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  • Locations: Duisburg, Germany
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Quarter
  • Restrictions: WWU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Quarter 2019 01/11/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Exchange Language of Instruction: English, German
Language Prerequisite: Yes Fields of Study: International Studies, Political Science
Program Description:

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WWU Exchange in Germany: University of Duisburg-Essen


Program Snapshot

The University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is one of Germany's youngest universities, located in two cities of the Ruhr area of Germany.  With a total student population of approximately 42,700, out of whom roughly 15% are international students.  
  • This exchange agreement is limited to the Faculty of Social Sciences and Mercator School of Management
  • Coursework is available in German and English
  • UDE is ranked 13 in the Times Higher Education Ranking of the world’s 200 best young universities
  • German language courses are available


Duisburg is one of the oldest university towns in Germany and the fifteenth largest city in Germany (pop. ~500,000). Duisburg was a primary target of allied bombers during World War II and was among the most heavily bombed cities in Germany. The Duisburg port is the largest island port in the world. The

In Essen, the district of Rüttenscheid enjoys similar status and attracts large numbers of students and academics. The Ruhr city is home to some 580,000 people in all and is probably best known as an exhibition and healthcare center, thanks in no small part to the University Hospital and its reputation for specialisation in cardiology, oncology and transplantation.
Fun Facts about Germany
  • Germany is composed of 16 states, which all have their own constitution and are largely autonomous in regards to their internal organization.
  • The first printed book was in German
  • When President Kennedy visited Berlin, he said “Ich bin ein Berliner”, which means, “I am a Berliner”. In Germany, a Berliner is a jelly-filled
  • Germany is a leader in climate and energy policies – it made a decision in 2011 to decommission all nuclear power stations (then producing around 18 percent of electricity consumed) by 2022 and to replace them with renewable energies and new storage for green electricity.

Academic Program and Courses

The Faculty of Social Sciences offers a wide range of study programs in the field of Political Science, Sociology and East Asian Studies. The faculty is comprised of the following departments and institutes: Most coursework is conducted in German, although the Institute of Political Science offers significant coursework in English.

A note to students interested in Political Science
The Institute of Political Science at the University Duisburg-Essen (UDE) is the largest educational and research institution for political science in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and enjoys high standing within the German political science community. Students benefit from a wide range of associated research centers and programs, such as the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF) and the NRW School of Governance.

The Institutes offers a broad selection of study programs: a BA in Political Science, several specialized Masters in German and English language, as well as the opportunity to acquire a doctoral degree (Ph.D. equivalent). The BA Political Science program provides a general introduction to the discipline and qualifies for any MA program in social sciences. Close cooperation with the Institute of Sociology and the Institute of East Asian Studies (IN-EAST) opens opportunities for interdisciplinary orientation.

The Political Science Department at Western Washington University encourages and supports study abroad programs for the learning and cultural experiences they offer Western students.

The academic year is divided into winter and summer terms, with each term lasting six months. Students are expected to use the time after lectures end and before the examination period starts for independent studies.

Academic calendar

The academic year at German universities is divided into winter semester and summer semester.
  • Winter semester:     1st October - 31st March – Students will be registered at Western for Fall and Winter quarters.
  • Summer semester:  1st April - 30th September – Students will be registered at Western for Spring quarter
Each semester is divided into lecture and lecture free periods. The dates of lecture period as well as holidays vary from semester to semester. Exams are usually taken in the first weeks of the lecture free period.

Mercator School of Management
At Mercator School of Management, the majority of lectures is taught in German and therefore unsuitable for most visiting international students. However, Mercator is constantly endeavored to expand its course offering for students who are not fluent in German. The Social and Economic Sciences International Program (SESIP) includes a variety of lectures and seminars taught in English language. The program is open to all exchange students visiting Duisburg campus as guests of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Mercator School of Management or the Institute of East Asian Studies. By connecting social and political sciences with regular business courses, SESIP offers our international students a wider range of modules from which to choose.
Other lectures in English may be offered to visiting students upon request. Additionally, a broad selection of different language courses are also available.  

A note about classes in Germany (Source: ISEP)
Teaching at the universities includes lectures and seminars. Vorlesungen (lectures) will, as a rule, take up the full amount of time designated, and the number of students is not limited. Discussion and questions concerning the lecture take place during the accompanying Übungen, small discussion groups. The Übungen usually feature homework assignments, research and the writing of papers.

The Seminar, dedicated to small-group learning, is headed by a professor. It covers a subject area in more detail and requires that each student contribute, by way of an oral presentation on a specific topic. Students are encouraged to participate intensively in two to four seminars per semester. Proseminare make up the Grundstudium (first few terms of study) until successful completion of the interimediate exam, after which Hauptseminare are taken to finish the course of study. Proseminare may also be taken in the Hauptstudium.

A common practice is the akademische Viertel. Classes are scheduled on the hour, but do not actually begin until 15 minutes past. This is signified by a "c.t." (cum tempore) after the listed time of a meeting. If this practice does not apply to a particular meeting, an "s.t." (sine tempore) will appear after the posted time. Check with other students before assuming that the akademische Viertel is practiced by individual instructors.

Independent, self-directed study is heavily emphasized at German universities. There are usually no definite assignments of a certain number of pages to read in textbooks. German students are expected to do independent primary and secondary reading during the course of their studies. Independent study is a crucial element of the academic freedom of a German institution and is designed to encourage self-motivation and promote interesting discussion, since not everyone has read the same material. While less demanding on a daily basis than study at a U.S. institution, independent study may ultimately be more rigorous in its demands.


