When studying abroad, there are many things you have to keep in mind. Chances are that you have countless questions running through your head. We hope that we can answer them with our FAQs, so that you can start your stay abroad with your mind at ease.
General information about the Erasmus+ program
For a start, you can find general information about the individual program lines and information on the application process on our website.
If you are interested in studying in another European country, you should first of all sign up for an Erasmus+ Europe information session at the International Office. During this information session, students of all departments are informed in detail about their options, the application process, deadlines, financing, and more. After that, individual questions that are still open can be addressed in a one-on-one advising.
The following European countries are participating in the Erasmus+ program:
- the 28 EU member states
In addition, you have the option to study at selected partner universities outside of Europe via Erasmus+ Worldwide.
Since the Erasmus+ program is a cooperation between departments, the selection of partner universities that are suitable for you depends on your study program. Please refer to the list of partner universities, which is arranged according to faculties, to see which universities are involved.
As the Erasmus+ program is an exchange program of the University of Stuttgart, tuition fees are not charged at the partner universities. Social contributions (such as the fee to the Studierendenwerk), insurances, and course materials are not considered tuition fees and may apply depending on the partner university.
Please note that studying abroad is usually associated with increased costs. You should therefore inform yourself in advance about financing your stay abroad.
As part of the Erasmus+ program, all nominees receive a mobility grant from the EU, the Erasmus+ grant. This grant aims to cover some of the additional costs arising from your stay abroad, e.g. for increased living expenses, travel expenses, etc.
In addition, you can apply for further funding opportunities, such as BAföG grants for studies abroad, or scholarships.
Please note: Funding within the framework of the Erasmus program cannot be combined with the Baden-Wuerttemberg Scholarship, PROMOS, and DAAD annual scholarships.
The best time to study abroad depends on the subject area and on your personal motivation. In general, participation in the Erasmus+ program is possible from the 3rd semester in the bachelor’s degree, and from the 1st semester in the master’s degree program. However, the Examination Office and most departments recommend that you first pass the mid-degree exams (usually during the first 4 semesters) before starting your studies abroad. Please inquire with your department about their recommendation before submitting an application. The right contact persons for this are the study program managers, the academic advisors, and the Erasmus+ Departmental Coordinators.
You can find experience reports by our former outgoing students in our database.
If the exam regulations allow it, it is possible to do a student research project or a thesis abroad. However, these cannot be arranged by the International Office. You will have to find a suitable topic and an appropriate supervisor at the host university independently as soon as possible, or ask your department whether there are already contacts abroad. If you intend to write your term paper or thesis at an Erasmus+ partner university, the International Office will try to place you at the partner university via the relevant department. If the university is not an Erasmus+ partner university, you can apply for funding through, for example, Erasmus+ internships, PROMOS, or the Baden-Wuerttemberg Scholarship.
There is an opportunity to receive funding for an internship in one of the Erasmus+ partner countries. Please note that the International Office cannot arrange internship placements. Within a study cycle, both a study abroad and an internship abroad can be funded through Erasmus+.
Graduates, too, can complete an internship funded by Erasmus+ after exmatriculation or between their bachelor’s and master’s programs. In this case, however, the application for funding must be made during the last academic year at the University of Stuttgart, and the internship must be completed within one calendar year after exmatriculation. The funded semesters will then be allocated to the previous study cycle (see 2.9 Can I go abroad several times with the Erasmus+ program?)
Information for Erasmus+ applicants
Start of the studies abroad in the following fall
Duration: 1 or 2 semesters
Start of the studies abroad in the spring of the following year
Duration: 1 semester
Application deadline: January 15*
Allocation of remaining places
Only possible for spring of the following year
Duration: 1 semester
Free places at our partner universities will be published from April every year.
Application deadline: June, 15*
* The deadline is postponed to the following Monday if it falls on a weekend.
The Departmental Coordinators are employees of the University of Stuttgart who have taken on the task of supervising the Erasmus+ program for their department. They look after international students who are studying in Stuttgart as part of the Erasmus+ program as well as full-time students from the University of Stuttgart who are nominated for an Erasmus+ mobility. In addition, the departmental coordinators are in contact with the respective partner universities and decide whether to extend existing partnerships or create new partnerships. You will find the name of the departmental coordinator responsible for your desired university in the lists of partner universities, sorted by faculties.
If there are more applicants than places for a specific partner university in an academic year, a selection process will be carried out that considers academic achievements, motivation and language skills, as well as activities outside of studies.
For more information on the selection process, please see the application information.
That depends on the respective host country. However, applicants should have solid language skills in order to be able to follow the classes in the host country and to complete coursework. A language level of at least B1 is strongly recommended (B2 for English).
