Organizing a semester abroad requires a lot of preparation. To give you an overview of what needs to be done and when it is best to do it, here is a description of how to go about it.
As a rule of thumb, however, you should start organizing at least one year before your planned stay.
First of all, it makes sense to visit the International Office (Building 18, Room 146 - Academic Exchange Service) and get some information. The university has numerous cooperations with foreign universities, which will make it easier for you to organize your stay. Our list with collected contacts for cooperation abroad can help you.
Through these contacts you can get all the important information about the process of a semester abroad, the deadlines, the necessary language skills and possible scholarships.
Choosing the country and the organization
If you don't have a concrete idea of the country you want to study in, you can start looking for universities in that country. If you have informed yourself about universities and have a preference, you can contact institutions such as the Institut Ranke Heinemann (for Australia and New Zealand), or similar, which will usually help you organize a stay abroad free of charge. Of course, depending on the country you want to go to, you have to find an institution and ask if the university you want to go to is in the portfolio.
If one decides to make the organization of the semester abroad over an organization, then one does not have to consider many following points. In order to get an exact overview of deadlines and things that you have to organize yourself, it is advisable to ask the appropriate organization.
Concrete planning of the stay
Once the first questions about requirements, desired country and university, financing and deadlines have been clarified, you can deal with which courses you would like to attend abroad and whether these may have certain requirements. Of course, at the same time you should also check with your academic advisor the creditability of the courses, so that the programs of the home university and the target university are coordinated.
For this purpose, it is helpful to conclude a learning agreement. This clarifies the creditability of certain courses. For an ERASMUS exchange, you can find the form on the website of the International Office. If you are not traveling with ERASMUS, you can still use the form as a template.
In order to inquire about the coordination, the registration and individually necessary documents, it is advisable to contact the foreign contact of the target university.
After an exchange has taken place there, everything has been clarified and you have been accepted by the target university, you usually have to transfer the semester fee. After that, it is usually necessary to take care of health insurance/insurance, bank account, flight, visa and an apartment.