Would you like to further your academic career and get to know German culture? An exchange programme at our university lets you not only expand your subject knowledge but also make new friends. This page contains information on application, language courses and language requirements as well as on all questions regarding travel, accommodation, visas and more.

Requirements for becoming an exchange student

In order to enrol as an exchange student, you need to have been nominated by your home university and also demonstrate sufficient language skills.

First apply for the exchange programme at your home university in order to receive a nomination. Once nominated, you can apply for admission to our university.

Please note that you can only apply to us if there is a partnership between your home university and our university. Check the KISS database or with your home university to find out whether you can come here as an exchange student.

Study at our university usually takes place in German. This is why you need sufficient knowledge of German. We require a language level of at least B1/B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Some international degree programmes also include courses taught in English, for which the language level B2 (CEFR) in English is a prerequisite. Please browse our courses for details of each programme.

Erasmus+ students from European universities can participate in Online Linguistic Support. There you have the opportunity to test your language skills. If you have a licence, you can also take part in the online language courses. Please speak to your home university about obtaining a licence.

You will be able to expand and deepen your language skills during your stay. Take advantage of our wide range of opportunities to learn German.

Eine Gruppe internationaler Studierender liegt vor der Universität Leipzig in der Sonne. Die Studierenden blicken von ihren Lehrmaterialien auf und schauen glücklich in die Kamera.
Experience new things at our university! Photo: Christian Hüller

Application procedure

The application procedure depends on the respective exchange programme with your home university. Here we explain step by step how to apply for each programme.

The Erasmus+ KA 103 programme is aimed at students from the EU, Turkey, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia and Serbia.

1. Online application at our university

Applications to our university must be submitted online. As part of your online application, you can also register for the German language and orientation course.

Online application

 Please upload the following documents as PDF files:

  • Language certificate for the required language of instruction (please contact your home university’s international office for details about the required language level)
  • Confirmation of nomination by the home university/nomination letter

Don’t miss our application deadlines!
Deadline for applications for the winter semester: 30 June
Deadline for applications for the summer semester: 15 January

2. Admission

You will receive your letter of admission in our AlmaWeb study portal by the beginning of August (for the winter semester) or the beginning of February (for the summer semester).

3. Semester fee

For the winter semester 2019/20, the semester fee for newly enrolled students is 230 euros.

This fee consists of five parts:

  • Student body €8.50
  • Studentenwerk Leipzig: €75
  • Mobility fund: €1.50
  • MDV public transport pass: €135
  • New students are also required to pay a one-off fee of 10 euros for the UniCard.

Why is there a semester fee?

The semester fee is the social contribution paid by all students for the Student Council as well as for the services of the Studentenwerk Leipzig. If you would like to know what these funds are used for, please contact these two institutions directly.

Payment by SEPA direct debit

  • On the AlmaWeb portal, click on “Studies” and then “Re-enrolment”. You will first be shown your current balance.
  • To issue a direct debit order, please enter your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Business Identifier Code). After entering your data, a one-off direct debit authorisation will be generated. The mandate reference is then displayed. Then confirm your data using an iTAN.

Please note that not all banks in the SEPA area participate in the direct debit scheme and that problems may occur under certain circumstances. It is not possible to issue a direct debit order via someone else’s account, such as that of your parents.

Payment by bank transfer

  • If you are unable to pay by direct debit on the AlmaWeb portal, please pay the semester fee by bank transfer. Please use the following bank details:

Recipient: Universität Leipzig
IBAN: DE91860555921100156760
BIC:   WELADE8LXXX

Enter your enrolment number, your full name and the semester for which you are re-enrolling (for example WS2019/20) as the payment refereence.

4. Enrolment

  • After admission, our IDM system will send you an email containing login details (personal login and password) for our AlmaWeb student portal.
  • Log in to AlmaWeb. Go to “Account” and click on “Documents” to open your letter of admission with your enrolment number and all information about enrolment, the start of the semester and paying the semester fee.
  • Upload a photo for your UniCard (student card) on the IDM portal.
  • Transfer the semester fee before you arrive in Leipzig, so that you can start your life as a student right away and have access to the refectories, libraries and free public transport from the very beginning.

