Eleven Steps for University Study Overseas

  1. What are the goals and expectations you have for your study overseas?

    Start your planning early!! About 1 ½ years are needed.

    Before beginning your search, think about the following:

    • Language / country
    • Content of your studies
    • Accommodation
    • Cultural differences

    Do not forget that you want to see more than the library while staying overseas. Do not load yourself down with too many lectures. Your new surroundings, possible language barriers and other organizational issues will take up a lot of time.

  2. Financing

    There are many costs for a stay overseas. Keep these in mind:

    • Visa
    • Flight
    • Possibly a rental car
    • Higher cost of living
    • Travel costs

    Depending on your personal situation, it is important to think about financial support. It also looks good on your resumé. Some possibilities are:

    • Overseas Bafög for German students
    • Scholarships
    • University or college
    • Parents or grandparents
    • Student loans
  3. Looking for a university overseas

    You have two different possibilities for this. Either go to a partner university for one or more semesters, or go to an independent educational institution.

    • If you go to a partner university, it is possible you do not have to pay tuition fees and your credits are recognized at your home university.

    • Applying to an independent educational institution is more time-consuming and most of the time, you have to pay tuition. The advantage is you are free to choose where and what you want to study.

    Check with the Office of International Services at your university or college. It is also helpful to talk with other students, who have already studied overseas. They can advise you of courses and important issues to consider. Ask around amongst your friends and acquaintances.

  4. Application for studying overseas

    There are two possibilities:
    • If you want to go to a partner university, apply directly through your own university.

    • If you want to apply directly to a different university overseas, you can usually do this online.

  5. Visa / Passport

    As soon as you have your acceptance letter from the university, the preparations can begin.

    • Whether you need a passport or an international driver's license depends on what your destination is and how long you want to stay. Make sure your passport is valid long enough. Some country's universities or embassies require that your passport is valid for 2 ½ years after your arrival. Be sure to ask at the university or embassy.

    • If you need a visa, be sure to apply early. A visa for the USA can take up to 12 weeks. Give yourself enough time and keep the extra costs in mind.

  6. Health insurance

    Health insurance is indispensable. Find out for sure if you need additional coverage. If you are staying in Europe, your own health insurance covers the costs in the event of illness. Most of the time you need additional health insurance coverage if you must apply for a visa. Be very careful that the insured amounts provide adequate coverage.
    For more information click here or continue on health insurance.

  7. Accommodation

      If you have to find your own accommodation, contact your guest university early. They can help and advise you. Student dormitories are usually the most economical choice. The costs vary greatly, however. Researching in the Internet can help you find the best place to live.

  8. Travel plans

      Depending on where you are going, you will need a plane, train or bus ticket. Be sure to book your plane ticket as soon as you get your visa (if you need a visa). Do not forget to include time for any extra travel you wish to do.

  9. Further Information

      • Do not forget to cancel or suspend contracts. For example, mobile phone, apartment rent, memberships, insurance policies.
        For more information click here.

      • Decide if you need a credit card. The application for this also requires some time.
        For more information click here.

  10. Packing

      It is best to make a list before packing. Find out if things you need or do not wish to live without are available in the country of your choice. For example, medication, cosmetics or snacks.
      For more information here.

      • Do not take too much with! You will probably buy many things during your overseas stay. All this has to be brought back home somehow.

      • Pay attention to weight and size limits of luggage. (Check the regulations of the airlines you are flying with).

      • When flying, always check what you can carry where in your luggage. For example, what can be in your carry-on, what must go into the luggage you check.

  11. Do not forget to relax and look forward to your new experience!