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



2021-2022 applications

Summer 2021: April 12

Fall 2021: closed

Winter 2022: First come, first considered for remaining spaces until Oct 15

University-specific additional requirements

One academic reference required - see the Eligibility section below.

2022-2023 applications

Open November 1, 2021

Student experience

Official image film of Hamburg Metropolitan Region

Program details

Summer Program

Uni Hamburg also offers great summer programs during the month of July. The 2021 Hamburg International Summer School will be online and offers the courses below, students can choose one course:

Language Diversity, Education and Social Participation 5 July – 30 July 2021 (up 7.5 credits)

Particles, Strings & Cosmology 5 July – 30 July 2021 (up to 8 credits)

Health Economics (3-weeks) 5 July – 23 July 2021 (up to 6.5 credits)

6 ECTS = 3 UCalgary units (1 half course equivalent).  UCalgary students would pay tuition for 1 course to UCalgary and would get credit for 1 course

The Hamburg International Summer School provides three different courses every year; each of them consisting of a specialized research program and a supplementary program (including a language course, a cultural program and extracurricular activities). As we have communicated before, the Hamburg International Summer School will take place virtually this year.

In order to accommodate the different time zones the German classes will be provided at two different times:

  • Group A: 6-9 July 2021 from 9 am to 1 pm Central European Summer Time (CEST)
  • Group B: 6-9 July 2021 from 4 pm to 8 pm CEST

Students can choose between group A and group B.

The cultural program will be offered from 6-9 July 2021 from 2 to 4 pm CEST.

The subject specific classes will be offered from 12-23 July 2021 (Health Economics) or from 12-30 July 2021 (Particles, Strings & Cosmology and Language Diversity). Some of the programs will offer live sessions only, others a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions:

  • Health Economics:
    • Live sessions
    • 12-16 July and 19-23 July 2021 from 9 am to 4 pm CEST incl. 1h lunch break
  • Particles, Strings & Cosmology
    • Mix of pre-recorded and live sessions
    • Live sessions will be offered between 2 and 6 pm CEST
  • Language Diversity
    • Mix of pre-recorded and live sessions
    • The times of the live sessions will be announced soon

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).  


Summer Program

Uni Hamburg also offers great summer programs during the month of July. The 2021 summer program will be online and offers the courses below, students can choose one course:

Language Diversity, Education and Social Participation (4-weeks)

Particles, Strings & Cosmology (4-weeks)

Health Economics (3-weeks)

UCalgary students would pay tuition for 1 course to UCalgary and would get credit for 1 course. 

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.


    Costs per month 



    Food & Living Expenses




    Hamburg cost comparison vs Calgary: Click Here

    For the online summer program students only pay tuition for 1 course at regular rates to UCalgary.

  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 the International Study Travel Grant for students travelling on approved UCalgary study programs that are credit bearing. The amount changes year to year as the money is split evenly between qualified applicants. Students may only receive the study travel grant once. Please see the funding page for more information.

    *This program is eligible for Eyes High funding! This is an internally nominated award worth $3000. Eligibility requirements and more can be found on the funding page.

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

On-Campus Options

Housing for UCalgary exchange students at Hamburg is guaranteed - 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 GWG offers a housing search option for other properties, with 130,000 listings, and the university's bulletin boards are also 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. 

The summer programs (see academic section) are offered in English. No German knowledge is required. Students applying for the summer program need to be in their 4th year of their Bachelor's degree or in their Master's degree and have minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.

An academic reference is required for a complete application.


To learn more about Universität Hamburg please click here and a video about the City of Hamburg is available 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: https://www.studying-in-germany.org/learn-german/language-schools/learn-german-hamburg/

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 "MappEd!" 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.

Watch Global Learning 101

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how an exchange 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

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this exchange program, you can meet with the specific advisor for this program by booking an appointment through the link below. Appointments are currently on zoom.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Read through the list of appointment types to select the most appropriate type and view available times.

Book an appointment

The exchange advisor for this program is: Saskia Schaelicke

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 study abroad 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 Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.