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Founded in 1964 by Dr. Walter Leibrecht, Schiller International University (SIU) in Heidelberg, Germany was created as a private American University dedicated to the active development and encouragement of international understanding. As a philosophy professor in the United States, Dr. Leibrecht was so impressed with the personalized instruction in the American college system that he sought to create something similar back in Europe. The realization of this concept was Schiller International University, named after the German writer and human rights advocate Friedrich Schiller and established in a 16th century castle in Ingersheim, Germany with 35 students enrolled.

From that point, the university has grown exponentially and to date, Schiller International University has educated more than 20,000 students from more than 100 countries across its campuses in the United States, France, Germany, and Spain.

More about Schiller International University

Students attending Schiller International University in Heidelberg have the opportunity to study in the language of English in an exciting German city. It is also very common for Schiller students to also study abroad at different campuses around the world during the course of their degree program. This is a major advantage since students remain within the same university system.

The internationalism of Schiller University embraces much more than just campuses and geography. Students here realize very quickly that there are many advantages to working in a global context, of becoming part of a diverse community and of preparing themselves for leadership roles in the future. For this reason, the university remains excited by the opportunities and challenges of the world and looks forward to welcoming new students to one of their campuses.

There are several unique advantages to studying at Schiller International University. Some of these include:

  • The ability to earn an American university degree in the USA and 3 European countries, including Heidelberg, Germany
  • English is the language of instruction at all campuses
  • The ability to transfer between campuses without loss of credit
  • Students come from over 100 countries worldwide, giving the school a true international feel
  • Scholarships and financial aid are available for those who qualify

In addition to these advantages, Schiller International University takes great pride in having cooperative agreements with some 40 universities and colleges around the world, and in having over 20,000 alumni worldwide.

Schiller International University: Mission Statement

As stated on the website for Schiller International University, the following sums up the school’s mission:

“The educational mission of Schiller International University is to prepare students, personally and professionally, for future leadership roles in an international setting. In its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Schiller provides students with the competencies they need for professional careers as well as for further academic study.”

“The educational process puts particular emphasis on developing international and cross-cultural competencies through foreign language training, intercampus transfer, or other international academic opportunities, and intense interaction among people with diverse backgrounds.”

About the Heidelberg Campus

Since the summer of 2012, the Heidelberg campus of Schiller International University has been located in the newly built SKYLABS complex, a series of concept buildings featuring the latest technical and architectural advancements and a high degree of energy efficiency which symbolizes a combination of science and industry.

The SKYLABS building is located in the new Bahnstadt area of Heidelberg, conveniently accessible to the national train, a mere 3 minutes walking distance from Heidelberg Main station, and 5 minutes by tram to the city center.

The campus provides a computer lab with brand-new touch-screen computers, a library with 10,000 volumes of books and a huge online collection, a Bookstore, and classrooms with the latest teaching equipment. Wi-Fi is also available throughout the building. Before and after classes students have the opportunity to sit and chat, eat and rest in the nicely decorated Student Lounge, and the student dorms are located right next door to the campus.

Students at Schiller International University

Schiller International University’s multinational student body is drawn from a variety of countries and backgrounds. The student body in Heidelberg is comprised of men and women from over 45 countries and there are over 20,000 SIU Alumni worldwide. Students at SIU study in small classes that allow maximum attention to the needs of the individual student. The friendly atmosphere found at each campus aids students in adjusting to a different country and culture and, for some, to a new language. The intercultural exchange and contact with students from all over the world broadens understanding of other cultures and provides valuable experience for international careers and friendships, some of which will last a lifetime. The helpful faculty and staff provide assistance with practical matters, such as housing, as well as with academic matters, such as course selection and career opportunities.

Activities & Cultural Programs at Schiller International University

Students at SIU are encouraged to attend concerts and theater plays, and to visit museums and other historical and cultural sites throughout Heidelberg. Throughout the academic year, a variety of social events are planned, such as visits to Berlin, the German Capital; the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France; and/or to the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. There are also mid-term trips to Prague and Barcelona/Spain; an international food party; a career day and a Christmas ball, which attracts many alumni who come back during the holidays to visit both Schiller and Heidelberg.

Organized visits to places of industrial, commercial, cultural and governmental importance also take place at SIU, giving students a better understanding of the region in which the study center is located. During their period of study at SIU, many students take advantage of their centralized European location to travel to other cities and countries in Europe, often on special trips planned during vacations.

All Programs Available:
  • Business
    • International Business
    • MBA
    • International Management
  • Computing
    • Management of Information Technology
  • Education
    • General Studies
  • Finance
    • Financial Planning
  • Health
    • Pharmacy Technician
    • Medical Assistant
    • Nursing
    • Medicine
  • Hospitality, Leisure, Tourism and Travel
    • International Tourism Management
    • International Hospitality Management
  • Humanities
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • International Relations
  • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Paralegal Studies
  • Public Administration and Services
    • Diplomatic Studies
Language of instruction


Type of school

Private University


+49 (0) 6221/4581-0


Bergstrasse 106, Heidelberg, Germany, 69121


SIU Heidelberg is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees. ACICS is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education. Its accreditation of degree-granting institutions is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

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