Erasmus+ Studying in Europe
Completing part of your studies at a university abroad has become almost obligatory. You have the opportunity to enrich your CV internationally during your studies. In addition to the expansion of language skills, social and cultural competences, you benefit from the different academic system and thus from different teaching and learning methods.
Important information for outgoings in WiSe 23/24
Due to technical configurations in Mobility-Online as well as the newly introduced Campus Management System ("CaMS"), there may be delays in processing your application within Mobility-Online.
Important for you: The fact that your application can only be approved in our system with a delay is not a disadvantage for you. If you have to be nominated early at the partner university, this will also happen in the background - even if it is not yet directly visible in Mobility-Online.
In addition to professional and linguistic aptitude, some requirements for participation in Erasmus+ have to be met.
- Your studies must lead to a state-recognized university degree at TH Köln.
- Participation in Erasmus+ study is possible from the first semester of study, but we recommend it in the first cycle of study only after the completion of the first year of study.
- You should have a sound knowledge of the language of the host country or the English language
- The duration of study abroad must be at least 2 months and must not exceed 12 months.
Short-term mobility is possible in the PhD, as well as in the context of blended mobility.
You can receive up to 360 days of Erasmus+ funding during each of your study cycles (Bachelor's, Master's, PhD).
The destination country does not have to be the same. For example, you can study for 5 months at a partner university in France and 5 months at a partner university in Poland during a bachelor's degree. After that, another 2 months-long Erasmus+ funded internship in Sweden would be possible. More at Internship abroad.
Application and selection
Basis for the exchange of students within the framework of the Erasmus+ program are bilateral cooperation agreements that exist between the departments and institutes of TH Köln and a partner university abroad.
On our World map you can find out about the exchange cooperations available for your degree program.
You will also find Testimonials from students who were already "mobile".
If you are interested in a university that does not cooperate with your faculty, but is a partner university, you are welcome to try to apply for a free place there. We support you. Helpful information such as links to lecture directories and language requirements of the partner universities can also be found in Ilias. Here you can find the factsheets that the partner universities send us.
There are two steps to an Erasmus+ application.
1. The Erasmus+ coordinator of each faculty will provide academic support. Start preparing about one year BEFORE the planned stay abroad and be sure to observe possible nomination deadlines of TH Köln and/or the partner university. Depending on the faculty, there may be separate application deadlines, so always contact your faculty coordinator (Departmental Coordinator) as well. The department will inform you about the selection criteria and the application documents you need to submit. The selection procedure takes place there and the decision on the allocation of study places is communicated to the Department of International Affairs. The faculties with high mobility numbers usually have clearly defined application modalities. At faculties with lower mobility numbers, you may be able to apply directly for one of the available cooperation places, provided you meet the subject and language requirements. If there are more applicants than places at individual universities, the faculties maintain waiting lists.
2. The Department of International Affairs will take care of the administrative supervision of your mobility as well as the granting of scholarships. In spring (for the coming winter semester) or autumn (for the summer semester) we will get in touch with the selected students. All administrative steps for the stay abroad will be discussed and you will be comprehensively informed about funding opportunities and processes within the framework of Erasmus+. In order to give you the opportunity to exchange ideas with former Erasmus students, an information exchange takes place twice a year, where so-called returnees report on their experiences. If you would like to participate, please feel free to contact us. The staff of the department will support you organisationally through your international mobility.
We use a software for this purpose: Mobility-Online. Please register here if you are planning a stay abroad. From now on, we, the staff of the Department of International Affairs, can support and advise you on all aspects of your mobility.
Please also take the obligatory online language test (requirement of EU) to determine your language skills.
Extension of the stay abroad
An extension of the study stay at the host university is possible. You need to discuss with the host university and the home faculty whether there are still sufficient places and time available for an extension. The extension has to be indicated in Mobility Online. Here you will also see all the necessary steps for the extension, which you should complete promptly in order to get a grant in a further semester.
For the application and implementation of your Erasmus+ study period, the following documents are required in Mobility Online as part of your pre-mobility application. All documents - except for the Grant Agreement - are created or uploaded exclusively in Mobility Online:
- Learning Agreement - Before the Mobility (LA BTM)
- Certificate of study from TH Köln (for the semester abroad)
- Passport photo
- Grant Agreement (GA) - will be generated by Mobility Online. It is available for download there. The ORIGINAL copy must be handed in at the International Affairs Office.
- Participation in the 1st language test via the Online Linguistic Support (OLS) of the EU - you will receive the invitation by e-mail.
To complete the mobility you need to upload the following documents in Mobility Online:
- Learning Agreement - After the Mobility (LA ATM)
- Letter of Confirmation (LoC) TH Köln - BOTH signatures must be on ONE LoC.
