A semester abroad, an internship, a short-term study trip or a stint at a language school: these are just four of several avenues open to FernUni students who want to add a foray into foreign lands to their academic record. Kerstin Langhein of the International Office visited The English Café on 23 January and gave an information-packed presentation to 25 attendees. “Some students may not realise that our being a distance learning institution doesn’t mean that our students are denied an opportunity open to students at regular unis,” says Langhein. “We have a growing list of partner universities throughout Europe and even further afield.”
There are many points to ponder before one settles on the ideal study abroad route, for example:
- Does my degree programme already contain elective modules, or will I have to sit down with my faculty’s exam office beforehand? (For a semester abroad, it’s important to ensure that you will earn the requisite number of credit points (ECTS) during your stay).
- Does the foreign university offer relevant courses in a language I am fluent in?
- How much time can I spare to stay abroad?
Two main sources of funding are available to enrolled students who are determined to go abroad: Erasmus+, primarily for stays within the European Union, and Promos, generally for stays outside the EU. Langhein dropped some gems of info, such as the fact that parents can take their kids along (there is funding available per accompanying child), and the good news that there is no age limit to take part in an approved scheme.
The attendees at the Monday evening online meet-up posed many questions, and one student who has studied abroad twice before was happy to open up about how enjoyable and edifying he found his time in Paris and later San Francisco.
If your own curiosity has been piqued, you can find out more directly from the FernUniversität’s International Office.
And do make sure to drop by The English Café from time to time. Whether it’s an evening with a guest speaker or just our assistants, it is always a laid-back setting for students to practise speaking English, raise their overall language awareness and improve their intercultural competence.