International Affairs

FAQs & Timeline for Study Abroad in Europe/ERAMUS+

We answer key questions about studying in Europe and provide an overview of the most important deadlines and steps.

Frequently asked questions

What is Erasmus+?

Erasmus+ is a funding program of the European Union which provides financial and organizational support to encourage student, instructor, and staff exchange. Participants of the Erasmus+ program include Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Serbia, the United Kingdom, and North Macedonia as well as the EU member states.

Where do I get faculty-specific information?

HERE  you will find our current faculty-specific brochures with the Erasmus+ exchange places of the individual faculties.

You can also find information here:

Can I spend a semester in Great Britain or Switzerland?

Yes, you have the option to study at one of our partner universities in Great Britain and Switzerland. You can apply during the regular Erasmus+ application periods. Information about the partnerships can be found here.

For study abroad in the United Kingdom, you can receive the regular Erasmus+ scholarship, which includes a monthly partial scholarship (depending on the current budget) and waived tuition fees.

For study abroad in Switzerland, you generally receive a scholarship from the Swiss government and waived tuition fees.

Who can apply for Erasmus+?

The Erasmus+ program is open to students who are enrolled at TU Berlin during the entire stay abroad including when applying (student exchange) or anyone working at TU Berlin (staff exchange). If you are participating in one of your degree program’s partnerships, TU Berlin must be your primary university.

Citizens of third countries (non-European countries) should take care to organize any necessary visas as early as possible.

What timeline do I need to consider when planning my Erasmus+ stay?

Studying abroad requires a great deal of preparation in advance. This means that if you plan to go abroad during your third degree semester (of a bachelor’s program), you need to begin applying directly after commencing your studies. You can apply for one or two semesters abroad. The application deadline is in January.

You should speak with Course Guidance/your degree program coordinator to discuss when a stay abroad best fits into your degree schedule.

There are also sometimes special regulations for dual degree programs (required exams, etc.). You can learn more from the responsible professor or the program website.  

It’s never too early to start taking language courses (e.g. At ZEMS or SKB), which will help you with your stay.

Can I start my stay abroad in the summer semester?

First you should check whether the academic schedule at your preferred partner university is organized by semester (instead of academic year). If this is the case, then it is generally possible to also study abroad for a single summer semester.

However, you are often less successful academically during shorter stays due to the time it takes to settle into the language and culture. As such, focus is placed on good language skills and a clear study proposal when selecting candidates. Erasmus+ agreements are usually for an entire academic year beginning in the winter semester. Study placements are awarded for winter semester. This means if you want to study abroad during summer semester, you still need to apply in January of the previous year. Later applications will only be accepted if there are remaining placements. In this case, the application deadline is 31 May.

There isn’t an exchange program for my subject with the university where I want to study. Can I go there anyways?

You can usually apply to your preferred university as a free mover. This also means you will not receive an Erasmus+ scholarship. Universities in Europe are largely publicly funded. As such, tuition fees are relatively low. You can apply for BAföG or a student loan to help finance your stay. Foreign tuition fees are subsidized up to approx. 4600 euros p.a. within the framework of Auslands-BAföG. Further information is available here.

In some cases, you may be able to participate in exchange programs outside of your degree program. In this case, you will need the agreement of the partner university and possibly also the responsible professor. Outstanding academic qualifications and strong justification for your study or research stay are required.

How does financing work?

The Erasmus+ scholarship usually consists of two parts:

  1.     Exchange spot and tuition fee waiver at the partner university including Erasmus+ status,
  2.     depending on the budget situation, a monthly Erasmus+ partial scholarship for mobility abroad.

