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International Education

O'Dowd Hall, Room 328
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2889
[email protected]

Office hours
Mon - Fri: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Alex Zimmerman, Director
(248) 370-2843
[email protected]

A view of Mannheim

Engineering in Mannheim, Germany

Oakland University's fall semester exchange at the Mannheim University of Applied Sciences in Germany. Mannheim University of Applied Sciences offers mechanical engineering courses taught in English in the heart of Germany's automotive industry. In addition to mechanical engineering, students have the opportunity to study intensive German and experience cultural life in the city where Mozart composed many of his works. Students may elect to participate in a professional internship with a local manufacturing or engineering company as part of their semester abroad.

Course: 12 - 16 credits in Mechanical Engineering and related fields. 

Program Dates: September 23 - December 20, 2024 

Application Deadline: March 1 

For more information contact:

Alex Zimmerman, Director of International Education
[email protected]

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Program Overview

Exchange students at Mannheim University of Applied Sciences (known in German as Hochschule Mannheim) spend a fall semester studying mechanical engineering, with an option to extend their studies into winter term to participate in a professional internship. With over 5,000 students from 90 countries, Hochschule Mannheim is one of Germany’s premier schools of engineering and technology. The city of Mannheim, on the Rhine river in Germany’s southern state of Baden-Württemberg, has been the automotive capital of Germany since before cars existed – the bicycle was invented here in 1817. In 1885, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen became the first commercially-produced automobile, and today Mercedes-Benz is headquartered in nearby Stuttgart. IBM, Siemens, Unilever, and many other major engineering innovators have research institutes and production facilities in Mannheim.

Beyond engineering, Mannheim is known as a center of culture and music, with a lively atmosphere and active nightlife. The historic city center is dominated by the baroque Mannheim Palace, second in size only to Versailles. Together with nearby Heidelberg, the area is a hub of European intellectual life in engineering, science, philosophy, music, art, and literature, with a cosmopolitan and international population.

The surrounding region, home to the Odenwald Forest and the Vineyards of the Palatinate, is a destination for eco-tourism. Located midway between Paris and Berlin, Mannheim offers easy accessibility to all of Europe’s major cities.


Requirements: Participants must be upper-level students in mechanical engineering, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students who don’t meet the GPA requirement may still be eligible and should speak with OU’s International Education Office prior to applying. No prior knowledge of German is required.

Application: In addition to completing an OU study abroad application on Horizons, students must apply for admission to Hochschule Mannheim. OU will nominate students to Hochschule Mannheim once their OU study abroad applications have been accepted. Additional paperwork will be distributed to students when Mannheim has published it, usually in March or April for fall semester. 

The fall International Semester at Hochschule Mannheim offers an advanced curriculum in mechanical engineering taught entirely in English. Students typically earn 12 credits in engineering and 4 credits in German language (taught intensively for three to four weeks before the engineering courses begin). 

Engineering courses in Mannheim are very hands-on, featuring experiential work in labs and corporate production facilities. In addition to technical courses, students may select electives in engineering management and the global supply chain. Supplemental non-credit classes in German are also available throughout the semester.

Typical courses include:

  • Introduction to the German Language (4 credits)
  • Materials Design for Mechanical Engineering (5 credits)
  • Modern Production Technology for Mechanical Engineering (5 credits)
  • Principles of Finite Element Analysis for Mechanical Engineering (5 credits)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (5 credits)

Further Information about courses at Hochschule Mannheim can be found here. The final course listings are published in May or June of each year.

Students who wish to complete a professional internship with an engineering or manufacturing company in Mannheim may do so during the winter semester, following completion of the fall courses. Hochschule Mannheim facilitates internship placements according to students’ interests and abilities. For the internship, it is beneficial but not required to speak some German.

At the end of the semester, students will receive a transcript with German grades from 1 (excellent) to 5 (failing). OU converts these grades to American letter grades, which go on students’ OU transcripts.

Housing and Food

Students book a room through the Studierendenwerk, a regional services agency that operates 19 student residence halls in Mannheim. A number of options are available at affordable prices, with both single and double apartments (typically with private bedrooms) offered. Make sure to choose a dorm that comes pre-furnished. All buildings include either shared cooking facilities or private kitchenettes. Wifi is available in all rooms.

The university has a cafeteria on campus with a variety of affordable meals, and the Studierendenwerk residence halls operate a number of dining facilities. Supermarkets are within easy walking distance, and numerous restaurants in all styles are found in the city. Local specialties include bread pudding, potato soup with sausages and dumplings, and spaghetti ice cream.


Tuition: 12 - 16 Credits

You will be charged for these credits on your eBill at your normal rate of tuition.

Additional costs: $7,405

You will need additional funds for these expenses not covered by program fee. Amounts are estimated.

  • Airfare: $1,500
  • Housing: $2,000
  • Meals: $1,600
  • Public transportation card: $190
  • Airport Transfer: $50
  • German Health Insurance: $120
  • Incidental personal expenses: $1,500
  • Passport (if you don't have one): $175
  • German Residency Permit: $120
  • Books and Supplies: $150

Scholarships and Financial Aid: You are able to use financial aid to cover your full cost of attendance to this program (tuition, program fee and additional costs). Scholarships are also available through your study abroad application.