Please note that the student residence halls in Duisburg and Essen are administered by Studentenwerk - a student welfare services organization. Please contact Studentenwerk directly if you have questions regarding the student residences.

UDE strongly recommend that you make accommodation arrangements for your stay in Duisburg or Essen in advance. Depending on your place of study, you could book a room in a hall of residence in either Duisburg or Essen. The two campuses are about 20 km apart and both campuses can be quickly reached by public transport (duration: about 45 minutes). The distance between can also be covered in about 30 minutes with the university’s own shuttle.
Please use the online application form for your room reservation. Remember to mention that you are an ERASMUS student / exchange student!

Do not make any room reservations until you have received the letter of acceptance.

Program Cost

Exchange program participants will pay a student fee based on WWU in-state tuition and mandatory fees.  For students studying abroad for three quarters, this fee will be equal to in-state tuition and mandatory fees. Students studying abroad for a single semester will pay a semester rate for tuition, which equates to ½ year of in-state tuition. All other costs associated with participation in the program (including transportation, room and board, personal expenses) are the responsibility of the individual student.

In 2002, the Euro replaced the Deutsche Mark as the official currency of Germany. The Euro is the common currency of the European Union.
A useful currency converter can be found here.
Germans use cash for most purchases, reserving credit or debit cards for travel and for very large purchases. Checks are rarely used in Germany.
Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Euro-card are all widely accepted in Germany and throughout Europe. However, it is best not to rely completely on credit cards; carry cash in manageable denominations for smaller purchases. You can access your German or home bank account through ATM machines.
Cost Estimates
  • Tuition & Mandatory Fees (Academic Year 2018): USD ~$2,750 per quarter
  • Tuition & Mandatory Fees (Single Semester 2018): USD ~$3,940
  • Housing: 200- 450 euro/month
  • Meals: 200 – 300 euro/month
  • Books & Supplies: 200 euro/semester
  • National Health Insurance: $1.56 per day
  • Study abroad health insurance: USD $1.56/day
  • Personal Expenses: 100 – 300 euros/month
  • Airfare: $800 - $1,300

How to Apply

Step 1: Interview and Nomination

You must be nominated by Western’s EdAbroad office before you can apply for admission to UDE. Here is the nomination process:
  • Create one EdAbroad application  
  • Complete the following four items in the Pre-Decision Section:
  • Sign the Read & Sign forms
  • Pay the application fee
  • Answer the Questionnaire (This will help prepare you for the interview)
  • Submit a completed Recommendation.
There are two other items in the Pre-Decision Section, but students can complete them either before or after the interview. 
Call the EdAbroad front desk to schedule an interview.
Deadline for Submitting Nomination material  
  • For Exchanges starting between July and October: February 1 (Interviews can be scheduled before or after the deadline)
  • For Exchanges starting in January and April: June 1 (Interviews can be scheduled before or after the deadline)
Late applications accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Once the student has come in for an interview, the status in their EdAbroad application will be changed to "Interviewed".

Step 2: Accept the Nomination

The EdAbroad office will make nomination decisions as soon as possible after all eligible candidates have been interviewed. Note that different host sites have different nomination and application deadlines. The timeline of the host site’s application process strongly influences the order in which the EdAbroad office processes student applications.  
The EdAbroad office will notify students of their nomination status by email. Nominated students will receive an attached Nomination Letter.
In order to accept the nomination, students should initial and sign the nomination letter and return it to the EdAbroad office by the date requested in the letter. Note that students will be required to pay a $500 deposit against tuition after accepting the nomination.

Once nominated students have submitted their signed and initialed nomination letter, their EdAbroad Application status will be updated to "Accepted". When a student's application status is changed from "Interviewed" to "Accepted", the remainder of the EdAbroad application material will become available for review and completion.
Step 3: The EdAbroad office submits your nomination to UDE.

The EdAbroad office must formally nominate you to UDE. The nomination deadline is 1 May for the winter term (semester starts in October) and 1 November for the summer term (semester starts in April). As soon as UDE has received the nomination from our office, they will send you an email with information on the application procedure and a link to the online application system.
Step 4: Fill out and Submit your UDE Application
As stated, UDE will send you instructions on how to complete your online application. You will need to upload the following documents to your online UDE application:
  • Current Transcript of Records (PDF format)
  • Learning Agreement (PDF format)
  • Copy of the picture page of your passport (PDF format)
  • Passport photo (JPEG format)
After you have filled in the application form, uploaded all necessary documents, and submitted your online application to UDE, a PDF of your application will be generated. Please print the form, have it signed by the EdAbroad exchange coordinator, and send it to: within the application deadline.
Application deadlines
  • Fall/Academic Year (Winter Semester): June 1
  • Spring Semester (Summer Semester): December 1
UDE will send you the acceptance letter approximately one month after the application deadline.
Step 5: Applying for your Visa
Citizens of the U.S. do not need to apply for a visa before departure, but must apply for a Residence Permit after entering Germany without a visa.
After arriving, students will have to register with the Foreigner’s Registration Authority. Be sure to bring:
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • One passport photo
  • Letter of Acceptance from UDE
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources

Additional Information

USE PowerPoint Presentation
Life in Duisburg and Essen
University of Duisburg-Essen video
Information for International Exchange Students
Institute of Political Science    

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