Foreign Studies: General Information
Integrated Studies Abroad
Whether foreign studies are a compulsory component of a degree programme or whether they are pursued as an option, they should represent neither an interruption of a student’s “domestic studies,” nor should they make it necessary for a student to extend his or her duration of study; it should be possible to pursue studies abroad as an integral part of academic programmes in Bamberg.
Early on, we committed ourselves to this philosophy and laid the necessary structural foundations:
- Before beginning a customary two-semester (one1 year) period of studies at a foreign university, University of Bamberg students and subject advisors (professors) arrange a so-called “learning agreement” that lays out courses that students should complete towards their degree while at the partner institution. In this way, students can be sure that the course work completed abroad is an adequate alternative to courses and examinations offered in Bamberg, and that this work will be duly recognised. Marks earned abroad are converted to fit the German system.
- The extent to which foreign course credit and completed examinations may be “imported” is of course limited, but the University of Bamberg generally accepts more foreign credit than most other universities.
- The faculty (and the university) has established a broad network of economics and social science exchange programmes that includes over 300 foreign universities. It is, however, also possible to pursue foreign studies at other universities proposed by the students.
- The international office and the faculty’s foreign studies representatives are available to answer questions and provide information and assistance. The international office is responsible for all general organisational and administrative matters; the faculty’s foreign studies representative and his staff are responsible for matters pertaining to subject-specific course content.
Double degree programmes represent an even higher degree of internationality than our integrated studies abroad. The Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business Administration offers many different double degree programs.
What makes double degree programmes particularly appealing is that graduates are awarded two degrees – one (bachelor’s or master’s) from the University of Bamberg, and one from the foreign partner university. Compared to integrated foreign studies in which students apply foreign credit to a degree in Bamberg, double degrees are designed in such a way that one portion of the fully coordinated programme is completed at the University of Bamberg, and the other portion is completed at the partner university where participants are enrolled not as “visitors,” but as regular students.
Please visit the web page of the respective program for detailed information.
When to go Abroad?
For students in bachelor’s degree programmes (three-year duration), the intended period for completing integrated studies abroad is in either the second or third year of study. For master’s students (two-year duration), foreign studies are only possible in the second year. For those students pursuing a Diplom, integrated studies abroad are generally intended to take place after completion of the basic studies portion of the degree programme, and at the beginning of the main study period.
Regardless of the degree programme, students should note: It is up to the individual students to take responsibility for initiating their own studies abroad (even in programmes where these are compulsory). We recommend that you acquire all relevant information and submit your applications early!
A certain level of foreign language proficiency is required for studies abroad – and not just to be able to follow and successfully complete courses. Ideally, you should also be able to immerse yourself as fully as possible in your host country’s daily life and social customs. In doing so, you also gain much-desired qualifications for later ventures in the corporate labour market; this is what human resources departments refer to as “cross-cultural competence.”
For students completing foreign studies in Spanish, Italian, French, Russian or English-speaking countries, appropriate prior knowledge of the respective language is essential, and expected. However, those who choose to study at a university in a country like Denmark, Norway, Poland, Hungary etc. will not necessarily have mastered or have had the opportunity to learn the language before going abroad (but even here, a basic knowledge of the language is desirable). In such cases, students would have to get by using English and would generally only visit such countries if the hosting university also offers programmes in English.
The numerous European and worldwide exchange programmes that are supported by the faculty and the broader university require that students are able to verify a sufficient level of language proficiency at the time of application. The University of Bamberg’s Language Centre offers language courses for several common languages, but its main focus is business-specific language courses that are sometimes required and sometimes electives in business and economics degree programmes.
Generally speaking, studies abroad can be completed at any foreign university. However, in order to be deemed “integrated” into the University of Bamberg’s programmes, the responsible subject advisor must approve the credit earned abroad as being equivalent to courses offered here. This means that students are free to independently contact the foreign university of their choice in order to learn about its programmes and the possibility of studying there.
The University of Bamberg has established specific exchange programmes with partner universities abroad. These programmes usually include arrangements concerning matters like the waiving of tuition fees, arranging for visiting students’ accommodations, advisory services, etc. Exchange programmes with European partner universities generally fall under the coordination of the Erasmus Programme.
Exchange Programmes for Economics and Business Students
An overview of foreign partner institutions and study abroad programmes that are particularly relevant to studies in the social sciences, economics and business administration can be found on the International Office website.
Funding and Financial Aid for Foreign Studies
- Bafög, etc.
- Other scholarships
Additional Information can be found here (in German).
Approval of Semesters Abroad
To cover their time abroad, students generally apply for "semesters on leave" from the University of Bamberg.
Semesters on leave granted for studies abroad are final, and the retroactive retraction of this leave is not possible.
- Semester contributions and other fees for studies at the University of Bamberg do not apply to approved semesters on leave.
- Foreign credit approved by the University of Bamberg is applied to each student’s total number of semesters studied. It is not necessary to pay for extra semesters based on foreign course work.
More details can be found in the study regulations of the single subjects. Information about the organisation and the necesary documents can be found here (in German).