Donald R. Sunnen, Ph.D.

Information on the VMI-Bundeswehr Exchange

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Who can go:

You must be currently enrolled at VMI and have a minimum GPA of 2.5; you are expected to have completed four semesters of college German.

History of the Exchange:

The two German Armed Forces Universities (henceforth “Universitäten der Bundeswehr” or “UniBw”) have offered VMI cadets the opportunity to study and live on their campuses for a semester or year since the late 1980s.  This was informally arranged until 2001, when formal recognition was established with the UniBw in Hamburg.  Both the UniBwH (now HSU) and UniBw München were established in 1973 as institutions of higher learning for young officers in all service branches (Army, Air Force and Navy) who are studying for their Diplom.  The three-and-a-half year period of study at the UniBw is usually part of a 12-year commitment to the military.  Students attend classes much as they do at other civilian institutions; no uniforms are worn except during military exercises and dress parades.  Women have been accepted at HSU since fall 2002.

VMI typically sends 2 cadets to HSU in Hamburg for the winter and spring trimesters (January to March and April to June), which correspond approximately to VMI’s spring semester.  Since 2001, Hamburg has sent two officers, usually lieutenants of about 25 years of age, to VMI for our fall semester.