Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität at Bonn, Germany

The status of this exchange is currently under review; students who wish to apply should have at least one other program option. 

Mount Holyoke may nominate students for study at the University of Bonn for a full academic year or for second semester. Each year we may select one full-year student as our official exchange candidate; this student receives a tuition waiver and a stipend from the University of Bonn. Priority is given to qualified students who are receiving need-based financial aid at Mount Holyoke. We may nominate any number of additional students to enroll as junior year abroad students; these students pay a program fee to Bonn and do not receive a tuition waiver or stipend. Any qualified student may apply for the junior year abroad program regardless of her financial aid status.

University of Bonn

  • Founded in 1818 by the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm
  • Approximately 27,000 students (4,100 international students)
  • Comprehensive university offering a wide range of courses in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences
  • Occupies more than 350 buildings scattered throughout the city

City of Bonn

  • Located in the western part of Germany, on the Rhine River in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Served as capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990, and as official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999
  • Home to many government departments and agencies, UN institutions, and other international organizations
  • Population about 315,000

Academic Program

  • Two semesters: Winter Semester runs from mid-October to mid-February, Summer Semester from mid- April to late July
  • Exchange student must study at Bonn for the full academic year (students who wish to study abroad for one semester may apply for Laurel Fellowships for the second semester program as junior year abroad [non-exchange] students)
  • Students applying as Junior Year Abroad students may apply for the full academic year or for second semester
  • Students enroll directly into courses offered by Bonn to its degree-seeking students
  • Students may register for courses in any combination of subjects
  • All students are strongly encouraged to take the month-long preparatory language course (offered in September for full-year students, and in January for second semester only students)

Living Arrangements

  • Guaranteed housing in a student residence


  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Must have completed sophomore year (or at least three semesters, for spring entrants) prior to enrolling at Bonn
  • Must have completed at least four semesters of German language study prior to enrolling at Bonn

Financial Arrangements for the Exchange

  • Exchange student pays no tuition to MHC or to Bonn
  • Exchange student pays directly for room fees, and is responsible for her own meals, as well as a nominal university fee (which includes local transportation), required health insurance, books, personal expenses, and travel to Bonn
  • Exchange student receives a stipend from the University of Bonn to help cover living expenses (€500 per month in 2012-13)
  • Exchange student is eligible for a Barrett Travel Award of $1,000, from the German Studies Department, to cover travel expenses
  • Most students will find that the stipend, plus their family contribution and federal or outside aid for which they are eligible, will be sufficient to cover their costs for the year
  • Exchange students for whom those resources are not sufficient are guaranteed Laurel Fellowships; financial aid award will be based on total budget, including MHC study abroad fee, University of Bonn fees, cost of orientation program, and allowances toward room and board, books, personal expenses, and round-trip airfare
  • Mount Holyoke ordinarily may nominate only one exchange student each year, but may award Laurel Fellowships to additional students for the junior year abroad program for the year (or second semester)

Study at Bonn for Junior Year Abroad (Non-Exchange) Students

  • Application to junior year program for year or second semester is open to all qualified students, regardless of their financial aid status
  • Financial aid recipients who wish to study abroad for less than a year may apply for Laurel Fellowships to study at Bonn as junior year abroad (non-exchange) students for the second semester
  • Junior year abroad student pays program fee to Bonn, covering orientation, tuition, accommodation, health insurance, and local transportation (€7,875 for the year, €4,405 for one semester in 2012-13)
  • Junior year abroad student is also responsible for Mount Holyoke’s study abroad fee, meals, round-trip airfare, books, and personal expenses

How to Apply (for all students)

  • Submit Mount Holyoke’s Request to Study Abroad (and Laurel Fellowship application, if applicable) according to the instructions on the Deadlines page; applications are ordinarily due early in December for the full year, late March for spring
  • Students will be notified by early February (for the full year) or early May (for spring) whether they have been selected for the exchange or Junior Year Program
  • Exchange and junior year abroad nominees will complete Bonn’s application for admission; students must also be accepted by Bonn