The EU created the ERASMUS Programme in 1987 to increase the mobility of European students, to strengthen the cooperation between European universities and so further the integration of Europe. Since then the Programme has grown steadily and today 27 Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and the UK participate in it.
Further information on the ERASMUS+ Programme is available here or in the ERASMUS-Flyer.
All University Bielefeld Faculties maintain ERASMUS+ Cooperations with various European partner institutions. A number of academic staff, the so-called ERASMUS+ representatives, are responsible for these cooperations.
ERASMUS+ encourages equal opportunities and inclusion. Therefore the sending institution can request special funding for single parents and for students and academic staff with a 50 percent or higher degree of disability.
Over and beyond this, the Faculty of Sociology and the Department of History of the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, participate in the ERASMUS+ Mobility programme with Partner Countries beyond Europe.
Further information can be found here (German).
Erasmus+ is the EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport. Erasmus+ integrates the former EU programmes for Lifelong Learning, Youth and Sport and the European cooperation programmes in higher education. ERASMUS+ has a budget of around 14.8 billion Euros. More than 4 million people will have benefitted from this EU funding by 2020. The seven-year programme is intended to improve skills and employability and further the modernisation of general and vocational education and child and youth welfare systems. You can find more information on Erasmus+ on the website of the European Commission.
The funding will boost mobility within Europe and - from 2015 to a lesser extent – also with other parts of the world. By the year 2020, around 2 million students are expected to benefit from Erasmus+, including over a quarter of a million people from Germany. The programme is open to students in any study cycle, including doctoral students, who wish to complete an internship or pursue part of their studies abroad. For the first time, students can apply for up to 12 months of funding for each Bachelor, Master or Doctoral degree course. To make the programme more attractive financially, the monthly mobility grant is being increased, in particular in host countries with a higher cost of living. In future it will also be possible to pursue a traineeship following graduation. Furthermore, Erasmus+ offers low-interest loans for students wishing to do a Master’s degree in Europe. The Erasmus Mundus Excellence Programme, which has up to now been funding outstanding students throughout their selected joint European Master's Programmes, will continue under Erasmus+.
In addition, Erasmus+ contributes to the internationalisation of universities by funding short-term lectureships and training abroad for academic and administrative staff. The university can also invite staff for a period of teaching leave from companies from abroad and the university can now enter into multilateral strategic partnerships with other European partners (including non-academic fields) and develop innovative projects (e.g. in curriculum development or cross-cutting educational themes). Erasmus+ provides funding for cooperations with businesses as part of the new "Knowledge Alliances". Universities wishing to engage in expanding capacities in third countries can do this within the Programme's international university partnerships.
The funding for most of the mobility measures and the strategic partnerships is granted by the national agencies of the 34 participating countries (27 EU countries, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Turkey). The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) has taken on this role in Germany. Further information and advice on the Erasmus+ mobility measures is available here:
National Agency for EU Higher Education Cooperation
Any university wishing to participate in or apply for the new programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020 must hold a valid Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE).
The ECHE is awarded by the European Commission. This certifies that a university has fulfilled all criteria to successfully participate in the Erasmus+ Programme.
The ERASMUS Programme at Bielefeld University is coordinated by the International Office.
Recognition of Credits
The participating universities have committed themselves to full recognition of academic achievements for successfully completed courses and performance records.
The ECTS (European Community Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) is the tool used to recognise such achievements. Courses or qualifications completed abroad are awarded with ECTS credits. Using these credits, the process of academic recognition is completed in Bielefeld. The respective Programme Representatives and the Examinations Office are responsible for this task.
Part-Cost Grants and BAföG (state financial assistance for education)
Within the framework of ERASMUS+ it is possible to apply for a part-cost grant which is not dependent on study outcomes. The amount of funding per month is determined by the category of country, defined as follows:
In addition to the ERASMUS+ part-cost grant, students who receive BAFöG funding (state financial assistance for education) may apply for "Auslands BAFöG" (BAFöG funding to study abroad). If you have not been eligible to claim BAFöG before, it is still advisable to look into this, as income limits for this type of funding are different to those for BAFöG within Germany. You need to apply to the BAFöG Office responsible for the country you wish to visit. Information is available on the Internet under the search term: BAFöG. More information is can be found here.
