There are many different options for studying abroad. From a semester abroad to a summer session or a short language course during the holidays to a complete bachelor’s or master’s degree remotely, everything is possible. In order to find out which type of study abroad is best for each individual case, it is worth taking a closer look at the individual study options.
Partial studies abroad are possible as:
- Semester abroad
- year abroad
- Academic Gap Year
- Summer session
The duration of the stay varies between several weeks and up to a year. Anyone who opts for this type of study abroad will therefore spend a manageable amount of time abroad. This can be a little longer or shorter depending on your personal wishes and possibilities.
Semester abroad and year abroad
The semester abroad or the year abroad is still the “classic” when it comes to studying abroad. This extremely popular form of study involves spending one or two semesters at a university abroad. A semester can last three to six months, depending on the country and university. As a rule, semester students attend three to five courses per semester, which ideally can be credited towards studying at their home university. Who on the creditingwho is dependent on foreign study achievements, you should clarify in advance which courses are suitable. Good planning and consultation with your home and host university will help you avoid unnecessary stress and minimize the time wasted on studying at home.
Those who are not dependent on course credit are of course a little more free in their choice. During semesters abroad, it is often possible to choose courses from other than your own degree program. In this way, students can broaden their horizons and get a taste of other subjects. Even those who miss certain topics in their studies at home may find them abroad and can expand their profile accordingly.
Academic Gap Year
In countries such as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, the so-called Academic Gap Year is becoming an increasingly popular study option. It is a special form of the year abroad that is explicitly offered for high school graduates, and in some cases also for school leavers with a technical college entrance qualification.
Gap year programs offer the opportunity to study “on trial” for one or two semesters at a university abroad and to get a taste of different subjects. The big advantage over a year abroad: gap year students do not have to be enrolled at a university in Germany. You can attend interdisciplinary courses abroad and after the Academic Gap Year decide which subject is right for you. Under certain circumstances, it is even possible to have the achievements made at the foreign university subsequently recognized.
An Academic Gap Year is also a very good opportunity to bridge the waiting semester and to use the time to gain valuable experience abroad and to improve your English skills.
Summer sessions are particularly common in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This type of study abroad is increasingly being offered in other countries as well.
It is a kind of compressed semester abroad that can be completed during the actual lecture-free period between May and September. With a duration of usually five to six weeks, a summer session can often be integrated into the German semester break between summer and winter semesters. Occasionally, the duration can be up to ten weeks, but this is rather the exception. So if you cannot spend a whole semester abroad for time or other reasons, a summer session is well advised.
In a summer session, students take two to three courses from the university’s regular courses. The courses are completed with the regular credit points. This means that credit for foreign study achievements is usually possible even with a summer session after prior agreement with the home university.
ORIENTATION TOWARDS STUDYING ABROAD
A language course in Peru, a semester abroad in China or a full bachelor’s degree in the cosmopolitan city of London. There is now a huge range of options for students who are drawn into the distance. In order to find the right one, you should get a good overview of the various possibilities. Here you will find tips for an orientation towards studying abroad!
Choice of study country and university
Central in the planning of studying abroad is the choice of the study country. Do you want to explore another European country, get to know typical American campus life in the USA or discover the culture of a South American country? Students should also make their considerations to an appropriate degree objective practical issues include, for example, after the local university system or the level of tuition fees and living expenses.
Another important point is choosing the right university for your stay abroad. A distinction must be made between different types of universities, such as classic universities and colleges. In addition to the reputation and possibly also the location of the university, the amount of the costs, especially the tuition fees, can also be an important decision criterion here. A central criterion when choosing is of course that the university offers the right subjects. Experience reports from other students can be of great help in finding your way to study abroad and in deciding on a university.
There are different types of study abroad. A distinction is first made between a partial course and a full course abroad. Both in turn offer further different possibilities. Students should consider which of the many study programs is right for them: A summer session, a semester abroad or an academic gap year abroad? Or even a full degree? In addition to bachelor and master degrees, there is of course also a doctorate abroad possible. In addition, foreign universities offer a few other study programs, such as an associate degree or various further training courses.
Organization and planning of the study abroad
In addition to the general questions about orientation, the question of the right organization naturally arises. There are different ways to plan a study abroad: A partial study abroad can be realized through an exchange program at the home university or through private placement organizations. These also help with the realization of a full degree abroad.
An important aspect of the organization of a study abroad is also the timely application to the foreign university. This may involve taking language tests or academic admission tests. Interested parties should also think about financing their studies abroad at an early stage. There are various ways of obtaining financial support.
Studying abroad therefore requires careful planning after the initial orientation. But it’s worth it, as our 15 reasons for studying abroad show.