AJY Academics

Transfer up to 15 U.S. credits per semester back to your home institution. Courses range from intensive language classes at AJY to seminars across multiple disciplines all the way to for-credit internships. Prerequisite for participation in our semester program is four semesters of German (or equivalent proficiency), or two semesters for our 6-week Summer Program.

Your Guide to Our Course Offerings

Most students choose to take all their courses in German. However, there is a growing number of English-language course options available in many fields at Uni Heidelberg, especially in STEM sciences. Please consult our Guide to Course Offerings for a fuller picture on your options.

Resident Director Dr. Martin Kley working with a student on selecting the right courses

Program and Semester Dates

Full Academic Year

(Sep. – July)

Students staying in Heidelberg an entire academic year arrive in September and return to the U.S. in late July.

Fall Semester

(Sep. – Dec.)

The fall semester is patterned after the American fall semester. Students arrive in September and leave at the end of December. They are back in time for the start of their home campus spring semester in January.

Full Fall Semester

(Sep. – Feb.)

The extended fall semester is equivalent to the Wintersemester at a German university. Students arrive in September and return to the U.S. in early February. This option is ideal for students coming from a campus on a term system rather than a semester system.

Spring Semester

(March – July)

The AJY spring semester is equivalent to the Sommersemester at a German university. Students arrive in March and return to the U.S. in late July.

Summer Program

(May – July)

Students can earn nine credits in the summer term which typically runs from late May through early July.

Uni Heidelberg

Universität Heidelberg, founded in 1386, is Germany’s oldest university. It is consistently ranked among the top three German universities and ranked highly worldwide. The student body at Universität Heidelberg consists of approximately 30,000 students, including 5,000 international students from over 130 countries. Because of its strong international connections, Uni Heidelberg features a robust infrastructure for exchange/short-term students, including course offerings specifically geared towards non-native speakers through the ISZ (Internationals Studienzentrum).


Internships at AJY count for three academic credits, requiring a related academic project presented at the end-of-semester colloquium. These unpaid internships are competitive, needing approval from the student’s home institution and the AJY Resident Director, with applications including a resume and a letter of intent. Internships last a minimum of three months and are offered in areas like International Relations, Political Science, and Museum Studies, among others.

Full-year student Blake Healey (2022-2023) with his internship supervisor at a legal think tank.

AJY Prepares You for the Semester

AJY students arrive in Heidelberg six weeks before the start of the semester at Universität Heidelberg. The first four weeks are spent in the pre-semester intensive German course (Intensivkurs), which introduces students to living and studying in Heidelberg and prepares them for the Uni’s placement exam.

During these first weeks in Heidelberg, each student will meet individually with the Resident Director for academic advising on courses. Once students have completed the Intensivkurs, they will have a short break prior to officially starting their semester at Universität Heidelberg (second week of October/ second week of April).