Student exchange semester abroad (SMS)

ERASMUS+ is the European Union's programme for education, youth and sport. The previous EU programmes for lifelong learning, youth and sport, as well as the European university cooperation programme, are combined in ERASMUS+.

At the end of the first year of their university course, students can study at a European university in another country participating in the programme in order to expand their social and cultural skills and improve their career perspectives. They get to know the academic system in a foreign university including the methods of teaching and learning. To do so, students can apply for an ERASMUS scholarship.

What are the advantages of an ERASMUS study abroad?
  • Academic accreditation of credits gained abroad
  • Exemption from tuition fees at the guest university
  • Financial support for extra costs incurred through spending time abroad
  • Organisational support (cultural, language, organisational)
  • Extra financial support for students with children
  • Extra financial support for students with disabilities
What are the ERASMUS+ programme requirements?
  • You are matriculated at HFU
  • You have completed your first year of studies
  • The partner university has an ERASMUS inter-institutional agreement with HFU
  • Both home and guest university have a valid ERASMUS university charter (ECHE)
  • You are planning a stay at the guest university of at least 3 months (90 days) 
  • You plan to take courses with a minimum of 20 ECTS points in accordance with internal HFU regulations
What does the scholarship cover?
  • Monthly scholarship for up to 12 months each for a bachelor's and a master's programme, i.e. one can receive a scholarship for up to 12 months for a bachelor's programme, and at a later date, the same again for a master's programme. Scholarships are also available for doctorate programmes.
  • Tuition fees at the guest university
  • Additional financial support for students with special needs or children
  • Academic recognition of credits gained abroad
  • Opportunity to apply for an online language course through the ERASMUS programme

The level of financial support for Erasmus+ stays for students varies according to the costs of living in the different countries in the programme.

The amount of funding varies every academic year depending on the amount of funds which the HFU receives. The ERASMUS Application Procedures for the current academic year show the current country rates and funding periods.

What do I have to know about filling out the Erasmus+ Learning Agreement?

We have listed the most important points for you here: Learning Agreement in 5 steps

 

Will my BAföG be reduced if I receive an ERASMUS scholarship?

Funding amounts of up to €300/month (calculated over your entire period of time abroad) will not affect your BAföG grant. If the ERASMUS funding is higher than €300/month, it will be deducted from your grant.

For more detailed information please contact the BAföG coordinator on your campus.

Will I receive additional funding if I take my children with me?

Yes. Erasmus+ aims to promote equal opportunities and inclusion. For this reason students who wish to take their children with them during their ERASMUS study period and who are at this time single parents, are eligible to receive additional financial support.

Participants receive the "regular" monthly ERASMUS funding which is fixed according to the country groups. In addition fixed monthly payments (limited to the EU country group highest payment level) are made:

  • €125 for one child
  • €175 for two children
  • €200 for three or more children

Because a fixed amount is paid, no proof of costs incurred abroad is necessary. However proof (e.g. travel documents, proof of childcare abroad) that the child/children were also with you abroad must be provided.

Application must be made to the International Center before the period abroad begins. 

The normal feedback report must also be completed and submitted to the International Center, including information about your experience with the children, within a month of the ending of the funding.

Will I receive additional funding if I have a disability?

Yes. Erasmus+ aims to promote equal opportunities and inclusion. For this reason access to the programme is facilitated for students with a disadvantaged background and those with special needs.

Generally speaking there are at least 50 different funding schemes from which students with a certain level of disability can receive support:

  1. Special funding as a fixed sum:
    Participants receive the highest monthly rate of funding for the period of their stay abroad. The level of disability must be proven. Receipts for costs incurred abroad do not have to be produced. Please fill out the application at the International Center.
  2. Special funding over an individual application:
    This type of financial support requires a detailed application for special funding. The detailed application must be submitted to the DAAD at least 2 months before the start of the period abroad. The participant receives the highest monthly rate of funding for the country of stay. Further costs incurred during the period of stay abroad can be reimbursed by the DAAD up to a maximum of €10,000. The funding is calculated on the basis of the costs incurred during the period of stay abroad, provided it is not financed by any other national organization (e.g. integration offices, medical insurance companies, regional authorities, social welfare authorities, student services, etc.) These must be disclosed and proof submitted upon application. After the stay abroad, receipts for organizational costs incurred (airline tickets, rent contracts, work contracts with care workers, proof of payments, or similar) must be submitted.

