Semester abroad: what students need to know

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A semester abroad is interesting for many students, but it also requires a certain organizational effort and early planning. For example, it is important to know whether the stay should take place via the ERASMUS program or be organized as a so-called free movers.

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Semester abroad with the ERASMUS program

Anyone wishing to spend their semester abroad in other European countries can do so through the ERASMUS program. The term stands for "European community action scheme for the mobility of university students" and denotes a large support program that supports students during their stays abroad. Each university has several partner universities and the allocation of seats is done by employees at the local university. The big advantage of this program is that it eliminates tuition fees. In addition, students receive a mobility grant of between € 50 and € 200 per month.

Prerequisite is the study at a European university as well as a European passport. Often, at least the second semester must be completed before the stay abroad begins. In addition, students must have sufficient knowledge of the language of instruction at the partner university. Participation in the ERASMUS program is only possible once. A consultation at the own university informs about the exact conditions and possibilities.

Formalities: Learning Agreement and Transcript of Records

In order to make the course achievements during the semester abroad as easy as possible for one's own degree program, a learning agreement is concluded in advance. The students decide on certain courses that they want to attend during their semester abroad and can thus be sure that they will receive the desired credit points. The transcript of records from the foreign university then lists the services provided after the semester.

As a free mover abroad

Semester abroad outside Europe is not possible through the ERASMUS program. However, students can apply directly to their desired university and organize their stay as a so-called free movers themselves. However, it should be remembered that the funding, including tuition fees, lies with the students themselves. Under certain circumstances, a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is possible. Also foreign BAföG can represent a support.

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