Universität Bielefeld

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Frequently Asked Questions - Erasmus+ Outgoing


What is Erasmus+?

The Erasmus+ Programme was established by the European Union (EU) and includes seven programmes for international exchange in education, training, youth, and sport. It promotes student and (teaching) staff mobility at the university as well as the opportunity for international internships.

How long can I stay abroad with the Erasmus+ programme?

Students and doctoral candidates can study abroad for a period of three months (or one academic term or trimester) and up to a maximum of twelve months per study cycle.
The duration of a internship period is a minimum of two months to a maximum of twelve months. In the case of combined study and internship, the minimum duration is three months and the maximum duration is twelve months, regardless of how the time is shared between studies and internship.

Is it possible to do an internship with Erasmus+?

Yes, it is! Through the Erasmus+ Programme you also have an opportunity to become an intern at a public or private institution in Europe, as long as it is not an EU institution or a body or organization that manages EU programmes. You can also combine your studies with an internship. Information about internships with Erasmus+ can be found at the International Office of the University Bielefeld.

Who can participate in the Erasmus+ Programme?

All regularly enrolled, degree-seeking students who are in at least their third university semester (at the time of departure) and all staff members of Bielefeld University can participate. There are no restrictions or other conditions. The programme seeks to promote equity and the inclusion of learners regardless of personal factors such as gender, age, nationality, disability, or particular circumstances.

May international students participate in the Erasmus+ programme too?

Yes, they may! International students may also participate in the Erasmus+ Programme, as far as they are not exchange students themselves at Bielefeld University. It is even possible to realise the exchange in your home country as far as a cooperative agreement exists. International students who possess a residence titel for their studies in Germany within the meaning of the REST Directive (Directive 2016/801/EU) may stay up to 360 days in another EU member state, if their stay is planned for study purposes. This does not apply for the EU member states Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark! Students who wish to stay at one of these countries should infrom themselfs about the necessary formulars or visas at their respective offices early.

I want to study abroad at a university that is not in the list of partner universities? What can I do?

Within the Erasmus+ Programme exchanges are possible only with universities that have a cooperative agreement with Bielefeld University. You may check if a cooperative agreement exists with your preferred university at another faculty of Bielefeld University. If it is the case that there are places available and it is permitted by the cooperative agreement, then the alternative faculty may nominate you. You could ask the corresponding coordinator whether they recommend an application in your individual case or not. A list of all partners of Bielefeld University, sorted by department, can be found here. Alternativley, you'll find more informations on the International Office website.

Besides the Erasmus+ Programme there are several opportunities to realize a student exchange: One can also apply to be an exchange student through other partners, such as the ZDES programme, or apply to a university or institution independently as a free mover. In this case the International Office offers different support services and advisory.

What type of financial support is available in the Erasmus+ Programme?

Eligible students are given a monthly scholarship of at least 330€, 390€, or 450€, depending on the host country. A list of the partial scholarships provided by the Erasmus+ programme is available here. For the International Dimension the monthly scholarship is higher and there is an additional travel grant. In the case of internships, any allowance or remuneration that the receiving organization may grant the student, including contributions in kind (such as meals and accommodation), is acceptable along with the Erasmus+ EU grant. Students or interns are permitted to have a part-time job during mobility periods. The Erasmus+ EU grant can also be combined with Auslands-BAföG or private scholarships. However, many scholarships exclude double founding.

Can my institution reduce my Erasmus+ grant or ask me to repay it completely or in part?

Yes, they can. If a student does not comply with the terms of the grant agreement, all or part of the Erasmus+ EU-funded grant will have to be repaid, with one exception: if a student cannot complete the studies abroad owing to force majeure (i.e., an unforeseeable, exceptional, or unavoidable situation or event that is not attributable to error or negligence on the student’s part). For this reason the student should be aware of this eventuality and should read the grant agreement carefully before signing it.



When do I have to apply?

The application deadline for the next academic year (summer and winter semester) ends on January 31st. It is recommended that you start preparing well in advance of the deadline.

Students who are planning to participate in an Erasmus+ exchange during their Master’s studies can apply even before they have completed their Bachelor’s studies.

What are important facts that I have to consider before the application?

Before you apply you should inform yourself well about the universities of you interest. This implies not only reviewing the study system and the course overview of the university, but also learning if there are specific application requirements for Erasmus+ students at the particular university (official language certificates or further requisites).

How do I apply?

To apply you must fill out and submit the Erasmus+ application form, along with your curriculum vitae, a transcript of your academic records, and a detailed letter of motivation (see question below). All documents must be submitted to the Erasmus office by January 31st at the latest. Additionally, for a few of our partner universities, you will have to present an official language certificate confirming your proficiency with the language of instruction. Although this certificate is not required at the time of the first application, it will be requested at the time of enrollment and you should prove credibly at the time of application, how you will be able to present the document at the time of enrollment.

Is it also possible to apply to more than one partner university?

Yes, it is! You may simultaneously apply to up to three partner universities. You must prepare a complete set of application documents for each partner university and submit these documents to the Erasmus office of the Faculty of Sociology. Rank your choices based on priority, and be sure that the rankings are consistent on each set of documents.

You may write one motivation letter for all of your applications, in which you discribe your choices and study focus, or you may write seperate motivation letters for all of your choices.

How likely is it that I will be able to go to the university of my choice?

Your chances will depend on the number of applicants and on the preferences you specify, so they cannot be predicted. The more flexible you are in choosing a partner university or destination country, the better your chances of being accepted into the Erasmus+ Program. Keep in mind that you can choose and apply to up to three partner universities at the same time.

