Deciding on studying abroad- Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I manage the workload?! Will I be able to keep up with the speed in the lectures and courses?
The selection of universities offered was chosen carefully and is fitting to our schedule, pace and speed here in Rheinbach. If you fulfill the requirements to join the program, you should not have more difficulties to keep up than here in Rheinbach. However, in order to fulfill the need and abilities of every student we also offer quite demanding programs like in Dundee and Aberdeen.
Will I be able to finance this trip?
Several of our exchange programs are supported by ERASMUS+Grants, scholarships might be available from the DAAD, the industry and foundations. A basic overview can be found here. Also Auslands-BAföG is easier to get than the normal BAföG. While some universities indeed charge tuition fees, there are plenty of opportunities free of charge, with a partial or even complete refund for those who qualify.
Do I know the language well enough?
The start might be a bit hard: New people, new university, new language! However, after a couple of weeks you'll certainly adjust to the new environment and language. And after your stay you will be surprised by yourself how your English has developed or how much you have learned the native language. However, we do recommend to attend a language course of the language spoken in the country of your choice beforehand, here in Germany.
How can I be sure that I find a room in a flat or a dormitory?
Often reservations for student residences can be done via the partner's international office. If you prefer to find a room/flat/house independently it is advisable to start your search well in advance. Also look for an offical application processes for university supplied student accommodation.
Is it possible that I won't be finished in time which leads to exceeding the standard period of study ("Regelstudienzeitüberschreitung")?
Since we only choose modules at our partner universities, which are according to our schedule and therefore accepted here, there will be no problems of finishing in time. In case you have not passed a module and can not repeat it by the end of the summer semester, it might be a problem indeed. But: This problem could also occur, if you study in Rheinbach only.
What, if I fail a course at the university abroad or still have courses not passed after the 4th semester?
Generally it would be good to have passed all courses after the 4th semester and not fail anything while being abroad. In case you have one open module before leaving, you can either repeat them when you are back or repeat them in the 5th semester. Examination dates usually are published well in time.
Will I find friends or spend all my days alone?!
It appears that most foreign countries are way more open and friendly to strangers, in general. Thus, it is very likely that you will be busy with new friends after just a couple of days. And the contacts you will have throughout the world, since most universities host many international exchange students, are priceless.
Do I really have so many advantages by going abroad?
The main language in scientific publications and conferences is English. The ability to use these "tools" (publications and conferences) are significant for your international career in particular. And think about how much English you will speak, if you are forced to, when staying abroad and how much you will learn with that.
We prepare you for the international scientific world while you are here in Rheinbach as much as we can. But every university and institution has its own style, its own way and advantages in matter of labs, structure and focuses. We recommend you to learn from as many places and people as possible, in order to get to know your own parameter and values.
Imagine you can choose from a hundred subjects, rather than a couple! In our partner universities you may be able to choose certain subjects you always wanted to take, but never thought you could. Check the schedules of the programs and find out!
Do not underestimate the significance of the impression on the person who decides, when you apply for a MSc or a job position! Who would you choose?! The one, who took the effort and the chance and strikes new paths, deliberately widens his or her horizon and opened himself new doors or the one who stayed behind in his old, known and comfortable position and situation?