Study Abroad

Exchange Program

Exchange Program fees are set based on UW-L tuition, fees, housing, and meal plan charges.  Fee inclusion varies by program.  Please refer to the Fees link on this website for more information.

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg

The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg is one of the youngest universities in Germany. Founded in 1973, it grew out of the city's 200-year-old teacher training college. Since 1973 the number of students has increased from 2,500 to over 13,000. The campus features a new library, a sports center, a dining room/cafeteria, and the finest new university architectural complexes in the country for the Natural Sciences. The University of Oldenburg is named for Carl von Ossietzky (1888-1938), one of the outstanding journalists and pacifist in Germany at the time of the Weimar Republic. When the National Socialists (Nazis) seized power in 1933, Ossietzky was arrested because of his courageous stand for peace and democracy for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935 after international pressure led to his release from the concentration camps.

Your life in Oldenburg will be filled with brand new experiences introduced by your "cultural buddy," a German student selected to be your guide to the university, city, and social scene. The University of Oldenburg offers unique opportunities not only to study language but also pop and classical music, sports science, Jewish Studies, Women's studies, and even belly dancing and juggling. Studying German language and culture at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg is truly an unforgettable experience.

The city of Oldenburg is located in the northwest region of Germany in Lower Saxony, approximately 30 miles to the northwest from Bremen and 130 miles from Hamburg. The city has approximately 150,000 inhabitants. Medium-sized enterprises, retail and service industries characterize the economic life of the city. Oldenburg is home of a number of cultural institutions including a regional museum of art and cultural history, the Augusteum art museum, and the State Museum for Natural and Early History. Situated close to both the North Sea and the Zwischenahn Lake, it also possesses extensive public parks and recreational facilities.

The University of Oldenburg offers several courses each semester specifically for exchange students, including:

  • Advanced German I
  • Advanced German II
  • Tutorial for Advanced German I
  • Tutorial for Advanced German II
  • Translation German to English
  • Christopher Hein and GDR Literature
  • History of the Weimar Republic

The German university system does not require formal registration in courses so it is possible to audit several mainstream courses and decide as the semester progresses in which courses you will earn credit. Classes in most courses will be open to you except overcrowded lab courses in the natural sciences. Upper-level seminars usually require personal registration and pre-requisites. Credit is arranged with each individual instructor. You may be required to give an oral presentation or write a term paper due at the end of the course.

UW-L participants in the past have taken courses in the following departments:

  • History
  • Jewish Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sports
  • Women's Studies

Semester course listings can be found at: (in German).

Students will have to choose which semester they are studying in, either Winter semester or Sommer semester and the year.  Then choose a faculty.  (The Faculties are broken down into five sectors.)  From there choose a department, and then review what classes are offered within the specified faculty.  Students will not be able to actually register for these courses on-line but they will be able to see what is offered and get a sense of possible credit transfer possibilities.

The course equivalencies spreadsheets have been compiled from past approved Academic Plan forms.  They show when the course was last approved and how it transferred back to La Crosse.  You may notice that some classes satisfied several UWL options.

This list is not comprehensive nor does it take the place of  meeting with your advisor for final approval!  They are meant to be a guide of what courses may be appropriate for your studies abroad.

The Akademisches Auslandsamt makes housing arrangements for UW-L students. (Housing, health insurance and visa information is available at:

The program fee includes a budgeted amount for housing in the Hermann-Ehlers-Haus, a 12-story building about 3 blocks from campus run by a private foundation. Each floor has two groups of 7-8 rooms with one shower/toilet complex for each group and a shared kitchen/eating area. All rooms are singles with a washbasin, hot and cold water, sheets and blankets provided (sheets are changed during the session). However, due to space limitations, housing in the Hermann-Ehlers-Haus cannot be guaranteed.

You can also choose to live in shared apartments with German students or rented rooms in private homes, located throughout the city of Oldenburg. These private accommodations are usually located within 1/2 hour walking distance of the university or easily accessible by bike, the most common mode of transportation in Oldenburg. Private accommodations have an additional cost of about $200-300 per semester depending on the situation, but offer the truest German experience.

American-style food services are not available in Germany. German students share cooking facilities in the Hermann-Ehlers-Haus or kitchens in private homes. The Mensa is a big cafeteria at the University where warm food is available during the noon hour Monday through Friday for a very low cost.

Before you travel abroad, you will need to obtain a passport, which will serve as proof of your U.S. citizenship. A passport may allow you to gain entry to (and exit from) other countries. Depending on the country to which you're traveling, a visa may be required as well. Entry requirements vary from one country to another. The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings specific to certain countries, and offers tips and publications relevant to travel abroad generally. Well in advance of your departure, you should also familiarize yourself with international travel health issues, and health recommendations specific to your destination.

Academic Year: mid-September to late-July
Spring Semester: mid-March to late-July
Due to the academic calendar at most German universities, a fall-only program is not possible.
You may also reference to the Program Dates on our website.

2.5 GPA minimum, 2.75+ GPA preferred
Second-semester sophomore standing (45 credits minimum), Junior standing preferred
3 semesters college-level German minimum, 4 semesters college-level German preferred
Open to students from other universities

The program fee includes the following:

  • Tuition (12-15 credits) and Administrative Fees
  • Orientation to Study Abroad Class
  • Study Abroad Health Insurance (required by UW System)
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  • Study Abroad Graduation Sash

Airfare is not included in the program price.
The cost of housing is not included in the program fee.
The program fee does not include a meal plan or meal stipend of any kind.

Financial Aid is applicable to program fees.

Refer to Program Fees for the most current program fee.

Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg :
Academic Departments:
International Student Office:
International Web Page:
Schools and Departments:

Tips and Advice from Program Alumni


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Office of International Education
1209 Centennial Hall
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601 USA

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