Further information:

  • Some universities charge a small administrative fee for enrolment.
  • During your stay abroad, it is advisable to take a leave of absence from TU Berlin and apply for an exemption from the semester ticket.
  • The amount and duration of the partial scholarship depends on the requirements of the DAAD or the EU Commission and the current budget situation of TU Berlin.
  • You will receive the first instalment of the Erasmus+ scholarship AFTER your arrival at the partner university and once you have submitted all the necessary documents.
  • The 2nd instalment is calculated according to the exact duration of your stay (or the maximum number of months we can fund) and will only be paid AFTER your return and submission of all required documents.
  • In addition, you can apply for Auslands-BaföG (Federal Training Assistance Act for students studying abroad) or a student loan. Please note that even students who do not receive BAföG in Germany can apply for Auslands-BAföG.
  • It is possible to apply for a special "Green Travel" grant for sustainable travelling.
  • It is possible to apply for special funding (Top Up) for "fewer opportunities".
  • All information on the possible amount of the grant, on special grants (Top Ups) and on green travel can be found here (under "Erasmus+ mobility grants & Top Ups").

Please refer to the experience reports from former exchange students available online here.

Maximum duration of the Erasmus+ partial scholarship:

The grant is usually awarded for a maximum of 4 months (=120 days, if studying abroad for one semester) or 8 months (=240 days, if studying abroad for two semesters) (4 months, if studying abroad for one trimester; 6 months, if studying abroad for two trimesters: 8 months, if studying abroad for three trimesters). The grant is intended to help cover living costs and is financed and determined by the European Commission. TU Berlin is not responsible for it in any way.

Monthly amount of the Erasmus+ partial scholarship:

Country group 1 (up to and including 2023/24): 
Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom
Monthly grant, Group 1: 600€

Country group 2 (up to and including 2023/24):
Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus
Monthly grant, Group 2: 540€
                                   
Country group 3 (up to and including 2023/24):
Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Czech Republic, Turkey, Hungary
Monthly grant, Group 3: 490€

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Country group 1 (from 2024/25):
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom
Monthly grant, Group 1: 600€

Country group 2 (from 2024/25):
Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Cyprus
Monthly grant, Group 2: 540€
                                   
Country group 3 (from 2024/25):
Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Turkey
Monthly grant, Group 3: 540€

                                       
Switzerland has not been an Erasmus+ program country since 2014/15. Nevertheless, TU Berlin students can study at Swiss partner universities without paying tuition fees. However, you generally receive the mobility grant from the respective Swiss partner university instead of TU Berlin.

How likely am I to receive an Erasmus+ scholarship?

We cannot guarantee that you will be awarded a place at the partner university, even if your application is excellent. Even if you choose a university which typically offers more placements than applications received, a scholarship is not guaranteed. Overall, roughly two thirds of applicants receive an Erasmus+ scholarship.

To help you assess the competitive situation, we’ve outlined the current application trends: The most competitive are exchange programs for industrial engineering and management including their specialization subjects. 

The majority of applicants prefer larger urban areas as opposed to smaller university towns. Popular countries and regions are currently Scandinavia, Great Britain, and Southern Europe.

How are applicants selected?

Applicants are selected based on the overall impression of their application. This includes:

  • Your motivation
  • Motivation for the choice of partner university and course selection
  • Academic performance
  • Language skills
  • Your preparation for the stay abroad, knowledge of the local history and culture
  • Extracurricular commitment and activities
  • Assessment of how well you will serve as an ambassador, personal suitability

How can I improve my chances of receiving a scholarship?

You should take care to thoroughly prepare your application. Even though many students don’t enjoy planning their specialization or later career, it is beneficial to consider how the stay abroad will impact your long-term research and career aims and communicate this in your application.

An application with up to three priorities (preferred universities) requires more work but also increases your chances. If you aren’t nominated for your first priority, your application will automatically be considered in the selection procedure for your second and third priorities.

Because placements in the United Kingdom are limited, students interested in studying in English should also consider countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Universities in these countries offer at least some courses in English. Students from Berlin often find it hard to imagine studying at a university without an urban environment. However, your chances of being accepted are higher when applying for a university not located in a metropolitan area. In addition to the higher chance of receiving a scholarship, previous students frequently report that they received excellent support and had close contact with local residents. 

