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  • Locations: Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: Virginia Tech applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications. It's likely that the application is in the process of being launched. Check back for updates.
Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available: German Max credits offered: 12
Minimum VT Class Status required for admission: 2 Sophomore Language Experience required for admission: 2000 level
Program Type: Bilateral Exchange Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.5
Areas of Study: Architecture, Architecture and Design Research, German College Sponsor: CAUS
Program Description:

PBSA student group

HSD school logoBilateral Exchange Icon

University Fact Sheet

HSD-Information Sheet 2018-19 (PDF)
Academic Year, Fall, Spring

Semester Exchange at the Peter Behrens School of Arts - Hochschule Düsseldorf - University of Applied Sciences 

Hochschule Düsseldorf, University of Applied Sciences (HSD for short) was founded on August 1st, 1971 by combining several renowned regional educational institutions. Today, the institution is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary range of subjects. Approximately 10.000 students are taught in 36 degree programs in seven departments by nearly 200 professors. 

The educational and research emphasis at HSD has a strong practical and interdisciplinary approach. The university guarantees that all course content is connected to practical work necessities since they are based on extensive professional experiences in commerce, industry, and research by the professors and lecturers. Thus, practical courses are indeed an integral component of the university's study programs.


The bustling, modern city of Düsseldorf has around 600,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the German federal state of Northrhine-Westphalia. There are, however, many serene green spaces in the city and in particular parks that run alongside the river Rhine where it is easy to find little spots of quietness and relaxation away from the hub of the central districts. Due to its proximity to one of the most populous regions in Germany, the Ruhr area, not far from the border to the Netherlands and Belgium and in immediate proximity to Cologne, Düsseldorf can justifiedly be said to be located in a very strategic location within Europe. This makes the city also an ideal place both to work and to live.

Düsseldorf is also one of the wealthiest cities in Germany, and this will catch visitors' eye immediately. It abounds with elegant shops, exclusive hotels and fine restaurants, especially in areas around the media harbor and on the famous boulevard “Königsallee“(Kö for short). Famous football players, actors and models all make their home here. However, this exclusive appeal is by far not only a matter of superficial self-expression, but has a substantial economic basis: A number of global and international companies are based in Düsseldorf and contribute to the city’s wealth. Furthermore, the city has a well-balanced mix of companies from different branches in contrast to other cities. In addition, Düsseldorf is a major trade fair city and holds some of the world’s largest trade fairs, among them for fashion, water sports, yachting, the print and paper trades. The exhibition halls area (Düsseldorf Messe) is located in the north of the city, not far from the FH-campus in Golzheim and close to the airport. The city also boasts a variety of architectural styles from different eras. The media harbour is one of the modernised areas which have been recently enlarged with interesting and striking architecture. It is also a great place to spend a nice summer day as there are many trendy bars, restaurants and clubs. Visitors who would like to enjoy a spectacular view of the city may want to visit the television tower which is the city’s highest building whose observation platform offers views of the whole city.

Another attractive part of the city is the Old town (German: Altstadt) which is also known as “the world’s longest bar”. Accordingly, this district can also boast many restaurants. Although it is a modern and vibrant city, Düsseldorf has a number of old traditions. Carnival is celebrated annually and there are many parties and processions around the city during this time. Christmas is celebrated with a traditional Christmas market in the Altstadt. There are many little stalls serving warm drinks, "Glühwein" (mulled wine), winter snacks, souvenirs or Christmas gifts.

Approximate Semester Dates

Semester 1* (Fall): September - February
Semester 2* (Spring): March - July

*PBSA - HSD's academic calendar does not align with VT's academic calendar. This may affect the date of your financial aid disbursement.


This program is open only to VT students in architecture. At least a 2000 level language experience in German is required for participation in this program.

Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.


Campus Golzheim - PBSA
PBSA campus 

Find a list of academic courses in architecture here.
For a list of design courses, click here.

Student Life

Read some exchange students' testimonials here!

Tutors and cultural program
German students from HSD (“tutors”) can pick you up from the airport/train station and are there to help you with general questions during your stay in Düsseldorf. The International Office and the tutors organize a cultural program for exchange students during their stay. Contact tutors:
German courses
Free German courses (beginners and intermediate) are offered during the semester (2-4 ECTS)

Special Needs
HSD offers various facilities for students and staff with special needs. The IO will help to get in touch with the representatives of the offices mentioned below and support your stay:

Career Service
The Career Service offers support for exchange students applying for internships:

Center for further education
The Center for further education offers various trainings in order to improve social skills:


There are limited housing possibilities in student residencies (Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf) so there is no guarantee of a room. Applications for student dormitories are handled ONLY via the International Office (do not contact Studierendenwerk yourself). Alternatively, private accommodation has to be searched independently (support from International Office is available).

Some resources:


University Tuition & Comprehensive Fees
Virginia Tech tuition and comprehensive university fees will be billed according to the University Bursar policy.  See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term and residency status:

Study Abroad Administrative Fee
Participants in exchange program will be charged a $300 administrative fee through the Bursar.

CISI Travel Medical Insurance (required)
Participants will be required to enroll in Virginia Tech's travel medical and security insurance coverage for the duration of the program. The cost is approximately $35 per month.

Room and Board 
Room and board is not included in the exchange. Students are responsible for finding and arranging their own housing and meals in Düsseldorf. Limited housing possibilities in student residencies (Studierendenwerk Düsseldorf). Rent: between EUR 295 and 350 per month.

German Medical Insurance (required)*
US students* are required to acquire German health insurance. This costs EUR 90 per month and is mandatory for enrollment at a German university. 

Student Registration and Residence Permit*
US students* can enter Germany for study purposes without a visa. Within 7 days of entering Germany, all students must register their address with the local Welcome Center. In addition, students must also apply for a residence permit in the form of an electronic ID (eAT) within three months of arriving in Germany. The eAT costs ~ EUR 100.

Student service fee
All students (local and exchange) have to pay a student service fee each semester (“Semesterbeitrag”). Fee covers free regional public transport in North-Rhine Westphalia, free use of sports facilities, and subsidized meals at the student cafeterias. Fee: ~ EUR 290

*Additional expenses are likely to include travel costs i.e. round trip international airfare, passport/visa fees, immunizations, books/supplies, telecommunications, and personal expenses. 

*Visa requirements and Medical Insurance are different for different countries. For international VT students, please check the requirements for your country.


GEO website: Information on scholarships and financial aid.

Undergraduate students from the US can apply for the NSEP David L Boren Scholarship or the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Students who study abroad in Germany are eligible for these scholarships. Please read the requirements prior to applying.


VT GEO Application Deadlines

Fall semester: February 15
Spring Semester: September 15

VT GEO Application 

Begin your application by clicking . All documents should be completed by the corresponding deadline. Please note that a copy of your passport (valid for at least 6 months after the end of the program) or a copy of a passport application receipt will be required at the time of application. 

Contact Information

VT GEO Contact

VT Academic Contact

Heinrich Schnoedt
Associate Professor
School of Architecture and Design

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2019 04/07/2019
04/08/2019 TBA TBA

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications. It's likely that the application is in the process of being launched. Check back for updates.