Would you like to combine studying with spending time abroad? Besides a semester abroad, there are various ways to spend time in another country – such as internships, language courses, writing your dissertation, subject-specific courses and study trips. Read more about your options here and find the right scholarship form for you.
An internship abroad offers many valuable experiences: discover new job prospects, make contacts with international colleagues and enhance your professional and language skills! Internships are already part of some degree programmes. You can take a leave semester for a voluntary internship. There is all sorts of funding available for internships abroad. Erasmus+, PROMOS and other scholarships provide you with a variety of options for funding your own placement in a different country.
It is often possible to organise an internship abroad faster than studying in another country. Nevertheless, make sure you seek advice from the International Centre well in advance!
Staying Abroad During the Pandemic
Are you planning a stay abroad in the winter semester 2020/21? Has the coronavirus pandemic left you feeling unsure whether you want to or are able to do this? It is difficult to predict how the situation will develop. We are aware of your concerns and are available to answer your questions.
If possible, please refrain from spending any money on planning your stay abroad for as long as possible.
We recommend you:
- Wait as long as possible before booking travel tickets, renting an apartment abroad or similar.
- Take out travel cancellation insurance.
- Keep open the option of continuing your studies at Leipzig University for as long as possible.
- Regularly check the host institution’s website and sign up for any relevant newsletters.
- Stay in contact with your coordinators and contacts at our university and those at the host institution.
- Meet all deadlines set.
In principle, it is possible to study abroad at a partner university in the coming winter semester. Applicants for exchange programmes (e.g. Erasmus+, student exchange worldwide) have been nominated at the partner universities as usual. Some partner universities have extended their nomination deadlines, which means that it may still be some time before they respond.
As soon as the partner universities give us information about important changes for the winter semester 2020/21 (such as whether teaching will take place online, cancellations, postponements), we will inform the Erasmus+ departmental coordinators immediately. All nominated students will also be notified by our International Centre or by the relevant coordinator, depending on where they have applied. Current information can be found in our portal for periods abroad.
Please first consult with your departmental coordinator and your contacts at the host institution. Once you have done this, please get in touch with your contact person at the International Centre.
Postponement (at partner universities):
Some Erasmus+ partner universities will provide additional exchange places in the next academic year, 2020/21. If you are nominated to study abroad in Europe in the winter semester 2020/21 and would like to postpone this until the summer semester 2021 or until the winter semester 2021/22, please contact your Erasmus+ departmental coordinator to arrange a new nomination. At the same time, you should also notify your contacts at the partner university and our International Centre.
In non-European countries, whether you can postpone your stay will depend mainly on the situation and capacity at the partner university. Please ask your contact at the International Centre whether it is possible to postpone your stay at your partner university. We will endeavour to help you find and implement a solution that suits you.
Postponement (via PROMOS):
As long as the purpose of the scholarship is still fulfilled, you can easily postpone your stay abroad to a later date in the current calendar year (2020). Your award letter will remain valid. For more information, please contact your PROMOS project coordinator by email.
It is not currently possible to postpone your scholarship until the next calendar year (2021).
Due to the “force majeure” rule in the Erasmus+ programme, a “blended mobility” approach will apply to Erasmus+ periods abroad in the coming semester – i.e. one that combines physical and virtual mobility. This applies to Erasmus+ mobility in the winter semester 2020/21 during the funding period from 16 June 2020 until 30 September 2021. The host institution must offer courses that allow the student to work towards their learning objectives. Financial support is only available for the stay abroad once the trip to the host country begins – regardless of whether the student’s participation in studies (or the internship) then takes places face-to-face or online. For the time spent in your home country, you will not be entitled to any financial support.
A virtual period of mobility may be followed by a physical stay abroad at the host institution. The amount of financial support will be determined by the duration of the stay abroad. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the minimum duration that usually applies to Erasmus+ stays abroad can be waived. For periods of study abroad of less than three months or internships abroad of less than two months, the financial support will be paid exactly to the day (up to a maximum of 30 days per month). In the event of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the physical mobility period can be shortened or cancelled and replaced by an extension of the virtual mobility period. Periods of interruption between the virtual and physical mobility phases are also permitted and may be eligible for financial support.
