FAQs Erasmus+ Internships
What exactly is Erasmus+ anyway?
Erasmus is the world's largest higher education scholarship and exchange program and one of the European Union's great success stories. Since 1987, Erasmus has promoted the cross-border mobility of students, university lecturers and staff within Europe.
Is there a minimum / maximum duration for my internship abroad?
You can be funded for one or two semesters per study cycle. Erasmus placements during a previous study period are credited if they took place in the same study cycle. The minimum funding period for an internship abroad is 2 months, the maximum is 12 months.
Are there any mandatory information events on Erasmus+ I have to participate in?
If you are doing an internship semester, you may have to attend mandatory information events organized by your faculty. The Department of International Affairs does not offer mandatory information events for Erasmus internships.
Can I combine an Erasmus+ study stay with an Erasmus+ internship?
Yes, just contact us or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write "SMS + SMT " in the subject line.
Can I do an internship abroad after completing my studies?
Yes, you can apply for an Erasmus+ graduate internship. You could be funded for a maximum duration of one year after having received your degree. Other requirements are the same, but you have to start your Erasmus+ scholarship application while you are still in your last university semester.
Is it even possible to stay abroad during the pandemic?
Since we have an extremely dynamic development during the pandemic, you should read the university's Covid-19 information regularly.
I am unsure whether I will be able to start the semester abroad in a few months due to Covid-19 and whether I should still take the necessary steps in Mobility Online and at the host enterprise/organisation..
We understand your uncertainty. However, since a semester abroad is preceded by a long administrative process, you still have to register now, even if nobody knows what the situation will be in a few months' time.
We therefore ask you to complete all the necessary processes in the given timeframe.
If it becomes apparent at short notice that you cannot or do not want to go abroad, then a rejection is a very simple process that will not have any disadvantages for you:
You write to the host enterprise/organisation that you are withdrawing from the exchange and take both your subject coordinator and email@example.com in cc and you have already done what needs to be done.
If you have already had expenses for the semester abroad at the time, these can possibly be covered up to the amount of the planned scholarship, provided a grant agreement has already been drawn up.
However, we ask you to refrain from early bookings for accommodation or travel or to choose exchangeable variants and plan at shorter notice.
Recognition and credit transfer
What requirements do I have to fulfil in order to have my study abroad courses recognized and credits transferred to TH Köln?
Please contact your faculty for any questions regarding recognition and credit transfer. The prerequisites are laid out in the learning agreement.
How is my stay abroad recognized?
Please contact your faculty for any questions regarding recognition and credit transfer.
Please contact your Erasmus+ faculty coordinator for more information.
Who is the contact person in my faculty / institute for semesters abroad?
Under the following link you will find your Erasmus+ faculty coordinator.
I cannot reach my coordinator – who else can help me?
Please contact your contact person in the Department of International Affairs.
How do I apply for a scholarship for an Erasmus+ internship?
To apply, you need to upload the following documents to Mobility Online:
- Learning Agreement BTM (Before the mobility)
- Certificate of matriculation of TH Köln
- curriculum vitae (CV)
- Letter of motivation for Erasmus+ scholarship funding
- current transcript of record
Are there any deadlines for Erasmus+ internship applications?
You must have applied in Mobility Online up to 2 months before the start of the internship.
Who will receive my application?
You apply via the online platform Mobility Online. Your application will then be processed by an employee of the Department of International Affairs.
What is Mobility Online?
Mobility Online is the administration platform for (international) exchange students of TH Köln.
How do I know that I will receive an Erasmus+ scholarship for my internship?
You will receive an e-mail from us confirming your acceptance for the Erasmus+ scholarship for internships.
Can I also find Erasmus+ documents to apply for scholarship funding on the website?
The following link will take you to the documents: internship abroad.
What is the Learning Agreement?
The learning agreement is a written statement on what you intend to learn during your internship and it is an agreement between you, TH Köln and the company.
What are the three sections of the learning agreement?
BTM = Before the Mobility = Documenting the tasks and contents of your internship
DTM = During the Mobility = adjustment of learning agreement, only necessary in case of possible changes to BTM learning agreement
ATM = After the Mobility = proof of your completed internship
How do I fill out the learning agreement?
Tables A and C are completed by your internship company. Table B will be completed by the Erasmus+ coordinator of your faculty.
Does the learning agreement have to be signed before the start my stay abroad?
Yes, you must have signed the learning agreement and submitted it to Mobility Online before the start of your internship.
