UMD: A Globally Connected University

Kassel International Winter University (IWU)

What's the Scoop?

The Hessen International Summer University [ISU] and the International Winter University [IWU] Kassel offer three to four-week academic programs, which feature the strengths of the University of Kassel in environmental sciences and German language and culture. Roughly 60 students, who are placed with German host families for the duration of their stay in Kassel, attend each program. This unique opportunity provides you with the chance to gain insight into German culture and family life. During your time in Kassel, you will be engaged not only in inspiring academic seminars, but also in diverse cultural and social activities.

The University of Kassel plays a leading role in environmental engineering in Germany, and has contributed significantly to the advancement of renewable energy technologies worldwide through its academic research and innovative technology transfer. Taught by internationally renowned faculty members, ISU and IWU offer you the best opportunities to study today’s global environmental challenges from a German perspective.

Language of Instruction: English

What do I Take?

In addition to a German language course, students take either Environmental Engineering or German Cultural Studies.

Environmental Engineering: Renewable Energy Sources [APPROVED AS ENME4XX EQUIVALENT]
This seminar is designed for students in engineering or urban and planning and offers an in-depth introduction to cutting-edge renewable energy sources. It provides the opportunity to learn more about German and European perspectives on energy while covering topics such as wind turbines, photovoltaics, geothermal technologies and biomass. The University of Kassel is a leader in the field of environmental engineering in Germany and around the world. This seminar is taught by renowned faculty members and includes field trips to further demonstrate the real-life environmental and economic impact of these new and promising technologies.

This course has been approved for the following majors:

  • ENME- ENME4XX equivalent
  • ENAE - Counts as out of major elective
  • BIOE- Counts as Breadth Elective
  • ENCE- Count as out of major elective
  • ENEE- General Technical Elective (GTE) for EE majors and Category F Elective for CE majors
  • ENFP- Technical Elective
  • ENMA- Consult departmental advisor, may possibly count as specialization or technical elective

German Cultural Studies: Reflections on German History, Literature and Art - Not Currently Approved
This seminar is designed for students interested in learning more about 19th and 20th century German culture and some of the more influential authors, thinkers and movements of that period: e.g. Goethe, Nietzsche, Expressionism and the Bauhaus movement. The course will include museum visits and excursions to sites in and around Kassel. These trips are intended to help students to interact with the subject matter firsthand and also to see how contemporary German culture has been influenced these cultural developments.  

E-Cars - Technical Solutions & Marketing Approaches - Not currently approved due to credits
In this seminar, students will learn about the practical challenges of the automotive future. Our partner (German E-Cars Technology), specialized in alternative drive systems, will cover the technical part and provide deep insight into the development process of components for electric cars. From an overview about e-car concepts, up to the testing and production of prototypes, they will share their firsthand know-how with the participants. The second part will bring the students closer into the international market situation for alternative drive systems and offer vast knowledge about actual approaches and strategies in the mobility markets. A good combination of lectures and interactive discussions will complete the seminar and create a unique experience.

In addition, all students attend German Language classes:
All participants attend a German language course offered at three different levels based on the Common European Framework for Foreign Languages [Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced]. Studying in small groups, IWU students enjoy a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that is conducive to interactive language learning. IWU students are also invited to be paired up with German students to practice their language skills – while helping their German counterparts to practice theirs.

Where do I Live?

Kassel’s unique homestay program offers you the exciting chance to experience authentic daily life in Germany first-hand. Staying with a friendly and welcoming family will provide you with one of the quickest and most enjoyable ways to learn German through daily interaction and conversation. Your host family will be there to support you throughout your journey of exploring Germany and discovering its customs and people. They will be your home away from home

What's the Cost?

€2,190 [early-bird fee for applications received by Kassel by October 1: € 1,990] paid directly to host University
$500 Education Abroad fee billed by UMD
$40 (approximate) International Health Insurance Fee


The program fee includes:

  • Academic seminar [incl. course material and field trips]
  • German language course [incl. course materials]
  • Certificate and academic transcript
  • Housing with a German host family [incl. two meals a day]
  • Health, accident, and liability insurance package
  • Public transportation ticket for Kassel
  • Internet access on campus [wireless internet/computer labs]
  • Extensive culture and excursion program
  • Student support and 24-hour emergency contact number
Who is here to help?

Harrison Gill coordinates all logistical aspects of the International Summer University Kassel program for engineering students and is responsible for program admissions. If you are interested in the program, please email Harrison Gill to schedule an advising appointment.


Additional Information:

Kassel Program Website: Click here

Kassel International Winter-Term Application: Click here

To apply to this program, you must complete two main steps:

  1. Submit a UMD approval application - start by clicking “apply now” at the top of this page. This application allows UMD Education Abroad to approve your study abroad program selection so you may earn credit in a program outside of UMD.
    This application will require you to meet with your EA advisor, who will communicate important details related to participating in this program. If you do not complete this application by the stated deadline, you may not receive credit for your study abroad program and will lose your student status for the time you are not studying at UMD.
  2. Apply directly to the program provider. After receiving UMD approval, you should submit the program application directly to the program sponsor by their deadline. Your program sponsor will determine your official acceptance to a program. You must adhere to the provider's timeline, eligibility standards, and application requirements.

After being accepted to your program, your EA advisor will guide you through the course pre-approval process where you will determine which credits you will fulfill abroad.

Term Year Application Deadline Admission Notification Program Start Program End
Winterterm 2020 10/15/2019 06/01/2019 12/28/2019 01/18/2020