How do I choose my courses at the host university?

You can find course catalogs for the partner universities at our information desk as well as on the partner university’s website. It may be helpful to refer to the experience reports from previous exchange students. These are available at the information desk.
 
Erasmus+ students are not required to adhere to the study regulations of the foreign university and can generally freely select courses on the basis of their study regulations at TU Berlin. HOWEVER, you must choose courses which match the ISCED code (subject code) of the cooperation. If you choose courses which do not match the ISCED code, the partner university may reject your application.

University studies abroad are generally divided between undergraduate studies (3-4 years, bachelor’s degree) and graduate studies (1-2 years, master’s degree).

The following applies to bachelor’s and master’s students at TU Berlin: You must choose courses at the partner university which reflect those offered at TU Berlin and match the ISCED code of the cooperation. When choosing your courses, consider how they can best be integrated into your studies at TU Berlin. We recommend discussing your selected courses with your examination board to ensure your credits can be recognized when you return.

The following applies to master’s students: To have your credits transfered, the examination board requires you to take graduate courses at the host university. Undergraduate courses are generally only recognized if they are intended for students in their fifth semester or higher.

What is a Digital Learning Agreement (DLA)?

The Digital Learning Agreement (DLA) is an agreement between you, TU Berlin, and the host university. Before commencing their stay abroad, students must enter the courses they plan to take in the learning agreement as well as which courses they would like recognized.

The agreement with this selection is signed by you, the host university, and the examination board for your degree program. You are responsible for collecting all signatures.

We and Faculty IV and V have summarised and answered all the questions here "FAQ Digitales Learning Agreement (DLA)", "FAQ DLA - Fakultät IV", "FAQ DLA - Fakultät V" (currently only in German).

Information and a video tutorial on the DLA of Faculty VII can be found here: "Questions regarding required documents (letter of recommendation, lenguage certificate, Learning Agreement)" - "How do I fill out a Learning Agreement?"

How does credit transfer work?

The study regulations for your degree program determine which credits you earn abroad can be recognized here at TU Berlin. Usually, you can only complete a maximum of 50% of your required credits at a foreign university.

To ensure your credits transfer, the courses and credit points must meet the requirements laid out in the study regulations. In individual cases, the chairperson of the examination board is responsible for a decision. Coursework is generally measured in credit points (ECTS) in Europe. Typically 3 ECTS equal 2 course hours per week.

Please contact Peter Marock with any general questions you may have about credit transfer.

Can I earn a degree abroad?

Yes, through a dual degree program. Otherwise you have to organize this yourself. When participating in the Erasmus+ exchange program, you enroll as a visiting student. Visiting students are not entitled to earn a university degree. However, some exceptions may be made at your own initiative on site, especially if the host university has a particular interest in keeping students due to their academic excellence.

Where can I find the scholarship application forms?

All required forms can be downloaded here: Forms

How many ECTS do I need to complete abroad?

You must enter courses totaling at least 20 ECTS per semester in the Digital Learning Agreement. At the end of your stay abroad, you must have at least 20 ECTS per semester on your transcript of records from the partner university.

How many ECTS do I still need in my degree program when studying abroad?

At the beginning of your stay, you should still need to earn at least 19 ECTS in your degree program, which you will then complete abroad. This ensures the stay abroad benefits you academically.

How many ECTS do I need recognized at TU Berlin following my stay?

We recommend having all credits completed abroad transfered to TU Berlin. The examination board for your degree program is responsible for recognizing credits. It is no longer possible to have credits recognized as additional modules.

How recent does my language certificate need to be?

Proof of language skills cannot be more than two years old at the time of your Erasmus+ application to TU Berlin.

Please refer to the faculty-specific brochures and Erasmus+ application information for details about language level and required proof.

Which language certificates are accepted?

All accepted language certificates are listed in the brochure “Erasmus+ application information”. Details about the required language level can be found in the faculty-specific brochures.

