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The University of Scranton Study Abroad Program


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Universität Bonn
Bonn, Germany (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Fall,
Year (SH)
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Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Scranton applicants only
Budget Sheets Spring,
Year (SH)
Dates / Deadlines: - unrelated header
Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2019 04/15/2019 04/30/2019 TBA TBA
Year (SH) 2019-2020 04/15/2019 04/30/2019 TBA TBA
Year (SH) 2018-2019 04/15/2019 04/30/2019 TBA TBA
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Fact Sheet:
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Instruction Language: German Language Prereqs.: Intermediate German
Language Courses: German/Advanced, German/Intermediate
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Fields of study:
European Studies, History, International Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, Theology/Religious Studies
Minimum GPA: 3.0 Eligibility-Class: 03 Second Semester Sophomore
Credits/Term: 12-18
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Program Type:
Foreign University Progam for International Students
Housing Options: Residence Halls
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Dining hall/meal plan
Program Description:
Program Description:

The University

With an excellent reputation, 27,500 students and nearly 200 years of history: Rheinische-Friedrich- Wilhelms-Universität Bonn is one of the leading universities in Germany and a particularly attractive destination for foreign researchers and students. When you ask people in Bonn the question “Where’s the university?” and they will probably reply: “That depends!” This has nothing to do with being non-committal – a trait often ascribed to people in the Rhineland – but with the fact that ‘the university’ does not exist in Bonn. It is located in more than 350 buildings spread all over the town. The most striking is undoubtedly the main building in the town center, the former residence of the prince electors, now home to the Faculty of Arts and both Theological Faculties. In combination with the “Hofgarten” – the grounds of the residence – this landmark has a considerable impact on the university’s unmistakable flair.

Today, the University of Bonn teaches approximately 27,500 students from 135 countries in about 90 programs. It cooperates with some 70 partner universities in Europe, America, Asia and Australia. Its 517 professors and 3,513 academic staff define its special academic profile which is characterized by a strong research orientation in its teaching. The university has thus produced numerous award-winning scientists, including two Nobel laureates: Wolfgang Paul (1913 – 1993), Nobel Prize in Physics in 1989, and Reinhard Selten (born 1930), who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

If you speak to a student on the green behind the university there is a very good chance that he or she will come from North America, Asia or Africa. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, 3,600 students from more than 135 countries currently enliven the academic and social life of the town. Bonn is a good choice: The University of Bonn is one of Germany’s leading academic institutions. Founded in 1818, it has a long tradition in teaching and research. 30,000 students are enrolled at the University of Bonn. More than 5,000 of them are international students, representing more than 130 nations, which contributes to Bonn’s international atmosphere. The university ranks as the third largest university in the federal state of North-Rhine/Westphalia. The University of Bonn‘s excellent reputation is also due to the commitment of its 600 professors, 3,000 faculty, and 1,700 non-academic staff members.

For 50 years the University has built a reputation in hosting students from around the world in its immersion study abroad programmes. Each year about 500 students participate in the semester- or yearlong exchange and Junior Year abroad programmes or come to Bonn for a spring or summer programme focusing, for example, on German literature and language, transatlantic issues, or research in the Life Sciences. Each programme offers a unique mix of study and research opportunities, German courses, cultural programme, and immersion into the university’s and city’s life. The wide range of courses offered, an outstanding reputation in teaching and research, and its unique location make Bonn an especially attractive place to study and live, so that many students decide to stay on or return later. For more information on Uni-Bonn, please navigate to: Study Abroad at Uni-Bonn.


Bonn is a city in which one feels at home immediately. With its 310,000 inhabitants, it is a medium-sized city which offers a great quality of life, a strong local economy, and a wide range of leisure activities. The origins of Bonn go back to the foundation of „Castra Bonnensia“, a Roman camp built between the years 13 and 9 B.C. In the course of the centuries, Bonn has seen many changes in its rulers and its fortunes. Ludwig van Beethoven is probably the city’s most famous son. The house where he was born in 1770 and where he spent his childhood can still be visited today.


Depending on their knowledge of German, international students can choose from classes offered by the International Office and the courses of the University.

1. The International Office offers German language classes on different levels as well as topical courses from areas of German culture, media, politics and history.

2. The course catalogue of the University offers “seminars” and “lectures”. Classes are generally held in German, some are taught in English.

