Study abroad op­tions

What options do I have to spend a certain period of my studies abroad?

  • Semester abroad at a partner university
  • Double Degree at a partner university
  • Semester abroad at a university that is not a partner university (as a so-called "freemover")
  • Participation in an International  Summer School or Winter School
  • Participation in an excursion abroad

Where can I find information?

On the web pages of the International Office under Study Abroad (opens in a new window) (opens in a new window)and Internship Abroad (opens in a new window)as well as in the Moodle course "Services IO (opens in a new window)" you will find all important information including field reports, organizational tips, recordings of the information sessions, job advertisements and application links.

For information on the excursions abroad, please contact the professor in charge in the faculties.

Which are partner universities of the HNU?

Here (opens in a new window) you can find a complete overview of our more than 100 partner universities. The HNU offers exchange opportunities with over 80 of these partner universities.

Details about these partner universities can be found in our search platform for exchange opportunities (opens in a new window).  You can filter according to your degree programme and find the partner universities that are suitable for you . The information includes the semester times, the courses (in English) offered for exchange students, the number of free exchange places or information on possible tuition fees, etc.

A total of over 300 tuition free exchange places in over 30 countries worldwide are available to you.

Will my courses from abroad be recognised for my studies at HNU?

Yes.  Most of the courses that you can take at partner universities abroad can be transferred:  either as a major or as a single course or module or as a compulsory or optional subject and in the case of the Double Degree Programmes even as a whole semesters.

For credit transfer please contact the Exams Office. Before you start your semester abroad we recommend to submit a preliminary application for recognition of exams so that you know for sure that credit transfer is possible.

Please find here further information and the link to the list of courses already recognized.

When do I apply for an exchange place at a partner university?

The online application period for the following academic year (winter semester or summer semester) is once a year from 1.12. to 15.1.  When you apply within this period does not affect your chances but it is important to submit a complete application and finish the application process within the deadline.

Example: It is a winter semester (the application phase falls in this period of the year) and you are in the 3rd semester of your studies. You plan to go abroad in your 5th or 6th semester. Then now is the right time for your application!

If you make up your mind after 15.1., it is not too late. Probably some very popular places are already taken, but there are  still many interesting partner universities and attractive places available. The applicant portal will open again during the following summer semester and you can then submit your application. There are different deadlines depending on the partner university.

How do I apply for an exchange place at a partner university?

Please find here the information about the application as well as the link to the applicant portal.

Before you apply it is very important that you inform yourself thoroughly about your preferred university or universities. Especially important are the language of instruction, the course offer and the semester times. Double check particularly in the summer semester. Not all partner universities match our semester times, sometimes the semester abroad begins in January. However, they still can be an option if you do your practical semester in the winter semester before and finish it on time for semester start abroad.

What are the next steps once I have been assigned an exchange place at a partner university

Around mid-March or mid-July, you will be informed via the portal whether and which exchange place we can offer you.  If you go abroad in a winter semester, we will nominate you at the partner university between April and May. If you go abroad in a summer semester, we will nominate you between August and October. Once we have nominated you, we will inform you about the application process and deadlines at the guest institution.

The final decision whether you will be accepted lies with the host university. Only in very exceptional cases nominated students had to be rejected due to extraordinary circumstances. If you submit all application documents required on time, it is almost certain that you will be accepted.  You will have final certainty as soon as you receive the Letter of Acceptance from the host university.

What options do I have if I don't get an exchange place?

If you have not been accepted for an exchange place at one of your preferred universities, you are very welcome to reapply in the next application round.

Make sure that you clearly explain in your letter of motivation why you would like to go to this partner university or universities. Also check thoroughly whether a semester abroad is actually possible for you there! Do the semester times match or overlap those at the HNU, can you arrive in time for the orientation days before lectures begin, are there enough courses taught in English that are suitable for your study programme, and can you afford a semester abroad in the host country are some of the most important questions before applying.
Please also note that there is no waiting list or move-up procedure. Exchange places that are not accepted automatically go back into the pool of available places and are awarded to the most suitable applicants after the next application round.

How and when do I apply as a freemover at a university abroad that is not a partner university of HNU?

As a freemover you usually pay tuition fees and/or a placement fee. Therefore it is often possible to get such a paid study place at short notice. Your contact person is usually an intermediary organisation such as Asia Exchange, College Contact, GOstralia! or Ranke-Heinemann. They will also inform you about the deadlines and guide you through the application process.

Can I get financial support for my stay abroad?

Please find an overview of funding opportunities and scholarships here.

Within Europe the funding option is Erasmus+.

Outside of Europe or if no Erasmus+ funding is possible, HAW.International is an important option:

HAW.International: Semester and thesis abroad (opens in a new window)

HAW.International: Internships abroad (opens in a new window)

You can find more scholarship opportunities in the Moodle course Services IO (opens in a new window).


What can I do if the semester times overlap?

Especially in the summer semester, there are overlaps in the semester times, since in many countries the spring or summer semester already starts in January / early February, when it is still exam period at HNU.

In general, you should arrive in time for the orientation days at the partner university. Late arrival after the start of lectures is not allowed. It is important to attend the orientation session so that you can quickly network with other exchange students and it allows you to have an easy start into your semester at the host university.

What are the option if there is an overlap of the semester dates:

- You are doing an internship which ends  at the end of December, for example, so that you can be at the host university in time.
- You do not have to take any in person exams at the HNU in the preceding winter semester.
- You choose another partner university where the semester begins no earlier than mid-February, but in any case after the end of the exam period at the HNU.
- You postpone your semester abroad at this special partner university to a winter semester.

In­ter­na­tional Of­fice – Stu­dent Ex­change Out­go­ing