The answers to the frequently asked questions about Erasmus+ study visits can be found at the International Office.

The following information should be considered as supplementary.


Leave of Absence

Do I have to take a semester of leave?

We recommend that you take a semester of leave because it has the advantage that the stay abroad does not count towards your standard period of study. However, it is not mandatory.

Where do I apply for a leave of absence?

A leave of absence is handled by the Student Administration Office. There you will also find the Application for Leave of Absence.

What do I have to keep in mind?

Some partner universities have different semester periods than RWTH Aachen University, so that two semesters of leave must be taken for a semester abroad.

To be able to take a semester of leave for one semester, the reason for the semester of leave must cover at least half of the lecture period.


The summer semester in Scandinavia starts in early/mid January. This means that you cannot actually take the exams of the winter semester at the RWTH. Since the reason for the semester of leave must cover at least half of the lecture period, a leave of absence in the winter semester is not possible in this case, since you are only not taking the exams at RWTH. That is why most of those who go to Scandinavia in the summer semester put their professional internship in the winter semester and can therefore take two semesters of leave.



How are the ECTS of the host university calculated?

The ECTS to be awarded for equivalent courses abroad very often differ from the ECTS of the courses of your study program at RWTH Aachen University.

For the recognition in the curriculum the ECTS of RWTH Aachen University count and not of the host university.

  • Example 1: Course "Climatology" has 4 ECTS at RWTH.
    At the host university, however, you receive 6 ECTS for the course "Climatology".
    Although the courses have content equivalence and formal equivalence, you will only receive 4 ECTS for your curriculum.
  • Example 2: Course "Climatology" has 4 ECTS at RWTH.
    At the host university you receive only 3 ECTS for the course "Climatology".
    Although the courses have content equivalence and formal equivalence, the lecturer is responsible for deciding whether or not an additional assignment such as a term paper is to be done.

Why the certificate of equivalence?

The certificate of equivalence is there to fix in writing the courses that will be recognized later in any case, provided you have passed the exams. The certificate of equivalence is more precise than the learning agreement, because you enter here exactly for what (compulsory, elective, etc.) the course of the host university will later be recognized at the RWTH. The signature of the lecturer confirms the recognition.

Thus, you know in advance which courses will be recognized with how many ECTS.



What period do I enter in the forms?

It is best to indicate the first day at the university until the end of the semester. Therefore, check on the homepage of the university:

  1. What is the lecture period?
  2. When do the exams take place? When are retakes offered, if any, and do I want to take them at all?
  3. Are there orientation days or weeks? When do these start?
  4. Is an intensive language course of the national language offered beforehand and do I want to participate in it?

You then enter the earliest date as the start date and the latest date as the end date, of the services you would like to attend (e.g. start of the language course to end of the retakes).

How much Erasmus Funding do I receive?

Financial support is based on the different cost of living in the destination countries. See Erasmus+ Funding and Requirements

The amount is usually enough to finance the accommodation.

Is funding provided over the entire period?

Funding will be billed on a full month basis. With the application you indicate the period of the semester as well as the possible Welcome Week and/or a language course. From this, you will be financed for the full months, up to a maximum of five months per semester.

Example: You have indicated 01.09. to 15.02.

This includes the Welcome Week and the period of the winter semester 15.09. to 15.02.

You will receive the financial support for 01.09. to 31.01., as long as the dates match the Confirmation of study abroad.



How many universities do I have to apply for?

You have the option of choosing up to 3 universities in the tool. We recommend that you do this, as no more universities can be entered later. This means that if you only enter 1 university in the tool and someone else gets the university place, you will no longer be able to get a place somewhere else.

What happens if I don't get a place at one of the three universities I entered in the tool?

Then you will not be able to go abroad in the EU through Erasmus+ during this period.


Course selection

What courses can I choose at the host university?

The department has partnerships not with the whole university, but with faculties, departments or institutes of this university. This means that the courses offered are limited to these different areas. Examples:

  • Amsterdam: Faculty of Earth and Life Science; B.Sc. and M.Sc.
  • Grenoble: Institute de Geographie and Department Physique, Ingenierie, Terre, Environment, Mecanique, B.Sc. and M.Sc.

On the pages of the partner universities you will find the exact details including links to the corresponding study programs.

Can I also choose courses from other departments?

This depends on the university. On the pages of the partner universities you will find the exact details.

Can I still change my course selection on site?

Yes, you can. Often it is even the case that you have to change the course selection on site (or before arrival) because, for example, a course is not offered in the semester or a course is already full.



Can I withdraw from exams? What happens if I don't show up?

The rules of the host university apply. If you want to withdraw, find out about the procedure at the host university. However, keep in mind that you need to pass 15 ECTS in order not to have to pay back the Erasmus+ funding.

What happens if I fail an exam?

If it is an exam whose grade should be recognized in your curriculum, it will be considered as 1st failed attempt. You can take the retake exam abroad or attend the corresponding subject after your return to RWTH and then take the exam here.

If it is an exam whose grade is not recognized in your curriculum, it is only relevant in connection with the 15 ECTS you need to pass in order not to have to pay back the Erasmus+ funding. If you achieve the 15 ECTS in another way, you do not need to participate in the retake exam. If you are still missing ECTS for the 15 ECTS, then we recommend to participate in a retake exam.



Do I get a right of purchase option at the Language Centre of RWTH Aachen University if I have been granted a place abroad?

Yes, but you must have or open an account at the Language Centre.

We forward the notification of students going abroad to the Language Centre. The Language Centre enters the information into your Language Centre account.

However, the right of buying a place first is not for the language of instruction, but the national language. I.e., if you go to Norway, you get a right of first refusal on "Norwegian".