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Studying Abroad

Studying for one or two semesters at a foreign university is one of the best ways for TU Dortmund University's students to dive into the culture and everyday life in a new country. Due to the excellent supervision, especially in exchange programs, a semester or year abroad at a university can be a great first experience abroad.

© Jason Leung​/​Unsplash

Did you know?

Important Considerations for Your Study Abroad:

  • Start gathering information very early on! 
    The application deadlines for exchange programs and other scholarships are typically very early. Start planning about 1.5-2 years in advance in order to not miss any deadlines or important presentations.

  • Apply for scholarships!
    If you receive a spot in a student exchange program, you will automatically receive a full tuition waiver. However, there are also other scholarship opportunities  and methods of funding, for example through Auslands-BAföG and educational loans.

  • A stay abroad does not necessarily extend your length of study!
    Sometimes course credit from abroad can be transferred back to your studies at TU Dortmund University. Moreover, you can apply for a leave of absence (Urlaubssemester) while you are abroad, and credit for courses taken abroad can still be transferred back to your studies in Dortmund.

  • We strive for equal opportunities with stays abroad!
    There are additional funding and support opportunities for students
      - with special needs or chronic illness
      - with children
      - who are first-generation students
      - who work alongside their studies.


Checklist for Your Stay Abroad

Don't forget anything!

© Sarah Treppner​/​TU Dortmund

TU Dortmund University's Exchange Programs

TU Dortmund University has established partnerships with numerous universities across the globe. The biggest advantage of these partner programs is the scholarship: Students who are accepted into the program receive a full tuition waiver for the host institution.

Independently Organized Study Abroad ("FreeMover")

You can't find the right exchange program here, or you missed the application deadline?  You can also organize your study abroad at any university in the world on your own.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has information for students carrying out independently planned study abroad, such as a subject search at universities across the world as well as country-specific information about the study conditions and admission requirements (in German).

It is always a good idea to start the application process very early so that you do not miss out on deadlines for AuslandsBAföG or scholarships. However, some universities in other countries will accept applications even up to two months before the start of the semester. Typically you should start the application process about six to eight months before the planned semester abroad.

Theoretically you could apply to any university in the world as long as you fulfill all of the admission requirements.

TU Dortmund University's Partner Institutions:

Some of TU Dortmund University's partner institutions offer students the possibility to apply under simpler conditions as so-called "Free Mover" students.  Admission is guaranteed at these institutions.  It is a good idea to start discussing the costs and required documents with the International Office at least six months before your planned semester abroad. The chances of getting accepted to these universities as a Free Mover are very high.

Scholarships: A further advantage of these universities is that you could apply for one of TU Dortmund University's (PROMOS) scholarships.

Placement Agencies:

In many countries it can be much easier to apply through a placement agency. In this case you will only need to pay the regular tuition fees; there is no cost for the advising and application services from the agency. The placement agencies also have scholarship programs or may be able to offer a partial reduction of the tuition fees. Below is a  (non-comprehensive) list of placement agencies.  Make sure to discuss your plans with more than one agency before you decide which one you would like to use (websites typically only in German):

The AmerikaHaus NRW e.V. (EducationUSA) in Cologne can advise students interested in studying in the USA. (Only advising, no university placement)

Most universities expect a B2 level in the teaching language, but some will also accept B1 level.

Many universities will accept the DAAD Language Certificate, which can be issued in TU Dortmund University's Department of Foreign Languages.

In order to prepare for your stay abroad, check out the language courses offered by the Department of Foreign Languages.

When you independently plan your own study abroad you typically need to be able to cover tuition and other fees, which can be quite expensive. In order to better plan the costs associated with your study abroad, speak with the International Office for the partner institutions and a placement agency for all other institutions.

​​​​​​AuslandBAföG  actually makes an independently planned semester abroad financially possible, since a large share of (or even all) the tuition fees can be covered through this. Have a look at the information on the website to see if you are elligible for Auslandsbafög. 

Moreover, you may be elligible for very low-interest educational loans or scholarships for stays abroad. For example, TU Dortmund University has  PROMOS scholarships for students studying at one of the university's bilateral partner institutions outside of Europe (also available for Free Mover students).

The International Office can help with any organizational or logistical questions, for students planning to go to either partner or non-partner institutions.

For detailed questions regarding a particular university (for example regarding application requirements) please contact the university directly. 

In many countries it can actually be easier to apply through a placement agency (see above). There is no cost for the service that the agency offers (just the tuition fees), and many agencies offer their own scholarships or a partial reduction of tuition fees.

The AmerikaHaus NRW e.V. (EducationUSA) in Cologne can advise students interested in studying in the USA.

Master Degree Programs Abroad

You want to complete an entire Master degree abroad? You can receive further information about the application requirements directly from the university to which you plan to apply or from a placement agency (see above). It is not possible to get a second degree  while participating in one of TU Dortmund University's exchange programs. Study abroad for the purpose of receiving a degree has to be organized independently ("FreeMover"). The International Office can help with logistical questions.

Search for scholarships using the  DAAD's scholarship database. The Fulbright Commission also has scholarships for a full Master degree in the USA.

Are you enrolling in a completely digital master degree? Then the DAAD scholarship Chancen.Digital may be a good fit.


E-mail Inquiries

General inquiries: going-abroad
Erasmus+ study abroad: erasmus-outgoings

Office Hours

(Only) Erasmus+ Study Abroad:

Office hours via telephone/zoom Hella Koschinski: by prior arrangement
Tel.: 0231 755-6247

Office hours in presence: only with appointment
Tue 9:00-12:00

General Inquiries - Outgoings (Studies/Internships/Short Programs):

Office hours via telephone / Skype (laura-hope) / Zoom (please send a link when you are online):  without appointment, open
Mon-Tue 10:00-11:30 & 13:30-15:00
Tel.: 0231 755-4728      

Office hours in presence:  only with appointment
New appointments will be released 14 days in advance. If no appointments are shown as available, this means that all appointments for this time period are already booked.