Are you considering integrating a semester abroad into your studies, but unsure of where you want to go? The International Centre will give you tips on how best to prepare yourself for your semester abroad, how to fund your stay, and how to ensure that your academic achievements will be recognised back here in Leipzig.

Do you want to apply for one of our study exchange places or go abroad independently as a free mover? If, on the other hand, you are interested in an internship abroad, then take a look here.

Please note: Depending on your nationality, visa and residence regulations may come into force at the partner university and/or in the partner country. Please inform yourself at least six months before the start of your trip at the responsible offices (partner university, foreigners authority in the destination country).

Exchange Places in Europe and Worldwide

We have exchange places at partner institutions in Europe and all over the world, giving you a variety of options. Regardless of what you choose, you can be sure that your semester abroad will be a valuable experience, both for your further studies in Leipzig and your future career.

Semester Abroad as a “Free Mover”

The advantage: You are free to choose your host university.

The disadvantage: Organising a period of study abroad as a “free mover” is usually more complicated and expensive. You will probably be required to pay tuition fees at the host university. Depending on the host country, this can result in considerable costs. It is also advisable to be prepared for stricter admission requirements (e.g. language tests).

We recommend that you start preparing for your stay abroad at least eighteen months in advance. This should give you enough time to stick to application deadlines at universities (and perhaps scholarship providers) and, if necessary, to apply for a visa. 

Scholarships and Funding Opportunities

You can combine scholarships and other funding opportunities for a stay abroad with our university’s exchange programmes, or use them for your self-organised period abroad as a free mover. The DAAD’s “studieren weltweit” website offers useful background information (in German) on this subject.

The PROMOS scholarship is a scholarship programme funded by the DAAD to support stays abroad outside the Erasmus+ funding region that cannot be funded through other scholarship programmes. The programme funds study visits abroad with a minimum duration of eight weeks for a maximum of 4 months of the planned stay.

The PROMOS scholarship is awarded on a merit basis according to the availability of funds.

For students with foreign citizenship, funding for stays abroad in the respective home countries is excluded.

What requirements do I have to meet?

In order to apply for a PROMOS scholarship, you must be fully enrolled and pursuing a degree at Leipzig University. If you are studying on an international master’s programme, you must have attended Leipzig 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.

What financial support will I receive?

The program funds study visits abroad with a minimum duration of eight weeks for a maximum of 4 months of the planned stay. The respective grant rates depend on the destination country, with a monthly grant and one-off travel allowance available. Your tuition fees will not be covered. You can, however, complete a PROMOS scholarship with AuslandsBAföG (International BAföG).

Students with a degree of disability (GdB) of at least 50 or a chronic illness can apply for special funding from the DAAD together with the International Office. The special funding can be paid in addition to the regular funding rates. Please contact the PROMOS project coordinator by email at an early stage for further information and the application process.

How do I apply for a PROMOS scholarship?

There are two application deadlines for PROMOS scholarships each year:

  • for periods abroad commencing between January and June:
    1 November –1 December of the previous year
  • for periods abroad commencing between July and December:
    1 May –1 June

To apply, please register via the online portal using your university login. Please only apply via the online portal.
Please 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
    Please request this from your examination office. You can also submit a printout of the overview of your grades from AlmaWeb, provided it lists all of the credits you have earned so far. If you are already enrolled on a master’s programme, please also upload a copy of your bachelor’s certificate including a Transcript of Records.
  • Describe the project
    Provide a description of your study project at the host university (one or two pages).
  • Language certificate for the language of instruction/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 language of instruction is German and no further foreign language skills are required, please submit the language certificate for English
    • If you can prove that you passed one of the standard tests within the last two years, you can use this instead of the language certificate.
    • Native speakers do not require proof of knowledge of the native language.
  • Proof of contact/confirmation of supervision from the host university or supervisor abroad.
  • Study plan detailing the lectures you intend to take abroad (in the case of periods of study abroad).

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:

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.

Do you want to study, conduct research, do an internship or learn a language abroad? The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers a wide range of scholarships. You can find comprehensive information on scholarships for students (Bachelor, Diploma, Examination) and graduates (Master, Doctorate) in the DAAD's scholarship database (website in German).

The German-American Fulbright Commission supports German students and graduates who wish to study for short or extended periods at a US university and who are interested in promoting cultural exchange between Germany and America. You can find an overview of what the German-American Fulbright Commission offers for stays in the US on its website.

