Heidelberg is one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, known for its friendly, relaxed approach to life. It hosts a wide range of cultural activities such as theater, dance and music, and all types of shops, pubs and sports facilities. Heidelberg is on the Neckar River in southwestern Germany, one of the sunniest and warmest corners of the country.

Heidelberg is the site of the earliest evidence of human life in Europe; A fossilized jaw was discovered there in 1907, and scientists dated it from 600,000 to 200,000 years old. The library of Heidelberg was founded in 1421, and is the oldest intact public library in Germany. The city is also home to Heidelberg Castle, which dates back to the 11th century, and the University of Heidelberg, which is one of Europe’s oldest educational institutions.


Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair. It is held annually in Munich, attracts more than 5 million people and lasts 16 days. This year’s Oktoberfest began on Saturday, Sept. 22. Festival participants consume Oktoberfest beer, sauerkraut, sausages and other German foods. All beer served at Oktoberfest must be brewed within the city limits of Munich.

Every year, young people who attend the festival tend to overestimate their ability to tolerate alcohol, and forget that Oktoberfest beer has high percentages of alcohol and sugar compared to other German beer. Those who pass out due to intoxication are referred to as “Bierleichen,” which translates to “beer corpses.”


The program is administered by the American Junior Year at Heidelberg College in Ohio in cooperation with Saint Louis University. All instruction is in German. Students live in a dormitory or in a shared apartment (Wohngemeinschaft) with German students, and choose to spend a semester or a year in Heidelberg through this program.


To learn more about our study abroad program in Heidelberg, Germany, visit our website.

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