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Why you should go abroad
5 good reasons for a stay abroad
Going abroad - How does it work?
Costs and funding
What else do I need to take care of?
Why, why, why abroad?
5 good reasons for a stay abroad
Take advantage of free time
College is one of the best periods to go abroad for an extended period of time. You're not yet as established professionally, you probably don't have a mortgage to pay yet, and you have fewer family commitments.* After graduation, it becomes much more difficult to coordinate an extended stay abroad with the rest of your life.
At the same time, a study abroad experience is an excellent opportunity to gain new experiences, learn about yourself, and gain clarity about where you might be headed after graduation.
*Even if, there is special funding for this through Erasmus, for example.
Improve a language where it is spoken
Speaking several languages always means being able to communicate with more people. Whether privately or professionally - this is always an advantage.
Your time abroad and the diverse contacts with people from all over the world will also strengthen your intercultural competence. A quality that you can put to good use later in your professional life.
New content & Gain perspectives for your studies
Have you dedicated yourself heart and soul to a subject or are you completely absorbed in your course of study? A semester abroad or a summer school offers the opportunity to deepen and complement your study profile, e.g. by taking courses that are not available in this form or combination in Kassel.
But the forms of teaching can also differ. For example, application-oriented work is often emphasized abroad, which means you can take some practical experience home with you.
Friends for life, contacts for the job
Abroad, you get to know people who can become good friends. Friendships develop that often last a lifetime. Because the shared experience of the special time abroad brings people together and - thanks to social networks - often lasts for a long time.
But it's not just the memories, experiences and skills that are retained in the long term. You can also make contacts that open up new prospects for the future.
Increase career opportunities
Wherever you go and whatever you plan to do abroad - experience abroad is more than just a plus on your resume. No wonder, for employers, a stay abroad signals, in addition to foreign language skills, the presence of independence, flexibility and openness.
It also demonstrates skills such as planning, organization, budgeting and communication, as well as the ability to adapt to new challenges and overcome hurdles. All things that are usually indispensable in everyday work, but which you will also absolutely need in your life.
Stay abroad - How does it work?
At the University of Kassel, a whole range of different stays abroad are open to you. If you are unsure, you can also take our self-test.
You can study abroad for one or two semesters at a university. You do not pay tuition at partner universities. You can usually have the courses from abroad recognized in Kassel.
You also have the opportunity to complete voluntary or mandatory internships abroad. Internships after graduation are also possible. You have the flexibility to choose the internship location yourself.
Summer schools are short study stays, similar to block courses, offered by many universities abroad. Experience abroad, international contacts and the opportunity to earn credits come together here.
Study trips are usually offered as part of a seminar. These are excursions abroad that complement the theoretical content of the seminar with practical experience.
You can improve your language skills during a language course abroad.
If you are doing a doctorate, you can take advantage of various stays abroad such as congress and lecture trips, advanced training courses, teaching stays or internships abroad.
First, consider which countries and regions interest you. We recommend reading the experience reports of other students for inspiration. Also consider which foreign languages you speak. English is sufficient in most cases.
For the concrete choice of the university you have several possibilities:
(1) You can go to a partner university of your department e.g. with Erasmus. Exchange places are available at the link.
(2) As a student of the University of Kassel, you can also study in the USA or Australia for one semester free of tuition fees through the Hessen programs.
(3) If you do not find a suitable partner university, you can apply independently as a so-called freemover at your university of choice.
In principle, you can do your internship abroad anywhere you can find an internship that is relevant to your studies. Whether you narrow down your search by country/region or search for a specific field of work independent of country is up to you. Again, we recommend reading the experience reports of other students for inspiration.
With summer schools, the venue decides where you go. First look for summer schools that interest you thematically and then see where they are offered.
The destination is usually determined by the faculty member planning the study trip.
We recommend that you take your language course in a country where the language is spoken.
Yes, this is possible.
You can go through another department if your university of choice cooperates with another department at the University of Kassel. The prerequisite for this is that your university of choice offers courses corresponding to your subject profile. Contact the responsible cooperation officer to find out whether you can apply for the agreed places outside your subject area. Provided that the partner university also agrees to a non-subject-related supervision, nothing more stands in the way of your semester abroad.
If you do not go through another department, you can alternatively apply independently as a freemover at your university of choice.
You can go abroad during the semester, during the semester break or even after graduation. It depends on what kind of stay they want to do.
Many departments provide a so-called mobility window for stays abroad in a certain semester. So check with your department in good time and take into account the requirements in your examination or study regulations.
If you complete your stay abroad at the beginning of your studies, you will have the opportunity to integrate your intercultural experiences into your further studies.
It depends on what kind of stay you are doing:
A semester abroad is usually 4-6 months long.
An internship abroad can last 1-12 months.
Short stays such as summer schools or study trips are usually in the time frame of 1-2 weeks.
Language courses can be sponsored by us in the time frame of 1-4 weeks.
The study program is not necessarily prolonged by a stay abroad. Shorter stays such as internships or summer schools can be completed during the semester breaks. Longer stays such as semesters abroad can be integrated into the course of study, since the courses completed abroad are usually recognized in Kassel without any problems.
It may also be possible for you to take a leave of absence during your stay abroad. Please contact your responsible examination office for more information.
What is the cost of the world?
