The semester abroad
Both the professional internship and the study-abroad semester give students the opportunity to apply their recently acquired knowledge and to develop their intercultural capabilities. Thus, students not only gain expertise in their field but also grow personally through novel and challenging situations.
Procedures for going abroad to study
Choosing a partner institution for the semester abroad:
In the section “International Programs” of the homepage of the FH Kufstein, there is a List of Partner Universities. The list displays the names and geographical locations of the institutions, and offers links to their websites so that candidates can further inform themselves about program offerings, courses and application procedures.
As an additional resource for students planning their semester abroad, the library of the FH Kufstein maintains a collection of brochures and other documents connected with the partner institutions. Furthermore, the staff of the International Relations Office (IRO) is also there to help students with specific questions.
Every winter semester, the IRO distributes to the degree programs a list of all the student places available at the partner institutions of the FH Kufstein. In turn, the degree programs provide their students with a preference list, which the students fill out by indicating their individual favorites for their study-abroad semester (up to 5 institutions, ranked according to the student’s preferences). The degree programs are then responsible for selecting the students and allocating them to the available places, which are strictly limited. The decisions are based on the second foreign language chosen by the individual students, their grade point average, as well as their preferences as indicated in the list. Thereupon, the degree programs notify their students about the decision and also pass on to the IRO the list with the names of the students and the respective institutions they were assigned to.
After this first allocation round, the IRO produces a second document listing all the places that are still free. The degree programs receive a copy and distribute it to any interested students. Once all students have been allocated to a place, the degree programs submit a finalized allocation list to the IRO, which will be used for nominating the students to the partner universities.
Please note: before being nominated, students are not permitted to contact the partner institutions in any way and for any reason.
Preparing for the semester abroad at the partner university:
The IRO nominates the students to the partner universities at the beginning of the summer semester of every year by communicating the names, e-mail addresses, as well as the planned duration of the stay abroad. The students receive an automatically generated e-mail to inform them when the nomination has been made. Only after this point may students take up contact with the partner university allocated to them in order to inform themselves about, for example, the start of the semester, courses, and housing.
After the IRO has nominated the students to the partner universities, they can, in general, expect to receive a “Letter of Acceptance” (Inscription Certificate) and other informational material from the respective universities. The “Letter of Acceptance” is necessary for, among other things, applying for a visa for the destination country. Students should make sure that they initiate all processes early enough because, for example, for certain countries the issuance of a student visa can take a relatively long time.
Students are also obliged to inform themselves about health insurance requirements and, in cases where they are not covered, to take out the necessary insurance policy for the period of their stay abroad. Some partner universities require that students submit proof of health insurance before they can be matriculated.
Students who opt to spend their semester abroad within the EU may apply for a Sokrates/Erasmus scholarship. The application forms are available from the download center of the International Program. The fully completed application must be submitted to the IRO by the deadline. Thereupon the IRO enters the data from the application into the Erasmus system. After this, the Erasmus Scholarship Bureau Austria contacts the student directly by e-mail for all further matters. Students who are already receiving a scholarship for their studies should inquire at the office or institute that has granted them the scholarship for funding possibilities during their semester abroad.
The Learning Agreement is a contract between a given student, the home institution (i.e., the “sending institution”) and the host institution (i.e., the “receiving institution”). This contract is required by the institutions for recognizing and transferring the credits attained while studying abroad.
In the semester before going abroad, students are obliged to select the academic courses they intend to take at the host institution and enter the course titles into their learning agreement. The students then present their learning agreement to the director of studies of their degree program at the FH Kufstein (departmental coordinator of the sending institution), who must approve the course selection and sign the agreement. The learning agreement is then submitted to the head of the IRO (institutional coordinator of the sending institution), who must also sign the agreement.
The IRO returns the learning agreement to the students before they depart and upon arrival at the host institution, students must present the document to and have it signed by the responsible persons (i.e., departmental and institutional coordinators of the receiving institution).
As the semester abroad begins, it could happen that the courses a student has selected in advance are cancelled or that the student wishes to change one or the other course. In such cases, students should make use of the second page of the learning agreement, entitled “Changes to the Learning Agreement”. For all course changes, students must complete and sign this form, and also have it signed by the coordinators of the receiving institution. The form must then be sent immediately to the student’s director of studies at the FH Kufstein for review and approval.
For students who study abroad at one of the Erasmus partner institutions, the minimum number of course credits is 30 ECTS points (according to the European Credit Transfer System). Those students who intend to go to a non-Erasmus partner institution for their semester abroad must make sure that they enroll in a sufficient number of courses to reach an equivalent of 30 ECTS transfer points.
Certificates from the partner institutions
In general, the partner institution forwards the certificates attained by a visiting student directly to the IRO at the FH Kufstein. The IRO checks these certificates and forwards them to the administrative staff of the student’s degree program.