Studying abroad enables you to gain international experience, experience an exciting time and meet many new people from other cultures. In the following we would like to bring you closer to studying abroad and give useful advice from the first considerations to the final planning of a study abroad.
Tip : You can get other useful tips on the subject of ‘studying abroad’ in many exciting lectures at the Bachelor fair in your area. You also have the opportunity to clarify your personal questions on site. You can find information about the Bachelor fair here.
WHY STUDY ABROAD?
The globalized world is also referred to in science as the “global village”. Geographic distances are becoming smaller and smaller due to technical progress (for example, by airplanes) and communication via the Internet or by telephone also makes distances disappear. Especially in the globalized economy, multinational cooperations are becoming increasingly important in order to establish themselves on the world market – think of Vodafone or Volkswagen, for example. Both companies are active in several countries and serve different markets. International experience is therefore increasingly valued by employees and is of great importance to human resources.
If you decide to study abroad, you have to make some important decisions: Should it be part-time or full-time ? Would you like to complete your entire study abroad or just do a semester abroad? You should also think about whether you want to study at a technical college or a university and what structure the education system has in your desired country. Are you studying at the university of your choice in semesters or trimesters, what are the entry requirements at the foreign universities and do you meet them? Think of an entrance examination here to determine whether your previous academic achievements are recognized and whether the subjects taken abroad are recognized in Austria. So there are a few things to consider!
SUPPORT AND FUNDING
An important aspect is the funding of studying abroad. What funding options are there to finance your studies (grants, study grants, etc.) and which of these funds can you use? To answer this question, it is important to differentiate between a complete study abroad and a semester abroad.
The Austrian government supports students who go abroad with the so-called “Aid for Study Abroad” (BAS). The amount of the contribution depends on the cost of living and studying in the host country. In order to apply for the grant to study abroad, you must be entitled to the “normal” study grant in Austria. For more information and to apply for study grants, you should contact the relevant study grants authority.
However, please note that the BAS funding period is a maximum of 20 months and therefore does not cover a complete course of study abroad. We recommend that you also inform yourself about the funding opportunities in your desired country. For example, if you would like to study in the Netherlands, you have the option of obtaining Dutch study finance. In Germany there is the possibility in some cases to apply for the German BAföG. Therefore, find out exactly which financing models are available in which country.
If you are already enrolled at an Austrian university and are planning a semester abroad, you have the option of receiving additional forms of (state) support in addition to the study grants and the grants for studying abroad. Exchange programs like ERASMUS + or cooperation agreements between your home university and partner universities offer you a reliable framework, with the help of which you can optimally plan your exchange and you do not have to worry about the subjects taken or the recognition of study achievements. Students who spend a semester abroad in the EU via the ERASMUS program receive financial support from the European government. The ERASMUS funding amounts are up to EUR 500. For more information on the ERASMUS program, we recommend that you check the ERASMUS website. Alternatively, you can also ask your home university where the partner universities are and under what conditions an exchange is possible.
If you decide to study at a foreign university and the financing is secured, there are still some administrative tasks to be done before starting your studies. Is a visa required to enter the country of study and if so, how can I get one? Does your insurance cover you abroad, or do you have to take out foreign insurance? What about opening an account abroad? What are the average rental costs and what is the housing situation in your travel destination?
STUDIED IN SWITZERLAND
Switzerland, like many other European countries, participates in the Bologna process and accordingly organizes all courses according to the Bachelor, Master and PhD system. The ECTS points valid throughout Europe are also awarded in Switzerland for your study achievements. It is therefore easy for EU citizens to study in Switzerland.
SWITZERLAND – SMALL BUT BEAUTIFUL
There are three official languages in Switzerland – German, French and Italian. Switzerland is predominantly German-speaking, which means that there is little in terms of language to prevent students from starting their studies. If you decide to study in Switzerland, you have the choice between different, interesting cities. Basel, Bern or Zurich, for example, are relatively large student cities with a lot to discover. And should you ever have enough of the city, it is absolutely no problem in Switzerland to make a detour into nature and to really relax – whether at Lake Geneva or in the mountains.
APPLICATION AND STAY
The requirements and deadlines for your application for admission can be found on the respective websites of the Swiss universities. In any case, you must present your Matura certificate and passport photo in the original or as a certified copy. For some courses you also have to take an admission test. Those who dream of a career in medicine will unfortunately be disappointed in Switzerland: Unfortunately, foreign students are not admitted to the human, dental and veterinary medicine courses.
If you apply for a degree in Switzerland, you have to register with the responsible municipal authority within 14 days and apply for a residence permit there. For this you need the following documents:
- Application for residence
- two passport photos
- Confirmation of admission from the university
- Proof of your home address at the specified location
- Proof that you can finance your studies