Please contact the International Center with regard to additional funding as early as possible.

Useful information about universities which are equipped for the disabled can be found under the European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education: www.european-agency.org.

Will the courses I take during the semester abroad be accredited and what happens if I fail a course?

When you apply for a semester abroad, your faculty international coordinator will help you to fill out the so-called Learning Agreement. This lists all the courses which you intend to take during your semester abroad and states which of these courses will be accredited. In this way you will know in advance which courses you take abroad can be accredited at HFU.

The fully-completed Learning Agreement must be submitted to the International Center before the exchange semester begins. It must be signed by both the International Coordinator at the HFU as well as the contact at the guest university.

Changes to the Learning Agreement can be made up to 4 weeks after the start of the semester and must also be listed in the Learning Agreement.

If individual courses are not passed during the semester abroad, the conditions laid down in the Study and Examination Regulations for the individual degree programmes apply. For further information please contact your dean of studies, regional coordinator or international coordinator.

What are the selection criteria for an ERASMUS scholarship?

The funds available may not be sufficient to guarantee a scholarship for every student.

The following criteria will be used for selection purposes if required:

  • academic grades (already achieved)
  • language skills
  • relevance of courses selected in semester abroad to degree programme
  • personal qualities (including extra-curricular activities)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: in the case of late applications (both online application and paper application must be submitted by the deadline), places are allocated on the basis of any available last-minute clearing places. Late applications do not receive an ERASMUS+ scholarship in the form of financial support (ZERO GRANT).

 

How do I apply?
  • The application is carried out simultaneously with the online application for a place at an HFU partner university. (Simply fill out a few additional boxes on the online form.)
  • The application deadlines are linked to those for a study place at a partner university (20 November - 20 January for the following winter semester; 20 April - 20 June for the following summer semester)
  • No further application documents other than those which must be uploaded for the online application are required.

Please note: these application deadlines are binding. Neither an application for a semester abroad at an HFU partner university, nor the accompanying application for an ERASMUS scholarship are possible outside these deadlines.

What do I have to do after I receive the scholarship?

All participants in the ERASMUS exchange semester programme will be informed of further procedures by email by the International Center in due course.

All ERASMUS+ mobility scholarship holders are required to fulfill the terms and conditions set out by the partner university. These are stated in the ERASMUS Road Map (see downloads) which will be sent to you by email. Please read this carefully and be sure to meet the required submission deadlines for the various documents.

Failure to meet the requirements can lead to removal from the ERASMUS programme and to repayment of any financial support received. 

The general requirements and rights of students in the ERASMUS+ programme are laid out in the ERASMUS+ Student charter.

Information regarding required language tests
The European Commission has an online language test for the 5 main European languages (DE, EN, ES, FR, IT, NL). All students/graduates must carry out this test in their working language both after selection/before the start of the mobility programme, and after completion of the stay abroad. This language test is not part of the selection criteria for an ERASMUS+ scholarship and is not valid for native speakers.

The language test aims to establish the current level of language proficiency of a participant selected for an ERASMUS+ scholarship. This language test should be carried out both before and after the stay abroad, to enable results to be compared and the level of improvement in language proficiency achieved by the participant to be established. The complete, systematic Europe-wide checking of the development of individual language skills will make it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the ERASMUS+ programme.

This online language test is not to be confused with, and should not be used to ascertain, agreements made between partner universities/organisations in inter-institutional agreements (IIA) and Learning Agreements (LA) with regard to language proficiency levels. The language proficiency required of participants which is set out in these agreements must be ascertained during the selection process by some other means (e.g. a DAAD Certificate of Language Proficiency).

Additionally it is possible to apply for a free online language test through the ERASMUS programme.

Where can I find further information about the ERASMUS+ student mobility programme?

Further information about the ERASMUS programme can be found in German on the DAAD website (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst ⇒ German Academic Exchange Service). Please note, the DAAD is not responsible for counselling of applicants or for the application and selection process. This is the responsibility of the university taking part in the programme.