This virtual or combined mobility must be confirmed by the host institution, for example by a certificate of enrolment and a certificate confirming that the Erasmus+ study period has ended. Both documents should make a distinction between the two mobility phases (virtual and physical). When spending time – both virtually and physically – on the Erasmus+ programme, it should be possible for any credits earned to be recognised later on.
Please refer to the DAAD website for more information.
Erasmus+ Internships in Europe
Erasmus+ supports both voluntary and mandatory placements abroad.
- You can apply for an Erasmus+ grant for your internship during your bachelor’s and master’s studies, State Examination and Diplom studies as well as during your doctorate.
- You are free to choose the period of your internship.
To be eligible for Erasmus+ funding, your internship abroad must meet certain requirements:
- Approved receiving institution
You will need to find an approved receiving institution within an EU Member State (including overseas territories) or Turkey, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia or Serbia. Participation in an Erasmus+ programme is independent of your own nationality.
EU Institutions and bodies which manage EU programmes are excluded. There are alternative funding programmes for these internships – such as DAAD short-term scholarships for internships abroad. Please also note that internships which exclusively include general customer support, order processing, data entry and general office tasks are not eligible.
- Minimum length of two months (60 days)
Your funding entitlement will also depend on how much of your individual Erasmus+ “allowance” is still available:
- As a bachelor’s or master’s student, you have a twelve-month Erasmus+ allowance at your disposal. You can use this flexibly for an Erasmus+ internship and/or to study under Erasmus+.
- Students enrolled on State Examination and Diplom programmes are entitled to up to 24 months in total for an Erasmus+ internship and/or Erasmus+ studies.
- Doctoral candidates are entitled to twelve months for an Erasmus+ internship.
- Funding is also available for an internship completed within twelve months of finishing your studies.
Graduate internships: due to the coronavirus pandemic, university graduates currently have 18 months in which to finish their internship after graduating. Previously, they had twelve months to do so.
Please apply for your Erasmus+ grant at least one month before your internship is due to start (cut-off deadline). It only takes a few steps:
You register and enrol for an Erasmus+ programme online. Please print out the online registration form and submit the signed original to the International Centre.
- Enrolment certificate
Upload your enrolment certificate directly when registering online or send it by E-Mail.
Please fill in a digital Learning Agreement for your internship. Sign it and also have it signed by the person responsible for your subject as well as the receiving institution. Please send a digital copy or scan of the signed agreement to the International Centre and also make a copy available to your subject and the receiving institution.
In order to obtain an Erasmus+ grant, you sign a contract with our university. This sets out all the conditions for your internship abroad. Please sign the agreement and submit two copies of the contract (originals) to the International Centre.
Erasmus+ Internship after Graduation
If you do not yet have confirmation from your receiving institution, please first submit:
- Original letter of intent signed by your institute’s Erasmus+ coordinator
- Current enrolment certificate
After your graduation:
- Certificate of exmatriculation
- Proof of completed studies (e.g. copy of degree certificate)
A decision on whether to grant financial support from Erasmus+ funds will be taken once all of your documents have been examined. Please refer to our checklist for more information.
Your eligibility for an Erasmus+ grant is independent of whether you will also be paid a salary for your internship. The scholarship amount varies depending on the length of stay and the country of destination.
Funding by length of stay:
|Length of stay||Grant possible for|
|From 2 months, but less than 2 months and 15 days||2 months|
|From 2 months and 15 days, but less than 3 months||2.5 months|
|From 3 months, but less than 3 months and 15 days||3 months|
|From 3 months and 15 days, but less than 4 months||3.5 months|
|From 4 months, but less than 4 months and 15 days||4 months|
|From 4 months and 15 days, but less than 5 months||4.5 months|
|From 5 months, but less than 5 months and 15 days||5 months|
|From 5 months and 15 days, but less than 6 months||5.5 months|
|For 12 months||12 months|
Funding by country of destination*:
Country group 1:
Country group 2:
Country group 3:
Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey
* including overseas territories
Students with a disability or parents with children can apply for special funds at the International Centre. The special funding is paid in addition to the regular grant rates. Please refer to the above table for the country groupings.
