Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Heidelberg University), Germany

Heidelberg University (or Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg), is a public research university situated in the southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg. It is Germany's oldest university (founded 1386) and is internationally renowned, ranking in the top 100 universities worldwide by the QS World University Rankings and has a very high research output. 

Heidelberg website

Who can go?

Postgraduate research students in the Schools of Classics.

The exchange allows for one student to study abroad for one semester per academic year. 

How to apply

In order to apply, you should submit the following to your School’s study abroad coordinator:

  • cover letter explaining how the exchange will help your research and what activities you will undertake during your term in the host institution
  • CV
  • short description of the proposed research at the host institution (up to 500 words)
  • letter from your supervisor approving the application and the proposed programme, and commenting on the progress of the student and the relevance of the proposed visit.

If more students apply than there are places, the directors of postgraduates will convene a committee to review all applications and make a decision on the basis of academic merit.

If you are selected to participate in this exchange, you will be required to complete an application for admission to Heidelberg. This will include filling out an application, a CV, a letter of motivation and proof of language skills.

Current students can contact study abroad coordinators to find out more. 

Your studies

The academic year at Heidelberg is split into two semesters:

  • Fall semester: October to March
  • Spring semester: April to September

Passport and visas

You should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip, and for at least six months after you return to the UK. You should scan your passport and keep a copy for your records.

If you are a European Union national, you will not require a visa and may enter the European Union countries with your passport or national identity card. Please note that you may have to comply with legal obligations, such as registering your address with the local authorities.

If you are an international student who has a visa to study in the UK, and you have any questions about the implications of studying or working abroad whilst matriculated at St Andrews, you should consult Student Services by emailing You can also check the passports and visas page for further information.

About the University

As Germany’s oldest higher education institution, Heidelberg University is steeped in fascinating history: it was founded by Pope Urban VI as only the third university to be created in the Holy Roman Empire.

As well as the university’s rich historical backdrop, Heidelberg is consistently ranked as one of the top institutions in the world, with alumni including several German and international Heads of State and the university being affiliated to some 56 Nobel Prize winners.

Outwith the academic side of Heidelberg University, the town is one of Germany’s quintessential student hubs, with river-side views and Baroque architecture setting a peaceful scene for exchange students in Germany.


As an exchange student, you will not pay tuition fees to your host university, and will only be liable for your normal St Andrews tuition fees.

Research Council students should make sure that they have their funding body’s permission to study abroad, notifying them particularly for any mobility grants that they may be receiving.

Students from countries outside the EU or with which Germany does not have a social security agreement must pay for health insurance.


Student residences at Heidelberg University are administered by the Studierendenwerk, an independent organization providing various services to the student population.

Although the number of available rooms is limited (only 15% of all Heidelberg students can be housed in student residences), the Akademisches Auslandsamt (International Office) can cooperate with the Studierendenwerk to secure rooms in student residences for international exchange students coming to Heidelberg.

Students who wish to live in private accommodation can request more information on different housing options from the Akademisches Auslandsamt. Rent prices in Heidelberg are relatively higher than those in other German towns and cities.

Find out more about living and accommodation at Heidelberg.

Please note that St Andrews is unable to guarantee housing at any of our partner institutions.

Travel and transport

Students can fly to the nearby cities of Frankfurt or Stuttgart, where there are numerous taxi, bus, and shuttle links to Heidelberg. The Lufthansa Shuttle Link is available from Frankfurt Airport for travel to Heidelberg. 

Heidelberg’s Hauptbahnhof (central station) is in the town centre and can be reached by S-Bahn trains from both Frankfurt and Stuttgart. The train journey from Stuttgart, for example, is approximately one hour.

Student support

Heidelberg’s International Office organises several programmes for newly arrived exchange students, including:

  • orientation days
  • a buddy programme
  • tutorials and workshops to familiarise students with academic life in Heidelberg
  • excursions around Germany. 

In Heidelberg, the Studierendenwerk is involved with issues of student wellbeing. They can be contacted on a number of issues including grants and loans, accommodation questions, student groups and organisations, counselling services, banking and finance, and employment.

Please be aware that student support services will be different across all of our partner universities.


Global Office
University of St Andrews
Bute Building
Westburn Lane
St Andrews
KY16 9TS

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245