With Erasmus+, the world is open to students to gain experience abroad in addition to their own studies. Find out here how to organize your adventure abroad and what financing options you have.
In the first thirty years of its existence alone (1987-2017), 4.4 million European students were funded by the EU's Erasmus program. The program now includes not only studying abroad in Europe, but also studying abroad in non-European countries, as well as internships. All students at the University of Leipzig have the opportunity to apply for Erasmus funding. A twelve-month Erasmus funding quota is available to students in bachelor's and master's programs. This can be used flexibly for an Erasmus internship and/or an Erasmus degree.
The Erasmus program for the promotion of study visits in other European countries currently includes the 27 EU member states, as well as: Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Turkey. In addition, study visits to the United Kingdom can still be funded within the framework of Erasmus at least up to and including the 2022 summer semester. There is a comparable program for Switzerland.
The advantages of a stay abroad in Europe as part of the ERASMUS program include the omission of tuition fees, the payment of a study grant and the established support infrastructure at the home and partner universities. There are two options for a study visit to another European country funded as part of the Erasmus program:
1. An application for subject-specific exchange spots
Each institute of the University of Leipzig cooperates with various universities in Europe. In principle, students can apply for exchange places at any institute. However, before you apply for an exchange place at an institute in a different subject, you should ask the relevant Erasmus departmental coordinator whether the cooperation also allows you to study in a different subject. It should also be noted that if there are several applications for one place, the students of the respective institute will be given priority.
Procedure for applying to the faculty:
The six institutes of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy have a joint ONLINE application process in which you can submit three wishes, so that you can apply for several possible exchange places in your own institute and the other institutes in the faculty in one go.
2. An application for subject-flexible exchange places
The University of Leipzig is represented in several university networks, such as the Utrecht Network and the Arqus Alliance. The best way to find out which exchange places are available within the framework of this cooperation is via the portal for stays abroad (program: Erasmus 103 (studies); subject: subject flexible).
To apply for subject-flexible exchange places, you first need a nomination from your Erasmus departmental coordinator. The further steps then take place in the International Office.
The Erasmus grant for an internship abroad should be applied for at the International Office one month before the start of the internship at the latest. Detailed information on the requirements for funding, the application process and other details of internship funding can be found on the website of the International Office. The search for an internship is usually done independently. However, there is a comprehensive overview of where to look for internships.
Erasmus in Europe - Step by Step
To ensure that your adventure abroad is a complete success, we have summarized the most important steps for planning and implementation here.
There are various options for finding out about the possibilities of staying abroad.
Information about the application process for Erasmus places in the institutes of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Philosophy is provided at regular information events:
- For applications for stays in the winter semester: these usually take place in December/January
- For applications for stays in the summer semester, usually in May/June.
For online research, it is recommended to start with the websites of the institutes, on which the respective cooperation partners are listed. You can obtain a good overview of the cooperation between all institutes on the KISS database, on which all of Leipzig University's international cooperation partners are listed. The International Office also provides a lot of information online about funding opportunities and the procedures for studying abroad. The partner universities also usually have detailed websites on the subject of Erasmus "Incomings". You can also read testimonials from other students who have already completed their stay abroad. Your Erasmus departmental coordinator at the institutes can answer individual questions.
The application for all institutes of our faculty takes place via an online application form, which is only activated during the application periods:
- In December/January for studies abroad beginning in the next winter semester
- In June/July for studies abroad beginning in the next summer semester
The form must be filled out completely and a motivation letter should be uploaded. This should convincingly explain the advantages of a semester abroad for your studies. Please discuss the subjects that you would like to study at the partner university. A total of three places can be chosen from all offers at the faculty. Please keep in mind that Erasmus study spots are based on subject cooperation. In case of doubt, applicants from within the subject are given preference over applicants from other subjects. When applying for a cooperation in a subject that you are interested in, e.g. one you would like to study as an elective subject, or which you want to concentrate on in the elective area, it is worth mentioning this in the letter of motivation.
After the application period is over, the candidates are selected by the Erasmus departmental coordinator.
The information session for the Winter 2023/24 semester application will be held on December 5, 2022 11am (digital). Access information:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 675 3833 2660
Identifier code: 699392
If your application is successful, you will be informed by your responsible Erasmus departmental coordinator. Only when you accept the spot will you be nominated by the Erasmus departmental coordinator at the partner university.
The partner university then informs you – as a general rule – about the arrival of the nomination and about the university’s own application procedure. In most cases, the partner university will ask you to submit your application documents again. Please note the application deadlines of the partner university. If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to a spot in the course. After successful arrival of your complete application documents, you will receive a "Letter of Acceptance" or another form of confirmation for the Erasmus place from the partner university.
