Study in Germany

American Junior Year offers you an opportunity to study at Germany’s oldest university, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität or Ruperto Carola. Located in the quaint town of Heidelberg with its traditional romantic flair it is committed to the motto Future since 1386. The relationship between American Junior Year and Ruperto Carola dates back to 1958, making us one of the oldest American study abroad programs in Germany and the oldest exchange program of its kind. Every year, several Universität Heidelberg students spend time at our home campus in Tiffin, Ohio as exchange students. In addition, Tiffin hosts a Teaching Assistant, who teaches in the Modern Languages Department.

Highlights of the Program

  • Study at Germany's oldest university.
  • Live with German students.
  • Opportunities to be involved in community activities and meet regularly with a language partner.
  • Study and relax at the AJY study center in the heart of the historic Altstadt on University Square.
  • Discover Germany and explore Europe with Rail Passes and Culture Coupons sponsored by the program.
  • Understand why one of the most popular German folk songs is entitled "Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren".


Students arrive in Heidelberg six weeks before the actual start of the university semester, allowing them time for a preliminary course designed to prepare students for the University Language Proficiency Exam (DSH). Nearly all undergraduate courses at Universität Heidelberg are taught in German, so the DSH exam plays a major role in determining which courses are suited for you. Once students have taken the DSH exam, they will have a week break. Aside from the mandatory preliminary course, students enroll in four additional courses, or three courses and an academic internship. Most courses earn three U.S. credits. Occasionally, a course might have a tutorial or a lab earning an additional credit. Your total number of credits as a full year student will be 30-32 credits. Read more about academic options.

Program & Semester Dates

Universität Heidelberg, like all German universities runs on a semester system with two semesters per year, Wintersemester (October - February) and Sommersemester (April - July). In order to accommodate American students from both, semester and term-based schools, AJY offers two fall semester options. Other options include a full academic year, spring semester or our Summer Program. No matter which option students choose, they will earn between 15-16 academic credits per semester. Read more about academic options.

Student Life

The sooner you are involved in activities in the local community, the more exciting and rewarding your time in Heidelberg is. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. All students receive a five-day German Rail Pass for either fall or spring break. AJY student rooms are located in university dormitories throughout the city or in private dormitories for students only. Meals can be eaten in the cafeterias near the AJY Study Center, or you may choose to eat at one of the many restaurants in Old Town around University Square. Read more about Student Life.

Fees & Expenses

Studying abroad is an investment in your future. The program fee and estimated costs are available to help you plan for your experience.

Apply Now

Interested in applying for AJY? You must have junior status and at least four semesters of German, learn more about applying to the program.

Other Resources

Contact Us

If you would like a Program Brochure mailed to you, or have specific questions about the AJY Program, contact our American office at 419-448-2062 or

For specific questions regarding academics or student life in Heidelberg, contact Hanne Heckmann, Ph.D., AJY Resident Director by phone Monday through Friday mornings 9 to 12 EST at 011-49-6221-23874 or email

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