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In order to study abroad, different aspects have to be considered. The following information is intended to assist you in planning and realizing your stay abroad. In order to successfully plan a stay abroad, you should ask yourself the following questions:


Answer question 1: When should I start planning my stay abroad?

As early as possible! Of course, it always depends on what kind of stay abroad is planned, but all in all: you should start planning at least half a year before the start of the stay abroad. Some very attractive scholarships, for example, have a long lead time and at the time of application you should already know where you are going. However, you will also have to deal with a few other questions. The “Bafög-Amt” also recommends that you submit your application six months before your stay abroad begins. So start to deal with the matter as early as possible, even if there is still plenty of time before the actual stay.

The DAAD's overview and checklist offer very good assistance in planning a stay abroad.

Answer question 2: How do I afford my stay abroad?

Financing is a very important part in planning a stay abroad. The rule is: the money is available, you just have to know:

  1. What potential funders are there?
  2. How do I apply for support?
  3. By when do I have to apply for support?
  4. What documents do I need to submit at the time of application?

An initial overview of the possibilities for financing a stay abroad can be found on the International Student Affairs page. Further information can be found in the DAAD scholarship database. If you wish to take an additional loan, KfW offers a student loan. However, with this loan it is mandatory that you do not spend a semester of leave (“Urlaubssemester”) at the University of Siegen at the time of your stay abroad, but are registered as a full-time student. The same does not apply to the educational loan.

Answer question 3: Semester abroad or Summer School?

While a semester abroad lasts several months, a summer school lasts only a few weeks. Depending on your life situation, the one or the other may suit you better. Or how about simply taking advantage of both?

Answer question 4: Where do I want to study?

The place of your stay abroad is determined by many factors that you need to determine for yourself:

  • Which languages or cultures interest me?
  • How high are the tuition fees in these countries?
  • Are the costs covered by the possible grants?

A very good overview of many countries can be found on the DAAD website. Often you will also find information and overviews of the universities in these countries. An overview of all universities worldwide can be found on the Universities Worldwide website. An overview of the partner universities of the University of Siegen can be found on the International Student Affairs page.

Answer question 5: Do I want to go abroad as a freemover or as part of a programme (e.g. Erasmus)?

Basically, you can study abroad at any university in the world. However, the University of Siegen offers cooperation with foreign universities as part of its exchange programme. These cooperations can also include financial support, e.g. within the framework of the ERASMUS programme. You can find an overview of these cooperations on the International Student Affairs page.

Alternatively, you can also spend a semester abroad as a freemover. "Freemovers" are students who are studying abroad at a university with which the University of Siegen has not agreed to cooperate. If you wish to study as a freemover at a university abroad without a cooperation with the University of Siegen, the following organisations could offer help and advice:

Answer question 6: Which courses do I want to take abroad?

An important element when planning a stay abroad is the choice of course. On the one hand, it must be checked whether the corresponding course is offered at the desired university. On the other hand, whether a course under a different name but with similar contents may be available at the desired university. It is also important to check how many credit points must be at least earned at the desired university. There may be regulations concerning the visa or the respective funding. It could be advisable to make use of elective modules for the stay abroad, as the recognition of credits could be easier with such modules.

Answer question 7: Which courses are accepted at the University of Siegen?

see Learning Agreement - Crediting of courses abroad

Answer question 8: Can I have the recognition of the courses confirmed before my stay abroad?

Yes, a Learning Agreement must be drawn up before the stay abroad. Please take care to create this early, as an audit may take several days. See Learning Agreement - Crediting of courses abroad

Answer question 9: Where can I get a language certificate for my application?

A language certificate may be required for application to a university abroad or to a funding institution. Common language certificates are:

While IELTS and TOEFL are charged, the University of Siegen offers one free exam per semester for the DAAD language certificate. You can find information on this on the KoSi homepage.

Answer question 10: Do I need a visa?

When planning a stay abroad, the application for a visa is sometimes overlooked. Therefore, please check the following points:

  • Is a visa required at all?
  • How long is the processing time before the visa is received?
  • Which documents are required for the visa?
  • What fees and costs do I have to expect?

If you have any questions about the visa, it is best to contact the embassy of the respective country.

Answer question 11: Is it worth to take a semester of leave (“Urlaubssemester”) for the time abroad?

The examination board for economics (BWL & VWL) has decided that up to 15 credit points can be recognised during a semester of leave. This can be interesting during a stay abroad, because on a semester of leave the semester fee does not have to be paid. However, it should also be noted that you do not have a semester ticket during this period.

Answer question 12: Do I need a foreign health insurance?

Foreign health insurance may be required for a stay abroad. An overview of the countries with which Germany has concluded a social insurance agreement can be found on the GKV website.

Answer question 13: Are certain vaccinations required?

Vaccinations may be required depending on the region. You should inform yourself at an early stage about the relevant conditions. You can contact the university of your choice or International Student Affairs, if there is a cooperation with the university. Further information or recommendations can also be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

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