- Certificate of Attendance (Eng.) / Certificat de Participation (Fr.) / Certificado de Asistencia (Span.) - (each optional)
- Online questionnaire of the EU (EU-Survey)- to be filled out online after request by an e-mail from the EU! Invitation takes place around the end date you specify on the LoC.
- detailed final report
The checklist for Erasmus+ Outgoings [in German] of the TH Köln offers assistance.
In addition to possible deviations that may result from the internal organization of the partner universities, you should consider the following deadlines when applying for a study place at one of TH Köln's partner universities:
Winter semester: March 15
Summer semester: September 15
Your faculty coordinator [Link] and the staff of the Department of International Affairs will be pleased to inform and advise you.
Most partner universities will expect a certain language level either in the local language or in English. Usually this is at a language level of the main language of instruction of B1 according to the CEFR, but it can also be different. If you cannot find any information on this in our information stored in Ilias, please contact the host institution.
Within the current Erasmus+ generation, Online Language Support is provided through the EU Academy, the European Commission's learning management platform - for participants of both funding lines (Erasmus in Europe KA131 and Erasmus worldwide KA171).
Online Language Support learning content:
The open area provides some basic language learning content. Here, teaser and taster videos are gradually made available, introducing the languages and some elementary aspects of language learning.
The second area, also called the core area, provides Erasmus+ participants with access to Online Language Support. In the core area, additional features are available, such as the placement tests for Erasmus+ participants (so-called self-assessments) or the designation of a community manager who can support participants in their language learning. In the core area, the language offering will be expanded to 29 languages and additional learning levels and content will also be developed.
What you need to know:
TH Köln's Erasmus+ team will invite you by email to register in the EU Academy's OLS before the start of your mobility. With the help of this hyperlink, participants will directly access the core area of OLS and thus have the possibility to access the learning content and also to perform self-assessments.
Participants are entitled to online language support if their physical stay exceeds 14 days.
The pre-departure testing requirement is contractually stipulated in the Grant Agreement for students.
Participants are not yet linked to a project. As a result, the progress of participants cannot be monitored by the university.
The DAAD has therefore abandoned the verification of whether participants have taken a language test before leaving the country as of August 12, 2022.
Access to the Online Language Platform is available for three years.
It is also possible to take part in a language course abroad prior to your study visit. The period for language acquisition can also be funded. For this purpose, you have to submit an official confirmation of successful participation in the course to the Department of International Affairs.
Benefits of Erasmus+
- Guaranteed scholarship of at least 300.- Euro per month
- Waiver of tuition fees at the host university
- Simplified enrollment procedure at the host university
- Academic contact persons at the host university and at TH Köln
- Support with language preparation
- Academic recognition of academic achievements abroad
Part of the Erasmus+ study abroad program is a so-called mobility grant, which is intended to offset the additional costs incurred during your stay abroad. The monthly scholarship rate is based on the cost of living in the destination country and has been set by the EU.
You can find the valid funding rates for your destination country on the site of the National Agency for Erasmus+ University Cooperation. Note that we work in academic years. So, funding rates 2022 refers to mobilities starting from the winter semester 2022.
Funding Year 2020/21:
Country group 1: DK, FI, IE, IS; LI, LU, NO, SE, UK
€ 450 per month
Country group 2: BE, FR, GR, IT, MA, NL, AU, PT, ES, CY
€ 390 per month
Country group 3: BG, EE, CR, LE, LT, PL, RO, SE, SK, SL, MK, TR, HU
€ 330 Euro per month
The total funding rate is calculated from the specified and confirmed period of time, which you prove to us with the Letter of Confirmation.
Erasmus can fund you for a maximum of 360 days per one study cycle (Bachelor, Master, PhD).
Payment of the grant
The first installment for 80% of your grant, you will receive when you begin your studies. You will receive the remaining 20% upon completion of your studies and receipt of the required supporting documents and reports.
Tax information on the ERASMUS+ scholarship
ERASMUS scholarships are tax-free as mobility scholarships from public funds of the European Commission in the Federal Republic of Germany according to §3 No.44a EStG.
Furthermore, scholarships from the ERASMUS program of the EU do not reduce the education allowance of § 33a Abs. 2 EStG (judgment of 17.10.2001 [III R 3/01], Federal Fiscal Court in Munich).
In principle, however, an ERASMUS scholarship must be reported to the tax office responsible for you, to your child benefit fund and to your health insurance fund.
TH Köln is subject to the tax recording and declaration obligation. Therefore, it transmits the following data annually to the tax authorities: First and last name, address, tax number and date of birth of the payee, type of claim, amount and date of payment. In the case of recurring payments, the first payment, the method of payment and the expected duration of the payments.
The scholarship recipient is responsible for fulfilling tax recording and declaration obligations with regard to the income from ERASMUS vis-à-vis the tax authorities (§ 12 MV).
