An Exchange Semester: DON’T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY (Part 1)

Introduction

Would you like to explore another country, experience its culture, see wonderful sites, meet new people and make new friends, improve your second language or learn a new one and do all these things as a part of your degree? Then a semester abroad as an exchange student is absolutely perfect for you! At the moment, I am doing my Erasmus semester in Northern Ireland. So I can share my experiences with you and will hopefully answer your most pressing questions.

Walking on the promenade in Portstewart – the city I’m living in during my exchange semester (Photographer: Rebekka Nötzel)

A Regular International Student in Germany

Let us start from the beginning. I am from Russia and am presently enrolled as a fulltime student at TU Chemnitz. This is a very important starting point because I know that most of the international students in Germany don’t know that they can do an exchange semester abroad and that it’s not only citizens of Germany who have this opportunity.

How to Get Started?

The Chemnitz University of Technology regularly organises various meetings where they talk about how to do an internship or a semester abroad.  I made sure to attend one such meeting which was organized by “Internationales Universitätszentrum (IUZ)”.  Just head to TU Chemnitz’s official Facebook group, and you will hear of the next meeting.  When there, ask the presenters all your questions. This is no time to be shy!  The University staff are very friendly and will definitely try to help you with all your issues!  All the same, you can save yourself a lot of time and anxiety by doing a little preliminary research beforehand.  The University website is crammed with lots of information.

 

Useful links:

1) Click here for a list of our partner universities where you will not have to pay tuition fees.

2) Visit this website for detailed information on the Erasmus programme.

Please note that you should start thinking about it in advance – preferably at least a year before your intended start date abroad.  There is no shortage of deadlines to submit university, funding and visa applications etc. It’s never too early to start preparing, but it can certainly be too late! If you want to apply to a university which is not a partner university of TU Chemnitz or one which is outside Europe (Canada, the United States or Australia, for example)  you usually need to give it even more time so that you can apply for a suitable scholarship.

Finally (for now!) discuss your semester abroad plans with the chair of your department and/or your student advisor in order to find out how you will get credits for studying in another country and to go over other issues that might arise.

 

Anna Schidjusowa

(Bachelor British and American Studies, 5th semester)

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