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Oldenburg is located in the northwest region of Germany in Lower Saxony and has approximately 150,000 inhabitants. Oldenburg’s historic city center offers many restaurants and trendy venues, as well as opera, theatre, dance, cabarets and museums making it a top destination for students interested in culture. The university takes its name from Carl von Ossietzky who was a WWII pacifist and one of the most distinguished journalists of the Weimar Republic.
Access to the rest of Germany, including Hamburg, Hanover, and Berlin, as well as Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, is easily accomplished from the local train station. Germany has much to offer students, including the mix of historic and modern in Berlin, the cathedral in Cologne, and the historic towns in Bavaria.
Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
The University of Oldenburg specializes in interdisciplinary studies and offers courses in education, computer science, language and cultural studies, social sciences, economics, and mathematics, among many others. Oldenburg also offers several courses each semester specifically for exchange students, including: German language, Literature of the German Democratic Republic, and History of the Weimar Republic. While there are some courses taught in English they are limited in number; students should not expect to be able to take any courses in English. USD students may elect to take German language courses prior to the beginning of the semester to jumpstart their language skills.
Oldenburg also offers a 4 week intensive language program during the summer. Students will earn 6 credits of German language. This program is intended for students in lower levels of German language.
Universities in Germany approach academics in a very different way than in the United States. Students may not receive a syllabus and, if they do, it will not contain the same amount of detail provided in USD syllabi. Students are expected to pursue more independent study outside of the classroom while still continuing preparation for final exams. This course layout allows students the opportunity to pursue personal academic interests within the context of the course without having the additional reading and writing assignments typically found within the American higher educational system. Students’ grades will typically be only based on a final exam.
Students will live in furnished dormitories, which include shared bathrooms and kitchen facilities, in shared apartments with German and other international students, or in rented rooms in private homes. Students will have access to inexpensive student cafeterias; the university does not offer meal plans.
While at the University of Oldenburg, students will have access to the full range of student organizations, clubs, wellness center, and other student-oriented services. Students will be issued a local student ID, which will allow them access to free travel within the region for six months, local movie theater and clubs.
The University of Oldenburg is a USD Direct program, which means students will continue to pay USD tuition and fees. Students will continue to receive any federal financial aid (with the exception of federal work/study) and most USD scholarships (Coyote Commitment, Mickelson, Presidential-Alumni, SD Opportunity, and Ullyot).
Students will pay for housing upon arrival in Germany.
In order to qualify for this program, students must have two years of college-level German (for semester and academic year programs). Students must complete the Global Learning application before being nominated to Oldenburg University. Students will work in conjunction with overseas staff to coordinate their arrival in Germany, course registration, and housing.
This program is offered on a semester, academic year, and summer basis. Students wishing to go only for the fall semester should consult with Global Learning as soon as possible.