Please submit the following applications to the International Centre so that we can approve your grant application:
- Grant application for parents with children
- Grant application for students with disabilities (lump sum)
Disabled students should submit the following grant application to the DAAD (copy to the International Centre):
The rules on force majeure in the Erasmus+ programme provide for a so-called “blended mobility” approach to Erasmus+ periods abroad. This combines physical and virtual mobility.
- This applies to mobility under the Erasmus+ programme during the funding period from 16 June 2020 until 30 September 2021.
- The receiving institution must offer tasks that allow the student to work towards their learning objectives.
- Financial support is only available for the stay abroad once the trip to the host country begins – regardless of whether the student takes part in a face-to-face or online internship. You will not be entitled to any financial support for the time spent in your home country.
A virtual period of mobility may be followed by a physical stay abroad at the receiving institution. The amount of financial support will be determined by the duration of the stay abroad. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the minimum period physically spent abroad that usually applies to Erasmus+ stays abroad can be waived. For internships abroad of less than two months, the financial support will be paid exactly to the day (up to a maximum of 30 days per month). In the event of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the physical mobility period can be shortened or cancelled and replaced by an extension of the virtual mobility period. Periods of interruption between the virtual and physical mobility phases are also permitted and may be eligible for financial support.
This virtual or combined mobility must be confirmed by the receiving institution. It confirms the start of the internship by email and then issues an internship certificate at the end of the placement. Both the confirmation by email and the internship certificate should make a distinction between the two mobility phases (virtual and physical).
Please refer to the DAAD website for more information.
The Online Linguistic Support (OLS) language tests is mandatory if you wish to receive an Erasmus+ grant. You will receive an automatically generated email from the Erasmus+ Notification System after you have submitted all the documents to us and your grant application has been approved.
If you are a native speaker or the required language is not offered by the OLS system, you are not required to participate.
OLS covers the following main languages of instruction: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish.
- If the result of your online test is below B2, you will receive an offer for an online language course in that language. This offer will be sent automatically.
- If you achieved a higher result on the language test and would like to take part in a voluntary language course, please contact your Erasmus+ coordinator at the International Centre.
Please contact our International Centre if you would like to shorten or extend your internship.
- If you wish to shorten your internship, you may be required to repay some of your Erasmus+ grant. If you fall below the minimum duration of two months, you will have to repay the entire amount of the grant.
- You can prolong your stay as long as this will not cause you to exceed your Erasmus+ “time allowance”.
If you wish to extend your internship by less than one month, all you need to do it contact us and let us know. If you intend to extend your internship by more than one month, you will need to complete an amendment to the original Learning Agreement for traineeships.
Conclude your Erasmus+ internship and receive your final grant instalment:
- Traineeship certificate:
Have the traineeship certificate completed by your receiving institution and email a scan of the certificate to the International Centre at the end of your internship.
- Online language test after your period abroad:
After your internship, you will be required to take the online language test again. You will receive an automatically generated email from the Erasmus+ Notification System at the end of your internship.
- Erasmus+ Participant Report (EU-Survey)
You will have gained a lot of experience during your Erasmus+ internship. Your Erasmus+ Participant Report is an opportunity for other students to find out useful details about the receiving institution and its location, and prepare for their own period abroad. After submitting your Participant Report, you will receive an automatically generated email from the sender EUSurvey (please also check your spam folder).
PROMOS Internships Worldwide
Would you like to complete an internship outside the Erasmus+ funding region? Then you may want to consider a PROMOS scholarship! The programme supports internships abroad lasting between six weeks and six months.
