The global situation in the face of the corona pandemic remains dynamic. (February 2022)
The University of Konstanz recommends its members to plan long-term stays (stays abroad of several weeks or months, internships, research and teaching stays) carefully, taking into account the applicable entry regulations and the situation in your host country, and to weigh up the risks and benefits individually. The University of Konstanz regards stays abroad by its members as an important part of their studies. However, the worldwide corona situation differs greatly, which requires careful planning. The Interational Office is pleased to support you in this regard. The International Office or departmental coordinators are in contact with the students by e-mail, for example, to provide target group-specific information. The most important links can be found here
Study stays abroad (Outgoings)
1.1. General Information
The University of Konstanz recommends its members to carefully consider the respective entry regulations and the situation in your host country as well as the risks and benefits of taking part in an individual, long-term stay abroad (several weeks or months for the purpose of studying, completing an internship, conducting research or teaching abroad).
BEFORE you travel, please stay informed and make sure to check the websites of both the Federal Foreign Office and the country you will be visiting and follow the recommendations and regulations of your host institution.
The Federal Foreign Office continues to provide information on the global epidemiological situation and issues the COVID-19-advice for travellers (in German). In addition, information is provided on travel warnings for particularly affected countries.
The University of Konstanz’s Outgoing Centre provides an overview of the most important links and will be happy to answer your specific questions about planning a stay abroad.
Important: The travel advisory from the Federal Foreign Office is not a travel ban. Travellers may responsibly decide for themselves whether to go abroad.
A (COVID-19 related) travel warning does, however, carry with it certain legal consequences, for example whether travel health coverage is valid or a scholarship can be paid. Travellers should thus contact their travel health insurance provider for further details.
Additional helpful links:
- The Federal Foreign Office has developed a travel app (“Sicher Reisen”):
- Current information about travel options, living conditions and possible restrictions in European countries
We would like you to know about the following information sources:
- The “Krisen- und Vorsorgeliste (ELEFAND)” by the Federal Foreign Office (in German), in which students outside of Germany can enter their name as a precaution. We strongly recommend you to use this list!
- Travel advisories and safety information from the Federal Foreign Office (in German)
- Information from the Robert Koch Institute
- Information from the state of Baden-Württemberg (in German)
- List of links for home universities and the MWK (in German)
- German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
- Erasmus – nationale Agentur (in German)
1.2. Studying abroad: What options are there?
For the University of Konstanz, studying abroad is an important part of studying at the university. However, the global situation in the individual countries should be viewed in a differentiated manner and very short-term changes may still need to be considered.
Within the European Higher Education Area (esp. Erasmus programme countries) exchange semesters are widely possible - many institutions are again offering more in-person teaching possibly in combination with virtual offers. Outside Europe, the COVID-19 situation varies greatly and stays are sometimes still subject to restrictions (entry restrictions, visa, quarantine). While some countries have strict entry regulations (e.g. be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 recognised vaccine and quarantine), studying abroad itself is possible. Other countries remain closed for exchange students. (Status February 2022)
Our International Office requires all outgoing students to submit a declaration that they have been informed about the dangers in risk areas and countries for which a travel advisory applies and that they are departing at their own risk.
1.2.1. What information is available from our partner universities?
The amount of information our partner universities have provided varies widely, but we forward the information we do have to our students right away. Many of our partner universities also contact students nominated for an exchange directly.
In Europe, very few universities cancelled study options for visiting students. Since entry into some countries worldwide is still not possible, exchange semesters are not yet possible at all partner universities worldwide. Many universities run online courses with some partner universities expecting you to be on campus in certain cases, for example, for exams. If conditions permit, many universities would like to return to on-campus classes or hybrid formats. In such cases, we support your studying abroad at a partner university, but will let you decide whether you would like to complete the exchange at this time. Please consider your decision carefully and stay informed about the relevant travel restrictions, the situation in your host country and the recommendations of your host university. Also bear in mind that the situation can change very quickly and new regulations might be implemented in Germany and in your host country on a very short notice.
You can find the most up-to-date information on the universities’ websites.
1.2.2. Can I take part in online courses at the host university?
We encourage you to take part in online courses offered at your host university. Even if you cannot physically go abroad for a semester, you can still take part in online courses offered by your host university. However, there are also universities that do not offer virtual alternatives in case in-person exchange semesters get cancelled due to the pandemic.
