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Organising and applying for your studies abroad

So, the plan is to study abroad and to leave Bielefeld University for a while. Generally it is advised to plan one year in advance of your planned trip abroad in order to leave enough time for all the necessary formalities.

In the following list you can find out what possibilities there are and the advantages of the various alternatives:

+ Semester abroad at a partner university

The advantage of planning a stay abroad through a university partnership or within the ERASMUS programme is that the universities have agreements on the study programme as well as the credits for work abroad awarded at the home university. There are already contacts in place to the particular university and to the teaching staff in the relevant subject, which the students greatly profit from. The organisation side, such as enrolment, accommodation etc. is also easier in most cases than organising a study abroad independently. The mentor programme at the partner university abroad also offers a distinct advantage over self-initiated stays abroad. The choice of university is restricted, however, compared to the free choice available when organising a stay abroad independently. In most cases, there are time restrictions for stays abroad as well.

A list of partners relevant to your subjects can be found here.

Within Europe:
  • for the ERASMUS+ programme here
Outside Europe:
  • to the USA: Information regarding the ISEP exchange programme here [in German]
  • to Japan and China: Receive further information from our team
Application Documents:

It is not possible to list all necessary documents needed for all countries. It is recommended, however, to prepare for the following requirements:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Transcript of Records
  • Copy of certifications
  • Proof of language skills
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means (in national language)
  • passport photos

The International Office advises and offers support in preparation of application documents: Verification of certificates and Transcripts of Records translated into English.

+ Applying independently to a university

If you already have a university in mind with no partnership arrangement, it is possible to apply independently as a so-called Free Mover. Necessary information can be found -> here.
The advantage of a self-organised study abroad is that you can choose the university you wish to study at yourself. You can choose for how long, at what time and where you wish to study abroad. The difficulty lies in the administrative effort involved because the formalities, such as admission, enrolment, recognition, accommodation, funding etc. have to be organised by you.

For individual advice, practical tips and suggestions please contact the advice team at the International Office.

Necessary documents for independent application:

It is not possible to list all necessary documents needed for all countries. It is recommended, however, to prepare for the following requirements:

  • Letter of motivation
  • CV
  • Transcript of Records
  • Copy of certifications
  • Proof of language skills
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means (in national language)
  • Attested translation of birth certificate (or international birth certificate)
  • Abitur certificate (in national language), forms in English or French are available at IO
  • passport photos
(Application documents should be requested directly from the foreign university.)

 

Detailed information, in depth advice and other assistance is available from the advice team at the International Office.

Contact:

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