Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd (PHSG)

This program is for students studying German, English or Literature.

PHSG offers outstanding educational programs to more than 3,000 students. Set upon a hilltop just outside the town of Schwabisch Gmund, PHSG is just a short bus ride to the city centre which offers students a very warm and culturally rich atmosphere. This medieval town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage "Roman Limes," and is home to several architectural treasures, museums, shopping centers and cafes.

GVSU and PHSG have been partners since 2006. This partnership began with collaborations between GVSU's Sociology Department and has expanded to include the entire College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. Students participate is a number of collaborative programs such as: faculty-led summer program, semester exchange, and 6-week school placements. Founded as a teacher training university, most students at PHSG are training to be teachers. GV students can take courses in either English or in German; however, the courses available in English are limited. Students interested in improving their German proficiency are strongly encouraged to take regular PHSG courses taught in German.

The most desirable semester for GVSU students to participate in the semester exchange is the spring/summer semester since there are more offerings in English. Additionally, the spring/summer semester more easily aligns with the GVSU academic calendar. The calendars of GVSU and PHSG do not perfectly align; however, this has not been a problem for past participants. See below for more details.

For additional information about the course options available visit the PHSG website.

K-12 School Placements

Students interested in a school placement through one of PHSG's school partnerships must contact Sherie Williams in the College of Education, to learn how this can fit into your academic plan.

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2.5 GPA Required
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Program Dates and Application Deadline

Academic Year 2020 (Fall 2020 - Winter 2021)

Estimated Program Dates: October 2020 - June 2021
Application Deadline: February 1, 2020 (Closed)

Winter 2021

Estimated Program Dates: April 2021 - July 2021
Application Deadline: September 10, 2020 (Closed)

Fall 2021

Estimated Program Dates: October 2021 - February 2022
Application Deadline: April 1, 2021 (Closed)

Winter 2022

Estimated Program Dates: April 2022 - July 2022
Application Deadline: September 10, 2021

PHSG begins the spring program the 2nd week of April. Students will need to make arrangements to complete all winter semester course requirements prior to departure in mid-April. In some cases, students may need to arrive to PHSG late in order to finish out their current semester at GVSU. GVSU’s semester does not end until the end of April. Students may elect to study at PHSG as part of Winter semester rather than spring/summer. Contact Rebecca Hambleton at for details.

PHSG Academic Calendar


When navigating the PHSG site, you will need to know the terms used for each semester.

Summer/Second semester: Mid-April-end of July

Winter/First semester: October- early February (students must stay through early February).


Courses available at PHSG

Course Options Use this button to search all available course options and descriptions.

Pre-Approved Courses Note: This course list indicates courses that have been previously approved. It is not a list of available courses on this program.

 Course Approval Process Students registering for courses that have not been pre-approved will need to follow the course approval instructions. 

Students interested in satisfying general education courses abroad can find more information on our General Education page.


Early Childhood Education Students: PHSG offers a full semester programme "Exploring the World: Play, Culture, and Family in Early Childhood Education." This program is taught in English during the second semester only.  


PHSG will assist students in securing accommodation in a nearby student residence hall. Housing is guaranteed for international students. The residence hall offers fully furnished, single rooms connected to a common kitchen and lounge. Two single rooms are connected by shared bathroom facilities. There is internet access in each room. The building is a 10-15 minute walk from campus. The building is a 13 story complex housing approximately 300 students.

Cost and Scholarships

Cost Breakdown

NOTE: "Other Expenses" listed in the cost breakdown are general estimates. Due to COVID-19, costs may increase for basic goods and housing. These estimates are provided as a guide to help students in their planning, but they are subject to change.


BADEN-WURTTEMBERG STIPENDIUM: (Amount: 600 Euro per month; up to 2,400 Euro total) Each year, a stipend of up to 600 Euro per month has been awarded to GVSU students studying at PHSG on the semester exchange.  While this funding is not guaranteed from year to year, it has been awarded to 2—3 GV students for the past several years.  Applicants will be notified by PHSG with instruction on applying for the scholarship after they have received final acceptance to the program. Scholarship In Detail

Questions? Contact or 616-331-3898 

Additional Scholarships

How will I pay for this?

Financial Aid FAQ's



Open to all majors; however, this program is most suitable for students with a high proficiency in German (4-5 semesters) or students interested in English/English Literature. 2.50 GPA required.

Students must have a high proficiency in Germany to participate in the fall or academic year. A variety of courses are available in English during the summer semester.

Additional Information

Host University Website


When studying abroad, it is important to learn about the culture of your host country.

For information on music, food, language, news & more, view Cultural Information


Campus Info / Campus Life

PHSG offers a small campus environment where students are easily integrated into a variety of campus activities. Students will live in housing that is a short walk to the main campus. Near the residence halls, students will have access to a local grocery store for those daily provisions. Downtown Schwaebisch Gmund is just a 10 minute bus ride from campus where students will have access to a variety of shops, restaurants, historical sites, and other small town amenities.

GVSU's Fall semester is considered PHSG's Winter. The Winter semester is 18 weeks in duration. The PHSG Summer semester is 16 weeks in duration.

PHSG offers a Buddy program with local students providing ongoing support in getting settled in at PHSG.


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Visa Requirements

US citizens studying in Germany for more than 90 days have two options regarding the residence permit application process. Specific information can be found in our student visa guidePlease note that the appropriate consulate or embassy must be consulted for the most up-to-date visa information.

Arrival Information

Students typically fly into Stuttgart. There is a subway terminal at the airport which will take you to the Stuttgart Central Station. From there you can take a train to Schwäbisch Gmünd which takes about 1 hour. From the Schwäbisch Gmünd station, students can either take a bus or a taxi to the University. It is common that PHSG will have representatives waiting at the train station in Schwäbisch Gmünd to help students get to their housing.  The bus from the SG train station is about a 10-15 minute journey to the housing complex. PHSG will supply additional details in the Study Guide they will send you. Students are advised not to arrive on a weekend or a bank holiday.

CDC Report

CDC Report

US State Department Information

US State Department Country Information (Germany)

US State Department - Students Abroad

US Embassy in Germany

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) - Crime and Safety Report


Application Timeline

Baden-Württemberg Scholarships

Promotional Brochure - Exploring the World

Resources for Emergency Situations

Health and Safety Resources

Reporting an Incident

PIC Emergency Procedures

Contact Information

Padnos International Center
130 Lake Ontario Hall

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