During the semester, the International Offi ce offers German language classes on different levels (from Intensive German for beginners and intermediate learners up to more specialized courses for advanced students, e.g. Conversation and Vocabulary, Advanced Composition, Advanced Phonetics, etc.), as well as specially designed interdisciplinary classes from the fi elds of German culture and civilization. Students can choose from all courses regularly offered at the University of Bonn, provided they have the necessary qualifi cations. The university offers about eighty degree programs and a wide range of courses. The classes offered by our seven faculties encompass the entire range of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, and law. In general, the language of instruction is German. Some departments offer a few courses in English.

There are different types or levels of courses offered at the University: A “Proseminar” is the starting level for independent academic study. Students are usually required to give an oral presentation (Referat) and / or write a term paper (Hausarbeit). A “Hauptseminar” is for advanced students (comparable to an American graduate seminar at the master’s level). Students are expected to do independent academic study. Usually students are required to prepare one aspect of the seminar and give an oral presentation and / or write a term paper. This is a lecture course offered by a prominent senior professors. It is designed to give students an overview of a certain topic. Lecture courses are for students at all levels. There is generally little opportunity for discussion – mostly students listen to the professor‘s presentation. These courses are usually not offered for grades, but non-German students might arrange to take a fi nal exam with the professor (oral or written) and thus get a grade – a “benoteten Schein”. Literally, a practice. Usually a relatively small class that provides basic knowledge for future independent work. Generally devoted to weekly reading assignments and sometimes writing assignments as well. Students may have to prepare an oral presentation and / or write a term paper.

Tutorials are usually taught by graduate students or teaching assistants. They are offered in combination with a Vorlesung or Seminar in order to deepen the material covered in the regular course. Your successful participation in a course will be recorded on a “Schein” (certificate). We distinguish between an ungraded “Schein” (“unbenoteter Schein”, also called “Teilnahmeschein” or “Sitzschein”) which documents your successful participation in the class (Audit or pass / fail), and a graded „Schein“ (benoteter Schein), which awards you a grade for your work. For an ungraded „Schein“ you generally only give an oral presentation. In order to get a grade for the course, you will have to prepare an oral presentation and write a term paper or sometimes a fi nal exam. Please note: Classes traditionally start 15 minutes after the hour. This is called “cum tempore” (c.t.) or “das Akademische Viertel.” “Sine tempore” (s.t.) means that the class starts exactly at the time given.

For more information on available courses, please navigate to: Uni-Bonn Courses.

The Academic Year

At German universities, the academic year is divided into two semesters, a winter semester and a summer semester. The winter semester runs from October 1st to March 31st, the summer semester from April 1st to September 30th. Classes usually start about 2 weeks into the semester and end in mid-February (for the winter semester) and at the end of July (for the summer semester). During the break between semesters students usually write research papers, work on presentations, prepare for exams or gain work experience through internships. 


The Germany Hands-On internship program is designed for international students, who would like to experience German society and culture by working in a German company or  Organisation. Students work three days a week at their internship placement in the Cologne/Bonn area. One day is reserved for academic work. Students will enrol in two or more courses related to their field of study at the University of Bonn.

The program is designed for international students from Partner Universities with a very good command of German. However, strong individual motivation is a must for this program and students need to play an active part during the process.

Internships usually run for about three month. Students will be working approximately two or three days weekly at the their internship placement. The Internship depend on students' interests, background, previous work experience and skills as well as on the availability of suitable internship opportunities. The final decision on internship placements and thus participation in the program will be made in cooperation with the institutions/companies providing internships. We therefore point out that students are not entitled to any specific internship placements. Internships are unpaid.

Parallel to the internship, students have to attend two or more classes at the University to collect credits for their studies. Additionally, during the internship students have to write weekly journals (1-2 pages each ). Journals are meant to help them reflect on their experience at their workplace in detail. Journals have to be written in German. They will be corrected by a German language teacher as well as the Program Manager .They will be returned with comments on the student’s progress in German language learning as well as on the internship experience and intercultural issues. Additionaly the prospectus and the final paper will help students to improve the German language skills.

Germany Hands-On usually runs within the Junior Year Exchange Program parallel to the semester. We recommend students, who stay in Bonn for a year, to participate in the program during the second semester and to use the first one for improving academic skills and the German language. However, students, who are not enrolled in these programms can also possible participate in the program over the summer, either as an extension of the summer semester or as an extra program (June – August ). For the summer program there are no classes available, students can intern full-time.

