Universität Hamburg

Northern Germany's centre of shopping and culture, Hamburg is also one of the biggest ports in Europe and a gateway to Scandinavia and the British Isles.

The University of Hamburg (Germany's third largest university) is centrally located in the Rotherbaum district, metres from Lake Alster and a short distance from some of the most popular places in the city, and is known for its sustainability initiatives and numerous degree programs. Located near the UNESCO-protected Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus districts, Universität Hamburg is the biggest research and education-based university in Northern Germany (at 42,000 students). Though not an old university since its foundation in 1919, it has nevertheless earned its reputation for producing a series of Nobel prize winners, and remains firmly within the top 135 institutions world-wide, achieving a high regard globally in the fields of linguistics, astronomy & physics, and earth & natural sciences (THE 2019, QS 2019).

Key information


Hamburg, Germany


English, German


Fall, Winter, Academic Year

A summer program is also available - see "Academic information" section for details!

Program type


Application information

Application status



2024-2025 applications

First come first considered for remaining spaces until

Winter 2025: August 15, 2024

University-specific additional requirements

No reference letter required; minimum GPA 2.7. See Eligibility section below for details.

2025-2026 applications

Open November 1, 2024

Student experience

Official image film of Hamburg Metropolitan Region

Program details

Universität Hamburg offers more than 170 degree programs (taught in German), including African Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Sciences, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science (including Interaction Design), East Asian Studies, Economics, French, Geography, Geophysics & Oceanography, German, Industrial Engineering, Italian, Earth Science, History, Law & Society, Linguistics, Mathematics, Media and Communication Studies, Molecular Biology, Music, Nanoscience, Slavic Language and Cultural studies, Spanish, Religious Studies, 

Unique programs are also offered here, such as Bioinformatics, Eastern European Studies, Finno-Ugric/Uralic language, Forestry, Medieval Studies, Sign Language, and Special Needs Education.

For a detailed list of programs, please visit the Degree Programs page. More information can be found here

There are also a very limited number of English courses available at the Masters level as well as research opportunities for undergrad, Master's and PhD students (funding available, see MITACS GlobaLink funding).

Students at Hamburg typically take 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits per semester. 6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half course equivalent)

Hamburg has 2 semesters, Winter and Summer. Winter semester typically runs from early-October to the end of March (classes end mid-Feb), and Summer semester runs from early April to the end of September (classes end mid July), though it may be possible to finish in late Feb or late July. 

The summer schools (see "Academic information" section above) run in July.

  1. Costs

    Exchange students pay their tuition and academic fees to the University of Calgary. Other expenses are paid directly to the service provider. Also, remember to include things like visas, insurance, vaccinations, etc. in your budget planning.

    In addition to UCalgary tuition and airfare, students are recommended to budget for costs listed below, as well as personal expenses.

    Hamburg cost comparison vs Calgary: Click Here


  2. Funding

    Did you know that you can take your UCalgary funding with you on exchange? Since you remain a degree seeking student at UCalgary while on exchange you remain eligible for any awards and scholarships you are eligible to receive from the university as well as student loans.

    Internal and External Funding opportunities for study abroad in Germany, including DAAD awards, the AGEC award, etc. are available on our funding page.

    Our office administers several awards, including the Global Access Fund (based on a funding-first model where students apply prior to committing to a global learning program) and the Global Learning Award (students apply after being accepted to a global learning program; the amount varies year-to-year as the money is split among chosen recipients). Students may only receive these awards once. Please see the funding page, linked below, for more information.

    Hamburg offers research opportunities for undergrad, Master's and PhD students (funding available, see MITACS GlobaLink funding).

On-Campus Options

There are some spaces set aside for exchange students in campus housing but they cannot guarantee everyone will be placed. Early application and also looking in the private sector is reccomended. Studierendenwerk Hamburg has 23 dorms that can accommodate up to nearly 4000 students under 35 years of age, and costs between €230 to €350 per month, not including a €300 security deposit. A limited number of rooms in student dorms are available for exchange students (housing form is submitted at the time of application). The dorms include independent rooms measuring between 10 and 13 square metres, with shared kitchens, common rooms, and laundry facilities. However, the dorms are a popular option and students may be subjected to wait-lists if applying 3-4 months in advance and are recommended to list as many rooms as possible to find accommodation more quickly.

Besides the dorms, there are also 12 other student residences with an additional 1600 beds, provided by outside organizations, with similar costs. Applications are made directly to the specific residences. Because housing choices can be competitive, students are recommended to be researching their options before their acceptance letter from Hamburg arrives.

Off-Campus Options

Wohngemeinschaft (WG) are shared apartments, where you have your own room and share bathroom/kitchen facilities with other students or young professionals.

