Frequently asked questions

General Issues

When is the ideal time for a semester abroad?

When is the ideal time for a semester abroad?

Most semesters abroad are carried out or started in a winter semester, as the summer semester (spring semester) in many European and non-European countries already begins in January, when students in Germany are still studying in the middle of their winter semester.  The exception is the southern hemisphere and a few countries that do not begin their summer semester before March, where it is also possible to study abroad in the summer semester. There is no ideal semester for studying abroad, neither in the Bachelor's nor in the Master's programme. However, we recommend the 5th semester in the Bachelor's programme and the 3rd semester in the Master's programme, if there are no obstacles related to study organisation or examinations. This is the case, for example, in the Communication Studies major, where the project study phase takes place in the 5th and 6th semester. In this case, another semester must be chosen for studies abroad.


Current issues

How can I find out whether my host university offers face-to-face teaching or only digital teaching?

As a rule, the host universities inform their future exchange students when decisions on the type of teaching because of COVID-19 are made. Many universities also have a pandemic website. European universities participating in the Erasmus programme are required to enter their information in a database.

Language skills

I have not yet taken a level test according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and cannot yet prove my language skills.

Enclose an informal statement of when you will take the required test. If you are in a language course leading to a level test, have your language teacher sign this declaration for confirmation. If you have registered for a level test without a language course, a self-declaration of when you will take the test is sufficient. Please make sure to take the test on the next possible date.

My Abitur certificate showes language skills at level B2 (or another level).

Schools often certify certain language skills without requiring the Abitur holders  to take a level test according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This mention of a level is not sufficient for the application! Only if you have a examination certificate issued in the language concerned, which shows the overall grade as well as  the grades in the sub-areas, you have taken an examination according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which is then also accepted by the host universities.


I have taken the OPT and reached language level B2 (or another).

The Oxford Placement Test (OPT) is a placement test. It is not a level examination according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It is only used for admission to a language course or a language test, but not to prove language skills at a certain level.

I do not know if my potential host university requires language skills.

Research on the website of the university for which you want to apply. The information is not always clear, and sometimes something else is requested later that was not on the website. Therefore, the International Office‘s recommendation is: If you are considering studying abroad, take the level examination in the language of instruction at the earliest possible date. You can take the level examination at the end of each semester at the Language Centre of the University of Erfurt. Not all levels are offered in every semester. Please inform yourself as early as possible.

The International Office cannot confirm your language skills fort he host university.  It does not have the right to carry out a language test. This is what the level examinations of the Language Centre are for.

There are always particular difficulties when students apply for still vacant places after the deadline. Students decide to apply at relatively short notice, but have not taken a level examination before. We therefore recommend that you rather take one language exam too many than try to go abroad without taking a language exam, which would require exceptions that are not enforceable.

Application and documents to be submitted

Do I have to submit original certificates?

First, put together a complete application. Simple copies of certificates, e.g. the Abitur certificate or language certificate, are sufficient. Do not forget to sign the application form. Then make the required number of copies of this complete application folder. (The copies are needed for the selection committee.) If you have received the recommendation letter  in a sealed envelope, it does not have to be copied, but attached to the "original application", that is the one with your handwritten signature, in the sealed envelope.


Do certificates have to be certified?

Simple copies of all certificates are sufficient. Only when you have been granted a place in the exchange programme and apply to the host university, certified copies might be required.


Can I apply more than once?

For each exchange programme, each student may submit only one application with a main and a second wish. If, for capacity reasons, neither the first nor the second wish is accepted, a nomination for another free place can be made.

If students have already accepted an exchange place, a further application in other exchange programs will only be considered if there are free spots.

How many places can I apply for?

I would like to apply for an exchange place outside the EU and alternatively for an Erasmus place.

It is not possible to submit applications for non-Erasmus exchanges and for Erasmus places in a joint application (as first and second choice). In this case you have to apply for both exchange programmes with one choice in each (see previous question).


I would like to apply for an Erasmus place, but it is offered to students from another field of study.

As a rule, the exchange places are only valid for the fields of study which are included in the agreement and which are announced in the list of exchange places. Exceptions are sometimes possible if the field of study you are studying is very close to the advertised field of study. In any case, before applying for a "non-subject-related" exchange, you should inquire in the International Office whether this makes sense at all.


Who should fill out the endorsement?

Please ask a lecturer of your major or minor field of study to do so. These may be professors, lecturers or assistant professors, but not lecturers of the Language Centre. The lecturers of the Language Centre can and should assess your language skills, but they usually do not know your performance in your major or minor field of study.


How can I get an endorsement if my lecturer only offers online consultation hours?

Download the form and send it by e-mail to the lecturer you wish to ask for an endorsement. Attach a grade report. Ask him / her to return the document by e-mail as a PDF. In this case the application will do without a stamp.


I received my endorsement from a lecturer in a sealed envelope. How should I copy it?

If you are not allowed to open the envelope and scan it for the application package, it must be sent to the International Office in the sealed envelope.


My lecturer would like to send the endorsement directly to the International Office.

This is possible. In this case, the International Office assigns the endorsement to your application. 


What language should the endorsement be in?

The endorsement is initially for the selection committee of the University of Erfurt. This consists of professors from the University of Erfurt who all understand German. Therefore the endorsement can be in German. However, students who are nominated for a host university sometimes need one or two letters of recommendation for the host university later on. Normally nobody there understands German. It is therefore possible to have the endorsement issued in English so that it can be used for the application to the host university as well. The alternative would be to ask for another letter of recommendation issued in English after the nomination for an exchange programme.


What should I include in my letter of motivation and how long should it be?

In the letter of motivation you should explain your reasons for applying for an exchange program. You should also mention the desired target country and the host university. In addition, you should state how you expect to use the academic achievements and experience gained during your studies abroad at the University of Erfurt after your return.

There are no specifications as to the length of the motivation letter.  However, it should not exceed three pages in any case.


What form should the curriculum vitae have?

A curriculum vitae in table form is required. It can also contain a photo (optional).


Is a certain grade average required?

After the application

What are the selection criteria?

The main selection criteria are previous academic achievements and the plausibility of the project abroad. In addition, the letter of endorsement, language skills, the school leaving certificate grade or Bachelor degree grade and social commitment are also taken into account in the selection process.


When will I know if I have been granted a place?

The selection process for places outside the ERASMUS programme usually takes place from mid-January until the end of the winter semester lecture period. As soon as a decision has been made, you will receive a message from the Mobility-Online portal.

ERASMUS students are selected by the coordinators. They are required to complete the selection process by the beginning of the summer semester. The results will also be communicated via the Mobility-Online portal.

I have forgotten how to log in to the Mobility Online portal.

The website fort he login to the portal is



I do not know which EU code applies to me.

Unfortunately, the list of codes given by the EU does not completely cover the subjects of study at the University of Erfurt. We have therefore prepared an allocation list with the most obvious codes.