University of Oldenburg, GERMANY

Oldenburg University logo

Main building on Oldenburg campus


The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg was founded in 1973, making it one of Germany‘s young universities.The pathways on the Oldenburg campus are short: the University‘s academic staff and administrative staff work closely together, using an interdisciplinary approach. Many are integrated into special research areas, research groups and European clusters of excellence.

The university itself is divided between two campuses. The natural sciences and medicine  are located at the Wechloy campus and all other fields can be found at the main Haarentor campus.  The city center is only about two kilometers (1.2 miles) away. 

University of Oldenburg Exchange Program Website

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Basic Information

Language of Instruction: English/German

Students who want to attend German-taught courses are required to have a minimum language proficiency of level B1 (Common European Framework of Reference). Students who are planning on taking only English-taught courses are exempt from the German proficiency requirement. 

Even if the courses you are taking at University of Oldenburg are in English, you should consider learning German to manage everyday life in Germany.

Intensive German courses are offered before the beginning of the semester. Furthermore, German courses at all levels are offered during each semester. Students take language placement tests during Orientation Week to determine which course level is appropriate.

Best for majors/minors: Biology, Business, Economics, Environmental Sciences, German Language, International Studies, Political Science (if only taking courses taught in English)

If you are proficient in German - please review Oldenburg's course list for more options.

Eligibility: Students should have completed at least 24 credits and have an NMU 2.5 GPA at the time of application.

Fall Term:  October - March (please note: this semester will be referred to as “winter” semester)

International student orientation: Early October - International Orientation takes place in the week prior to the beginning of lectures.

Spring term:  April - September (please note: this semester will be referred to as Summer semester)

International student orientation: Late March/early April - International Orientation takes place in the week prior to the beginning of lectures.

(Note: If you are interested in enrolling in the Spring term, students can discuss the possibility of returning from the semester early to attend NMU.)


The Studentenwerk Oldenburg (SWO) offers affordable accommodation in student housing facilities. The rooms that are assigned to exchange students are single rooms and are fully furnished. Kitchen and bathroom(s) are shared with other students. In-house laundry facilities are provided.  Please note that rental agreements last for a period of six months. Students are typically asked to pay upfront for the entire period of their stay plus an additional deposit of 1 month’s rent.  The rent ranges from 180-300 Euro per month ($201 - $335*).

Alternatively, exchange students can also apply for a room in a shared apartment that is rented privately (this is a common arrangement in Germany). This may be a bit more expensive at 220 - 350 Euro ($245 - $390*) per month, but the rental agreements are more flexible.

The application form is the same for all types of housing. The housing application is submitted with the program application form and documents.

Meal options

The University of Oldenburg does not offer a specific meal plan, but there is an on-campus cafeteria facility, referred to as the “canteen” or “mensa”.  Based on common costs of on-campus food options in Germany, meals could cost between 3-5 Euro ($4-$6*).

The University of Oldenburg offers an app (specifically for iPhones) that can access the complete canteen plans for the current and following week for all menus on campus. Menus will indicate special needs food options, such as allergens, vegan/vegetarian options, etc.

Typical grocery costs are around 150 - 200 Euro ($167- $223*) per month. Click here for more information on living costs at Oldenburg.

Estimated Cost of Participation

Students pay their tuition, and fees to Northern Michigan University, and can access their financial aid while studying abroad.  The cost of housing, health insurance and services will be paid directly to the University of Oldenburg.

The administrative fee is a mandatory fee to study at the University of Oldenburg.  The fee is used to fund the transportation ticket (Semesterticket), the student’s parliament and some of the campus facilities. The transportation ticket is valid for six months and can be used for all public transport in Oldenburg and Bremen as well as the regional trains all over Lower Saxony. This fee must be paid in cash on the first day of the International Student Orientation.

Click here (link to: Oldenburg Cost Template) to view the breakdown of fees and estimated expenses for a term at the University of Oldenburg.

How to Apply

In order to apply to participate in this exchange, students will need to carefully complete and submit the forms/information listed below. All materials should be submitted to the International Education Services Office by the posted deadline.

  • Set up an advising meeting with an IES Study Abroad Advisor to discuss program interest.The IES advisor will give you the complete cost packet.
  • Meet with Financial Aid to determine eligibility. Bring your cost packet with you to the meeting.

  • Complete the NMU Application for Study Abroad

  • IES Exchange Coordinator nominates you to the exchange university of choice.

  • Complete the University of Oldenburg Exchange Application and submit the following documents:


You will receive your letter of admission by post with an information packet after the application deadline. Click here to see additional forms that may be required after application. 

Please note: You are welcome to schedule an appointment with the exchange coordinator to complete the application during a meeting. This is recommended, based on past student experiences.

Oldenburg Deadlines

Nominations Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester: May 15

  • Winter Semester: November 15

University of Oldenburg Application Deadlines:

  • Fall Semester: July 15

  • Winter Semester: January 15

How to Search for Courses

Students should be aware that exchange partner universities do not normally waive prerequisite courses for visiting exchange students. While searching for courses, students should make sure they have completed the equivalent of the prerequisites listed by the exchange university. When admitted, every exchange student will be assigned an academic advisor (departmental coordinator) who will help the student put together a suitable curriculum.

General Course Catalogue

English Taught Courses

Understanding Grades and Credits

Students should plan to take the equivalent of at least 12 NMU credit hours while abroad.

University of Oldenburg, Germany, follows the standard European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). One ECTS credit point translates into roughly 30 hours of work, of which only a part is spent in the classroom. An individual course can be worth anything between 3 and 10 ECTS. Please plan on enrolling in at least 24 ECTS credits.

Students will be required to have courses pre-evaluated by Department Heads before departure. After choosing classes, students should set up meetings with the appropriate Department Heads to determine NMU credit equivalencies. Please bring syllabus information and the Pre-Course Evaluation Form to the meeting.

The Pre-Course Evaluation Form (link to form) should be submitted to the IES office when completed. This document will be kept in the student file and is necessary for the completion of transcript evaluation.

Once the IES office receives the official transcript from the exchange university, the student will see the NMU course equivalencies listed on NMU transcript.

Grades will also transfer back as they equate to the grading scale at Northern Michigan. 

Other important links

University of Oldenburg Homepage

University of Oldenburg - European Studies in Global Perspectives Program

University of Oldenburg Summer School - German Language & Culture


Last Updated: 2/3/2020
*US dollar amounts are an estimate based off of time it was researched. Values of currencies are constantly fluctuating.