If you go abroad through a partner university, there are no tuition fees for you. Students of the University of Kassel can thus gain valuable experience without the additional burden of tuition fees.
The cost of living in most countries is quite comparable to that in Germany. However, experience has shown that additional costs arise due to travel expenses and the new environment.
Only within the Erasmus program you will automatically receive a monthly scholarship with the acceptance of your study place. Other study stays can be financed through a wide variety of scholarship programs. Depending on the type and duration, you will receive travel expenses and/or monthly allowances.
The University of Kassel supports its students' projects abroad in every respect. The chances of completing a study-related stay abroad are therefore very good. For example, the funding rate for the Promos and Shosta scholarship programs is over 90% of all applicants.
For a long time now, applications have no longer been based solely on outstanding performance. On the contrary, grades tend to play a subordinate role. Commitment, motivation and the student's biography are far more important nowadays. The scholarship providers take the respective profile of the applicants into account when making their selection.
Take advantage of our consulting services to optimize your application. The International Office of the University of Kassel, for example, regularly offers workshops on writing motivation letters.
If, despite everything, your desired project is not feasible, we will be happy to advise you on possible alternatives.
BAföG abroad is an excellent financing option for stays abroad during studies. Those who are basically entitled to BAföG in Germany can usually also receive BAföG for a training period abroad.
In addition, BAföG abroad is also interesting for those who are considered borderline cases and barely receive any domestic BAföG. Since the assessment limits for abroad are set differently, such students often have the chance to receive adjusted grants for studying abroad.
Both semesters abroad and mandatory internships are financed. Grants are available for living and travel expenses. If tuition fees are incurred, they are covered up to a certain amount.
BAföG abroad can also be combined with many scholarships such as Erasmus or Promos.
Knowledge of the local language facilitates the stay abroad. However, knowledge of English is already sufficient in many cases.
Most universities offer sufficient and good courses in English. For internships abroad, English is often the working language.
Don't be put off by language challenges. Rather, see it as an opportunity to improve your language skills.
At the University of Kassel you have the opportunity to prepare yourself linguistically very well through many offers. Language courses can also be taken in advance as part of the Erasmus program.
For some exchange programs you have to prove your language skills on a certain level.
Learning languages at the University of Kassel
International Study Center/Language Center
A good and relatively inexpensive way to prepare yourself linguistically is to attend language courses offered by the Language Center at the International Study Center/Language Center of the University of Kassel. Each semester, the Language Center offers a wide range of different language courses for numerous languages and different levels.
Using foreign languages
The Language Center also offers other opportunities, most of them free of charge, to use and practice the foreign language you have learned, such as a tandem initiative, the "German Meeting Point" or the Mediothek. You can find out more about these offerings on the Language Center's homepage.
Learning languages in the region
The adult education centers in Kassel or your hometown also offer a wide range of language courses. Addresses and programs of the adult education centers in North Hesse can be found under the link.
For the application for a study place at a foreign university or a scholarship, language skills often have to be proven or recorded by a language certificate or language test. Please refer to the relevant announcement for information on how the proof is to be provided.
For most scholarship programs you need a language certificate. Using a standardized form, you can have your knowledge of the language of instruction/country language certified. This usually assesses listening comprehension, speaking, writing, and reading comprehension in the foreign language.
At the University of Kassel, you can take the test for this language certificate at the International Study Center/Language Center.
For appointments, please contact the office of the Language Center (Mon-Fri 9-11 a.m.; Tel. +49 561-804 3689). If you are a student of the Department 02 (Language and Literature Studies), you can contact one of the lecturers of the Department 02.
Many universities abroad require that language skills are proven by a recognized language test. These tests are offered by various institutions in Germany and are subject to a fee.
You can find out which test you need to take for your application from the application documents or on the website of the host university.
The most popular language tests include the following:
Every participant is obliged to take care of sufficient insurance coverage on his/her own. Neither the EU nor the DAAD or the University of Kassel are liable for damages resulting from illness, death, accident, injury to persons, loss or damage to property in connection with your stay abroad.
Therefore, be sure to think about adequate insurance coverage while abroad. The following insurance policies should be in place:
- travel insurance, if applicable (including repatriation from abroad)
- Liability insurance (professional and personal liability, if applicable)
- Insurance for accidents and serious illness (including full or partial disability)
Legally insured: All participants should be in possession of a "European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)". National health insurance generally provides basic coverage with the EHIC, even for stays in another EU country. However, the coverage provided by the EHIC or private insurance may be insufficient, especially if repatriation or special medical procedures are required. For such cases, supplementary private insurance may be useful. For stays in Turkey, private health insurance must usually be taken out.
Especially for stays in non-EU countries it is important to take care of a private supplementary insurance. Often, the statutory health insurance does not apply or only to a limited extent. Please contact your health insurance company for more information.
Note: It is possible to participate in the group insurance of the DAAD at the participant's own expense. For more information, please contact the DAAD, Insurance Office (Tel.: 0228/882-294)
If you are doing a semester abroad at a foreign university, you will receive information about potential student accommodations after your registration at the respective university. For those in a hurry: Do your own research on the pages of your host university.
For other study-related stays: Please make independent and timely efforts to find accommodation in your host country. Tips and hints can often be found in the experience reports of other students.