PROMOS is also available for internships if you have already exhausted your Erasmus+ allowance. The programme can also be used to support periods of study, dissertations, language courses, subject-specific courses and study trips.
In order to apply for a PROMOS scholarship, you must be fully enrolled and pursuing a degree at our university.
If you are studying on an international master’s programme, you must have attended our university for at least one semester. Bachelor’s students can apply from the third semester of study, and master’s students from the first semester of study. Doctoral candidates are not eligible for funding under this programme.
There are two application deadlines for PROMOS scholarships each year:
- For periods abroad commencing between July and December: 1 May –1 July (extended due to the coronavirus pandemic)
- For periods abroad commencing between January and June: 1 November–1 December
To make sure nothing goes wrong when you apply online, take a look at our PROMOS application information.
Please submit your application online only. Register with your university login via the online portal. Enter your information in the online application and upload the following documents:
- CV in tabular form
- Certificate(s) of enrolment
Please upload your enrolment certificate(s) from Leipzig University for the entire period of your stay abroad. If you do not yet have the enrolment certificate for the following semester, first submit your enrolment certificate for the current semester. You must then submit the next certificate as soon as you have it (without being asked). You do not need to provide your master data sheet or your BAföG certificate.
- Overview of grades
An overview of grades can be obtained from your AlmaWeb account or by contacting your subject’s examination office. You can only use the overview of grades from AlmaWeb if all your previous achievements have been recorded in full in the portal. If you are a first-semester master’s student, please also submit your bachelor’s certificate together with an overview of grades. If you are already enrolled in a higher semester on a master’s programme, we will require your current overview of grades in addition to your bachelor’s certificate with overview of grades.
- Describe the project
Please specify why you have chosen to complete an internship abroad and explain your choice of host institution. Describe the content and scope of the work (one to two pages).
- Language certificate for the working language/national language
You can receive a language certificate from one of the teachers at the Language Center after taking one of their language certification tests. The Language Center holds these tests regularly. Your school-leaving certificate does not count as proof of language proficiency.
- If you speak the language in question or are studying in that language, please contact a language teacher at your institute.
- If the working language at your receiving institution is German and no further foreign language skills are required, please contact your PROMOS project coordinator.
- If you can prove that you passed one of the standard tests listed here within the last two years, you can use this instead of the language certificate.
Before your stay, you can attend a preparatory language course at our Language Center or take advantage of the language courses offered during your studies:
- SQ 13 – Key qualification module in Intercultural Communication
- Foreign language modules
- Autonomous foreign language learning modules
- Tandem language learning modules
- Proof of contact with the receiving institution/internship contract
You will need a letter from the receiving institution indicating the location, the nature and scope of your work, the duration of your internship and the contact details of the receiving institution.
Use our checklist for PROMOS internships to check whether you have all the necessary documents for your PROMOS scholarship application.
After checking that your application is complete, we will send you a personal confirmation message.
Review of Your Application and Nomination
Your complete application will be reviewed by two subject-specific appraisers. The following selection criteria and assessment weightings are taken into account:
- Subject-specific qualification and personal suitability (50%)
- Relevance of the planned stay in relation studies completed so far (30%)
- Language skills necessary to carry out the stay (20%)
Applicants will be notified by email of whether they have been nominated for a PROMOS scholarship approximately six weeks after the application deadline.
Alternative Scholarships for Internships Abroad
Besides Erasmus+ and PROMOS, there are numerous alternative scholarships for internships abroad that you can apply for. Take a look!
Internships with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI)
at institutes of the Max Weber Foundation (Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute) abroad
AIESEC Global Talent
Research internships, university hospitals
Internships in development cooperation
Deutscher Famulantenaustausch (bvmd)
Global volunteering projects
for working and studying in Africa, Latin America, Asia and South Eastern Europe
Carlo Schmid Programme: Internships in international organisations
Programmes for short-term scholarships and travel expense grants
- DFJW (Franco-German Youth Office)
Scholarships for study-related internships in France
- DPJW (German-Polish Youth Office)
Scholarships for internships in Poland
- German Academic Scholarship Foundation
Scholarships for internships in China
Finding the Right Internship
Finding the right internship takes a good deal of initiative. Very few programmes offer both scholarships and internships. To help you look in the right place, we’ve put together an overview of subject-specific programmes and internship portals. Good luck with your search!
