Outgoings – Studying Abroad
We appreciate your interest in spending part of your studies abroad! The sooner you plan your stay, the better – and we are happy to help you with it by providing all the relevant information on the following pages.
First of all you will need to decide when and for how long to study abroad and learn about which foreign credits will be recognized here at the University of Hamburg.
From your third semester onwards, you have the option to spend one or two semesters at one of our partner universities with the Erasmus+ program. Whether you go abroad in your second or third year of undergrad is up to you. We recommend that graduate students choose the second year of their studies for their stay abroad.
For how long?
There are several advantages to spending a whole year abroad. Firstly, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself into a new culture more fully and considerably improve your language skills.
Secondly, it will be easier to take up your studies again at the same point in the academic year that you left if you do not find equivalents for all obligatory courses at the host university. In that case, if you spent your fifth and sixth undergraduate semester abroad, you can re-enter your studies in Hamburg at the fifth-semester level.
Another advantage of this option is that you have more freedom to choose classes that are not part of your degree in Hamburg and expand your horizon in topics that are not (usually) taught here. This is one of the great opportunities provided by the Erasmus+ program: deepening your knowledge of Psychology while also getting to know another academic culture and different
academic approaches and foci.
To those who wish to spend one semester abroad we recommend the fifth undergraduate or the third graduate semester. You can simply go on academic leave for one semester (Urlaubssemester) and your semester count (Fachsemester) will not increase.
Unfortunately semester dates vary widely among European universities. In many countries the summer (spring) semester already begins in January or February, which makes the transition from a winter semester in Hamburg to a summer semester abroad difficult. Therefore we recommend
going abroad during the winter semester.
Prolonging Your Studies
It is possible and in many cases probable that a stay abroad will extend the duration of your studies, but you can avoid the semester(s) abroad being counted towards your regular period of study (Regelstudienzeit in Fachsemestern) by going on academic leave (Urlaubssemester). The extent of additional time spent studying towards your degree depends on which foreign classes and credits you can get recognized and whether you need to make up for any classes.
Recognition of Academic Achievements
When looking at our partner universities’ course catalogs, you may notice that they can differ considerably from the University of Hamburg’s course offerings.
This variety can be of great advantage in learning about different approaches in teaching and research, but it is also a challenge when it comes to planning your classes in accordance with which credits can be recognized for your studies in Hamburg. We therefore recommend starting your research into the partner universities’ course offerings early. Please contact the people at the Institute for Psychology here in Hamburg who are responsible for the relevant modules regarding which credits can be recognized. The answer will depend on e.g. content, number of credit points (ECTS), and type of final examination. You can find further information here.
Regardless of how many credit points you would be earning at the University of Hamburg during the semester in question, the following rule applies:
The Erasmus+ program provides a place at university and a grant only to full-time students. Full-time studentship requires earning 30 ECTS per semester. You should thus be aware that a semester spent abroad with Erasmus+ is neither a vacation nor a language course. Nonetheless there will be time for sightseeing and cultural immersion, going by the experiences of previous outgoing students.