Study as a free mover
If the aforementioned opportunities do not speak to you, then you may take the initiative and apply as a “free mover” at an international university. As a free mover, you will have to invest more time and personal funds as compared to someone who applies through an existing exchange programme. While you will be responsible for paying the tuition fees there, you will also have the freedom to choose your host university. However, financial support is still available to those who plan their own stay abroad. The Auslands-BAföG (federal funding for studying abroad) is an important option. This form of funding is available for free movers in many countries. Furthermore, students may also apply for scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Opportunities to receive funding for your thesis are generally available. However, a certain amount of personal initiative is required. You have to, for example, organize your own exchange placement at a host university abroad. For this purpose, it is helpful to utilize the contacts of your supervising professors in Konstanz. As soon as your professor has contacted the department or a specific chair at the department, you may request funding via PROMOS.
The Department of Physics has compiled helpful information regarding current contacts at international laboratories on its website.
Computer science master’s students can also apply for a short-term scholarship in order to complete their thesis abroad via the FITweltweit programme.
The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) offers scholarships and travel grants for “material collection in France”. This support is available to students in all fields of study as well as for young doctoral students who are interested in carrying out research or interviews at institutions and with relevant persons for either their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral theses. You can find more detailed information on the FGYO website.
Please be advised that you might have to pay tuition fees at international universities. Furthermore, specific insurance policies might be required in order to carry out research in laboratories abroad.
In order to prepare for their stay abroad, students who participate in an Erasmus+ programme have the opportunity to take part in online language courses in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Swedish and Czech. Additional language courses are being planned for the future. For more detailed information, please visit our Erasmus+ pages.
For study stays at our partner universities in Russia or the Ukraine, you may request additional funding for language courses in the respective country via the “Go East” initiative. Specific language courses at Central and Eastern European partner universities (Polonicum) may be supported by scholarships. Please contact Agnieszka Vojta (A622) at the International Office for more information.
The “Polonicum” refers to a yearly summer school (August) at the University of Warsaw in Poland. It offers a programme comprised of an intensive Polish language course, workshops, lectures and excursions. There are usually six scholarship available for Konstanz students. For more detailed information about the Polonicum, please visit the Uniwersytet Warszawski website.
The Language Institute (SLI) at the University of Konstanz offers a number of language courses both during the semester and lecture-free periods.
If you are interested in learning a language during the lecture-free periods, then check out the DAAD database for language courses offered at universities around the world.
For information on language courses at summer schools hosted by our partner universities, please see our SSZ summer school box.
The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) offers scholarships for intensive language courses in France. The language course should be completed right before the planned stay (for studies, research project, internship) and must be completed at a FGYO-accepted language centre in France. You will find more detailed information on the FGYO website.
Going abroad as student of the teacher education programme
As a future language instructor, you have the opportunity to carry out a practice-oriented stay abroad through the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD) (German exchange service for schools). You can gain experience as a German language teaching assistant at schools and universities abroad. The focus of the programme is on providing practical language experience and skills. The foreign language assistants generally work in secondary schools. The teaching load and your compensation depends on the host country (the amount usually runs somewhere between 700 and 1,600 euros per month). You can find additional information on the Kultusministerkonferenz website. The Landeslehrerprüfungsamt (state teacher examination office) in Freiburg is responsible for recognizing the assistantship as a practical teaching semester. Please be aware that the current regulations apply to the Gymnasiallehrerprüfungsordnung (GymPO, examination regulations for secondary level teacher education (Gymnasium)). There is currently no binding information for the new bachelor's study programmes.
In addition, you can find detailed information about practical teaching semesters and teaching internships abroad (in German) online. You can learn more about the PAD and other opportunities. Additionally, you will be able to read experience reports from Konstanz-based students who have either spent time in England or France via PAD or who have completed an internship at a German school in Australia, Kenya or Spain.
The Goethe institute offers the scholarship programme SCHULWÄRTS! (in German) which arranges short term teaching assistantships. The programme's goal is it to provide sustainable funding to schools abroad which are under support of Goethe institute and to promote internationalisation amongst German teaching students.
The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) publishes the new brochure "Auslandsaufenthalt im Lehramtsstudium" (in German) which focusses on the specific situation of teaching students and informs about various funding opportunities.
For information on summer schools hosted by our partner universities, please visit the website summerschoolsineurope.eu. Participants are generally responsible for paying for the programme costs themselves.
The exception is the DAAD Go East programme. In order to encourage students to experience Eastern or South-eastern Europe by taking part in summer school programmes, the DAAD provides scholarships financed with BMBF funds as part of their “Go East” initiative. For more information, please see the call for applications.
Students who have already completed their German language and literature studies or an additional “German as a foreign language” qualification can apply for the DAAD-Lektorenprogramm (lectureship programme). As a lecturer, you will teach at universities abroad and receive regular compensation based on local salary amounts.
The lectureship programme of the Robert-Bosch foundation supports German university graduates who studied either German as a foreign language, German language and literature, a foreign language, or a subject in the humanities, law, social sciences or economics fields. As a German language teacher, you will initiate projects related to intercultural understanding at universities in Eastern Europe, Central Asia as well as China. At the same time, you will take part in the training course “education management at universities in Eastern Europe and China”. The application deadline is usually 28 February. You can find additional information on the Robert Bosch foundation website.