Exchange Semester

Studentin mit Buch vor Baum in Kirschblüte

Since the introduction of the new bachelor and master degree programs, it has become easier for German students to study a semester abroad. Exchange semesters are enjoying increasing popularity among students and are now already an integral part of many degree programs. Our faculty offers two bachelor degree programs with a so-called "mobiltiy window" in the 5th semester that allows students to study or work abroad.

Getting to know another country and its education system, making international contacts and improving language skills make the learning effect of a semester abroad more effective and intensive.

Partner universities, scholarships and exchange programs ease the decision to go abroad. The FH Aachen cooperates with several partner universities allowing thus to transfer the credit points accumulated in courses at a partner institution abroad to its own courses. In some cases (e.g. in international degree programs), credit points can be accumulated at two universities to reach a double university degree.

Contacts

Click here to get a list of contacts for questings relating to studying or working abroad. | Contacts

When is the best time for studying abroad?

The academic year (two terms) usually starts in September and ends in the middle of July at most European universities. Exchange students have the possibility to commence their studies abroad both in September (winter semester) and in March (summer semester). To avoid overlappings in examination periods, the winter semester is often the better option.

In general, as soon as the decision is made for the country to go for study, get informed about the usual semester times (beginning and end), which are applicable there. The best time for a study abroad can be found after considering the FH Aachen's application deadlines, the curriculum of the study program, and the personal financial situation.

General pre-conditions are:

  • Successful test results of at least 60 credits (ECTS) in total.
  • No 3rd examination attempt should be due.
  • Sufficient language proficiency or willingness and capability to learn the language of the host country.

 

 

Applying for a study abroad

Information about the documents required for application, can be found on the page Studieren im Ausland of the Department of International Affairs. The page is available in German only, as the service is intended for students of the FH Aachen that want to study outside of Germany.

Application deadlines for a study abroad

Students, enrolled in any study program offered by the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics (besides engineering management) have to follow the deadlines of the Department of International Affairs:

  • Application deadline for a partner university inside Europe:
    15 March
    (for studying abroad in the following winter semester)
    15 October
    (for studying abroad in the following summer semester)
  • Application deadline for a partner university outside Europe:
    15 February (for studying abroad in the following winter semester)
    15 September (for studying abroad in the following summer semester)

Engineering managers (or students of other study programs who want solely to participate in business courses) have to follow the deadlines of the International Faculty Office:

  • Application deadline for a partner university inside Europe:
    30 March (for studying abroad in the following winter semester)
    30 September (for studying abroad in the following summer semester)
  • Application deadline for a partner university outside Europe:
    30 November (for studying abroad in the following winter semester)
    30 June (for studying abroad in the following summer semester)

Those who want to study within Europe should start their arrangements (e.g. application, clarifying if the chosen courses are suitable for credit transfer) at least half a year (1 semester) in advance.

Exchange students who want to study outside of Europe should start to plan their stay abroad at least a year prior to their planned departure.

Mobility Window

If you are planning to go abroad during your mobility window, then please apply for the mobility window (which is equivalent to 30 credits) in the Examination Office of our faculty BEFORE you leave for your stay abroad. 

Like any other examination, too, it's not possible to write the test first and to get it registered for it afterwards!

You find the registration form for the mobility window in the Download section of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics:

https://www.fh-aachen.de/fachbereiche/maschinenbau-und-mechatronik/downloads/

Experience reports

Travel impressions

Former exchange students of our faculty have posted their experiences (see link below) made during their studies at a FH Aachen partner university abroad. We hope that their reports (only available in German) help those who are still undecided and that their feedback is used to choose the right partner university.

Below you find reports (only in German) by students of our Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics faculty, who have spent a semester abroad working for a company or research facility to fulfil practice-oriented parts of their studies (internship, bachelor or master thesis (BT or MT), "Mobilitaetsfenster" (MobF):

Partner Universities

... there are approx. 130 partner universities throughout the world:
—> within Europe
—> outside Europe

Student internships abroad

Student reading a book on the seashore

Prospective employers in almost every field look favorably upon experience gained while working and living abroad. Knowledge obtained of another language and culture is favored. Interns have better career prospects. 
Other obvious benefits of internships abroad are:

  • Getting familiar with foreign work environments and gathering of practical experience.
  • Acquisition of important intercultural competence
  • Establishing contacts with foreign employers
  • Enhancing maturity and social poise,
  • Enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Higher problem solving skills; fuelled by the necessity to confront challenges outside a familiar support network and comfort zone.
  • Language acquisition is achieved through practical immersion.
  • Enhanced interest in global issues as well as broadening general knowledge.

The Career Service of the FH Aachen helps arrange internships within the EU. Students who are interested in an internship outside the EU are requested to contact the FH Aachen’s Department of International Affairs (-> this web page is intended for German students and therefore only available in German).

Language courses and exams

The FH Aachen Language CentreSprachenzentrum provides foreign language teaching and language examinations on all campuses of the FH Aachen: Aachen, Jülich, Linnich and Geilenkirchen. Each campus has an office that provides advice and further services for students and potential student. The Sprachenakademie organizes:

  • Language courses within the faculty, running during a semester 
  • Summer/Winter school (cross-faculty and  intensive language courses offered during the semester break)
  • Language exams / certificates: linguistic entrance tests for selected courses, English language tests for international academic entrance (IELTS, TOEFL, etc).
  • Technical English/French courses, specifically tailored for the respective degree program
  • Courses in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, Russian, Italian, and Dutch

For foreign exchange students or full-time students, the FH Aachen Language Centre offers the following courses:

  • Aachener Sprachsommer (4-week intensive German language courses in summer every year)
  • German language courses during a semester
  • German language exams required for university entrance in Germany (DSH, TestDaF)
  • Program "International German Studies"
  • Courses in English, Chinese, French, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, Russian, Italian, and Dutch
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