AJY Student Life

Heidelberg is a “Studentenstadt” with Germany’s youngest population, breathtaking nature, and a rich environment for linguistic and cultural immersion. Our students live side-by-side with Uni Heidelberg students in student dorms; they have access to inexpensive meals in the Uni mensa; they get involved in Unisport, join local sports clubs, or participate in one of several university choirs or orchestras; they meet with our local language partners; and they enjoy a public transportation pass which makes it easy to get around in Heidelberg and beyond.

Housing Options

AJY student rooms are located in university dormitories throughout the city or in private student dormitories. All rooms are single occupancy, and dorms are co-ed. Upon request, a small number of homestays are available for students interested in living with a German host family.

When completing the housing form you have the opportunity to list your dorm preferences. Once the university student housing office informs us of your assignment, we will forward your dormitory address to you approximately one week before your arrival in Heidelberg. Your room will be available to you on your official arrival day up until the last day of the program (as posted in the official program and semester dates). Extended fall and full year students keep their rooms during the holiday break in December. Full year students also keep their rooms during the break between semesters (mid-February to mid-April).

Alles über die Mensa

Unlike cafeterias on your home campus, German cafeterias offer no meal plan for the semester. Instead, you purchase each meal individually and pay with your student ID. The three large cafeterias, two near the AJY Study Center, offer reasonably-priced breakfast, lunch and dinner. The current daily menu is available online.

In addition, many ethnic restaurants, cafés, and fast-food places can be found in the Altstadt around University Square. Students who prefer to cook can do so, as all shared apartments are equipped with a kitchen.

Get Involved

Universität Heidelberg Student Senate (Studierendenrat, StuRa) offers a list of links to non-academic clubs and activities, such as athletics, choir, volunteer work, orchestra, cooking class, religious life, etc. Extracurricular activities are an excellent way to immerse yourself in German culture and are highly recommended. Program staff is happy to assist you in finding a suitable activity for you based on your interests.

AJY Excursions and Independent Travel

Students take 8-10 local field trips as part of their pre-semester intensive German course which treats the history and present of Heidelberg as an extension of the classroom. AJY also organizes a weekend study tour to Berlin, with site visits there (e.g., a tour of the German parliament) embedded in the AJY semester courses.
For independent travel, we recommend that students use the Fall/Spring break (early October/April) to explore more of Germany and neighboring countries. The public transportation pass AJY provides allows students to travel for free within all of Germany on local and regional trains (not the ICE fast trains). Heidelberg is conveniently located near Frankfurt, Germany’s main airport, and places like Munich, Vienna, Prague or Strasbourg are all within reach by train.