If you earned your Abitur/bachelor’s degree abroad, this may be accepted as proof of language skills, if:

  • Your Abitur/bachelor’s degree is not older than 2 years.
  • The language of instruction of your Abitur/bachelor’s degree is the same as at the partner university.
  • The partner university accepts this as proof of your language skills. You are responsible for inquiring about any requirements and submitting confirmation/a screenshot.

Are there restrictions due to COVID-19?

Please note that

  • You may need to provide proof/recognition of full COVID-19 vaccination as well as observe certain hygiene regulations to gain entry to certain target countries and/or attend your host university.
  • By submitting your application, you agree to submit proof of vaccination on time (if required) and observe the entry requirements for the host country as well as the hygiene requirements of the partner university.
  • You are liable for any costs resulting from failure to observe entry requirements, additional vaccination requirements, and other hygiene regulations.

Can I write my final thesis abroad?

Yes, it is possible to write your final thesis abroad. However, you should first speak with your supervisor at TU Berlin.

You also need to find out whether you can enroll at the host university and how.

1. You are enrolled as a regular Erasmus+ exchange student when writing your final thesis at the partner university.

  • You submit an application to the Department of International Affairs.
  • Please note that you must fulfill the following criteria in addition to submitting the standard application:

    • Submit the supervision agreement from both a professor at TU Berlin and the partner university
    • The TU Berlin professor is your primary supervisor (must be clear in the supervision agreement).
    • Faculty-internal application or cooperation within your faculty
    • The nomination deadline at the partner university has not expired (if applying outside of the regular application period for study abroad at TU Berlin)
    • If the nomination deadline for the designated semester has passed, inquire with the partner university if you can still submit an application and inform us. 

 

2. You write your final thesis within the framework of an internship/traineeship or as a researcher at the partner university and do NOT enroll.

In this case, please contact the TU Berlin Career Service directly for further information. In individual cases, it may be possible to receive funding through the Erasmus+ Placement funding line.

Can I differ from the 20 ECTS if I want to write my final thesis abroad?

If you would like to write your final thesis at one of our partner universities, then you can deviate from the minimum 20 ECTS per semester on the part of the TU Berlin. In your DLA you then enter the ECTS specified in your study and examination regulations specific to your degree programme (StuPO). If these are less than 20 ECTS, this is unproblematic for final theses.

Please note, however, that this is only possible if the partner university also agrees. Many partner universities require higher lower limits for an exchange, regardless of whether it is a final thesis. It is therefore quite possible that you will have to take additional courses in order to reach the minimum number of ECTS at the partner university. Otherwise, the exchange cannot take place. Therefore, please inform yourself thoroughly in advance about the conditions for a final thesis at one of our partner universities.

As a student from a third country, do I have to apply for a visa to stay in another EU country?

Students from third countries need a visa for the stay in other EU states if they want to stay there for more than 90 days. However, if the state in question has adopted the REST directive (cf. www.asyl.net/recht/gesetzestexte/aufenthaltsrecht/rest-richtlinie-2016801eu) and the respective university also applies the directive, a visa is not required for the stay.

Students from third countries who hold a residence title from another Schengen state and wish to study at the TU Berlin can enter without a visa and then apply for a residence title here on site after matriculation. The basis for this is provided by §39 paragraph 6 of the Residence Ordinance (www.gesetze-im-internet.de/aufenthv/__39.html).

For the visa application, financial resources may have to be proven. Please inform yourself in advance at the embassy or general consulate of the destination country, also about the price of the visa. If you also need the Erasmus+ Scholarship (Scholarship Letter) as proof of financial resources, please contact studentmobility(at)international.tu-berlin.de.

How do I get the Green Travel grant? Tips for "green" travelling!

