Frequently Asked Questions - Erasmus+ Incoming

Application & Before the exchange

Who can participate in the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

International students and (teaching) staff from the partner universities of the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University are eligible to participate. A list of all partners can be found here.

Where do I have to apply for the Erasmus+ exchange programme?

You must apply at your home university. Please consult either the Erasmus+ coordinator or the International Office at your university for information about the specific application requirements.

 

Courses

Where can I find the course offerings of the Faculty of Sociology?

All courses (German and English) offered by the Faculty of Sociology are listed in the electronic commented course catalogue (eKVV). The eKVV contains detailed information about each course, including the title, a brief description, requirements, number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points, class locations and schedules, and types of participation and examinations. In the section of the Faculty of Sociology you may search for courses according to the offered BA and MA study programs or check the list of Courses taught in English.

In addition there is an interdisciplinary study programme called Studium Internationale - Intercultural and Global Studies, organised by the International Office that offers the chance to look into various fields of studies with a focus on international and intercultural topics, and especially suits the needs of exchange students.

When are the actual course offerings of Faculty of Sociology available to be viewed online?

The course offerings are available to be viewed online in the electronic commented course catalogue (eKVV) in mid-January for the summer semester and in mid-June for the winter semester to be viewed online in the electronic commented course catalogue (eKVV) You can always find the course offerings of the past semesters and use it as a reference to get an impression of the teaching areas at the Faculty of Sociology.

How well must I speak and understand German?

The Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University generally requires German or English language proficiency at least at the level of B1, based on the Common European Reference Frame (CEFR). At the  BA level, a deeper knowledge of German is highly recommended, because most of the courses are given in German (only a few are given in English). On the MA level, the english course offering is wider so that it is enough to fulfill the required proficiency in English while German knowledge is not necessary.

The university language center, Punkt.Um, offers language courses at all levels before (intensive courses) and during the lecture period so that individual exchange students can improve their German language skills about one CEFR level.

How many courses will I have to take?

A workload equivalent to approximately 30 ECTS European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points per semester is recommended and includes course participation, individual examinations, and German language courses.

Should I only take courses in English?

No. You may take courses from the complete course offering  of the Faculty of Sociology. In consultation with your home university you may also take courses from other faculties as long as they match with your course and interests of study.

I am a Bachelor student. May I take courses from the MA programme?

Generally you should attend courses according to your study cycle (BA courses as a BA student and MA courses as a MA student). In exceptional cases it is also possible for BA students to attend courses from the MA programme. In this case you should justify your selection and have previous knowledge of the topic that will be discussed in the course. In any case you have to discuss the participation with your Erasmus+ coordinators at the home and host university and ask the lecturer if you may attend the course.

When and how may I register for courses?

You may register online for courses in the electronic commented course catalogue (eKVV). To do that you need your matriculation number and your personal password from the BITS, which will been given to you after you enrolled at Bielefeld University. You can register or deregister for courses at any time during the semester in the eKVV. Nevertheless, you should register as soon as you know that you will actually attend the course because only then you will receive e-mails from the lecturer, have access to the learning room with reading material for the course and receive ECTS points (in German Leistungspunkte = LP) at the end of the course.

When are the exams held?

The examination system of the Faculty of Sociology in Bielefeld mostly requires the elaboration of a final paper that must be submitted by the end of the semester. Deadlines for submitting the final paper vary from course to course and will be set by the course lecturer. A guidline on how to write final papers at the Faculty of Sociology in Bielefeld can be found here.

 

Learning Agreement & Documents

What is a Learning Agreement and why do I need it?

The Learning Agreement is a necessary document signed by you, your coordinator at your home university and the coordinator at Bielefeld University, in which all courses that you wish to take during your exchange as well as the courses they will replace at the home university and the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points that will be recognized are listed. Its purpose is to provide a transparent preparation of your study period abroad and ensure the recognition of the courses successfully completed abroad. Furthermore, it is requisite for the Erasmus+ scholarship.

How do I complete the Learning Agreement form?

The Learning Agreement is divided into three sections. In the first section you enter general data about you, your home university and Bielefeld University. In the second section, "Before the mobility", you find the table A, in which you enter all the courses (with course number, title, semester and ECTS points) that you plan to attend at Bielefeld University during your stay. Information on courses are available in the electronic commented course catalogue. Below table A you find the table B, where you enter all the corresponding courses (also with course number, title, semester and ECTS points) from the course offer of your host university that will be replaced by the courses during your exchange. Finally, you as the student, your coordinator from Bielefeld University AND your home university have to sign the Learning Agreement BEFORE the exchange begins. The best method is to get the filled Learning Agreement signed by your coordinator at your home university first and then send it via e-mail to your coordinator in Bielefeld.

