When it comes to planning a semester abroad, many students from Germany still choose to spend a semester abroad in Europe. There are reasons for that. Although Europe is the second smallest continent in the world after Australia, it still has an incredible variety to offer.
The southern European countries are very popular for a semester in Europe abbreviated on abbreviationfinder. Spain, Italy or Portugal promise pure sunshine during the summer months and, in addition to dreamy beaches, also have a rich cultural history and stunning local cuisine to offer.
Studying for one or two semesters in Great Britain is particularly attractive. England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland have romantic, green landscapes, old cathedrals and enchanted castle ruins on the one hand. On the other hand, hip cities such as the world metropolis London or Ireland’s capital Dublin invite you to linger.
According to countryaah, eastern and south-eastern European countries have been gaining ground in recent years and are increasingly being considered as target countries for a semester abroad. Poland, the Czech Republic and Croatia not only offer such charming landscapes as the Balaton or the Masurian Lake District. The real highlight are the cities. Prague, Zagreb and Krakow are currently among the most exciting cities in Europe. They beckon with their magnificent historical cityscapes, great cultural offers and lots of opportunities to turn night into day.
Reasons for a semester abroad in Europe
Due to the cultural and linguistic diversity that the continent has to offer, a semester in Europe is suitable for almost every taste. If you want to brush up your English and gain study experience at a renowned university, go to Great Britain. If you want to learn a Romance language and experience something “dolce vita” during your studies, you can go to France, Spain or Italy.
The Eastern European countries, on the other hand, score with relatively low cost of living and increasingly offer English or even German-language courses. The relatively short distances and thus low travel costs as well as the low organizational effort speak in favor of a semester stay in Europe.
The simplest option is a semester abroad. A growing number of European universities offer so-called study abroad programs. These enable international students to study at the respective host university for one or two semesters. During their semester in Europe, students often have a free choice of courses. You can take courses that correspond to the curriculum at your home university or try something completely new. You attend the courses together with the local students and take the same exams at the end of the semester.
Almost all universities in Europe have switched to the European Credit Transfer System in recent years. Therefore, the credit points acquired during the semester abroad are generally very easy to apply at the home university. Those who choose their courses at the foreign university skillfully gain international experience and improve their language skills without extending their standard period of study.
In addition to the Study Abroad program, some universities in Europe offer self-contained semester programs, for example on topics such as international business. In these cases, the choice of course is more strongly specified; some of the students are taught exclusively together with other international students. Often, excursions and leisure activities are integrated into the thematic programs.
Application for a semester in Europe
No matter what type of semester program you ultimately choose: The application process for a semester abroad in Europe is usually much easier than applying for a full degree. This is due to the fact that the German applicants do not compete with local students for the sometimes rare study places.
When applying for a semester in Europe, students only need to present their (specialist) Abitur certificate and proof of sufficient language skills in the respective national or language of instruction. For English-language courses, the universities usually require a standardized language test such as the TOEFL or IELTS. An early application for a semester abroad in countries like Spain or England is advisable.
Semester Europe: Costs and Financing
The costs for a semester abroad in Europe differ from study country to study country. On average, tuition fees between 2,000 and 4,000 euros per semester can be expected. In the UK, the fees are usually even higher. In some countries, such as Denmark, however, there are no fees at all.
The cost of living also varies between countries. In the Czech Republic, for example, you can get along well with 500 euros a month, whereas in London you should plan at least 1,000 euros per month. Due to the low travel costs and the lower tuition fees, a semester abroad in Europe is still significantly cheaper than, for example, a semester in North America or Oceania.
There are a variety of funding programs that make a semester stay in Europe affordable. So it can be worthwhile for many to apply for BAföG abroad. Some of the funding is also given to students who are not entitled to BAföG in Germany. The Office for Foreign BAföG takes over.
- the tuition fees up to 4,600 euros and
- Travel and health insurance grants
Where you have to submit the application for BAföG abroad depends on which country in Europe you want to study in.
For students with particularly good academic achievements, there is the possibility of receiving scholarships for a semester abroad in Europe. These are awarded, for example, by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and various foundations. A low-interest education or student loan can also make your semester in another European country a reality. If the timetable allows, German students have the opportunity to finance their studies with a part-time job. No special work permit is required in the EU member states.
Visa and entry
It is not necessary to apply for a visa for a semester abroad in Europe. A valid identity card or passport is sufficient for entry. In some countries, however, you need a for a stay of more than three months residence.
Within the EU, those who are legally insured are insured by the respective regional health insurance funds. However, the same benefits are not always covered as with German health insurances. In some cases, it makes sense to have additional health insurance abroad, which will cover any costs that may arise.