Who signs the learning agreement at TH Köln?
The BTM section of your learning agreement must be signed by you, your faculty coordinator and your company. The ATM part of the learning agreement is only signed by the company.
Which person do I list as my contact at TH Köln in the learning agreement?
What level of language knowledge must be recorded in the Learning Agreement?
The section "language competence of the student" in the learning agreement does NOT refer to results of the OLS language test, but refers to your self-assessment in the main language of instruction in the company.
How do I make changes in the learning agreement during my stay abroad?
If there are any changes, your company will have to record them in the learning agreement DTM section.
Does Table C in the learning agreement have to be completed?
Table C has to be completed by the company providing your internship.
Does Table D have to be completed if I receive an internship certificate from the company directly?
Table D should be completed so that you can submit this document as proof together with your study abroad report at the end of your stay.
Tip: Have table D filled out by the company and ask for an internship certificate / letter of reference. You will then also have an original document as proof of your internship.
When do I have to hand in the learning agreement?
BTM: before departure
DTM: only applicable in case of changes during internship
ATM: up to 4 weeks after return
Please upload all documents to Mobility Online.
How do learning agreement and grant agreement fit together?
grant agreement = contract between TH Köln and student
learning agreement = appendix to the grant agreement
What is the grant agreement?
The grant agreement guarantees your scholarship funding and it is a contact between TH Köln and you, in which your insurance data are also stated.
What is the EU survey?
It is an online survey of the EU concerning the completed stay abroad and it is mandatory.
When do I have to submit my study abroad report?
You must submit your study abroad report no later than four weeks after your return.
How must the study abroad report be structured?
On a maximum of four pages, please describe your experiences on the topics of planning, preparation, organization and application for the internship, accommodation, internship tasks, everyday life and leisure time as well as a personal conclusion.
Are there any study abroad reports from previous semesters?
Under the following link you will find study abroad reports from previous semesters. On the world map, first click on the "study abroad reports[" tab at the top.
Is there any financial support/scholarships for my stay abroad?
Yes, you can apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship. You will receive a so-called mobility grant to cover the additional costs incurred during your stay abroad. The scholarship rates vary depending on the country you choose.
How high are the Erasmus+ scholarship rates?
The scholarship rates vary and depend on your destination country and funding period. The current scholarship rates can be found on the website: internship abroad.
When will the Erasmus+ scholarship be paid out?
Once you have successfully completed all the necessary registration steps in the "Before the Mobility" section of the Mobility Online system and, if necessary, you have taken the online language test (and the "OLS Language Test Confirmation" option has been ticked off), you will automatically be taken to the "During the Mobility" section. Here you indicate that you have started your internship. We will then instruct your first scholarship rate (80%).
The remaining 20% of your funding will be paid out at the end of your stay abroad, when you have uploaded all necessary documents to Mobility Online. This is the case when you have submitted your study abroad report as well as an internship certificate (or table D) and you have passed the OLS test as well as the EU survey.
How is the Erasmus+ scholarship paid out?
The scholarship is paid out in two rates. The first scholarship payment is 80% of the total amount, the second scholarship rate is the remaining 20% of your funding.
In which cases will the second scholarship rate not be paid out to me?
If you do not submit the required documents by the deadline, such as the final documents study abroad report and internship certificate/table D, the second scholarship rate will not be paid to you.
I was already funded in my Bachelor program – can I also receive funding in my Master?
Yes, you can be sponsored financially for a total of 12 months per study cycle.
Can I get a salary ?
Yes, you may receive salary payments. The Erasmus+ scholarship is independent from any salary payments. However, please note that if you receive international Bafög, only 300 € are exempt from being counted against your Erasmus+ scholarship.
Can I apply for an Erasmus+ scholarship in addition to international Bafög?
Yes, you can apply for additional international Bafög. However, please note that only 300 € are exempt from being counted against your Erasmus+ scholarship.
What happens if documents are submitted late after the end of the semester abroad?
You may have to pay back a scholarship rate.
When does an Erasmus+ scholarship have to be repaid in full or in part?
The scholarship must be repaid in full if your internship is shorter than 2 months. If you have completed more than 2 months before you terminate the internship, your scholarship will be calculated to that exact date and you only have to pay back the difference.
What is the repayment process like?
As soon as it is certain that a repayment request is due, you will receive an e-mail from us with the repayment request as an attached PDF document. In this document you will find the amount to be paid and the bank details of TH Köln. Please confirm the receipt of this e-mail immediately.