In some countries, study programs in other languages of instruction (e.g. English-language programs) are offered in addition to the programs in the national language. You can find a very large range of English-language courses in the northern European countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as in the Netherlands, in Central and Eastern Europe, and at universities in Turkey. These courses are primarily offered in the master’s degree programs, but some bachelor’s degree programs offer courses in English, too. In these cases, you should check whether courses in English are offered in the desired subject at the host university. In addition to good English skills, applicants / nominees should have at least a basic knowledge of the national language for better integration.
Tip: Every semester, the Language Center of the University of Stuttgart offers a wide variety of free courses for linguistic and intercultural preparation for studying abroad. Here you can also take, if required, free language tests for the application at the host university, which will take place after you have been nominated by the University of Stuttgart.
For more information on how to prepare for your stay abroad in terms of language and culture, see section 3.2.
The opportunity to apply for a place in the Erasmus+ program at short notice is the allocation of remaining places on June, 15. This application deadline applies to studying abroad in a European country the following spring.
In case you would like to study at a European institution, which is not a partner institution of your subject program, you have the option to apply through another department, i.e. outside their subject area.
The following prerequisites must be met:
- The places are not used by the respective department’s own students.
- The Departmental Coordinator is willing to nominate you to the partner university as a student outside of the department’s subject area.
- The partner university agrees to the mobility outside of the respective department’s subject area.
Mobilities outside of your subject area can be realized more easily if this is done at least within the overarching disciplines of science, engineering, and the humanities.
Please note: Universities in the United Kingdom normally don’t accept nominations outside of the student’s subject area. In Spain, up to 50% of applicants outside their subject area are rejected.
If you would like to study at a foreign university that is, unfortunately, not a partner university of the University of Stuttgart, or if you could not be nominated for your desired university via the Erasmus+ program, you can apply for a place at the respective university on your own initiative. In Europe, this kind of mobility is usually called freemover or guest / visiting student. Many European universities are already so busy with the Erasmus+ exchange students that they cannot accept applications from freemovers. You can usually find out whether such mobility is possible on the websites of the respective international offices. Applications as a freemover must be made on your own initiative. Therefore, you will have to take care of your application and mind the corresponding deadlines independently.
Please note that staying abroad as a freemover is not part of an exchange program. This means that you will have to pay the tuition fees at the host university yourself, if there are any. It is therefore important to inform yourself about financing your stay abroad in advance.
It is possible to participate several times in the Erasmus+ program and receive Erasmus+ funding. Within a study cycle*, both a study abroad and an internship abroad can be funded through Erasmus+.
In each study cycle*, students can receive funding for a maximum of 12 months (= 360 days) for both Erasmus+ university studies and an Erasmus+ internship.
Example: You can complete 8 months of Erasmus+ university studies and 4 months of an Erasmus+ internship during your bachelor’s degree program (= 12 months of funding in the 1st cycle).
If your study program comprises two study cycles, you can receive funding for a maximum of 24 months (= 720 days) for both Erasmus+ university studies and an Erasmus+ internship.
1st cycle: bachelor’s degree
2nd cycle: master’s degree
3rd cycle: doctoral degree studies / PhD
Erasmus+ university studies
for a min. of 3 months (= 90 days) to a max. of 12 months (= 360 days) within one academic year
for a min. of 2 months (= 60 days) to a max. of 12 months (= 360 days) within one academic year
Information for Erasmus+ nominees
About 4 weeks after the application deadline, the Erasmus+ Departmental Coordinators inform the International Office of their selection in the form of a list of nominees. About 6 weeks after the application deadline, all nominees will be informed by the International Office via email about the further course of the program, the required documents, and funding.
Depending on the start of the studies abroad, all participants will receive an invitation to the Erasmus+ seminar, which is offered once per semester by the International Office. Within this seminar, you will obtain important information about the workflow. During the seminar, you will also have the opportunity to address further questions.
The rights and obligations of the students participating in the Erasmus+ program are laid down in the student charter.
Students who have been selected for a place in the Erasmus+ program are asked to use our checklist to organize their Erasmus+ mobility. The checklist includes an overview of the course of the program before, during, and after the studies abroad. After your nomination, the checklist will be made available to you for download via the Mobility Online portal.
Please also note the schedule for the mobility year.
Every semester, the Language Center of the University of Stuttgartoffers a wide variety of free courses for linguistic and intercultural preparation for studying abroad.
Free online language courses
Before and after your Erasmus+ stay, you must take a free online language test (OLS) from the EU (available online, approx. 40-50 minutes) to determine the development of your language skills.
If your test shows a language level of A1 - B1 before departure, you will automatically receive a license for a free online language course in the respective language. If your test shows a language level of B2 – C2 and you are interested in a free online language course, you can request a license from Ms. Katja Schuster . Since the EU unfortunately only provides us with a limited number of licenses for these free language courses, we use the first-come-first-serve principle when issuing the licenses.