Generally speaking, coursework completed online is considered of equal value and can be recognized in Konstanz. It is, however, key that you agree with your department on these courses early on.
Erasmus Programme: Erasmus students should document all their courses in a learning agreement. Because the pandemic situation still varies from country to country, we will not require you to pay back your mobility grant if you happen to complete less than 30 ECTS credits per semester and pass courses amounting to fewer than 18 ECTS credits.
If you began a period of study abroad on-site in another country and return to Konstanz because of a drastic change in the situation abroad (e.g. closure of the host university, transition from on-campus to online teaching), you can have the expenses accrued abroad reimbursed up to the amount in your grant agreement. Make sure you get a “confirmation of stay” and have the courses you attended online documented in your learning agreement and transcript of records.
BUT a purely online semester abroad WITHOUT physically travelling abroad is not eligible for funding (as of February 2022).
By the way: The University of Konstanz is currently still offering some online courses. As long as you are not on leave of absence, then you can complete courses at both the University of Konstanz and a host university abroad (information about taking a leave of absence). In-person teaching shall be the regular course offering in the upcoming semesters, again.
1.2.3. Can I cancel my stay abroad or leave early due to the pandemic?
Yes. If the pandemic persists in your host country, we can understand that you might choose (on short notice) not to take part in a mobility programme or to end it early. You will face no disadvantages for withdrawing from an exchange if you choose to apply again in the future.
Please inform the corresponding programme coordinator in the International Office of your decision.
Erasmus programme in Europe: You can inform us about any changes/withdrawals/cancellations/online continuation of your exchange semester at any time via our database MobilityOnline . Your departmental Erasmus coordinator will automatically receive an email. Please also inform your host university!
You can have expenses reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the grant agreement for your Erasmus programme if the reason is “force majeure” (e.g. costs for travelling, semester tickets abroad, etc.). Please upload the corresponding receipts to Mobility Online.
If you have exceptionally high costs for return travel (due to cancellation or early return from studying abroad), please contact us directly.
1.2.4. What consequences does limited course availability have for coursework and scholarships?
Exchange programmes outside Europe: Some of the study abroad programmes are tied to a scholarship. If you are considering rescheduling your exchange, then you would probably also like to know whether the scholarship would apply to the new dates. Based on current information, scholarships cannot be postponed/transferred to the next academic year and you will need to reapply.
Erasmus programme: The Erasmus Programme can fund stays abroad in a host country – independent of whether teaching is offered face-to-face or online. The amount depends on the length of your individual stay abroad and your host country. The grant can be paid shortly before your planned departure date, as long as we have your grant agreement (original), Learning Agrement (online) AND your declaration that you are departing at your own risk.
Information about the Erasmus Programme that applies specifically to Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic is available (in German) on the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) website.
During the upcoming academic year and facing the ongoing pandemic situation, we will use our good judgement in assessing cases where, until now, an Erasmus scholarship was tied to completing 30 ECTS credits per semester and at least 18 credits for the transcript of studies.
1.2.5. Who will cover costs that arise from me withdrawing from an exchange programme or my exchange programme being cancelled by the host university?
The University of Konstanz unfortunately cannot reimburse costs related to a planned study abroad period, for example for visas, language proficiency tests, etc. For this reason, we highly recommend you carefully consider before making any reservations and payments and do not book any trips or accommodations that you cannot cancel.
The coronavirus pandemic is still very dynamic and this means that changes, travel restrictions, etc. can occur on short notice.
Erasmus programme: If, on short notice, you cannot begin your stay abroad and you can document that the corresponding travel or housing expenses cannot be refunded AND we have both a grant agreement and learning agreement from you , then you can be reimbursed up to half of the applicable mobility grant amount if the reason is “force majeure”. Please submit the corresponding receipts via MOBON. For individual questions, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
1.2.6. What do I need to know about (travel) health insurance?
Please note that you will need to have sufficient health insurance on your own for your study abroad stay. Contact your health insurance provider (statutory or private) ahead of time to clarify whether they will cover the cost of medical services abroad. The Erasmus Programme and other scholarship programmes do not provide health insurance!
