International

Ex­change pro­gramme word­wide

Humboldt-Universität also has a partner university in Tokyo. Photo: Anika Steitz

HU maintains university partnerships all over the world. This network offers students diverse opportunities to study abroad. From an initial overview to travel preparations – you can find all the information here.

Are you interested in a study visit abroad and the region you wish to go to is not covered by Erasmus+? With Humboldt-Universität’s direct partnerships, a wide network of study opportunities all over the world is open to you. On this page, you can find out what the options are and how you can apply and organise your stay abroad.

First steps

The wish to spend a semester abroad comes with many questions: Where should you start from and what are the requirements for applying? In this section, you can find answers, information and advice.

You can apply for an exchange place as part of the global partnerships if you

  • are enrolled at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • have completed at least two semesters of your Bachelor's degree programme or are currently studying for in a Master's degree programme can demonstrate a good to very good (gut bis sehr gut) academic performance
  • have the language skills required by the partner university (see section “Discover regions and partner universities”)
  • fulfil any existing special requirements of the partner university (for example, a particular average grade or language skills at a higher level).

Please note: Students of Medicine are requested to contact their faculty directly. Applications from students of Law can only be accepted in exceptional cases after a personal consultation with the International Department.

Find out about our exchange programmes in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America. On the page for the respective region, you can find important details on the individual partner universities, what they offer and their requirements. Our direct exchange programmes are in most cases open to HU students from all disciplines, however, at some partner universities it is not possible for exchange students to choose from the entire course offer (especially in Africa there are some collaborations only open to students from the Institute of African Studies).

In general, no tuition fees are charged by the partner universities for students of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. There are various support possibilities to offset additional costs for your stay abroad at a partner university. You can apply directly to the International Department for financial support through the DAAD-financed PROMOS programme. You can research further DAAD funding programmes that are suitable for your planned stay abroad in the scholarship database.

Be inspired by your fellow students! Our HU Ambassadors report on Instagram and in blog posts on their current semesters abroad.

In addition, we are happy to provide you with the experience reports of our former exchange students. The reports provide experience at first hand and can help you to choose a suitable partner university and to prepare your application. If you are interested, please simply write us an email.

We look forward to informing you about our exchange programmes and financing opportunities and answering your questions in an initial consultation. Please send us your consultation request by email and inform us, at the same time, when you are available. We will reply to you promptly and confirm an appointment. We offer consultations both via Zoom and in person in our rooms in the HU main building.

Application

You can obtain information here about the application procedure, the application periods, the documents required and the selection procedure for your exchange place at one of our international partner universities. You can apply for several regions at the same time and have the possibility of indicating up to three universities of your choice in each region (Asia and Australia count as one region together).

15 October – 15 November

Asia, Australia and North America for the entire subsequent academic year (winter and summer semester)

1 – 31 January

Africa (except for South Africa) for the entire subsequent academic year (January to December)

Latin America for the winter semester

Eastern Europe for the winter semester

15 May – 15 June

South Africa for the subsequent calendar year

New York University for the summer semester (January – May), only for BA students

Latin America for the summer semester

Eastern Europe for the summer semester

Asia and Australia for any available remaining places for the summer semester

CV

Please upload your CV in German and English (possibly also in the respective national language).

Letter of Motivation

For each university of your choice that you indicate in your application, please write a separate letter of motivation. This is required in German and English, and in some cases in the respective national language too.

The following questions can be helpful in composing your letter of motivation:

  • Why is a stay abroad useful for your studies?
  • To what extent do the studies abroad fit into your further course of study (e.g. recognition of study credits)? To what extent do they support the completion of your degree (e.g. research work for your thesis)?
  • What personal motives do you have for studying abroad?

Letter of Recommendation by a university teacher

You require a letter of recommendation by a university teacher. We provide you with a template for this purpose. Forward this template to your university teacher, with the request to send the completed form directly to us by email.

Official transcript of records

You can obtain an official transcript of records with your current average grade from your examination office. Please submit one copy in German and one in English. The unofficial academic chart from AGNES is not sufficient. Our advice: Take care of this at an early stage, as it might take several weeks, from experience.

List of the courses you are currently attending/have attended to date

This list is only required if you are in the first semester of study of your master’s degree programme and no study credits have been registered yet in your AGNES extract. Please enter all the courses here that you are currently attending/have attended to date. As the transcript of records, you are welcome to submit your transcript of records from your bachelor’s studies.

Study plan

Please compile a list of the courses you wish to take at the host university. You can make this study plan on the basis of the current course catalogues of the partner universities. The study plan supports your application, but does not yet constitute your final course allocation at the partner university. You can only register for courses after successful nomination and admission at a partner university.

Language certificate

The specified language requirements vary depending on the region, country and partner university. Please inform yourself about the required language certificate on our overview pages for the regions. Our partner universities generally accept a TOEFL or IELTS language certificate, and some also accept a DAAD language certificate. The language certificate must be provided by the end of the application period. Educational Testing Service (ETS) is responsible for sending the result of the TOEFL test to HU (CODE: 8167). The German university entrance qualification certificate (Abitur) is not suitable as a language certificate.

