Your experience abroad
Do you want to dive into a foreign culture and get to know new people? Do you want to live in a different country to study or work? Periods abroad not only look good on your CV, but also give you incomparable experience. You’ll develop personally as well as professionally, and form new, unexpected friendships.
Discover the possibilities Your personal path across the border
Whether it’s for a week or for an entire year, there are numerous ways to spend part of your studies in a foreign country – by taking a semester abroad, doing an internship, or attending a summer school. No matter what, it’ll be an unforgettable experience, and you’ll create lifelong friendships and memories.
For Bachelor’s students, the second or third year of the degree is the ideal time to spend a semester abroad at one of our 80 partner universities. For Master’s students, we recommend that you discuss the matter with your programme director as soon as you start your course. Depending on the partner university, a semester abroad lasts three to five months and begins either in autumn or in spring. Since places at our partner universities are limited, there may be a selection procedure if there are more applicants than places – outstanding academic achievements and getting involved in international activities will help you get ahead. Discuss the application process with your faculty advisor, because one of the most important requirements for successful study abroad is careful, timely planning.
Internships are a required element of all Bachelor curricula and in many Master’s programmes, but these can also be completed abroad. Hands-on experience in a foreign country will give you an ace up your sleeve with prospective employers. Check out the ERASMUS intern Website to see if you can find an internship that fits your interests. The length of an internship and the payment involved can vary drastically depending on the country and the industry. Or talk to your professors to see if they have any ideas for you. The DAAD also has information and advice on this topic.
Our professors have a broad network of international contacts. Students in STEM disciplines in particular can collaborate on research projects and write their theses with internationally renowned scholars. Discuss this possibility with your professor.
Are you thinking about trying to get international experience, but would rather not spend an extended time abroad? In that case, a summer school or an international week is perfect for you. Many of our partner universities (for example, in Korea, the Netherlands and the UK) offer programmes lasting two to five weeks in the summer, and some offer international weeks (such as in Hungary, Belgium and Finland) that only last a week. Take a look at your faculty’s blackboard or ask the International Office for advice.
Alternatively, you can also establish international contacts here at home if you take part in one of the summer schools that SRH University Heidelberg hosts on various topics.
Our Partner Universities
SRH University Heidelberg maintains a broad network of partnerships all over the world. We are constantly exploring new opportunities to offer you a fantastic experience worldwide.
Checklist Going abroad: step by step
If you want to go abroad, try to start planning a year ahead. This checklist will help you with organising and financing, one step at a time. If you have any questions, feel free to ask at our International Office. We’d be glad to help!
Talk to the international coordinator in your faculty about what options you have to study abroad for a semester at one of our partner universities. Your faculty’s coordinator can explain, for example, which classes you should take abroad that will be recognised after your return home so that you don’t need to prolong your studies.
Generally speaking, partner universities require proof of your language skills. Usually, American, Australian, British and some European universities require a certain score on a TOEFL or IELTS test. Many of our partner universities, however, will also approve your application with confirmation from a lecturer. Talk to your coordinator about the requirements at your dream university.
If you have selected a host country outside the EU for your study abroad, you may need a visa to enter the country, depending on your nationality. Ask the embassy or consulate of the host country you are interested in about visa requirements. Some of the necessary documents may have to be issued or stamped by SRH University Heidelberg or your host university. This process may take a few weeks, so it’s important to plan ahead. If it’s necessary to apply for a student visa, do not enter the host country as a tourist.
It’s not always easy to find decent housing abroad when looking from Germany. Discuss this topic with the international coordinator at your faculty or with the International Office to find out which universities have student dorms available. You can also contact students who have previously attended the partner university through the International Office. Some universities offer assistance in finding accommodation, and in some countries, there are companies that will arrange housing for you.
Within the EU, it is possible to use an EU-wide health insurance card (known as an EHIC card – look at the reverse side of your health insurance card) if you need health care. Ask your insurance provider and discuss if it makes sense to take out supplemental health insurance for periods abroad. As soon as you enter a country outside the EU that Germany does not have a treaty with on mutual recognition on social insurance, you’ll need to obtain private supplemental health insurance. Your health insurance provider can advise you about this. Some universities (particularly in the USA) require that you obtain health insurance specifically for exchange students. To study at partner universities in the UK, you must enrol in the NHS (National Health Service).
For accident and liability insurance, there are many private agencies. The DAAD also offers a combined travel and liability insurance policy worth recommending. For internships abroad, this insurance is mandatory.
In some countries, certain vaccinations are required or recommended. Your local GP, health insurance company, or the embassy can give you more information. Plan ahead when getting vaccinations, because their effects are not always immediate.
If you’re going to study at a partner university or do an internship abroad, you’ll still have to pay your tuition fees at SRH University Heidelberg. However, you will not be required to pay tuition fees at the partner university.
The cost of studying abroad depends greatly on your individual needs and the cost of living in the host country. There are also highly interesting possibilities in European countries with lower costs of living, which are covered by Erasmus funding.
Things to consider include:
- Travel costs (travel to destination and during the stay abroad)
- Housing costs (at some American universities, exchange students are required to live in – expensive – on-campus housing)
- Housing costs at home (plan on subletting)
- Health insurance contributions abroad and/or travel insurance (especially non-EU)
- Documents (passport, visa)
- Vaccinations (sometimes required)
- Books and lecture documents (up to $ 500 in the USA)
- Living expenses
- Personal expenses (e.g. for recreation)
If you’d like to study or do an internship in a European country, you can apply for Erasmus funding from the EU. You’ll then be a proud DAAD scholar and can add this accomplishment to your CV. There’s also financial assistance available to study or work in countries outside the EU– visit the International Office to find out more.
How do I pay for all this? Financial support for your time abroad
Experience abroad has its costs. For example, there may be costs for visas, long-distance flights, international health insurance, etc. We can show you what funding options are available for your time abroad.