Erasmus+ students travelling sustainably can apply for additional travel days (max. 2 days for outward journey and max. 2 days for return journey). The special funding of €50 has unfortunately been cancelled by the EU Commission (from 2024/25).
The "green travel" option is intended to increase the number of mobilities with more environmentally friendly means of transport and reduce the ecological footprint of the Erasmus+ programme.
The prerequisite for receiving travel days is that you travel to and from the host university using the most environmentally friendly means of transport possible. Travelling by plane, boat or car alone is not considered environmentally friendly.

You will receive further information from us by email AFTER you have been accepted for an Erasmus+ exchange spot. Only then can you apply for special grant for "green travel".

Tips to make your travel sustainable:

  • Experience reports with tips on "green travelling" and sustainability from former Erasmus+ students can be found on the "studieren weltweit" blog.
  • Use the Erasmus+ Interrail Pass for your trip.
  • Make use of sharing offers in the area of mobility.
  • Consult various sites when purchasing your arrival and departure tickets. Particularly in the case of rail travel, it can be worthwhile consulting the website of the destination country (e.g. a journey from Munich to Rome can be cheaper if you book it via Trenitalia than via Deutsche Bahn).
  • You can get support for your travel planning here: "Erasmus by train".
  • In the DAAD brochure you will find tips and suggestions on how sustainable mobility can succeed.
  • Good Morning, Euorpe! "Nachtzugkarte" - Night train connections from Aberdeen to Zagreb.

You can find more information about Green Travel here!

Green Erasmus Portal: Discover on the "Green Erasmus Portal" specific information on how you can act sustainably before, during and after your Erasmus+ stay.

Unfortunately, the "green travel" grant does not apply to students who will be studying abroad in Switzerland.

How do I get the special grant (Top Up) "fewer opportunities"?

Beginning winter semester 2022/23, Erasmus+ students with fewer opportunities can receive additional funding amounting to EUR 250 per month (EUR 8.33 per day) in addition to the mobility grant. You can only submit an application for additional funding through one of the following funding lines.

You will receive further information from us by email AFTER you have been accepted for an Erasmus+ exchange spot. Only then can you apply for special grant for "fewer opportunities".

Those who wish to apply for a Top up should meet one of the following criteria:

  • Working students
    -  can receive the Top up if they have to give up a job for the stay abroad, in which they have worked for at least 6 continuous months prior to the mobility and have earned between 450€ and 850€ net on average per month. The TU Berlin has decided to allow an averaged calculation of the income, provided that the net income averaged over 6 consecutive months is above 450€ and below 850€ per month as a result.
    -  The period in which the job was held should be within a time window of 6 months before the start of the mobility.
    -  Termination of employment is not a prerequisite for receiving the top up, the employment contract can also be paused.
    You are also not allowed to take a job during your stay abroad.
  • First-generation students
    -  Students whose two parents or one single parent do not have a degree from a (technical) higher education institution or a comparable degree (for example, from a university of cooperative education) can apply for Top up.
    -  Whether a degree is considered an academic degree can usually be looked up on the website Hochschulkompass of the HRK as well as on the website of the Foundation Accreditation Council.
    -  In the case of foreign degrees, students must be able to prove that they do not count as an academic degree.
  • Students who start their mobility with child/ren
    -  and take at least one child with them during their entire stay can receive a Top up regardless of the number of children.
    -  If both parents go on a stay abroad, double sponsorship of a child is excluded. If both parents take two or more children with them, both can receive a grant.
  • Students with a chronic illness
    -  can apply for the Top up if they have additional financial needs abroad due to a chronic illness.
  • Students with a disability
    -  who have a degree of disability of 20 or more can also apply for Top up if they have additional financial needs abroad due to their disability.

Unfortunately, the special grant for "fewer opportunities" does not apply to students who will be studying abroad in Switzerland.

Where can I find information on recognition and grade and ECTS conversion?

You can usually obtain information on the recognition of credits earned abroad directly from the examination board (Prüfungsausschuss) of your degree programme. Depending on the faculty, the International Affairs (Referent*in für Internationales) or Teaching and Learning Officer (Referent*in für Studium und Lehre) can also provide support (see also FAQ "Where do I get faculty-specific information?").