Accommodation and Meals

If not notified otherwise, we will arrange your accommodation in dormitories of the Studentenwerk Bonn. All dorms are either within walking distance of the university or have easy access to public transportation. The dorms‘ equipment varies: There are only single rooms, some have a private bathroom and kitchen, but in most cases you will share a large kitchen and bathrooms with other students. Rooms are equipped with basic furniture and in most of the dorms you can also get bed sheets through your dormitory’s management. You should, however, remember to bring: Your own towels and toiletries, towels, maybe some toilet paper for the first days. Dorm rooms have internet access. If you bring your laptop, ask your tutor to help you getting it connected. Usually you will have to purchase kitchen equipment such as plates, pots and pans on your own, but sometimes it is possible to use the equipment of your predecessors or borrow something from your fellow students.

The university’s cafeterias (Mensa) offer affordable meals for students. Prices vary between € 1,65 and € 3,00. There is always a vegetarian dish available, and the Mensa Nassestraße also offers dinner.

More information on accommodations may be found here: Studentenwerk Bonn.

Cultural Programs

Getting to know Germany and its culture is an important part of your study abroad experience. The Junior Year Program offers a wide range of activities during the Orientation Course as well as throughout the course of the semester, which will introduce the Bonn-Cologne region to you. There are also various other ways to meet Germans and become acquainted with their culture.

Host Families: Bonn families extend invitations to foreign students to their homes. Signing up for the program will give you a first hand experience of German "family life". Your host family might invite you for dinner, introduce you to their favorite sights of Bonn or simply meet with you from time to time. They are just as eager to learn about you and your culture as you are to learn about Germany!

Study Buddy Program: Most of the German students participating in the Study Buddy Program have spent a year abroad themselves and are aware of the problems that might arise and possible solutions. Your personal "Study Buddy" will provide valuable advice on everyday life in Bonn. By participating in the Study Buddy Program, you will not only be able to cut red tape but will also come into contact with German students more easily. In the past, we ascertained that the program really helped to foster friendship and mutual understanding and broadened the cultural horizon of all participants. The program's activities will also include various events organised by the International Club - an excellent opportunity to meet people from all over the world. Plus, the Study Buddy Program is free of charge! Furthermore, if you take part in the program it is possible to get points for the certificate for international competence. Please contact us if you want to join the program.

Volunteering: Working with children is a great way of learning German. A number of elementary schools all over Bonn would like to invite students into their classroom. You can assist teachers with language lessons or during other classes. This program offers great opportunities not only for getting to know German school life and young school kids but also to experience a regular German working atmosphere. You can sign up for this program at the beginning of the semester. You will then work in a Bonn elementary school on a weekly basis.

Discovering Germany: Aside from academic courses, the International Offi ce offers an extensive cultural program which includes fi eld trips, museum visits, movie nights, concerts, and other activities, and as part of the Junior Year Program also a six-day excursion to Berlin. This cultural component of the program is meant to help you understand and learn as much as possible about Germany, its history, culture, and society. The different activities and excursions are therefore specifi cally selected to cover various topics and different eras of German history and civilization, like the ancient heritage of the Romans, Germany in the Middle Ages, the 20th century, the changing role of Berlin, and other typical aspects of German culture. Participation in all events of the cultural program is voluntary. Still, we recommend that you take part in at least one excursion or event from each of the above areas in order to get a broad image of our country.

As part of your program, several full or half-day excursions and a one-week trip to Berlin are offered. You will be informed on all of these events by special announcements. For most excursions, we will have sign-up lists during coffee hours. If you sign up for an excursion, please consider your signature as a confi rmation that you are actually going to take part in the event. Therefore, please sign up only if you really want to go. Participation in the trip to Berlin is subject to special invitation. All Junior Year Program students will be invited to the trip. The aim of the excursion to Berlin is to show you  country-specific aspects of German history, politics, and culture. Attendance at the respective tour programs is expected. The excursion takes place every semester. If you stay in Bonn for a full year, you might be invited in the second semester only, because places for the fi rst excursion will first be distributed to students on a one-semester-program. If you reject an invitation, reimbursement for the missed trip is not possible.

Student Visa/Residence Permit

EU citizens and citizens from the following countries do not need a visa to enter ermany: Australia, Canada, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, ew Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the United States. However, after ntering Germany they will have to apply for a residence permit at the local „Ausländerbehörde“ Immigration Offi ce) if they are staying for more than three months. Students from all other countries must apply for a visa for study purposes via the German diplomatic representation in their home country. You must not under any circumstances travel to Germany on a tourist visa. For further information on requirements for entering Germany also check the websites of the German embassy or consulate in your home country.

All students staying in Bonn for more than three months need to register with the local Immigration Offi ce (Ausländeramt) in order to obtain a residence permit. Should you already have a valid residence permit for the complete duration of your stay in Germany, this does not concern you. In all other cases you will have to apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Offi ce in Bonn-Beuel.


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