- Job portal at Leipzig University’s Career Centre
Volunteering and internships
- Arbeitskreis Lernen und Helfen in Übersee e.V.
- Bundesverband der Pharmaziestudierenden
Job and internship portal by students, for students
- College Council
Internship portal for the US and Canada, and Australia and New Zealand
- Deutsch als Fremdsprache
Internship portal run by the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
- Deutsch-Französische Juristenvereinigung e.V.
- Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Brussels
Student internships in Brussels
- German-Japanese Association of Jurists
- German-Canadian Association
- Erasmus Student Network
- European Youth Portal
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
- Internship portal at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
- studieren weltweit
- European Law Students’ Association (ELSA)
Arrangement of paid internships for aspiring lawyers (partial funding via Erasmus+ internship possible)
- Worldwide Classroom
- International Placement Service (ZAV) of the Federal Employment Agency
Dissertations, Language Courses, Subject-Specific Courses and More
Apart from studying or doing an internship in a foreign country, language courses, subject-specific courses and study trips can be a great opportunity to gain experience abroad. A language course can, for example, help you prepare well for an internship. You can also write your dissertation abroad or carry out research for it. A PROMOS scholarship can be used to fund such a stay abroad.
Please note: For periods abroad commencing between July and December there is an extended application deadline this year: 01.05. – 01.07.
Depending on the topic of your dissertation, it may be important for you to carry out research abroad. This could give you access to research fields that are not accessible here in Leipzig. You may also need material from foreign institutions that is of particular relevance to your work.
Fund your final thesis abroad with PROMOS or as part of an Erasmus+ internship.
PROMOS awards short-term scholarships for dissertations. The respective grant rates depend on the country of destination. The scholarship comprises a monthly grant and a one-off travel allowance.
Taking a language course abroad is the perfect opportunity to significantly improve your language skills! Besides our language courses, it is possible to take courses at private language institutes or universities abroad.
Find Language Courses Abroad
The DAAD website provides a good introduction to this topic. There you can search for language courses at universities around the world.
PROMOS awards scholarships for language courses abroad and can fund your participation in a language course from three weeks (21 days) to two months worldwide. Please note that the language course must be related to your studies or relevant in terms of your future career. The respective grant rates depend on the country of destination. The scholarship comprises a monthly grant and a one-off travel allowance.
Examples of specialist courses are summer schools or workshops at a foreign host university. They usually last several days or a few weeks and deal with special projects or topics. These activities are often supplemented by local cultural programmes.
Find Specialist Courses and Summer Schools Abroad
Please contact us for information on current opportunities. In addition, many departments have noticeboards advertising such programmes.
- The DAAD’s Go East programme organises summer and winter schools in East-Central, South Eastern and Eastern Europe.
- Are you interested in going to Switzerland? Students of physics, computer science and engineering can apply to the CERN Summer Student Programme.
PROMOS supports specialist courses abroad for periods of between five days and six weeks. The respective grant rates depend on the country of destination. The scholarship comprises a monthly grant and a one-off travel allowance. It does not cover course fees.
This funding is not available for congress or lecture tours. For these, please check the DAAD website.
You can undertake a study trip abroad together with your fellow students. The whole trip must be accompanied by a professor. The study trip will focus on subject-related learning and give you an insight into the local culture. Study trips focus on getting to know students and other academics.
Under PROMOS, a flat-rate allowance is available to support study trips by groups of at least five students and/or doctoral researchers accompanied by a professor.
Applying for PROMOS funding
Applications for PROMOS grants for study trips can only be submitted by professors of our university. Please send all application documents as specified in the checklist as a single PDF file to Christine Seidemann.