AuslandsBAföG (International BAföG) is one way of supporting periods of study abroad. The International BAföG grant rates are higher than those you receive for studying in Germany. This means that students who do not receive BAföG funding in Germany are often still eligible for funding during their period abroad.

You can apply for International BAföG if you are planning a period of study of at least one semester or six months. Please note that a travel allowance can be granted for a maximum of one year of your stay. It is possible to cover up to 4600 euros of your proven tuition fees.

Good to know: You can combine International BAföG with a range of scholarships. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides more detailed information about International BAföG.

What requirements do I have to meet?

People who are entitled to standard German BAföG – but also many who aren’t – can apply for International BAföG. To be eligible, you must have spent at least two semesters studying in Germany before going abroad. It is also important that at least part of your semester(s) abroad will count towards your studies.

How do I apply for International BAföG?

Apply at least six months before the start of your period abroad. Depending on your country of destination, there will be a certain international office responsible for your grant application. This means you have to submit your application for International BAföG to the relevant international office.

You receive your International BAföG certificate from our International Centre.

What happens after the semester abroad which qualified for BAföG?

You can continue to receive BAföG funding within your standard period of study. If spending a semester abroad means you take longer to finish your studies, we recommend that you apply for a leave semester for the time you spend abroad. International BAföG can still be claimed during a leave semester. In such cases, your period abroad will not count towards your standard period of study and your maximum funding period.


There are various foundations that support periods abroad during a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Funding is usually based on specific subjects, countries or regions. The foundation index maintained by the Association of German Foundations provides a useful overview of the funding sources.

Student loans and education funds

In Germany, student loans are for a limited period of time and are low-interest. You can apply for a loan regardless of your (or your parents’) income and assets. You can apply for a student loan in addition to International BAföG.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides more detailed information about student loans and the Bildungskredit programme.

Support from the host country

Some countries even offer scholarship programmes for international applicants. These programmes may be linked to the respective embassies, ministries of education, or the host university itself.

Recognition of Credits Earned Abroad

Do you want to make sure that credits you earn abroad will count towards your studies back in Leipzig? Please discuss your plans with your subject coordinator before going abroad.

The chairperson of your department's examination board or your Erasmus+ subject coordinator will decide on whether to recognise any credits earned abroad.

Depending on the degree programme, the following recognition options exist:

  • Recognition in the core subject based on the official recognition criteria 

  • Flexible recognition in the elective area

  • Recognition as a key qualification (SQ), if applicable on your degree programme

  • Recognition as “international experience”/interdisciplinary key qualification: You can have ten credits recognised for academic achievements outside your core subject on key qualification (SQ) module 32 upon submitting a passed examination; please address your questions to email.

We recommend that you aim for 30 ECTS credits per semester abroad.

Your Erasmus+ subject coordinator or your scholarship provider will inform you on how many credits you need for your subject. In order to receive the necessary support, you should make sure that you bring the agreed number of credits with you when returning from abroad.

As soon as you have been accepted for an exchange place, please discuss your intention to study abroad with the person responsible for your subject. You will need to contact your Erasmus+ subject coordinator or the recognition officer. 

We recommend that you draw up a study agreement/learning agreement. The agreement documents show which courses you will take at the partner university and how they might be recognized. For the recognition itself, after your stay abroad, please submit a transcript of records from the partner university to the person responsible for recognition, who will provide you a form for recognition. You present this form to the study/examination office of your subject, which transfers the corresponding modules to your degree program.

Learning Agreement for Erasmus+ scholars in Europe
PDF 319 KB

Learning Agreement for Erasmus+ scholars worldwide
PDF 279 KB

Go to our Erasmus+ funding website for further information to draw up the learning agreement.

And please note the recognition on earning credits abraod on the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK) website.

enlarge the image: Comic to illustrate the recognition of credits you earn abroad, in German
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Linguistic Preparation

For you to be able to participate actively in the seminars and lectures at your host university, it is important that you are proficient in the language of instruction. You will need to prove your language skills when applying for an exchange place. The following options will help you to meet the language requirements.

When applying for an exchange place worldwide, you must prove your language skills for the language of instruction. Your Erasmus+ subject coordinator can tell you whether you also need such proof when applying under the Erasmus+ programme in Europe.

You can prove your ability in the language of instruction by providing a relevant language certificate or having this form filled in. For the latter, you will need to pass a test at the Language Center. There are a number of test dates for the languages English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. If you pass the test, you will be given a certificate. The Language Center website provides information on other language courses.

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