University degree

If you have already completed a degree programme at a university, please submit the relevant degree certificate (certificate and transcript of records). If you have already completed your bachelor’s degree programme and your bachelor’s certificate is not yet available, please inform us approximately when you can submit it.

Current certificate of enrolment

Our exchange programmes are only available for students of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. We therefore require a current certificate of enrolment as proof of your student status.

Scan of your passport

If you do not yet have a passport, you can first apply with your identity card. Please ensure, however, that you make an appointment at the citizens’ office at an early stage to apply for a passport.

Since more students usually apply than the number of exchange places available to us, we make an initial shortlist on the basis of the written application. The following criteria are taken into consideration in the selection:

  • Academic qualification
  • Presentation and quality of the study project
  • Meaningful integration of the study abroad into the studies at HU
  • Relevance of the semester abroad for the studies or the career
  • Language skills
  • Social, political and cultural engagement

Once we have received your application, we will review it carefully. In some cases, a selection interview may be part of the selection process, for example if we receive a large number of applications for certain universities.If your application is also successful at this stage, we nominate you to the partner university. You also subsequently submit an application to the partner university. Only after your documents have been checked successfully by the partner university do you receive the final admission for your semester abroad.

Prior to departure

You have successfully completed the application process and have secured your exchange place? Then it is time for the travel preparations. Below you can read about what you should - or even must - take care of in advance and which services and contact points are available for this.

If you wish to connect with other HU exchange students in the travel preparations for your semester abroad, you are welcome to contact us at any time and ask for the contact details of your fellow students. If we have the declaration of consent for passing on the contact details, we will share them with you. In addition, it can be helpful in the preparatory period to read the experience reports of our former exchange students.

For our worldwide exchange programmes, you do not require an official Learning Agreement. Nonetheless, it can be helpful to consult your own department in advance for taking courses abroad and for the later recognition of study credits. Before your semester abroad, please contact the academic consultation service, the examination board or the examination office of your faculty or your institute and seek advice regarding the recognition of study credits from abroad. Please also use the Grade Conversion System of HU Berlin.

It is important that you have sufficient health insurance cover during your semester abroad. Some of our partner universities offer university-specific health insurance for international students – you will be informed about this directly by the partner universities after successful admission. You can also, of course, enquire about an international rate with your own health insurance.

Please check in any case whether your partner university or your host country has particular requirements for health insurance (for example, particular insurance sums or diseases). If necessary, you must be able to provide proof of these with your insurance policy, in order to e.g. be admitted to the partner university, to live on the campus, or to have a visa issued.

During your study period abroad, you remain enrolled at HU and must re-register for the respective semester. It is possible to take a leave of absence for the duration of your stay abroad. Please consult the Enrollment Office of the HU to find out to what extent one or two semesters of leave could be of advantage to you. You must apply for leave of absence within the first six weeks of the semester at the Enrollment Office. Students who are on a leave of absence can usually be exempted from paying for the semester ticket.

Some of our partner universities offer exchange students places in their halls of residence on the campus or nearby. You can normally apply for a place in a hall of residence either directly when you apply to be admitted to the partner university, or you receive all the information on this shortly after your admission.

It cannot, unfortunately, be guaranteed that you will receive a place in a hall of residence. If you decide against living in a hall of residence, you should begin looking for other accommodation at an early stage – the partner university will be happy to support you with helpful advice.

Before you travel, you must organise your visa or other necessary entry documents. Bear in mind that the approval process can sometimes take several months. We therefore recommend that you obtain information from the partner university or the respective embassy or the consulate in good time.

As soon as you have received admission from the partner university, you will be informed about the topic of visas directly by the colleagues at the partner university.

HU students report about their stay abroad

    • Na­talia in Pre­to­ria

      HU ambassadors

      Sawubona! Unjani? (Hi! How are you?) I’m Natalia, an African Studies MA student at HU. I had such a great time while on exchange at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, that I couldn’t wait to return to South Africa. I’m now studying Drama at the University of Pretoria.

      Porträt von Natalia.
    • Ani­ka in Tokyo

      HU ambassadors

      Konnichiwa! I'm Anika and I'm from France, originally. After moving to Berlin, my next (temporary) stop is Tokyo! There, I plan to further my M.A. studies in Economics and Management and also experience Japanese culture. I'll report on both on my blog, so come along!

      Porträt von Anika mit Humboldt Universität im Hintergrund.
    • Lennart in Van­cou­ver

      HU ambassadors

      I'm a master's student in the dual-degree Global History programme at Humboldt-Universität and Freie Universität. My study focus is on the development of and nationalism in 20th-century South Asia. I am currently on an exchange at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

      Porträt von Lennart.

Contact

Every first Friday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon, the Department of International Affairs offers virtual info sessions on the topic "Semester abroad worldwide". You can register here.

We are happy to answer your questions and look forward to hearing from you. Please send us an e-mail via the button.