General questions about recognition and the conversion of grades and ECTS can also be obtained from the Recognition Office.

 

What are additional requirements and what happens if I cannot fulfill it?

A nomination for a stay abroad and a scholarship can be subject to conditions. This means that we will inform you of certain additional requirements that must be fulfilled before the start of your stay abroad. You will be informed of these requirements at the same time as you are accepted. We will check that they have been fulfilled and request improvements if necessary.

If you are responsible for non-compliance, your scholarship will be withdrawn. You will lose your exchange spot and will not be allowed to start your stay abroad.

In the event of difficulties, problems or other reasons, please contact us in good time. In exceptional cases, the additional requirement can be adjusted or we can work together to find a way of fulfilling the additional requirement.

Timeline

October

Publication of Erasmus+ exchange spots in the faculty-specific brochures on our website.

Prepare your application:

November

Country-specific and faculty-specific information sessions on studying abroad organised by the Office of International Affairs and the International Affairs Officers of the faculties, see dates.

December - January

You should apply now! You can find the application deadline here.

Submit your application via the online application portal "Mobility Online". The link to the application portal, application forms and instructions for completing them can be found here.

February - March

Selection of applicants - acceptances and rejections are sent by e-mail.

Apply for "Auslands-BAföG" (immediately after selection).

Continue language preparation; study preparation and gather information about the host country and host institution.

March - June

Nomination of the selected TU students at the partner institutions. The Office for International Affairs or the international affairs officers/programme coordinators at the faculties nominate the selected students by e-mail/via online portals (depending on the partner institution) at the host institutions.

Independent registration of the selected students at the partner institutions. Usually, the partner institution contacts the student, the responsible programme coordinator or the International Office by email and sends information for enrolment at the partner institution. This procedure varies depending on the partner institution - please refer to the testimonials. If no contact is made by the partner institution, please contact the International Office of the host institution directly!!!

May

If you have received a rejection or are just now thinking about applying for an Erasmus+ stay abroad: Applications for remaining exchange spots ("Restplätze") are possible. Lists of remaining spots and information on how to apply will be published here. In principle, only remaining spots for a stay in the summer semester can be offered.

APPLICATION DEADLINE for remaining exchange spots in the summer semester: 1 - 31 May

June - July

Scholarship confirmation (final confirmation) with duration and amount of the Erasmus+ scholarship can be downloaded from the Mobility Online Portal. You will be notified by e-mail.

You can then apply for a leave of absence ("Urlaubssemester") at the Enrolment Office ("Immatrikulationsamt").

Read the pre-departure brochure (information on semesters on leave, health insurance, etc.) and the testimonialsof former exchange students.

Preparations for travelling:

  • Check/conclude insurance (international health, accident, liability, repatriation insurance),
  • if necessary, apply for a semester of leave (see link above),
  • organise an apartment/room in the host country,
  • give notice/let your own flat,
  • Contacting former exchange students (also possible via the Infothek) or thoroughly reading their testimonials,
  • apply for a visa if necessary,
  • check possible entry requirements or restrictions of the host country.

Contact

Patricia Seiler / May Said / Elena Pitscheider / Laurenz Nadler

INFOTHEK - Student Assistants for the Support of TUB Students who plan to go abroad (Outgoing): Initial Advising & Europe/ERASMUS+

infothek@tu-berlin.de

Office INT SB
Advising hours Tue & Thur 9.30 - 12.30

Dilara Ünlüel

Advising ERASMUS+/Europa (Outgoing), Nomination Coordinator ERASMUS+, Initial Advising & Events

dilara.uenluel@tu-berlin.de

+49 30 314-24695

+49 30 314-24067

Office INT SB
Room H 0041A
Organization name Student Mobility
Office INT SB
Room H 0041A

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