Please also read our further information on getting started.

Since a lot of questions can arise when preparing for your time as an exchange student, we have compiled the most important answers in our FAQs for Erasmus+ exchange students.

1. Online application at our university

Applications to our university must be submitted online. As part of your online application, you can also register for the German language and orientation course.

Online application

Please upload the following documents as PDF files:

  • Letter of nomination from your home university
  • Transcript of Records (overview of academic achievements so far)
  • study plan for your time as an exchange student in Leipzig. Please note at which faculty you would like to take which courses. To help prepare your provisional study plan, please find out about which courses are available.
  • Language certificate for the required language of instruction (B2 CEFR)

 

Application periods:
Deadline for applications for the winter semester: 15 June
Deadline for applications for the summer semester: 1 December

2. Admission

You will receive your letter of admission in our AlmaWeb study portal by the beginning of August (for the winter semester) or the beginning of February (for the summer semester).

3. Semester fee

For the winter semester 2019/20, the semester fee for newly enrolled students is 230 euros.

This fee consists of five parts:

  • Student body €8.50
  • Studentenwerk Leipzig: €75
  • Mobility fund: €1.50
  • MDV public transport pass: €135
  • New students are also required to pay a one-off fee of 10 euros for the UniCard.

Why is there a semester fee?

The semester fee is the social contribution paid by all students for the Student Council as well as for the services of the Studentenwerk Leipzig. If you would like to know what these funds are used for, please contact these two institutions directly.

Payment by SEPA direct debit

  • On the AlmaWeb portal, click on “Studies” and then “Re-enrolment”. You will first be shown your current balance.
  • To issue a direct debit order, please enter your IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Business Identifier Code). After entering your data, a one-off direct debit authorisation will be generated. The mandate reference is then displayed. Then confirm your data using an iTAN.

Please note that not all banks in the SEPA area participate in the direct debit scheme and that problems may occur under certain circumstances. It is not possible to issue a direct debit order via someone else’s account, such as that of your parents.

Payment by bank transfer

  • If you are unable to pay by direct debit on the AlmaWeb portal, please pay the semester fee by bank transfer. Please use the following bank details:

Recipient: Universität Leipzig
IBAN: DE91860555921100156760
BIC:   WELADE8LXXX

Enter your enrolment number, your full name and the semester for which you are re-enrolling (for example WS2019/20) as the payment refereence.

4. Enrolment

  • After admission, our IDM system will send you an email containing login details (personal login and password) for our AlmaWeb student portal.
  • Log in to AlmaWeb. Go to “Account” and click on “Documents” to open your letter of admission with your enrolment number and all information about enrolment, the start of the semester and paying the semester fee.
  • Upload a photo for your UniCard (student card) on the IDM portal.
  • Transfer the semester fee before you arrive in Leipzig, so that you can start your life as a student right away and have access to the refectories, libraries and free public transport from the very beginning.

Please also read our further information on getting started.

Since a lot of questions can arise when preparing for your time as an exchange student, we have compiled the most important answers in our FAQs for Erasmus+ exchange students.

Learning German

From tandem partners to conventional language classes, there are plenty of ways to improve your German language skills before and during your studies at our university.

We offer our exchange students a language and orientation course lasting approximately three weeks. The course takes place immediately before the beginning of your semester in Leipzig and is the perfect way to prepare for your stay abroad.

The language course also includes a social programme. Please refer to the language and orientation course overview for more information.

Requirements

All classes on the programme take place in German. In order for you to be able to follow the course, you must demonstrate that your knowledge of German is already at B1/B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Unfortunately, the way the course is designed means that students with a level of C1 or higher cannot participate.

Applying for the language and orientation course

Your registration for the language and orientation course is part of the online application for students on exchange programmes. As long as there are places available and we have received all your application documents, we can consider your application. Unfortunately, you do not automatically have a right to participate.

You will receive an invitation for the language and orientation course together with your letter of admission. In this case, you will already be enrolled in September for the winter semester or in March for the summer semester. You can only participate in the language and orientation course if you have been invited.

The number of places on the course is limited. Please apply as early as possible.

Cost

The fee for materials is 150 euros. You have to transfer this amount before the course starts. You will receive all the information you need with the invitation to the language and orientation course.

