Study Abroad in Oldenburg

at Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg (University of Oldenburg)


The City of Oldenburg


The city of Oldenburg was officially founded in the year 1345, but the first documented mention of Oldenburg as “olde borch” was made in the year 1108. The city is situated in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony, Germany, less than 40 miles from the North Sea coast.

The population of Oldenburg has reached nearly 160,000 people, and is continuing to attract a growing number of young professionals. Oldenburg offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including renowned museums, an historic city center, beautiful parks, and sporting and cultural events such as the International Music Festival Oldenburger Promenade held annually in June.


About Carl Von Ossietzky University


Carl von Ossietzky (1889-1938) was one of the Weimar Republic’s most prolific journalists and the 1935 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. In October of 1991, the university was ceremoniously renamed Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg in his honor.

"We cannot look to the conscience of the world when our own conscience is asleep." --Carl von Ossietzky

Size and Student Population

Since the founding of the University of Oldenburg in 1973, the student population has grown to a size comparable to that of NMU – just over 10.000 students. Nearly 10% of the university’s student population is comprised of international students from over 90 different countries; the university prides itself on its collaborations with over 120 universities worldwide. 

Oldenburg UniversityCampus

The University of Oldenburg is divided into two main campuses: Campus Wechloy, home to the natural sciences departments and outdoor sports facilities, and Campus Haarentor, which consists of all other academic departments, the library, cafeteria, and International Student Office. 

>>Click here for Leander Roessler's 2:00 minute HDR-StopMotion-Timelapse video of the University of Oldenburg campus

Academic Programs

The university offers internationally accepted Bachelor and Master programs in a wide variety of disciplines and course offerings. Unlike most other study abroad programs, the University of Oldenburg allows students from their partner universities to enroll directly in regular University of Oldenburg classes. A new medical school now offers NMU pre-med students the flexibility to choose courses that directly complement their degree program. Learn more>>  (German only).

Academic Calendar

The academic year at the University of Oldenburg is divided into two semesters: 

Winter: October 1 - March 31
Summer: April 1 - September 30

In addition, NMU students attend a “bridge course” in the either March or September to bring their German language competency to a level which allows them to participate successfully in German university courses.

Summer Intensive Program

The university offers an additional 6-credit summer intensive program for international students. The dates of this summer’s intensive program are July 17, 2013 – August 14, 2013. Students may choose to attend just the summer intensive program, or attend it as a segue into the Winter semester at the University of Oldenburg. The university arranges everything from housing to excursions, and buddies are assigned to each student. For more details, including application forms and contact information, please visit this page. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2013.


As a native English speaker, you may apply for the 2000 euro Student Mobility Grant offered by the University of Oldenburg. The scholarship is awarded to five eligible students from University of Oldenburg's partner universities, and is paid in four monthly installments of 500 euros. The scholarship has been awarded to three NMU students thus far.

To learn more about scholarships available exclusively to North American undergraduate students, visit the DAAD North America website, or contact Susan Morgan in NMU's International Programs Office. 

Buddy Program

BuddiesStudents are assigned a buddy before they even arrive in Oldenburg. Buddies are German natives, and will be similar in age to you. They can pick you up from the airport or train station when you arrive, help you navigate Oldenburg and the university, give advice about housing, bicycle rental or shopping, introduce you to other German students, and answer any questions you may have. NMU students have the additional advantage of being connected to a unique local network of supporters thanks to the efforts of NMU faculty liaison and Oldenburg-native Dirk Ahlers.  


Both buddies and NMU’s local network will be able to assist you with determining the right housing choice for your time in Oldenburg. The university’s International Student Office will also be an invaluable resource.

Students can choose to live in student dorms or off-campus. There are six student dorms run by the Studentenwerk. A furnished room will cost you between 120 and 150 euros/month.

Oldenburg dorms

NMU’s International Program Office will help you to arrange housing before you go, but the housing application information can be found here

A room in an off-campus residence typically runs between 150 and 300 euros/month. Off-campus housing and roommate ads can be found posted on campus, in the daily newspaper NWZ (Nordwestzeitung), or the Tuesday/Saturday publication Kleinanzeiger.

Visit the following sites for more information on housing:

Cost of living

You will find that you can live quite inexpensively in Oldenburg.  Markets are held nearly every day of the week, including the All-For-Free (Oldenburger Verschenkmarkt) Market for anything from housewares to clothing.



Included in your tuition is the Semesterticket, one of the most useful resources offered to you as a student at University of Oldenburg. The Semesterticket allows you to utilize all local transportation and all train transportation within Lower Saxony. Regional trains travel as far as the border with Holland to the west, Hamburg or the coast to the north, and Hanover and Osnabruck to the south. For more information on the Semesterticket and regional trains, visit: or

In addition to the Semesterticket, having a bike in Oldenburg is a must. Oldenburg is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in Germany, with nearly 170 miles of municipal bike paths. Bikes may be rented or purchased.

Advice from NMU Students

Feel free to browse your fellow NMU students’ blogs for more information, advice, and pictures of Oldenburg:

NMU student Corey Sustarich is also currently studying in Oldenburg and may provide you additional info now as well as upon his return to NMU in August 2013. You may reach Corey at


All photos courtesy of Dylan Hendrix.