Zwischenmiete housing is another option - in Germany, this is a student sub-letted apartment. If students do not need their room for a short period (for example, if they are going abroad), they can temporarily lease it to someone else.

To search for either of these types, enter the search words “WG Hamburg” (housing share Hamburg), “Hamburg Wohngemeinschaften” (Hamburg housing shares), or “Wohnungssuche Hamburg” (housing search Hamburg) in a search 
engine for a list of links to online housing exchanges. Alternatively, enter “Kleinanzeigen Hamburg” (classified ads Hamburg) for links to classified ads for private housing.

Additionally, SAGA offers a housing search option for other properties, and the university bulletin boards are a good place to look as well. 

Note: Beware of fraud! Never transfer money in advance for an apartment sight unseen or without having signed a contract! You can always view an apartment once you arrive (there should be no charge associated).

Summer Schools

Accommodation is offered at the B&B Hotel Altona (inlc. breakfast). Two awards are available that cover 50% the program fee, which includes accommodation, public transportation, extracurricular activities and some meals

This exchange is open to regular, full-time students in any faculty at the U of C, who have completed at least 1 full year (10 courses) at the post-secondary level, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-).

Courses at Hamburg are primarily taught in German - as such, applicants should have a command of German at the B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) at a minimum, or have completed at least two 300-level or above courses in German. Certification of language proficiency will be required. Students do have the opportunity to take German language courses during their stay. 


To learn more about Universität Hamburg please click here.

Do I need to speak German?

For studies in German it is required, but for English studies it is recommended that you have at least a basic knowledge - because of the limited nature of English courses at this institution however, most students will need to speak and write in German. Most native English speakers are able to function fairly well in German society with a basic knowledge of the language for shopping and eating out, etc. but it can be more difficult in terms of navigating housing or filling out forms.

Is there a Pre-Semester German Language Program?

Yes! Hamburg offers a variety of pre-semester and semester-long German courses for free or at low cost - for more information please visit their Language courses page

For more information on opportunities to learn German in Hamburg as well as resources about living and studying in Germany, check out this link:

What's so special about Hamburg?

The city of Hamburg is the 2nd largest port in Europe, and provides an excellent gateway to coastal Germany, Scandinavia, and the rest of Europe. It is well-known for its reputation in the music world - known as a place where a variety of british bands, including the Beatles, got their start, and is famed for its extensive offering of musicals and operas. 

Student Tips: "The transit was amazing, like in most of Western Europe; very well connected cities make for easy commutes. The city was also very bike-friendly and most of the locals used this as their main mode of transportation. They had music coming through every night of the week, and there are lots of museums as well, which made for fun trips on the weekends."

What supports does UHamburg offer?

The University of Hamburg provides supports for those with accessibility needs, chronic illnesses, and counselling needs, as well as for students with children. 
Link to Office of Affairs for Students with Disabilities or Chronic Diseases
Link to Centre for Counselling and Academic Advising Supports
Link to Studying as a Parent

For information on accessibility of campuses across Europe, ESN has created "Inclusive Mobility" which allows you to check the accessibility of universities and cities across Europe. For city-specific services and places in Europe, the Jaccede interactive platform (website and/or smartphone app - both Android and iOS) also provides a searchable user-built database to identify important accessibility information of public places and locations.

Student Tips: "Their cafeteria was amazing for offering fresh, healthy, and affordable food! Mac Hall doesn’t even come close to their cafeterias."

Have questions?

Global Learning 101

Please watch this short YouTube playlist before reaching out or booking an appointment. In these videos, you will learn much of the basics about Global Learning, which may answer your initial questions.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how this program might align with your degree (e.g. best time to go, what courses you need).

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/transfer credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Global Learning Advising

If you have questions, please reach out to our office! We offer drop-in advising for general inquiries, and if you have questions about this specific program or any others, you can book an appointment with the responsible advisor.

Please use the link below to find the most up-to-date information about our current advising options.

View the Global Learning Advising page

The exchange advisor for this program is: Tara Jorgensen

How to Apply

Download the application guide

This PDF contains information on how to complete your application and what to do after you have applied.

Application guide

Identify three programs of interest

We recommend applying for your top three programs for the priority application deadline, as placement may be competitive. We will assess your applications in ranked order.

Check requirements and deadlines

These may vary by program, so check the individual program pages and make sure that you are aware of any different application deadlines or eligibility requirements.

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular global learning program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Global Learning Advisors will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

If you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Global Learning Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.

Please note: All participants must adhere to COVID-19 and other vaccination-related requirements for the destinations visited on this program. Failure to do so may have consequences such as being denied access to accommodation/housing, program activities, or to the host country itself.