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Three months from now I will already be in Maynooth and just six months ago I hadn’t even applied for the programme. So no matter where you want to go, start thinking about it at least a year before leaving and do not miss any information you can get on the available exchange programmes at your school or university.

There are many more questions and problems you have to deal with during your Erasmus Registration.. I will try to sum up my own experience and write down what I think is important to know :)

After having decided to study abroad via Erasmus I searched the website of the English department of University Bonn to find out which partner universities are available. In my case there is a huge amount of universities across Europe. Each one with a special programme and depending on the countries with different options how to live and what to study exactly.

Finally I made my decision for three universities in Great Britain. My priorities were courses held in English and a good programme for my second subject Musicology. Therefore I chose the universities of Sheffield, Aberdeen and Maynooth. In my application I had to explain my choice and my general reason to study abroad. Normally you will find a list of all required documents on the websites of the International Office or your department.

Make sure to write down any application deadlines and important dates you find on the websites! Later on you might miss a deadline and not be able to go abroad even though you’ve been accepted before. I almost missed such a deadline, when I had to submit some documents to the International Office again after being accepted.

Learning Agreement

To get a first impression of your Erasmus university and what life will be there during your stay remember to check out the websites of the local university. Also search for some Facebook groups or any local information about the area. Finally don’t forget to look for the courses of your programme on the internet, to write your Learning Agreement. It has to be signed by your home university and you will need it to get into the courses abroad. Furthermore it is your security that your credits will be accepted at your home university :)

Beside lots of information you will get on the website of the university, you might have to register again for your stay abroad directly at your Erasmus university. Don’t miss the deadlines 😉
In most cases you will have to upload some personal documents and give information about your studies. Additionally they often want a proof that your insurance covers a repatriation. If you need a repatriation and insurance for staying abroad, you will find much to choose from.

Scholarships and Auslandsbafög

Many Exchange programmes already include at least a little scholarship, like Erasmus. But in most cases it does not cover the full costs of living a year abroad. There are many different ways how to finance such an exchange, in any case start searching as soon as possible and do not give up, if you fail in the beginning. 😉
Auslandsbafög or any bank credit should be applied for six months before you leave at the latest. Even if you do not get any normal Bafög try to get some for your exchange, it’s worth it!

Concerning money there’s another tipp: Get a student credit card, which you can use anywhere to get money and to pay with. It is much easier because you can already organise it from your home country and you don’t have to get a foreign bank account.

Furthermore check your passport and other important documents for their expiration date. Normally they have to be valid for at least six months after you plan to come back to your home country.

Accommodation

That’s almost the same anywhere else like it is in German University cities – rooms are hard to find and expensive to rent. If you are lucky, you find university, which saves a room for you at their dorm. If not or the dorms are too expensive, start searching early – like anything.
I am still searching for accommodation in Maynooth. I started almost two months ago, but was not lucky till now. Even local Websites like daft.ie or gumtree and some personal contact to locals haven’t been helpful by now. If anyone know somebody who knows something, let me know! :)

Finally it’s time to book your flights, pack one’s bags and looking forward to an amazing time abroad.

 

+++ my current status +++

I am registered at Maynooth university, proof of repatriation is uploaded, my Learning Agreement is signed and my passport is valid for some time again. First flights are already booked – I will be in Maynooth from September 14 😀 – but a place to sleep is still missing…

Here is a short form checklist for any of you who wants to go abroad to and does not know where to start. I will update it when I have some new information. For now, it goes as follows:

  1. Start planning your application one year before you want to leave.
  2. Write down ALL application deadlines and any other important dates you find during your search.
  3. Submit your documents according to the deadline! – Then hope to be accepted

After being accepted

  1. Check your passport, credit card and insurance.
  2. Apply for scholarships or Auslandsbafög at least six months before you leave.
  3. Make sure to register at your Erasmus university in time and submit all required documents.
  4. Check out the course programme at your Erasmus university and write your Learning Agreement.
  5. Start searching for accommodation as soon as possible.
  6. Book your flights!
  7. Make a copy of all important documents, take your stuff with you and have a great time with Erasmus!

 

If you have any questions or some further ideas, just send me an email to anna-lena@blogventure.eu
I am really looking forward to your mails!

 

See you next time and stay tuned!

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Anna-Lena Oehmann

I am studying Musicology and British Literature at Bonn University in Germany and will spend my year abroad at Maynooth University near Dublin.