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Semester abroad

If you like to spend a semester for studying abroad, various possibilities exist. First step is that you decide for yourself, where you would like to go and what your preferences are. This includes also checking which courses are offered at the foreign university and how they would fit into your study program. For European universities, the ERASMUS+ program is very beneficial since tution fees are waived and you also get financial support. In addition, the University of Cologne has other partner universities world wide which facilitates a student exchange.

Partner universities and programs

For European universities, a semester abroad might be organized within the ERASMUS+ program. General information about ERASMUS+ can be found on the websites of the International Office of the University of Cologne. The basis for an ERASMUS+ exchange between two universities is an “Inter-institutional agreement” (IIA). The IIA, which needs to be settled once, declares for example for which subject area and study cycle (bachelor or master) the agreement is made and how many students per semester/ERASMUS year can participate. This is why several IIAs might exist between the University of Cologne and the same partner university. The IIAs are often anchored at the institutes with the corresponding study program/subject area for which they are valid. More details about our ERASMUS+ partner universities can be found in the corresponding section below.

The University of Cologne has also centralized partnerships (“Fakultätsübergreifende Partnerschaften“) with European and non-European universities. Details on these partnerships and how to apply can be found on the websites of the International Office of the University of Cologne.

It is of course possible to organize a semester abroad by yourself independently of such partnerships and programs, i.e. as a “free-mover". However, this might then be connected to study fees by other universities. In case you would like to have courses/ECTS credit points (which you have acquired abroad) recognized, it is nevertheless important to get in touch with us.

ERASMUS+ partner universities of the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology

Currently, three IIAs have been set up at the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology:

University

Subject area
(Study program)

Study cycle
(# of students per ERASMUS year)

Language and recommended level

Further information

Università degli studi dell’Aquila (Italy) Earth Sciences
(Laurea Magistrale in Atmospheric Science and Technology for Meteorology & Climate)
Master
(2 students)
English B2

Master program in Atmospheric Science and Technology for Meteorology & Climate

ERASMUS information of partner university

Universität Innsbruck (Österreich) Earth Sciences (Atmosphärenwissenschaften) Bachelor, Master
(2 students in total)
German B1 (Bachelor), English B1 (Master)

Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences

ERASMUS information of partner university

Università di Trento (Italy) Earth Sciences (Atmosphärenwissenschaften) Master
(2 students)
English

Master program in Environmental Meteorology

ERASMUS information of partner university

Fact sheet of partner university

Further ERASMUS+ agreements exist at the Institute of Geography and the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy which - in case of remaining places - are also open to students of the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology. If you like to study at a European university for which an IIA does not yet exist, please get in touch with us. We also support the arrangement of new IIAs. However, please be aware that this envolves even more time and there is no guarantee that the agreement will be implemented in the end.

How do I apply for ERASMUS+ and what is the time schedule?

The plannnig for an ERASMUS+ stay begins 1 to 1 ½ years before you actually start your studies abroad. A department wide information meeting about international mobility takes place at the beginning of the winter semester and will be announced (e-mail, website) before. You can find the presentation slides of the last information meeting here. The application deadline for an ERASMUS+ stay is 31 January for the subsequent ERASMUS year (including both the winter and summer term!). For example, for winter semester 2024 and summer semester 2025, the application deadline ist 31 January 2024.

If places are still left, also applications at a later time might be accepted. To know more about the application forms and details, please contact us.

After you have been selected for the ERASMUS+ stay abroad, the corresponding ERASMUS+ coordinator (either at the Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology or at the other institutes) will nominate you at the partner university and will also inform the International Office of the University of Cologne. The partner university will then get in touch with you and provide you with further information. This includes for example details about the application/enrollment at the partner university (with deadlines). The International Office of the University of Cologne will also get in touch with you since they will take care of the funding. This includes filling out the “Online Annahmeerklärung” where you provide all relevant information in order to receive the ERASMUS+ funding. Note that your tax identification number is needed here. If you don’t have a tax identification number, please apply for one in advance. More details about the financial support and corresponding procedures can be found on the websites of the International Office of the University of Cologne.

Before the mobility it is also important to fill out the Online Learning Agreement (OLA), which will be signed by you, the corresponding institutional ERASMUS coordinator at the University of Cologne and the coordinator at the partner university. The OLA includes information about the courses that you will attend and if and to which extent (ECTS credit points) the courses will be recognized for your studies at the University of Cologne. The OLA can also be updated during your mobility in case courses etc. change. Before starting filling out the OLA, you should clarfiy with the corresponding ERASMUS coordinator and study program coordinator for which courses credit points can be allocated. Note that you should aim for a course selection encompassing 30 ECTS in total.

All formalities are also nicely summarized on the website of the international office:
https://portal.uni-koeln.de/international/studium-im-ausland/erasmus/studium

After your mobility, you need to send a report about your stay (“Erfahrungsbericht”) to the International Office together with other documents. We very much appreciate if you provided us with the report as well, so that also future ERASMUS students of the institute can learn from your experience.

Funding apart from ERASMUS+

For non-European countries the PROMOS stipend program supports the international mobility of students. However, the PROMOS application is more time-consuming since also a language certificate is required. So please plan your application well in advance. More details on PROMOS can be found here.

If no other funding options are available, the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences supports the international mobility of students with some money (300€ – 600€). More information can be found here.

If you decided to apply for a funding program, please contact us.