The orientation, lecture, and examination weeks vary at the different Erasmus+ partner universities and usually overlap with the examination period at the University of Stuttgart. Please check the websites of the respective partner universities in advance to find out about the relevant semester or term dates (keyword: academic calendar).
As it is often too late to write the exams at the University of Stuttgart due to the different semester times abroad, please inquire in your department or ask the respective examiner about a possible solution. Possible solutions could be, for example, to write the exam at the University of Stuttgart earlier, to take it at the host university in parallel to the examination in Stuttgart, or to take it in the following semester after returning from abroad.
A Leave of absence semester counts as a university semester but not as a study semester.
Please check with your examination committee first whether your exam regulations allow you to apply for semesters of leave for studies or an internship abroad. This is usually possible except a stay abroad is mandatory in your exam regulations (as is the case, for example, in the architecture department as part of the International Module).
In case a leave of absence is possible, please submit an informal request for leave of absence to the Admissions Office before or during the re-registration period. You must have the request confirmed in advance by the International Office at the International Center. If you do not use this form as an application, please enclose proof of your planned study abroad (copy of letter of admission or confirmation of grant) with your personal informal request.
Please note that only the tuition fees are waived due to a leave of absence. The administrative fee as well as the fees paid to the student body and the Studierendenwerk still apply. You will remain a member of the University of Stuttgart during your leave of absence. However, students on leave do not have the right to attend courses and to use university institutions (except for the libraries and the IT Department). Please also note that a leave of absence can have consequences elsewhere. For example, regarding your BAföG grant, children’s allowance, or your residence permit. Please inform yourself at the relevant offices (e.g. office for educational support, social welfare office, children’s allowance office, immigration office if applicable).
The International Office requires that students successfully complete courses worth of at least 15 ECTS per semester at the host institution. It is not relevant whether these courses can or should be recognized. The departments or the host institution have the right to set their own requirements regarding the number of ECTS to be earned, i.e. to request more than 15 ECTS (up to 30 ECTS) per semester from their students.
Normally, students take at least 2/3 of their courses in the department through which they were nominated to go abroad or in which they are enrolled at the University of Stuttgart. If the host university allows it (no guarantee), the remaining courses can be selected from another subject area (e.g. for a second subject, minors, key competencies courses). Please note that your choice of courses should always reflect an academic motivation for studying abroad, because the stay abroad has to be integrated into your study program.
The Erasmus+ program provides for the recognition of credits ganed during the period of study abroad. Please note that the faculties are responsible for the recognition of study achievements abroad, not the International Office. If you have any questions about recognition, please contact your Erasmus Departmental Coordinator or the relevant examination committee: How to have your study achievements abroad recognized
Before going abroad
Study achievements abroad are not automatically recognized. Therefore, before going abroad, you should contact your Erasmus Departmental Coordinator as early as possible to discuss the selection of courses at the host institution and to find out about the recognition procedure in your department.
One of the most important instruments for the recognition of study achievements abroad is the learning agreement. For all students who go abroad within the framework of the Erasmus+ program, it is mandatory to enter into a learning agreement.
The learning agreement stipulates which courses are to be taken abroad. This requires that you have thoroughly reviewed the courses offered at the host institution and that you have discussed the course selection with your Erasmus Departmental Coordinator. The learning agreement must be signed by three parties (the student, the home university, and the host institution) before you go abroad. The home university confirms, with the signatures of the relevant examiners (columns marked in red in the learning agreement), that the chosen courses can be credited, and the host institution declares that the study plan is likely to be feasible. The Erasmus -Departmental Coordinator at the University of Stuttgart is responsible for all subject-specific issues. This means that the learning agreement is not signed by the International Office, but by the Erasmus Departmental Coordinator or the examination committee to make it binding for the home university.
In order to simplify the recognition of study achievements abroad, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) was developed. The system is based on the (quantitative) allocation of credits for specific courses and provides an indication of the workload / time required for each course. The standard is 30 ECTS per semester or 60 ECTS per academic year. Credits (LP) at the University of Stuttgart correspond to the ECTS (30 LP = 30 ECTS).
The recognition of specialised courses must be discussed with the department (individual lecturers / examiners of the department and, if applicable, the examination committee) before the start of the studies abroad, and the recognition must be noted in the learning agreement.
