Current information from HFU about the Corona virus:

Study and work abroad

Furtwangen University offers diverse opportunities for you to go abroad. And the International Center is happy to help you plan your stay abroad.

You basically have two options: either you apply for an exchange place at one of our partner universities, or you apply as a so-called "Freemover" directly to a non-partner university abroad. Click here for information about internship semesters abroad.

Study worldwide - experience it!

A DAAD information campaign on studying and internships abroad 

Important Corona information

Please take the following information into consideration when planning your semester abroad:  External link opens in a new window:Travel and safety information of the German Foreign Office and the External link opens in a new window:Information on International Risk Areas on the Robert Koch Institute website.

Due to the current worldwide unsafe and dynamic situation, our partner universities often only offer online lectures or must cancel their exchange programme at short notice. Reliable planning of the semester abroad is therefore impossible at this time.

However, it is still possible to apply for an exchange place for summer semester 2022 over our online portal at the normal times. Please be prepared for the eventuality that it may be cancelled at short notice and stay informed about the current situation in the country you have applied for.

HFU partner universities

HFU has over 150 partner universities worldwide.

Information about the exchange places available for your faculty/study programme (mostly tuition-free) can be found on our online databank, which has a filter for study programmes and countries. Please note that a fully recognised, integrated study semester – related to your study programme and your language proficiency – is not always possible at all partner universities. Please make sure you get information about this in advance from your international coordinator/regional coordinator. Some English-speaking partner universities charge tuition fees despite the fact that we have a cooperation contract. This is the case where the exchange is not balanced, in other words too few students from the partner university come to HFU.

Students who take part in an HFU exchange programme are required to provide a written feedback report on experiences at the partner university.


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 (Please note: Direct application to a partner university is not possible!). It is important that it is a university which is recognised in Germany, 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. The university of your choice should have the status h+.

Information on foreign universities can be found in the External link opens in a new window:DAAD country databank.
Tips on how to apply directly to a foreign university can be found here.

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. Some of these agencies also award scholarships.
Institut Ranke-Heinemann
External link opens in a new window:Asia Exchange

External link opens in a new window:Feedback reports from freemovers can be found in the International Center course in FELIX.

Timing of semester abroad

Bachelor's study programmes
The 6th semester in most bachelor's study programmes can be spent entirely 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. This must be clarified with the International Coordinator or the Regional Coordinator. 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.

Master's study programmes
Generally an additional semester must be planned for a semester abroad. The accreditation of individual subjects is possible in individual cases and must be agreed upon in advance with the International Coordinator or Dean of Studies. Not all Master's programmes offer exchange places at partner universities. In such cases, a semester abroad is only possible as a freemover.

Foreign semester timetables

When you are planning, don't forget to take different semester timetables abroad into consideration. For example, in North America and Scandinavia the summer semester begins in January. In these countries a semester abroad in the summer semester would only be possible if you were in your internship semester immediately beforehand and were able to complete this in December. Please check, also with your Dean of Studies, whether you can swap your internship semester and your semester abroad. 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  Please note these webpages are available in German only.

Tuition fees

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 .

Choice of course/Learning agreement and computation of grades

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).

Learning Agreement
Before applying you should complete a Download file:Preliminary Learning Agreement (LA) which should be signed by the international coordinator of your faculty or your regional coordinator.

  • Exception for students of the HFU Business School and IEB for applications to ERASMUS+ partner universities:

The Learning Agreement will only be drawn up upon acceptance into the ERASMUS+ programme and signed by the international coordinator/regional coordinator and the host university. You will be contacted by the ERASMUS* university coordinator in due time. Important: please find out about the courses you are interested in when you apply, so that the ERASMUS+ Learning Agreement can be processed quickly.

  • Exception for students of the HFU Business School and IEB for applications to partner universities in Latin America.

It is your responsibility to submit the Learning Agreement to the regional coordinator responsible at a later point in time (the LA does not have to be submitted to the International Center at a later point in time!) Your regional coordinator will contact you about this.

  • Note for HFU online application: in the case of the above exceptions, a blank sheet can be uploaded in the "Learning Agreement" section of the application portal.

With the LA, you ensure that the academic achievements you have completed abroad will be recognized at HFU. You can usually find the subjects to be taken on the websites of the foreign university.
Often there are changes in the course selection after arrival, as certain courses do not take place or are already full. If necessary, you will have to agree these changes with your international coordinator/regional coordinator via email.

ERASMUS+ Programme:
Students who apply for an ERASMUS partner university also initially only have to fill out the preliminary learning agreement (except for HFU Business School and IEB students, see above). Only after they have been accepted in the ERASMUS programme and have been nominated at their guest institution, do students have to create an additional Online Learning Agreement (OLA), which must then also be signed by the guest institution.

If you have failed individual courses during your study semester abroad, the specific regulations for each individual study programme in the Study and Examination Regulations are applicable. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact your Dean of Studies or Regional Coordinator/International Coordinator.

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.

Language requirements

To be able to participate in lectures in a foreign language, you must 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. For English this can be completed by the Language Center. For Spanish and French, non-HFU Business School students can also contact the HFU language lecturers for the certificate: for Spanish, Alejandro Pastor and Dulce Rudolph; for French, Raphael Gilles.

