At the beginning of the New Year, time always flies, and when you are drowning in homework and studying for the upcoming exams, it is easy to overlook long-term plans such as a semester abroad in the following academic year. Add to that procrastination and excuses, and it is quite likely that in the end you are stressing over the great amount of paperwork that needs to be prepared and submitted. For example, the deadline for the ERASMUS+ programme is 31.03.2016, and for Promos, it is 04.05.2016 (both for WS 2016/17 and SS 2017!). Although the deadlines might not seem pressing at first sight, there is a great deal of planning involved.
First of all, you need to research the opportunities on offer. Next, you have to carefully choose your preferred destination because you will have to spend an entire semester there, and it may be your only opportunity for a prolonged overseas stay during your undergraduate years. Therefore, you need to be certain that you choose the most appropriate institution to suit your academic interests. Apart from the essential research on the website of the target university, a great source of feedback is the “Erfahrungsberichte” page where TU Chemnitz students share their own experiences of the ERASMUS+ programme. A general online search via your favourite search engine will also yield much information on your upcoming adventure, yet every comment should be taken with a pinch of salt because these matters are highly subjective.
After countless hours of roving through the labyrinths of foreign websites, you have finally figured out the most suitable choice: Rejoice! Not yet… Keep calm, take out your planner and note down all the application steps because each one is crucial for successful admission to the target university. If you have missed the informational lectures organised by the International Office on the opportunities for a semester abroad, it is recommended that you contact the team of coordinators and assistants. Since every case is unique, professional help will be of great use. All of these tips also apply to taking on an internship abroad. An internship abroad would be a wonderful opportunity for you to put into practice the skills and knowledge you have acquired here at TU Chemnitz.
In sum, for those who are still insecure about undertaking this adventure, I can only encourage you to take advantage of the numerous offers for going abroad to study or practice your knowledge and abilities in an internship. I myself am heading to Poitiers, France in WS 2016/17 where I will mainly specialize in cultural and literary studies of the English-speaking countries, and additionally, perfect my French skills.
I wish you a magnificent 2016 and a sane and successful exam period!
(Bachelor English and American Studies, 3rd Semester)