The procedure for the recognition of interdisciplinary key competencies (SQ) provides that the head of the relevant examination committee is the responsible person in this case. They may name another person in the study program who will take on this task (e.g. secretary’s office, program manager). It is possible that the head of the examination committee or their representative would like proof that the recognized module is offered at the University of Stuttgart as an interdisciplinary SQ. This is not a must, as an interdisciplinary SQ is not assigned to any of the 6 SQ areas of competence within the framework of recognition, but is recorded as a dummy module (without module number) at the Examination Office. If there is no corresponding interdisciplinary SQ and the examination committee nevertheless insists that there be an equivalent offered at the University of Stuttgart, an assessment can be obtained from Ms. Heres (Center for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning) as to whether the planned course is interdisciplinary in terms of content and scope. Depending on the content of the planned course, this assessment may also be made by the Language Center (for language and intercultural courses) or by the individual departments, which are responsible for the content of the course to be recognized at the University of Stuttgart (e.g. business administration, philosophy, (art) history, etc.). However, they can only make a recommendation. The actual decision is always up to the head of the relevant examination committee.
During the stay abroad
Should there be any changes in the learning agreement after your arrival at the host institution, you have the option to change your learning agreement within 4 weeks. Be sure to discuss the changes with your individual lecturers and examiners from the department or the examination committee, as well as with your Erasmus Departmental Coordinator at the University of Stuttgart, and have the agreement signed again by all three parties involved.
After the stay abroad
After your stay abroad has finished, you will be provided with an academic transcript (= record of study achievements) by your host institution. All study achievements are listed in the transcript. Together with the learning agreement, it is a prerequisite for the recognition of study achievements. Please note that achievements can only be recognized if they have been discussed and agreed upon in the learning agreement and are documented in the transcript.
For the recognition of achievements, the departments often need official, verifiable course descriptions in addition to the transcript, including information as detailed as possible about:
- course content
- semester(s) (1st, 2nd, 3rd year)
- number of semester hours
- number of credits to be earned
Normally, you have to submit your learning agreement, the academic transcript, and an application for recognition to the examination committee upon your return. However, the procedures may vary depending on the discipline and the faculty. Please inquire with your Erasmus Departmental Coordinator.
Please note: Since grading systems are not standardized globally, there are no generally applicable conversion tables. You can find an overview of the higher education and grading systems worldwide on the information portal for the recognition of foreign qualifications anabin database of the Kultusministerkonferenz (conference of the ministers of education and cultural affairs). In order to enable later recognition, it is important that the host institution encloses an explanation of the local grading scale to your academic transcript (if possible, together with a statistical distribution of the local grades) or publish it on its website.
The conversion and recognition of study achievements abroad must always be done by the department, not by the International Office. You can get the application form "Recognition of Modules and Module Achievements" at the Examination Office.
The conversion by the department is usually done according to the principles of the ECTS. Among other things, the modified Bavarian formula from the Central Office for Foreign Education can be used.
Please note that external study achievements are recognized with the credits of the equivalent module at the University of Stuttgart, i.e. if a 9 CP module is recognized whose equivalent module has 6 CP, only 6 CP can be recognized. If a 3 CP module is recognized whose equivalent module has 6 CP, 6 CP must be recognized.
Of course you should make every effort to pass all courses at your host institution to the best of your ability. However, a failed examination will not automatically result in the claim for the return of your funding and will not affect your exam attempts at the University of Stuttgart.
So please prepare thoroughly for the exams and inform us immediately if you have failed more than one examination.
Students who have earned less than 10 ECTS per semester during their studies abroad must specifically address this matter in their experience report and in a separate statement. Even if you do not earn any or only a few credits at the host institution, you must in any case have your lecturers confirm your course attendance (even if you have not passed the corresponding examination).
If, at the host institution, you earn only a few credits or no credits at all due to illness, please have this confirmed by a doctor.
An extension from fall to spring is usually possible. Please discuss a planned extension first with your host institution and your Departmental Coordinator at the University of Stuttgart, and inform our division as soon as possible. Requests for an extension must be reported to Ms. Katja Schuster by 15 January at the latest.
Please note that, for an extension, there is no entitlement to continued payment of the Erasmus+ mobility grant. For received extension requests, the earliest possible time to predict whether funds will be available to continue paying the Erasmus+ mobility grant is in December of the ongoing academic year. However, an extension without a mobility grant is possible after approval by the host institution and the Departmental Coordinator at the University of Stuttgart. In this case you will be nominated for a semester of extension without entitlement to the mobility grant. During the semester of extension, you retain your Erasmus+ status at the host institution and the associated exemption from tuition fees. In this case you have to submit your final documents only after the semester of extension has ended. Please make sure you again create a learning agreement for the semester of extension.
Unfortunately, an extension from spring to fall is only possible by re-applying for a place in the Erasmus+ program, since the semester of extension is part of a new academic year with new funding conditions, etc. Besides, it is not possible to receive funding during the summer break. In case you are planning an extension, please first contact your Departmental Coordinator at the University of Stuttgart and then contact Ms. Katja Schuster.