participating in the exchange in 2014-2015 (in addition to tuition) was: $9,445 for a semester in Berlin; $15,830 for the year in Berlin; $8,300 for a semester in Konstanz; $13,110 for the year in Konstanz; $7,890 for a semester in Flensburg; $12,690 for the year in Flensburg. This fee covers airfare to and from Germany, room and board in Germany, pre-semester language instruction and contributes to the Reciprocity Fund. See the current International and Off-Campus Studies brochure for current information on fees.
The University of Konstanz offers tuition waivers of 300 Euros for students in the pre-semester language course. The University of Flensburg offers a limited number of stipends to cover room and board.
St. Olaf German Exchange Program Advisor
Professor Doug Casson (507) 786-3484
St. Olaf International Studies Office
Associate Director Kathryn Tuma (507) 786-3228
After World War II, the German government opened its universities to the world, with nominal tuition fees to any student who can demonstrate proficiency in the German language. For forty years (since 1968), Oles have taken advantage of this policy to receive an meaningful immersion experience. To promote a mutual cross-cultural exchange of students and ideas, St. Olaf College has established exchange programs with two German universities, supporting Oles who study in Germany and creating a “Reciprocity Fund” to finance the cost of a study abroad experience at St. Olaf for German students from our partner universities.
“Wer das Dichten will verstehen,
Muß ins Land der Dichter gehen:
Wer den Dichter will verstehen,
Muß in Dichters Lande gehen. “
(Goethe “West-östlicher Divan” 1819)