We also strongly recommend that you purchase travel health insurance coverage – but please clarify exactly what coverage you have during a stay lasting several months, what rules apply during a pandemic and if the coverage continues, even if the Federal Foreign Office has issued a (COVID-19 related) travel warning.
More information is available in the travel health insurance FAQs on the COVID-19 travel advisories and safety information page.
All students can purchase an insurance package for travel health insurance and liability insurance from the DAAD.
1.3. Could I do an internship abroad as a short-term alternative?
If you can’t take part in your planned study abroad semester, you may consider doing an internship abroad (especially in one of the Erasmus Programme countries within Europe). Contact prospective industry employers, organizations, schools or universities to see whether a semester-long internship can be arranged on short notice.
You can apply at any time for Erasmus funding for internships lasting between 2 and 12 months. Apply for the scholarship at least 4 weeks before the internship is scheduled to start (exception: internship in UK, apply 3 months before the internship is scheduled to start). More information
If you have questions about doing an internship, please contact Verena Ladegast via email email@example.com.
1.3.1. Can I receive Erasmus+ internship funding, even if my internship was completed remotely?
Remote completion of Erasmus+ mobilities is still allowed. From the start, students can benefit from e-learning options ((OLS) online language courses/language training that is not offered via OLS/hands-on intercultural learning). The financial support for the mobility starts as soon as the intern enters the host country, regardless of whether the internship took place at the physical office or remotely.
1.3.2. Can I apply for other funding programmes for internships abroad?
Some funding programmes continue to be available for internships abroad, others have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The most current options are published (in German) in the DAAD scholarship database.
1.4. What about study abroad stays in the future? (as of: February 2022)
The pandemic continues to strongly affecting our everyday lives and university live, too. We have to assume that the overall situation regarding international travel opportunities and restrictions will remain dynamic.
Please weigh very carefully whether you want to go abroad if you are planning to travel to a country for which the German Foreign Office has issued a travel advisory, and which is on the Robert Koch Institute's list of risk areas.
We would like to encourage anyone interested in Study Abroad to apply in November or January/February within the set deadlines – only then the International Office can communicate with you, nominate you at partner universities and make sure that all relevant information is shared. If you can really go on the study abroad stay remains to be seen – please keep in mind that you’ll have to be very flexible until the last minute and adapt to current developments. Furthermore, for some global programmes a parallel application to the Erasmus+ programme is not possible - please ask the respective coordinators.
The developments in the pandemic have taken us all by surprise again and again. In an ongoing pandemic, you have to expect:
1.That local measures might significantly deviate from those in Konstanz/Germany, such as strict curfews, no visits to other households, discontinuation of public transport, restricted radius of movement.
2. That boarders might get closed, air and travel options may be restricted and possibly travel within the host country will not be permitted.
3. That you might have to go into quarantine in your host country as well as when returning home: during this time you’ll have to provide for yourself and occupy yourself WITHOUT endangering family members/flat mates. In case of quarantine measures by the host university, these might lead to considerable costs, which have to be borne by yourself.
4. That you have to expect additional health checks and, consequently, additional costs. In addition, visa processing might take more time and additional documents might be needed to be handed in.
5. That leisure activities, parties, excursions and so on might not be possible in certain pandemic situations.
6. That online studies might be quite lonely and a stable internet connection as well as good technical equipment is required.
7. That you might spend a lot of time in your accommodation.
8. That medical care in the host country might not meet German standards.
9. Proof of vaccination may be required and/or regualr testing
Please be aware of such potential limitations: a stay abroad during a pandemic is possible - but requires particularly good preparation, planning, high resilience, knowledge of the local language and a solid financial cushion as well as flexibility.
The International Office will provide all relevant information to nominated students BEFORE they head off. However, we cannot promise to have all the information, and, of course, the situation might quickly change. Withdrawals are possible.
Tip: Prepare your study abroad stay well and don’t be surprised if there are last-minute changes. Do not book anything you cannot cancel, and do not cancel your accommodation contract in Konstanz yet. Scholarships are usually tied to in-person presence in the host country. Issued travel advisories might influence the situation.
The staff of the International Office can be contacted via E-mail and offers virtual consultation hours. Contact the International Office team via email. Information events are published in the newsletter "Online-Veranstaltungen/Online Events". Registered students will be notified directly via email through our database MobilityOnline.
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