At the Studienkolleg Sachsen you can improve your proficiency in German alongside your studies as an exchange student. Details of current courses and an annotated course catalogue are available on the website of the Studienkolleg Sachsen.

Requirements

You have to register for the Studienkolleg courses. In order to do this, you first have to take the placement test. Please also check the Studienkolleg website to find out placement test dates and when to enrol for German language courses alongside your studies.

Learn more

Our Language Centre offers modules for autonomous foreign language learning as well as language learning in tandem. You can complete these modules independently of your field of study.

Besides other languages, you can choose German as a Foreign Language. These modules require you to use your own initiative: you are not taught the language, but instead improve your skills independently under the guidance of the Language Centre. You will be awarded credit points (ECTS) for successfully completing the module.

You can use this service free of charge.

Learn more

The association interDaF e. V. at our university’s Herder Institute offers German courses for various levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
You normally have to pay for these courses.

Learn more

Studierende der Universität Leipzig halten einen Globus in den Händen und zeigen sich gegenseitig ihre Herkunftsländer.
Our exchange students come from all over the world. Photo: Christian Hüller

Getting to Leipzig

Which visa do I need? Do I need German health insurance? What is the best way to get to Leipzig? There is a lot to organise before you study in Leipzig. Here we have compiled the most important information you need for a successful start to your studies.

  • Students from the European Union, the European Economic Area and some other countries can enter Germany without a visa.
  • As a rule, all other international students require a student visa – especially if they want to stay in Germany for more than three months.

Make sure you check the entry requirements for your country in advance. This information is available from the Federal Foreign Office. Information is also available from the German missions in your home country.

The right visa

A visa for Germany is always issued for a specific purpose. As an exchange student, you apply for a student visa. Please contact the German embassy or consulate general in your home country if you require a visa. Under no circumstances should you enter the country on a tourist visa only. You will not be able to convert it into the necessary student residence permit once you are in Germany.

Apply for a visa

To apply for your visa you need:

  • a valid passport
  • your letter of admission from our university
  • proof that you can finance your studies (e.g. scholarship confirmation)

For more information, please contact the German embassy or consulate general in your home country. You can use the database of the German Federal Foreign Office to find your contact person for matters pertaining to visas and entering the country.

Financial proof

You have to be able to support yourself financially during your studies. You must prove beforehand that you will either be paying for yourself or covered by what’s known as a declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung).

  • Paying for yourself: you will be required to transfer at least 8640 euros for one academic year (two semesters) into a German bank account (blocked account), with the restriction that you may not withdraw more than 720 euros per month from the account.
    A bank account can also be set up in your home country by a German bank.
  • Declaration of commitment: you will need to request a declaration of commitment (Verpflichtungserklärung) from the German missions in your home country before you enter Germany. By making this declaration, another person agrees to be liable for you as the person entering the country. The applicant undertakes to pay the cost of living, including all basic needs such as food, clothing and housing, as well as care in the event of sickness and disability. This commitment is in principle irrevocable and applies for the entire duration of the student’s stay.

Countries that do not require a visa

EU and EEA nationals (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway):

  • residence permit: not required
  • identification documents: valid passport or identity card
  • registration at the Bürgeramt (Resident Services Office) within the first two weeks after arrival.

Nationals from Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Switzerland and the US:

  • residence permit: you may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany
  • identification documents: valid passport
  • registration at the Bürgeramt (Resident Services Office) within the first two weeks after arrival
  • application for a student residence permit at the Foreigners’ Authority within three months of arrival.

Nationals of Andorra, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras, Monaco, San Marino:

  • entry visa: only required if you want to work in Germany before or after your studies
  • residence permit: if necessary, you may apply for a residence permit after entering Germany
  • identification documents: valid passport
  • registration at the Bürgeramt (Resident Services Office) within the first two weeks after arrival
  • application for a student residence permit at the Foreigners’ Authority within three months of arrival.

You need health insurance to be able to study in Germany – you cannot enrol without it. There are two types of health insurance in Germany:

  • statutory health insurance
  • private insurance.

Please provide proof of valid health insurance when you enrol in person.