Easing your studies abroad
There are no tuition fees for ERASMUS+ students and enrolment procedures have generally been simplified. There is also support on offer in many places, e.g. induction days, language courses for ERASMUS+ students or help in finding accommodation. Students do not have to pay the Bielefeld University semester fee during their stay abroad (when on leave of absence).
Applications for special funding can be made by students with children and students with disabilities.
A step by step guide to your ERASMUS+ Semester
The most important point of contact for students wishing to study abroad with ERASMUS+ is the respective Programme Representative. Programme Representatives in the Faculties are responsible for sending students to the partner universities and can inform you about programmes of study at partner universities.
Applications to participate in the ERASMUS+ Programme are also made through the Programme Representatives. Applicants should discuss the exact details of their application and how to proceed further with their Programme Representative. Make sure you find out about application deadlines in good time as these vary according to Faculty. In general, application deadlines lie between January and March for the following winter and summer semester. Most applications require three documents: letter of motivation, documentation of study, certificate of language proficiency.
The selection criteria include a convincing letter of motivation and proficient knowledge of the host institution's language of instruction (B1 or higher).
Step 3: After approval of your application
As soon as you have heard from the Programme Representative that your application has been successful, please check the enrolment requirements and the deadline on the homepage of your host university. Please ensure you enrol at the host university within the deadline. The ERASMUS code for Bielefeld University is: D BIELEFE 01. Following your nomination you should also apply online via the following link:
You will then receive a letter of confirmation that can be used for other authorities and institutions.
Here you can find the Checklist to download
Contact with the host university
Contact your host university as soon as possible to clarify questions about accommodation, when the degree course starts and language and other preparation courses. The most important information, contact details and application forms are often available on the host university website. If that is not the case, you can contact the International Office or ERASMUS Office of the host university. Please ensure you observe the deadlines of the host university!
Online registration and ERASMUS+ confirmation
Please register as soon as possible on the International Office internet site. We can then give you an official certificate regarding your ERASMUS+ status and your grant can be paid in good time. We will send you the certificate upon receipt of the signed documents and you can submit this document to government offices (e.g. BAFöG office, Studierendensekretariat (Student Office), Kindergeldkasse (Child Benefit Office) etc. If you require the certificate sooner (or the nomination letter also in English or French), please contact us. You can register online here. Registration should be completed by 15 June at the latest.
The grant is paid in two instalments. The first instalment, which is paid at the start of your study abroad, covers the months stated on your online registration minus one month's payment. The second instalment, i.e. the grant for the remaining month, will be paid on your return after you have submitted the necessary documents. The second instalment will be paid out in accordance with the details given in your confirmation document.
Some universities require a certificate of language proficiency. Please contact the Language Centre if you require a certificate. Even if a certificate is not required, it is advisable to take advantage of the language courses on offer at the Language Centre to help you prepare for your stay abroad.
Compulsory online - language test
The European Commission has developed an online language test. Before your ERASMUS+ stay begins, we will send you an email with your login details for this obligatory test. The test does not form part of the selection criteria for participation in ERASMUS+, but serves to record your language proficiency. After your return we will invite you to take the language test again so that you can record your progress.
Language support - online language courses
In addition, the European Commission offers free tutored online language courses once the obligatory language test has been taken. After completing the language test we will send you access details and you can visit the online language course at any time.
"Auslands BAföG" (BAföG to study abroad)
In addition to the ERASMUS+ part-cost grant, students who receive BAFöG funding (state financial assistance for education) may apply for "Auslands BAFöG" (funding to study abroad). If you were not previously able to receive BAFöG, it is advisable to check if you are eligible for BAFöG to study abroad, as income limits for this funding are different to those for BAFöG within Germany. You need to apply to the BAFöG Office responsible for the country you wish to visit. Information is available on the Internet under the search term "BAFöG".
