Germany map

Carlson School Exchange in Germany: University of Cologne

Undergraduate Global Immersion

Program Dates:

The academic calendar at Cologne will differ from the University of Minnesota and all exchange students are expected to be at their host campus on the first day of orientation and through the last day of final exams.

Fall Semester 2024:

  • Pre-Semester German Course (optional): September 2024 (dates TBD)
  • Welcome Week: October 1-6, 2024
  • Term Dates: October 7, 2024 - January 31, 2025 (exam period until February 28, 2025)
  • Early Leaver Term Dates: October 7 - December 15, 2024 (including exam period, earliest departure mid-December 2024)*

Spring Semester 2025:

  • Pre-Semester German Course (optional): March 2024
  • Welcome Week: April 1-6, 2025
  • Term Dates: April 7 - July 18, 2025 (exam period until August 1, 2025)

*In fall terms, Cologne offers an 'early leaver option', i.e. students may finish any courses taught in English before mid-December. Early Leaver examinations are, however, linked to an increased workload and considerable levels of self-study in order for students to catch up with course contents delivered in the second half of the term.

The priority deadline for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 is February 1st, 2024 at noon. 

Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Students in Cologne
Students in Cologne
Universitat zu Koln
Universitat zu Koln
Students Studying
Students Studying
Classroom in Cologne
Classroom in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Greenspace in Cologne
Students in Cologne
Students in Cologne
Universitat zu Koln
Universitat zu Koln
Students Studying
Students Studying
Classroom in Cologne
Classroom in Cologne

Program Details

    What is a Business Exchange Program?

    • Successful exchange students demonstrate a high degree of independence, adaptability, and flexibility because support and services will be different from a US university
    • You are enrolled as an exchange student at a host university and take business courses in English
    • You take courses with students from the host university as well as other exchange students from around the world
    • You attend the host university according to their term dates which differ from the University of Minnesota
    • A small group of Carlson students are selected to study at each partner university per semester and are fully immersed in another country, culture, and education system
    • You will work closely with both Carlson School advisers and advisers from the host university for support pre-departure and during your semester abroad
    • Cologne is a multicultural and dynamic city with more than 1 million inhabitants. It is also an important trade fair and business location. 
    • Cologne is famous for its Gothic cathedral as well as the great variety of churches, theatres, art exhibitions, and many parks, bars, and clubs. 
    • The Faculty of Management, Economics, and Social Sciences enjoys an excellent reputation in application-oriented research and is regarded as a top German institution in their field.
    • The Carlson Global Institute strongly encourages students to live in the on-campus housing options as those are affiliated with and vetted by the partner institutions.
    • Students should check the host university website and fact sheet for specific accommodations information including on-campus and off-campus options, application process and deadline, and cost information.
    • The University of Cologne's International Relations Centre Housing will assist students in finding accommodations in private apartments or rooms in residence halls. Arrangements are made prior to arrival in Cologne for the semester.
    • Rooms vary from single flats and shared flats to furnished and unfurnished rooms. 
    • Students on exchange programs take a full semester course load at their host university (12 UMN credits/semester, unless the host university credit requirement is higher).
    • Courses from exchange partners transfer back as transfer credit on the official UMN transcript. Transfer credit does not affect overall GPA.  
    • A typical course load is usually 5-6 courses per term (30 ECTS). Each course is two classroom hours per week, many with additional hours of tutorials. 
    • Business courses taught in English and German are available to exchange students.
    • A pre-semester Intensive German Language Course is optional for exchange students as well as German language courses offered throughout the semester. 
    • Students participating in CGI semester exchange programs are strongly encouraged to enroll in the 1-credit Global Identity course for business students. This course helps you to develop your intercultural skills and articulate the value of your experience to future employers. It offers an additional layer of support through one-on-one interactions with your instructor that complements the independent structure of the exchange program.
    • For information about specific courses available to exchange students please meet with an adviser.
    • Please note that all English-taught courses of the offer for  incomings students now have an 'early leaver' option in fall term. This means guest students can finish their exchange term by 16 December. Students will need to complete additional assignments to receive full credits for all courses.
    • No host country language skills required
    • Preferred minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Students are held to business course prerequisites of the host institution
    • CGI strongly recommends that students completed both semesters of I-CORE prior to participating on a business exchange, although it is not required.  For students who want to participate on a business semester exchange prior to completing both I-CORE semesters:
      • Students pursuing a Marketing, MIS, or ACCT major need to have completed MAROON I-CORE prior to participating on a business semester exchange
      • Students pursuing a Finance, Entre, SCO, or HRIR major need to have completed GOLD I-CORE prior to participating on a business semester exchange
    • Although not required, we encourage students to complete some more major courses prior to participating on a business exchange.  Students should plan closely with their academic advisers prior to participating on a business semester exchange. 
    • The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
    • All Carlson students are responsible for obtaining a passport before they participate on a study abroad program
    • All students participating on an exchange program will be responsible for obtaining a visa or residence permit if required by their host country.  The Carlson Global Institute does not process visa applications for students participating on exchange programs
    • The Carlson Global Institute and the host university will provide resources for visa and residence permit applications if necessary, but students will need to work with the consulate and/or visa processing company directly as well
    • Visa and passport requirements are always subject to change by the host country and students are expected to check with the consulate for up-to-date information

    To apply for an exchange program you must first apply through the Carlson Global Institute on the Apply page.  Students must use their UMN email address when creating their application account.  You will be charged a $50 application fee.  The priority deadline for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 is February 1, 2024 at noon. Applications for programs that do not fill by the priority deadline will be accepted on a rolling basis until full. Applications will be reviewed and students will be informed of their status within 6 weeks of the priority deadline.  Once accepted into an exchange program, you will also complete an application to the host university. 

    Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad. University of Minnesota students are eligible for education abroad scholarships. Please visit "Financial Aid" and "Scholarships" for more information.

Cost Estimate (Summary)

Expenses are based on a 4 month semester. These estimates will vary based on student preference and exchange rates. All details subject to change based on economic and international factors. Most financial aid may be applied to study abroad programs. Students should also maintain their U.S.-based health insurance plan while abroad. Visa and passport costs are subject to change. Please verify current documentation costs with the host country consulate. Carlson School tuition costs based on rates for MN residents registered for 12+ credits.


The Program Fee includes program administration costs, maintaining student status at the UMN for the exchange semester, and international travel, health and security insurance.

Estimated Expenses 2023-2024 Global Immersion Exchange (CGI Semester) UMTC On-Campus Costs (Carlson Semester)
Carlson School MN Resident Tuition (charged to UMN student account) $7,248 $7,248
Carlson School Tuition Surcharge (charged to UMN student account) $1,300 $1,300
Program Fee (charged to UMN student account) $2,500 N/A
UMN On-Campus Fees N/A $1,245
One credit online UMN Global Identity Course (optional) (charged to UMN student account) $200 N/A
Airfare (to and from program site) $1,300 N/A
Passport Fee $165 N/A
Visa Fee (based on US passport) $90 N/A
Mandatory In-Country Health Insurance $415 N/A
Books and Materials $200 $500
Housing & Food $5,100 $6,514
Essential Daily Living Expenses $1,500 $1,110
Miscellaneous $500 N/A
Total Program Cost $20,518 $17,907
Program Incremental Cost (additional cost for studying abroad vs. staying on-campus for a semester) $2,611 ($20,518 - $17,907) -


Academic term(s)
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
Degree level
Host School
University of Cologne
Carlson Global Institute (CGI)
Program Model
Partner University Business Exchange