What does a "detailed" motivation letter look like?

The motivation letter is your opportunity to define your reasons for choosing the specific partner university and the benefits you expect to gain from the Erasmus+ exchange program in terms of your academic progress. It is important that you clearly state your goals and how the exchange program is likely to help you reach them. To do this, you should refer to your own studies and to the advantages offered by the partner university. Also include information about your academic interests and major areas of study, as well as how these are reflected in the partner university you have choosen, thus making it clear that you are familiar with the partner university, its course offerings, and the areas of study from which you can choose. 

If you apply for more than one university you are free to write one motivation letter that covers all three universities, or write three separate motivation letters. In any case your motivation letter should not exceed one page.

I want to apply to the Erasmus+ exchange programme but I do not speak the language of instruction fluently yet. May I apply anyway? 

Yes, you may! You should provide evidence of at least a basic knowledge of the language of instruction, which is not always the same as the language of the host country. You should credibly demonstrate that you will reach the minimum required level of language proficiency (B1/B2) by the start of the semester. This will ensure active participation and benefit from the stay. Proof of proficiency can be an official language certificate (TOEFL or DELF [Diploma in French Language Studies]) or a certain number of years of study, a minimum score on the school diploma or other evidence of competence. Very few universities only accept official language certificates. Please inform yourself about the requirements of the partner universities.

For the five major languages of instruction (English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian), candidates who have been nominated for the Erasmus+ Programme will be asked to take a free, online-based language test and, if necessary, a preliminary course to improve their skills before arriving at the partner university. In addition, many of the partner universities offer language courses to Erasmus+ students during their stay in the host country.

I already participated in an Erasmus+ exchange during my Bachelor (Master) studies. May I apply again in my Master (PhD) studies?

Yes, you may! You can be supported repeatedly by the Erasmus+ Programme at any stage in the study cycle (BA, MA, or PhD) for a maximum of twelve months. Students who have graduated are eligible to receive support for a two- to six-month internship abroad after their graduation as long as they have not exceeded the maximum period of eligibility. For more information on internships, please consult the International Office.

I am not enrolled as a student at the Faculty of Sociology. May I apply for an Erasmus+ exchange at the Faculty anyway?

Yes, students of Bielefeld University, who are enrolled at a different Faculty than the Faculty of Sociology may apply for an Erasmus+ exchange at one of our partner universities.

In this case, applicants should provide explicit reasons for their interest and state very clearly, why they apply at the Faculty of Sociology and in how far the exchange is related to their individual course of study.

However, you should consult the responsible coordinator before your application, to check if your application has a chance of succsess.

Nomination & Learning Agreement

What happens after my application has been submitted?

Once all applications have been received as of the deadline (January 31st), they are reviewed and evaluated. After the selection process has been completed, the applicants who have been chosen will be assigned to the available placements. It is our goal do give as many applicants a place as possible. You will receive an e-mail from the Erasmus+ coordinator responsible for your application. Once you are nominated your next step should be, to inform yourself about the application procedure at your host university. When is the enrollment deadline, what kind of documents are needed, which classes can be taken, etc.. The International Office offers help in preparing your stay abroad, such as an information event or a checklist for nominated students, which you can find in the download area of the International Office (only in German). You will only have to contact your coordinator again, when your learning agreement has to be signed.

What is a Learning Agreement?

The Learning Agreement is a form which contains the list of courses that students will take during their mobility period at the partner university. It needs to be signed by the student and representatives of the home university and the host university. It ensures (1) that the home university has confirmed that the courses are in line with the study requirements and can be accredited after the Erasmus+ exchange programme has been completed and (2) that the host university has confirmed that the courses are available and appropriate for the student. Students confirm that they will attend the courses during their exchange. The Learning Agreement must be submitted before the study exchange or internship begins; however, with the consent of the coordinators, it can be modified during the five weeks following the student’s arrival at the host university.

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 yourself, Bielefeld University and the host 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 the guest university during your stay. Information on courses is available in the course catalogue of the host university. Below table A you find table B, where you enter the corresponding Module(s) from the Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University. Finally, you, your coordinator from the host university, the coordinator in Bielefeld and the credit officer at the Faculty of Sociology have to sign the Learning Agreement BEFORE the exchange begins. The best method is to get the filled Learning Agreement signed by your coordinator in Bielefeld first and then send it via e-mail to your coordinator at the host university. A detailed guide on how to fill out your learning agreement can be found here.

I already have been nominated, but the partner university requests another „Application“ / „Enrollment“. What does this mean?

This “application” or “enrollment” process is part of the administrative procedure of the partner university and is necessary to prepare your stay abroad. Once you have been nominated by the International Office of Bielefeld University to participate in the Erasmus+ Programme, the host university may ask you to resubmit your application documents and enroll formally at the partner university.


Events & Deadlines

Erasmus+ Sprechstunde/ Office hours:
Aktuell bieten wir eine online Sprechstunde an. Bitte kontaktiert uns zum Termin vereinbaren per Mail an erasmus.soc@uni-bielefeld.de

// At the moment we are offering online office hours. Please contact us to make an appointment by mail to erasmus.soc@uni-bielefeld.de


PDF-DokumentCourses taught in English - SoSe 2021

PDF-DokumentCourses taught in English (Int. Track) - SoSe 2021

Alle Kurse für das kommende Semester sind auch im eKVV online einsehbar! Englischsprachige Veranstaltungen finden Sie HIER.

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









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