You do not have to receive credit for all courses taken abroad. Expanding your knowledge of your field of study or exploring entirely new topics, as well as language courses, are also eligible. In the Learning Agreement “During the Mobility” it must be recorded whether courses are recognized or whether you take them additionally. More information on credit recognition and grade conversion you will find on TH Köln’s recognition pages.
In any case, TH Köln will record your stay abroad in the Diploma Supplement, which you will receive with your degree certificate. The Department of International Affairs will issue you with a certificate for application purposes upon request.
Special Support for Students /Top-Up for students with less opportunities
Students with less opportunities* will receive 250 EUR per month in addition to their Erasmus grant.
* In project 2022 and 2023 this concerns:
- Undergraduates and graduates with a disability of GdB 20 or more or chronic illnesses
- Undergraduates and graduates who spend their stay abroad with children
- First-time academics (students from a non-academic home)
- working students (average salary of the last 6 months before the semester abroad starts)
Please indicate your respective needs when applying in Mobility Online and contact us regarding the further procedure.
Special funding in the form of a long application for students
You can apply for the special funds of a maximum of 15,000 EUR per semester and 30,000 EUR per academic year and per mobility at your Erasmus+ office. Please contact Ms. Janina Knöll for this purpose.
The application amount will be calculated according to your personal needs and paid in addition to the regular Erasmus+ funding rate.
Please note that only additional costs can be considered that:
- are not covered by national agencies (integration offices, health insurance funds, regional associations, social welfare offices, student unions).
- incurred by you as a result of the stay abroad. This includes, for example, flight costs and costs for accommodation for accompanying assistants or for barrier-free accommodation. Since you have to prove the difference between the costs at home and abroad, please allow sufficient time for the application.
The application should be submitted to NA DAAD by your home university at least two months before your departure.
You can read more information on the DAAD pages (websites only in German). Please submit the application to Janina Knöll, not to the DAAD.
Special funding for students with child
Students who are funded for study abroad through Erasmus+ and travel abroad with their child/children can apply for a monthly lump sum that is paid in addition to the regular Erasmus+ funding rate.
Regardless of the number of children traveling with them, the monthly allowance is 250 EUR.
No insurance coverage is associated with an Erasmus+ mobility grant. Neither EU KOMM nor NA DAAD, nor TH Köln are liable for damages resulting from illness, death, accident, injury to persons, loss or damage to property in connection with Erasmus+ stays abroad (studies, internships, guest lectureships or Erasmus+ training measures).
TH Köln is obligated to ensure sufficient insurance coverage for the participants and to inform the participants sufficiently about the requirements in the host country. We do this in our information sessions for students who have been selected to study abroad and on our websites, such as in this FAQ .
The following insurances should be provided according to EU KOMM:
- Health insurance: in all cases you will have student insurance, which is also valid in other European countries through the EHIC. You can find further information on the pages of the European Commission.
There is also information about insurance requirements in your respective host country on the pages of the DVKA (only in German).
- Travel insurance (including repatriation from abroad), if applicable. => We recommend this insurance also due to the pandemic caused by Covid-19, in order to be able to repatriate a student to Germany in case of illness.
- Liability insurance (professional and private liability if applicable) => everyone should have a private liability insurance. Often the insurance of the parents still applies in the context of the first studies. Please ask your parents or their insurance company directly whether this is also the case for you.
- Insurance for accidents and serious illness (including full or partial disability),
- Life insurance (including repatriation from abroad).
We are convinced that a stay abroad should be an integral part of your studies. Since an Erasmus stay is mainly within Europe, many routes have connections by bus and train to reach the host country. Advantages of a train trip are the rather unlimited luggage allowance and the slow travel.
In order to be able to travel cheaply, the My Bahncard 25 or 50, which are available at favorable student rates, is a good option for those under 27.
Also an Interrail Pass is not wrong at all if you want to explore the country directly.
Participate in Erasmus, but also keep your ecological footprint clean?
We are collecting ideas on how to make Erasmus more sustainable. We invite anyone who would like to participate in this project to contact us.
In order to offer an initial incentive, the EU is offering a grant for sustainable travel with the 2021 project year.
When you apply in Mobility Online, you indicate whether you want to travel sustainably. For this, you will receive a one-time payment of 50,-€ in addition to the scholarship.
In order to also travel back sustainably, you can apply for four additional travel days, from which you can finance the return trip. Please indicate this in your Mobility Online application as well. You can also adjust this afterwards.
Please keep in mind that this is a grant. It is not intended to completely cover your travel costs, but to raise your awareness that air travel does not necessarily have to be used within Europe.
Possible eligible means of travel are:
Train travel, bus travel, boat and ferry travel. Carpooling, bicycling.
Contact us if a sustainable means of transportation is missing.
To receive funding you must submit an Honorary Declaration and your tickets and proof of eco-friendly travel by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For inspiration, check out our Sustainable Travel Blog in Ilias. Also support erasmusbytrain to voice your concern for eco-friendly travel.
Questions? Send an email to