California State University Program

  • The California State University / Baden-Württemberg Student Exchange Program is based on an agreement between the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg and the California State University System. This arrangement allows students from the California State University from a wide range of academic backgrounds and disciplines to learn the German language in Germany, experience living in a new culture and pursue courses in their major area of study. Through this program, exchange students are able to enroll in courses at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (ABK).

    Students nominated by the CSU-office of the University of Tübingen for one or two exchange semesters at the ABK must show a high degree of proficiency in their chosen field of studies. Students are expected to use their time to continue their studies in a new environment, by taking part in courses or projects (earning ECTS credits) and to explore the different possibilities available at the ABK Stuttgart. Students accepted in the Partner University Exchange programme are solely responsible for funding their exchange studies.

    Application process

    The exchange coordinator from the CSU-office must confirm your nomination to the ABK by e-mail or letter. Applications from students who are not officially nominated will not be processed.

    Applications must include: 

    • Portfolio of original works (minimum 8–10 images), which may also be provided in digital format
    • Application form (pdf)
    • Letter of motivation
    • Letter of recommendation from a professor at your university
    • Full and current CV
    • Copy of your passport

    Application Deadline for winter semester (September - February): 15th April
    Application Deadline for summer semester (March - August):
    15th October

    Applications must be sent to the following address:

    Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart /
    Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design 
    International Office
    Am Weißenhof 1
    70191 Stuttgart

    Please make sure that your application arrives in time before the application procedure is closed.

    Selection procedure

    When your application is complete, it will be forwarded to the selection committee to be assessed. The ABK Stuttgart reserves the right to refuse or accept an applicant according to our admissions regulations. Selection and admittance are based on the application materials submitted, including the artistic quality of the applicant’s submitted portfolio, and also the number of study places available. We hope you will understand that due to the large number of applications we receive, we are not able to offer advice regarding the rejection of an application. You will be notified as soon as a decision regarding your application has been made. Please note; we can only keep sent application materials on file for up to 4 weeks after the beginning of semester, after this time, if they are not collected in person, they will be disposed of.

    General Study Structure at the ABK Stuttgart

    Studies at the ABK Stuttgart are primarily project/studio oriented. In order to take part in examinations students must fulfill the specific requirements (a predetermined number of modules/courses/projects) for each study area. Project work is graded and assessed, through individual assessments and critiques as well as formal examinations, by academic or technical teaching staff. Students have the freedom to take part in inter-disciplinary workshops, projects and courses available at the academy and can be awarded credit points/grades for completed projects. Along-side projects and workshops students must participate in theoretical and technical components. For the participation in any of our technical workshops, such as printing, glass, bronze, etching, lithography, etc., students must first take part in and complete practical and theoretical courses in order to prove their aptitude, and in order to begin work on individual projects within the workshop.

    The German university system (and work system alike) requires self-initiative and structure. However, there is always someone you can ask for help and support. But you clearly need to know what you want to achieve. In Germany, it is considered to be your responsibility to get the information you need, to stay in touch with academic supervisors and other people important for your stay and to manage your time effectively.

    Course outlines/project information: This is not available until the beginning of each semester, therefore the faculties are unable to respond to any enquiries about courses/projects before semester start.

    Regular German Courses and German Intensive Courses: You are strongly requested to take German courses whilst being here. The courses are free, only a small administrative fee (e.g. German language testing, enrolment) has to be paid. During the coming season, you will be contacted directly by the language school VESPA. For more information please see the International Handbook on page 22 or refer directly to the VESPA website at

  • Contact

    International Office

    Sonja Fendel (Head)
    +49 (0)711 28440-122
    Campus Weißenhof: Building F (Neubau 2), room 0.11
    Consultations by appointment only

    Melina Koch
    +49 (0)711 28440-153
    Campus Weißenhof: Building F (Neubau 2), room 0.11
    Consultations by appointment only

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