IBW, IBM, BMP and IEB students should contact the relevant regional coordinator for their French or Spanish language proficiency certificate. For certificates of English proficiency, IBW and IBM students should contact Morag McNair. BMP and IEB students should contact the Language Center.

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 usually 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.

Application and application deadlines

HFU partner universities

Application deadline for the HFU 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.

Because the number of exchange places is limited, it is very important that you state 3 priorities, particularly if you have to do a mandatory semester abroad. Initially you should only prepare a letter of motivation and Learning Agreement for your first priority.

A new ERASMUS+ programme will start from the academic year 22/23. Due to technical difficulties, there have been delays in the conclusion of the new ERASMUS+ cooperation agreements throughout Europe. Therefore, we recommend that you indicate 3 priorities in any case, as not all ERASMUS+places have been contractually confirmed by our partner universities yet.

Important: the deadlines are fixed. Online application must be completed by the deadline.
NEW from Summer Semester 2022: it is no longer required for a signed PDF to be submitted to the International Center.

More information on the application process can be found here: Semester abroad - step by step.

Please note: Applicants who wish to go to a non-EU country, need a valid passport. In many cases proof that you hold a valid passport is required during application. The application procedure for the passport can take up to 6 weeks.

Regulations for ranking in the selection of applications:

(Download file:Additional regulations during the pandemic - in German only)


  1. Selection criteria are academic grades, language proficiency and involvement in university activities.
  2. The HFU Business School has its own partnerships and gives students of each regional focus priority with these partners.
  3. The fact that foundation studies are not completed at the time of application is not in itself grounds for exclusion; however the application will generally be given a lower priority than applicants who have completed their foundation studies.
    Foundation studies must have been completed by the time the semester abroad is to be undertaken. (Exception HFU Business School: 1 language certificate may remain open, if language = language of the target country).
  4. In the case of cross-faculty partnerships, the faculty which has accepted more visiting students from the partner university will decide who the places will be allocated to.

Please check the application deadlines directly with the university of choice. Application is also made directly with the foreign university.

Information about GPA (Grade Point Average)
Some universities require you to convert your average grade to the American system. Click here for External link opens in a new window:more information on conversion to the GPA system.

Feedback reports

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).

Things to do before you leave for your semester abroad

Admission to the guest university

If you are going to an HFU partner university, if the letter of acceptance is sent directly to you by the host university, please send a scan of it by email to the International Center on your HFU campus.

Re-enrollment and notification regarding semester abroad

You should re-enroll as usual. You should also submit the "Notification of Semester Abroad (Mitteilung über das Auslandstudiensemester)" form to the Examinations Office.


Medical insurance

You must 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.

With the European Medical Insurance card (EHIC), you have basic insurance coverage in other EU countries and in countries with which Germany has a social insurance agreement. However, this basic coverage is very likely not sufficient, particularly if it is necessary to be transported home for medical reasons, or if special medical treatment is necessary. We therefore strongly recommend a supplementary private travel health insurance which covers such additional benefits and also the pandemic case. If you participate in the Erasmus+ programme, such a private health insurance is mandatory.

If you have private health insurance in Germany, please contact your insurance company to obtain proof of your insurance coverage abroad, if necessary.

To cover you in such cases, we recommend taking out additional private insurance. In non-EU countries and in countries where Germany has no social insurance agreement, private insurance is necessary.

More information about medical insurance abroad can be found External link opens in a new window:here.

Students can take out insurance over the group insurance contract of the DAAD. This includes Accident and Liability insurance. More information can be found External link opens in a new window:here.

Please be aware that medical insurance does not always cover pandemic cases and in some cases may refuse to pay if a travel warning by the Foreign Office (Auswärtige Amt) has been issued. Please make sure you check this before taking out insurance.

Accident and Liability insurance

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 Download file: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.


Travel information

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!


International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

Information regarding the International Student Identity Card can be found here.

Things to do when you return from your semester abroad

Feedback report

Please email your feedback report as a PDF to your contact at the International Center within 4 weeks of completing your study semester abroad. Please use this report cover and follow these Download file:instructions.

This applies even if your semester abroad was completed entirely online due to corona. Although you will not be able to comment on some of the points, your report will nevertheless be an important source of information for future exchange students.

Certificate and accreditation

The certificate issued by the host university in our exchange programmes is usually sent to the International Center. In this case we will contact you immediately by email (with a scan of the certificate attached and copied to the International Coordinator/Regional Coordinator). Please pick up the original copy of the certificate from the International Center as soon as possible. If the certificate from the guest university is sent directly to you, please hand the original in to the International Center. The International Center will scan the certificate and send it by email to the International Coordinator/Regional Coordinator.

Important: A scan of the certificate sent to us directly as a PDF cannot be accepted. Please take this into consideration if you have to download the certificate directly from the online portal of the guest university. In this case please inform them that the certificate must be sent directly to HFU. If this is not possible, please contact us.
Please contact the International Coordinator/Regional Coordinator or Dean of Studies directly regarding the accreditation of credits (incl. conversion of grades) gained abroad. The computation of the grades will be carried out using the HFU standard computation table, which can be found in FELIX.


Financing options