You have 14 days to make the refund payment. If the money is not received within this time period, TH Köln reserves the right to take further legal action. However, please contact us in your individual case.
I have special needs – how can I integrate a stay abroad into my studies?
In order to ensure equal opportunities, students with a disability of 50% or more and students with special needs, such as students with children, can apply for additional funding through the Department of International Affairs in order to cover extra costs for their additional needs.
Are there special scholarships for parents / single parents?
Erasmus+ special funds for students who take their children with them as single parents during their stay abroad, can be applied for up to 8 weeks before the start of the mobility. In addition, TH Köln supports single mothers abroad with the Mobility Grant for Female Students with Child(ren). Please contact Ms Janina Knöll for further details.
I am canceling my stay - what happens with regard to my studies?
We cannot make a general statement about this. If you unexpectedly have to or want to terminate your stay, please contact the Erasmus+ faculty coordinator of your faculty here at TH Köln as soon as possible.
I am canceling my stay - what happens with regard to my scholarship?
If your internship is shorter than the minimum two-month period, you will have to repay the scholarship in full. For an internship duration between 2 and 12 months, there is a day-by-day settlement in which a calendar month counts as 30 days. Your scholarship will be calculated for the exact duration of your stay using a daily rate.
I have missed / exceeded a deadline - What happens now?
Please contact us for these individual cases directly in person or via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and please use "SMT" as your subject line. We will find a solution.
My company does not send me the Learning Agreement and time is running out – what should I do?
Stay in touch with them. In any case, please inform your contact person in the Department of International Affairs as soon as possible and, if necessary, in your faculty as well.
I would like to extend my stay – What do I have to do?
If you decide to extend your internship, please let your contact person in the Department of International Affairs know before the end of the original duration. The maximum duration of 12 months (360 days) may not be exceeded. Subsequently, the scholarship will be calculated to the exact number of days you are working as an intern.
What insurance do I have to get for an Erasmus+ internship?
For your Erasmus+ internship, you must provide proof of health, liability and accident insurance. If these are not covered by the company, you must insure yourself. If you are not insured by your parents, the DAAD group insurance could be a good solution for you.
Prerequisites / Language skills
What prerequisites do I have to meet in order to receive an Erasmus+ scholarship?
You must be enrolled at TH Köln and you have to do a full-time internship with 37h/week (exception: France: 35h/week) in one of the 28 member states of the EU (or Macedonia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Turkey) with a minimum duration of 2 months to a maximum of 12 months. The internship must have a meaningful academic and professional relevance to your studies.
Further specific requirements (e.g. mandatory modules that must be completed before) should be clarified with your faculty if necessary.
Are there any language requirements that I have to meet?
For an Erasmus+ internship you do not have to meet a minimum language level. The requirements depend on the internship position you have chosen and, if applicable, on the requirements of your course of study.
Is there an age limit for Erasmus+ scholarships?
Do I have to be in a certain semester in order to go abroad?
If you are doing an internship semester abroad (and therefore a mandatory internship), you must meet certain requirements for your study program. Please note that a stay after your graduation is also possible. Further information can be found under the keyword "graduate internship".
What is the difference between mandatory and voluntary internships abroad?
If you have to complete an internship semester during your studies, then you are required to complete an internship abroad. Otherwise, you would do a voluntary internship abroad. Please note that mandatory internships may be subject to specific requirements.
Can I do the internship part-time?
No, you have to do a full-time internship. This means that you must work at least 37 hours per week (exception: France: 35 hours per week).
What is the OLS test?
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.
My language is not covered by OLS. Can I still attend a language course?
TH Köln supports language courses in more rarely spoken languages with 200€ per language course. For this purpose, please submit the course registration as well as a confirmation of successful participation after completion of the course to the Department for International Affairs.
How do I find an apartment abroad?
Possible options for finding accommodation include contacting the International Office in the host country or former outgoings of this partner university. We recommend you to take the initiative and become active, even before your departure.
Safety during the semester abroad
Where can I get information about the security situation in my host country?
You should always consult the information available on the website of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt). There you will find travel and safety information for each country (in German).
Do I have to register in a crisis precaution list?
A crisis precaution list is a "list of Germans (temporarily) residing in the consular district", which the respective German mission abroad (embassy or consulate) maintains as a precaution for catastrophes. Inclusion in the crisis precaution list is voluntary. Since November 2008, it has been carried out via an online procedure called "Electronic Registration of Germans Abroad (Elefand)", which also allows password-protected updating of contact data.