Statutory health insurance

  • Students from European Union countries prove their health insurance by showing their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
    Please note that your insurance may not cover all costs in Germany. You should therefore make sure that you know exactly which benefits you are entitled to in Germany before you enter the country.
  • Students from non-EU countries can also take out statutory health insurance if they do not have valid health insurance accepted by our university. They choose a German health insurance policy (including nursing care insurance).
    All student insurance policies cost around 90 euros per month (this information was correct in August 2018).

Private health insurance

In some cases, private health insurance from other countries may be recognised in Germany. You should clarify the details with your insurance provider.

Is your private insurance recognised in Germany? Please have the confirmation of health insurance coverage form filled in and bring it along to your enrolment. This certifies that the requirements for medical treatment in Germany are met.

If you are privately insured, you will not be permitted to switch to a statutory health insurance provider for the duration of your studies.

There are various options for arriving in Leipzig.

By aeroplane

  • Airlines offer daily worldwide connections from/to Leipzig/Halle. There are direct flights to Leipzig/Halle from airports such as Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Vienna and Istanbul.
  • Leipzig/Halle Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre.
  • Deutsche Bahn trains run regularly between the airport and Leipzig’s Central Station.
  • The airports in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hanover are also easily accessible from Leipzig. There are rail and coach services between these cities and Leipzig.

By train

  • Intercity and Intercity-Express (IC/ICE) services run by Deutsche Bahn connect Leipzig with most major European cities.
  • Located in the heart of the city, Leipzig’s Central Station is among the largest and most awe-inspiring train stations in Germany. There are many regional and suburban railway connections linking Leipzig with the surrounding area.

By coach

  • The coach terminal is right next to the Central Station in the middle of Leipzig.
  • From here you can use coach links to other German and European cities, for example on services offered by FlixBus.  

By car

  • You can reach Leipzig via the A9 (Berlin–Nuremberg) and A14 (Halle–Dresden) autobahns.

Further travel information can be found on the following websites:

Life in Leipzig

What is the best way to live in Leipzig and what costs can I expect as an exchange student? Here you can find the most important information on living in Leipzig and expenses.

Halls of residence

If you would like to live together with other German and foreign students in a hall of residence run by the Studentenwerk Leipzig, you can apply for a room using the online form.

Rental agreements for the halls of residence are usually concluded for at least one year. Please contact the Studentenwerk Leipzig directly with any questions concerning halls of residence.

As soon as you have been offered a place at our university, you can apply to the Studentenwerk Leipzig for a room in a hall of residence.

Alternatively, students can move to the private dorm BaseCamp Leipzig. It offers fully-equipped rooms and many common areas for learning and having fun.

Shared apartments

Known in German as Wohngemeinschaften or WGs, flat-shares are particularly popular among students in Leipzig. The following are some of the best-known services for finding a room in a Wohngemeinschaft:

  • WG-Gesucht: students who are going abroad, for example, advertise their vacant WG rooms. These rooms are often offered completely furnished and on a temporary basis.
  • Schwarze Bretter: noticeboards where students advertise various things, including their furnished and unfurnished rooms. These boards can be found in various university buildings and on the online portal.

Be sure to allow enough time to search for an apartment.

A deposit is often required when renting an apartment. This is usually the equivalent of one to two months’ rent, excluding ancillary costs, which is paid into a savings account. When the rental agreement ends, your deposit will be refunded – as long as you return the apartment undamaged.

If you do not already have a room in the first few days after arriving, there is plenty of temporary accommodation in Leipzig.

Semester fee

You must pay the semester fee on time before the start of each semester. It applies to all students at our university, including doctoral candidates and attendees of the Studienkolleg Sachsen.

Tuition fees

Leipzig University does not currently charge tuition fees for a student’s first degree. Please note, however, that in certain cases students may be required to pay fees for a second degree or for exceeding the standard period of study by too long. Fees are also charged for some special courses and the DSH course.

Monthly costs

You will need around 720 euros per month to cover the cost of living in Leipzig. This amount is of course a guideline; your actual outgoings will depend on your spending habits.