- Registration in the Move-On-Database
- Completion of a funding agreement (Erasmus-Study Aid)
- Before the start of your stay, the Learning Agreement states which courses you would like to take: The best way to do this is to find out which topics and research content is taught on the homepage of the respective target university. The course catalogs from previous semesters will give you an idea of what you can study there. Then, discuss your study preferences with the Erasmus departmental coordinator. Don't worry: After arriving at the destination university, you can adjust your Learning Agreement again if not all courses are offered as expected, or if you change your mind about what you would like to study there. However, please be sure to contact your Erasmus departmental coordinator at your institute and clarify at the beginning of the semester whether the change requests can be credited!
- Online language test: Part of the EU guidelines for the Erasmus program is the obligation for Erasmus students to take part in an online language test. This language test has no influence on whether you will be nominated by us or not, but serves to reassure you how good your language skills are. You will receive an invitation to this language test from the International Office. Our colleagues in the staff department will answer all your questions.
2) Steps outside the International Office:
- Vacation semester: yes/no?
Some students decide to apply for a semester off at the University of Leipzig during their study abroad. This offers the advantage that the semesters are not counted during this time. Credits earned abroad can be credited as normal despite being on leave.
- Exemption from the semester fee?
As a registered student, you are also obliged to pay contributions during your study abroad. However, you have the option of applying for an exemption from the semester fee. Further information and the application form can be found on the Studentenwerk website.
- Foreign student loan
It is possible to apply for an AuslandsBAföG for a stay abroad. Depending on the destination country, there are different contact points and you should definitely go about this as soon as possible: The processing time can take up to six months.
- Health insurance
Clarify with your health insurance company what services it will provide for you in the destination country. It may make sense to get international health insurance as well.
- Apartment Search
Flat shares as a form of student housing are not as widespread as they are in Germany. Finding accommodation can be challenging. Some of our partner universities help here by providing places in student halls of residence. If you would like to get in touch with fellow students who were at your target university before you, send us an email.
- Arrival and departure
The choice of transport can make a significant difference to the climate. The Federal Environment Agency states the following average emissions in grams of CO2 equivalents per passenger-kilometer:
- Airplane: 230 g/Pkm
- Car: 147 g/pkm
- Train: 32 g/pkm (calculated on the basis of the German electricity mix)
- long-distance bus: 29 g/pkm
During your study abroad, you must complete the following administrative steps:
1. Certificate of enrollment
When you arrive at the partner university, have the Erasmus enrollment certificate filled out by the local Erasmus coordinator. You then send this as a scan to the International Office in Leipzig within 4 weeks.
2. Adaptation of the Learning Agreement
After arrival, the Learning Agreement can be adjusted if necessary, e.g. if the courses you have chosen are not offered or they overlap with other courses. If you would like to change your choice of course, please contact your Erasmus departmental coordinator in Leipzig and discuss the change requests with them. There is a separate document for the changes, which can also be found in the provisions list.
The adapted Learning Agreement must then be signed by your Erasmus coordinator at the partner university and then emailed (no later than 4 weeks after the start of your semester abroad) to the International Office in Leipzig.
3. Extension of stay
In principle, you can extend your stay, but the following conditions apply:
- Your time allotment for an Erasmus grant has not yet been used up
- The spot has not yet been assigned to anyone else
In any case, please contact your Erasmus departmental coordinator in Leipzig and clarify whether the place for the following semester is still available.
The International Office takes care of the formalities for extending the Erasmus stay. Please note that the extension of the stay does not necessarily mean the study grant will be extended. The International Office will provide you with information on questions of a financial nature.
4. Transcript of Records
Before you leave, take care of your Transcript of Records – proof of your examination performance. The Transcript of Records will then form the basis for the recognition of your study achievements in your institute. You can use the form suggested by the International Office as a template. If there are other forms on site, that's no problem.
5. Certificate of De-Registration
Also, don't forget to get the de-registration certificate from the partner university before you leave. This document should be submitted as a scan to the International Office four weeks after the end of your semester abroad.
The examination board of your faculty decides on the recognition of study achievements completed abroad and the conversion of foreign grades. After your return, contact the person responsible for recognition at the institute and submit the relevant application. Your Erasmus departmental coordinator at the institute will inform you about the exact processes and possibilities for recognition.
Documentation of your studies abroad at the International Office
A notice of recognition or proof of recognition must be submitted to the International Office. At the end of the semester abroad, you will also receive an automatic request from the EU to fill out an online questionnaire within 30 days. After your return, you will also be asked via an automatically generated email to take another online language test. This test gives you the opportunity to find out whether you have made any progress in the relevant foreign language during your stay abroad.
The application for ERASMUS places for WS 2023/24 is expected to open (after the information event) in early December.