May I change my Learning Agreement?

Yes, you may! The Erasmus+ programme wants to provide flexibility in choosing the courses that interest you personally. Therefore, it is possible to change your Learning Agreement up to five weeks after your arrival. You have to inform your Erasmus+ coordinator at your home university and in Bielefeld about the changes, integrate all course changes in your Learning Agreement, and have it signed again to ensure recognition after returning to your home university. The Learning Agreement form is available for download on the webpage of the International Office.

How do I change my Learning Agreement?

Discuss the changes you would like to make with your Erasmus+ coordinator at your home university and in Bielefeld before you realize any changes. Then, integrate all course changes in your Learning Agreement. Do not change any aspects in the section "Before the mobility"! Below you find the section "During the mobility" including table A2 and B2, where you have to indicate the courses you want to add or delete (course number, title, ECTS) and state the reason of change. In table A2 you list the courses from the course offering in Bielefeld that you add or delete, in table B2 you list the equivalent course from the course offer of your host university that will be replaced by these added or deleted components during your exchange. Finally, get the Learning Agreement signed again to ensure recognition after returning to your home university.

How do I get my transcript?

Your transcript will be delivered by the Examination Office of the Faculty of Sociology. By the end of the semester, after you have completed the courses and examinations, your academic performance and grades will be registered in the electronic system of the Examination Office and you will be given a transcript of records in German. Together with this transcript of records the Faculty also provides a “Transcript Supplement” in English, which explains the terminology and structure of the transcript to make it easy to understand.

My stay in Bielefeld is ending soon and there are still missing study- and/or examination performances in my transcript. What can I do?

If it is foreseeable that you will leave Bielefeld before all study- and examination performances will be registered, you may ask the staff in the examination office to send you the official, stamped version of your transcript by post. Prepare an envelop with your complete name and postal address and forward it to the examination office a few days before your departure. Please consider the office hours of the examination office.

In the electronic examination management (in German) on the eKVV you can check your performances online by logging on with your enrolment number and BITS-password. In this way you can control, which performances have been registered and when your transcript is complete. This function is still available a few months after your departure so that you may revise the examination management from your hometown. As far as all study- and examination performances appear completely on your transcript in the electronic examination management in the eKVV, inform the staff on the examination office by sending an email that your transcript is complete and you wish them to send it to you. A few days later you should receive the official stamped transcript and the transcript supplement by post. In case you need a preliminary version of your performances completed during the exchange, you may download a PDF-version of your transcript from the electronic examination management until you receive the official, stamped version.

How can I earn ECTS points in Bielefeld?

Students at Bielefeld University can earn ECTS points according to two different types of performance: their study performance and their examination. Their study performance can be an oral presentation, a short essay, text summaries, a presentation or something equivalent and is generally not graded. The examination can be a final paper (the most common form), a research design, a written exam, or something equivalent and is generally graded. For each type of performance you can earn a number of credit points. For BA courses, the number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points is usually 4 for a study performance and 2 for an examination performance. For MA courses, the number of ECTS points is usually 4 for a study performance and 6 for an examination performance. Students may choose individually for each course whether they want to complete an ungraded study performance only or complete a study and an examination performance in the course to receive a grade.

How does the grading system at Bielefeld work?

Students are graded on a scale from 1,0 to 4,0, where 1,0 is the best and 4,0 the minimum required grade to pass a course. An insufficient examination performance is graded with the grade 5,0. The grades correspond as following:

Grade Subdivisions

Description

1 = sehr gut (very good) 1,0 outstanding achievement
1,3
2 = gut (good) 1,7 an achievement which lies substantially above average requirements
2,0
2,3
3 = befriedigend (satisfactory) 2,7 an achievement which corresponds to average requirements
3,0
3,3
4 = ausreichend (sufficient) 3,7 an achievement which barely meets the requirements
4,0
5 = nicht ausreichend (insufficient/fail) 5,0 an achievement which does not meet the requirements
I need a grade for the course that is designated "ungraded". What can I do?

In exceptional cases, namely if you will have to fulfill certain obligations to have the course recognized at your home university, you may ask the course lecturer to give you a grade, or to revise the number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) points you receive for taking a course. This may imply that you will need to make special arrangements or adapt course conditions to meet your specific academic needs that have to be approved by your lecturer and coordinator. They will inform the examination office about heir consent.

 

 

 

 

Events & Deadlines

 

PDF-DokumentEnglish Courses for exchange students - WS 2018/19

Alle Kurse für das kommende Wintersemester 2018/19 sind auch im eKVV online einsehbar! Englischsprachige Veranstaltungen finden Sie HIER.

All courses for the upcoming winter semester 2018/19 are also available online in the eKVV. You can find an overview of courses in English HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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