Average monthly costs in Leipzig consist of the following (all values approximate):

Rent for apartment/room  €150–€425
Statutory health insurance   
or
Voluntary statutory health insurance
€90

€180
Study material €50
Food, clothing, miscellaneous €250

        
If you require a visa, then you will already need to provide proof that you have enough money to live here when applying for the visa in your home country.

One-off costs

In addition to the monthly costs, you should expect additional one-off costs at the start of your studies, such as a deposit for your accommodation and the fee for setting up a blocked account. You should therefore budget for approximately €750 more for getting started in Leipzig.

Zwei Studierende der Universität Leipzig liegen vor dem Studentenwohnheim im Gras. Sie genießen die Sonne und sind in Lernunterlagen vertieft.
Staying in halls of residence? You’ll soon meet other students. Photo: Swen Reichhold

Erasmus+ Grant

If you have been nominated for a place and admitted to an exchange programme under Erasmus+, you will receive financial support during your stay.

If you are nominated as an exchange student by a partner university in Europe, then your home university is responsible for paying your Erasmus+ grant.

Financial support

Monthly instalments and a lump-sum travel allowance are available as financial support during your study visit. To be eligible, your study period must be at least three months long. The amount of the flat-rate travel allowance is staggered according to the real, simple distance between the place of departure and the destination. Together with your letter of admission you will receive a grant notification detailing how much money you will receive.

Deal with the formalities

Have you been nominated for an Erasmus+ 107 worldwide grant? Please submit the required documents:

  • Learning Agreement

The Learning Agreement (before the mobility) forms the basis for your Erasmus+ study visit. Please enter the courses you are planning to attend at Leipzig University and have it signed by your home university. Before you start studying here, you will receive the contact details of your departmental coordinator at our university, so that you can complete the first part of the Learning Agreement. Please send us the Learning Agreement with the three signatures by email.

  • Signed Grant Agreement

We will prepare your Erasmus+ Grant Agreement and give it to your during enrolment. The Grant Agreement contains all conditions and requirements of the programme. We will make an appointment with you to sign the document. Two copies of the Grant Agreement are signed by you and the by the head of the International Centre.  

Your grant will be paid in instalments after you arrive. If you do not have one already, you will first have to open a German or European bank account (SEPA area). Please allow sufficient time for this.

FAQ

You can take all subjects from our range of courses for which bilateral or Erasmus+ partnerships exist.

We recommend that you choose courses worth approximately 30 credits (ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System).
You may, for example, learn another foreign language or, with the agreement of the respective lecturer, choose to attend courses at various institutes and faculties.

Please consult the Erasmus+ subject coordinators for more information.
Learn more

Various faculties and institutes offer some degree programmes and individual courses in English. You should be able to find these in your institute’s course catalogue: courses taught in English are often listed with an English description or a note on the language of instruction. Advice is also available from the (Erasmus+) subject coordinators.

Yes, our university uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) on all study programmes to document student workload.

Thematically related courses are grouped into modules, which usually comprise ten credits each and end with an examination. One credit documents approximately 30 hours of work. For information about how the credits are distributed among the individual courses of a module, please contact the relevant course lecturers.

If you would like to study with us for one semester or one academic year (two semesters), you must prove your knowledge of German or of the applicable language of instruction.

My language of instruction is German:

To follow lectures and participate actively in discussions, we recommend a language level of B1/B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. As a rule, you can prove your language skills with a language certificate from your home university. The language certificate must only be signed by the language teacher(s) responsible for the language proficiency test. Other language certificates are of course also recognised.

My language of instruction is English:

If you would like to take part in English-language courses, for example at the Faculty of Economics and Management Science, you will have to prove that you have the necessary English language skills as follows:

a) you have studied English for at least five years at school or university; or

b) you submit a language certificate issued by authorised language teachers at your home university (certified language level: B1/B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages); or

c) you submit one of the following language certificates for English:

  • CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), level: B2
  • TOEFL iBT - 57, recommended 87 TOEIC - Listening/Reading 550, Speaking 120, Writing 12
  • Cambridge General English Exam - Preliminary English Test
  • First Certificate in English Cambridge
  • BEC Exam (Business English Certificate) - BEC Vantage
  • IELTS - Modest User score of 5.0/5.5/6.0; recommended: Competent User score of 6.5/7.0.

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