To ensure that academic achievements during your stay at a host university are recognised on your return you should enter any courses you wish to study in the Learning Agreement. It is best to discuss your choice of course with your ERASMUS+ Programme Representative. Before you go abroad, the Learning Agreement must be signed by you, your Programme Representative, the Confirming Officer in the Bielefeld University Faculty and the Erasmus Coordinator at your host university. It is possible to make changes to the Learning Agreement after your arrival.
You can apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are covered by the national health insurance scheme. Privately insured students should speak to their health insurance provider regarding their insurance cover abroad. We also recommend that you take out an accident and personal liability insurance (this is possible through the DAAD).
Leave of absence/Re-enrolment at Bielefeld University
You can apply to take leave of absence for the duration of your stay abroad. To do so you need the leave of absence application form from the Student Office and the document confirming your nomination for the ERASMUS+ Programme as sent to you by the International Office by post. Please note: Leave of absence is not possible if you are taking an examination at Bielefeld University or if you wish to terminate your studies in the semester in which you are studying abroad. Futher information is available at the Studierendendekretariat (Student Office).
Information events by the International Office
In April/May the International Office hosts an Information Day especially for ERASMUS+ students to find out more information about the Programme and meet former ERASMUS+ students.
Translation of Transcript
When your host university requires a transcript in the English language the translation can be checked and certified by the International Office. Here you can find further information and support with the translation. Templates for the transcript can be downloaded here.
Subletting a flat
If you do not want to give up your flat or room when you go abroad, you may rent it out to international students who are staying in Bielefeld during your absence. You can find the form and contact details here.
International Mentoring Programme
If you want to get a feel for ERASMUS+ before you go, you can act as mentor to ERASMUS+ students on our International Mentoring Programme who are currently spending one or two semesters in Bielefeld. Further information on this programme and details on how to register are available here.
Reports of experiences
There are probably lots of things you want to know about the place you will be visiting and your host university. Reports of experiences by former ERASMUS+ students can give you an insight into your destination and add to your excitement. You can read these reports here here. Guide for Reports of experiences.
"Confirmation of Participation"
Please officially confirm your date of arrival as soon as possible after you arrive. The Confirmation of Participation form must be signed and certified by your host university. You also need to confirm the date of departure when you leave.
Circumstances may arise under which you may need to make changes to your Learning agreement. Changes to your original study plan must be discussed with the academic coordinator at the host university as well as the Programme Representative at Bielefeld University.
"Transcript of Records"
At the end of your stay please request a Transcript of Records (ToR) from your host university (most universities issue this automatically). The ToR documents the courses you attended and results you have achieved. The ToR is needed for the recognition of your academic achievements. Please submit a copy of this to the International Office on your return.
If a problem arises: IO
If there are any problems at your host university you can contact us at the International Office at any time.
Submission of documents
After you return, please hand in the following documents within 14 days (by 15 August at the latest!) to the International Office (link to Word-Dok-template):
Please note: We can only pay the final instalment of your grant when you have submitted the first two signed documents on this list to the International Office!
You must submit a field report after your return, for which you will receive a request via e-mail.
Country Ambassadors are student representatives who can be contacted by those planning a visit to the same country. They can offer helpful advice on specific issues relating to the country, the town and the host University. They can also provide additional motivation to students who are still undecided about going abroad.
If you are interested or have any questions please get in touch with the International Office (Weltbüro) in room D0-140 or write an E-Mail to
International Mentoring Programme
Do you want to maintain contacts with international students? How would you like to get involved as a volunteer in the International Mentoring Programme? This programme offers Bielefeld students the opportunity to provide individual assistance to international students, support them during their stay in Bielefeld and in so doing create international networks. More information on this Programme and how to register are available here.
These institutions are among those eligible for traineeships:
Traineeships at any of the following institutions cannot be funded under ERASMUS+:
Applications for an ERASMUS+ traineeship funding can be made at any time. Please upload the application documents completely in the application portal at least 6 weeks before the start of the internship:
Selection criteria for the award of ERASMUS grants are
The amount of your ERASMUS grant depends on the exact duration and the destination country of the traineeship. Monthly funding rates can vary from year to year.
Academic year 2020/21:
Grants are paid in two instalments: