Information about exchange places available and costs can be found under the relevant university in our online databank.
In most bachelor's programmes, the entire 6th semester can be spent abroad. To do so the credits taken at the guest university must match the content and the workload of the modules of the 6th semester. Alternatively you can take a so-called B-semester at a university abroad. The foundation level studies must be completed by the time that you begin your semester abroad.
When you are planning, don't forget to take different semester timetables abroad into consideration. For example, the summer semester in the USA and in many other countries begins in January. Information regarding the semester timetables of our partner universities can be found in our online databank. Further information about foreign universities can be found here: DAAD country information (Select Land --> Hochschul- und Bildungswesen --> Überblick: Hochschulsystem und Internationalisierung --> Studiensystem) Please note these webpages are available in German only.
In most countries of the world, tuition fees have to be paid. Within the framework of our university partnerships, we can normally offer tuition-free exchange places, i.e. you do not have to pay tuition fees during your semester abroad. The number of exchange places is dependent upon how many students from the partner university come to HFU.
At some partner universities in English-speaking countries it is possible to receive a reduced-fee study place when the exchange places are exhausted.
Further information regarding tuition fees and other fees at our partner universities in English-speaking countries can be found under "International Center" on FELIX .
Appointment with international coordinators/regional coordinator
Before you apply, make an appointment with the international coordinator of your faculty or your regional coordinator. They will guide you as to choice of course at the partner university as well as how to integrate the semester abroad into your course of studies. They alone are responsible for this counselling (choice of course, accreditation, computation of academic grades).
Before applying you should complete a Preliminary Learning Agreement (LA) which should be signed by the international coordinator of your faculty or your regional coordinator. This way you can be sure that the grades you earn abroad will be recognized at HFU.
The courses you can take are normally found on the website of the foreign university. There are often changes in the choice of course after you arrive as particular courses may be cancelled or are already full. You will have to discuss these changes with your coordinator by email.
Important: If you apply for an ERASMUS+ partner university, you must use the correct ERASMUS+ Learning Agreement. More information can be found here: ERASMUS+.
Computation of academic grades
The computation of the grades will also be carried out by the international or regional coordinators according to the HFU standardized computation table which can be found in FELIX here.
To be able to participate in lectures in a foreign language, you must of course have the relevant language proficiency and be able to present proof of this upon application. This is normally done by means of the DAAD Proof of Language Proficiency certificate which can be issued by the HFU Language Center. Students of the HFU Business School and IEB students will have the certificates for Spanish and French issued by the relevant regional coordinator, and the certificates for English are issued by Morag Lehmann.
For HFU partner universities a minimum level of CEF B2 in all categories is normally enough - in English-speaking countries a level of C1 in all categories is required.
If you apply to a non-partner university as a freemover, the TOEFL or IELTS test is often required.
Please be aware that lectures in English are also often offered in non-English-speaking countries. In this case you will only need the language certificate for English. However, if you wish to take courses in other languages such as French or Spanish, you will have to provide proof of proficiency in those languages.
HFU partner universities
Application deadline for the HFU online application process:
20 January for the following winter semester
20 June for the following summer semester
Application is made over our online portal in the 2-month period before the above-mentioned deadline.
IMPORTANT: the deadlines are fixed. Online applicaiton and paper copy with signature must be submitted to the International Center by the deadline.
More information on the application process can be found here: Semester abroad- step by step.
Non-partner universities (freemover)
If you are not assigned a place through the HFU exchange programme, or wish to go to another university with which HFU does not have an agreement, you can apply as a so-called freemover to any university you choose. It is important that it is an HRK-recognized university, otherwise the credits you gain abroad cannot be recognized by HFU. Check this in the Anabin Databank of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education of the German states.
Please check the application deadlines directly with the university of choice. Application is also made directly with the foreign university.
There are also agencies which can help you to find a suitable university for your semester abroad and which will support you in the application process. This service is normally completely free of charge for you, however you will have to pay tuition fees at the guest university.
A comprehensive list of feedback reports written by HFU students after returning from their semester abroad, sorted by country and university, can be found on FELIX (Login for HFU members only).
- You should re-enroll as usual. You should also submit the "Notification of Semester Abroad (Mitteilung über das Auslandssemester)" form to the Examinations Office.
- You should organize adequate medical insurance coverage for the period that you are abroad, particularly if you are going to a non-European country that does not have a social insurance agreement with Germany. More information can be found here.
- You should find out about Accident and liability insurance. The statutory accident insurance normally does not cover your semester abroad. You should therefore take out private accident insurance. More information about this can be found in our Information sheet and on the website of Student Services Freiburg.
- If you are travelling to a country outside the EU or the EEA, you will need a visa for periods of study which are longer than 3 months. Information about this can be found on the website of the relevant embassies or general consulates. In general you will need the following documents: passport (valid for at least 6 months longer than the planned trip), letter of acceptance from the guest university, proof of financial means (personal finances, scholarship, parental pledge, bank confirmation), sometimes proof of vaccination and medical records.
- Please read the current travel and safety information issued by the Foreign Office. German citizens are recommended to register their names in the "Elefand" Crisis prevention list at the Foreign Office.
- Important information for non-EU students with a residence permit to study: please be aware that you will lose your eligibility to study in Germany if you leave Germany for longer than 6 months without the consent of the Foreigner Registration Authorities (Ausländerbehörde). Please ensure you contact the relevant Foreigner Registration Authorities before planning your study abroad!
- Feedback report: Please submit your feedback report to the International Center within 4 weeks of your return. Information regarding the feedback report can be found here. Please use this report cover. Students of the HFU Business School have different requirements. Please follow these instructions.
- Recognition of credits: Please contact the Examinations Office and your International Coordinator/Regional Coordinator regarding accreditation of credits gained abroad.
The certificate from the host university in our exchange programmes, is usually sent to the International Center. In this case we will forward the original certificate to the Examinations Office and a copy to the International Coordinator/Regional Coordinator, and we will contact you by email. If your certificate from the host university is sent directly to you, please submit the original to the Examinations Office.
ERASMUS+ students should follow the guidelines in the ERASMUS road map!
Every faculty has an international coordinator or several regional coordinators (HFU Business School) who is responsible for semester abroad counselling and supervision. A list of these coordinators can be found here.