Selecting a mobility programme
First, you need to choose the right mobility programme for your placement abroad. This will depend on what you want to study or research, as well as your language skills. If you want to do a placement abroad, but can’t decide whether you want to stay in Europe or go further afield, help is at hand. The International Relations and Mobility Programmes department at TU Graz will give you comprehensive advice on the 15 available study and funding opportunities, and can also provide you with written details. Additionally, you will find lots of information on the TU4U intranet site. Generally speaking, all universities have a department like this.
There are varying timeframes for placements abroad, depending on the mobility programme you choose. TU Graz students can apply for a study placement abroad lasting between one and two semesters. If you wish to spend a shorter time abroad, then a work or research placement or a summer programme are better options.
You could also take courses run in collaboration with a university abroad. TU Graz students can apply for funding for the part of the course that takes place at the partner institution. This should last between five days and three weeks.
You will find detailed information on all mobility programmes and the university’s partner institutions one the TUGraz intranet site.
I spent a year at Nanyang Technological University [NTU] in Singapore as part of the OverSEAs Programme [formerly the Joint Study Programme]. When I got there the information available on the intranet and which NTU e-mailed be was extremely useful! The contact I had with other exchange students was also crucial. (Martin Sperrer, Mechanical Engineering and Business Economics bachelor’s degree programme, OverSEAs Programme participant 2016/17)
Each mobility programme has its own application deadlines and response times, which you need to take into consideration. The Marshall Plan Scholarship, the TU Graz Research Abroad Scholarship and CEEPUS each have two or three application deadlines per year. The deadline for the Erasmus+ programme is the beginning of the year for placements in the following academic year. This year the Erasmus+ application deadline is 18 January 2018. Online registration opened on 14 December 2017. The application becomes binding once it has been submitted. In November and December, TU Graz students who would like to travel further afield outside Europe can apply for the ISEP and OverSEAs programmes, as well as the Double Degree Programme with Tongji University in China.
I spent a year at the University of Bristol in the UK as an Erasmus+ student. All in all, it was surprisingly simple to organise. I started making the arrangements in December. What took the most time was finding courses at the partner university which could be accredited on my degree programme at TU Graz. But it’s worth doing this thoroughly as it forms the basis of your study placement abroad. (Jannik Hildebrandt, Software Development and Business Management degree programme, Erasmus+ programme participant 2016/17)
Depending on the mobility programme you choose, there are various ways of obtaining funding. Visit the TU4U intranet site for details including the funding amounts and requirements. You can also apply for a grant for work placements abroad (within or outside Europe). The application documentation must be submitted to the International Relations and Mobility Programmes department no later than one month before the beginning of the placement. See the intranet for further details about ERASMUS+ Student Traineeships.
The selection criteria for the allocation of places on programmes include:
- academic performance (how quickly you are progressing through your degree as well as your grades)
- relevant language skills
- choice of intended study programme
- additional considerations such as the mentoring of a foreign student
- the length of your stay abroad.
For some of the mobility programmes you also need to consider a few other details. You can only apply for the Erasmus+ and ISEP programmes if you have already earned 60 ECTS credits on your degree programme.
For the OverSEAs programme, partner universities including The Chinese University of Hong Kong (only relevant for architecture students), the University of Tokyo, the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and the University of Houston require 180 ECTS credits.
You have to provide evidence of the required language skills with your application. As well as internationally recognised language certificates, copies of certificates/reports from language teaching providers (schools, centres or institutes) are also accepted. Test results and certificates/reports from teaching providers cannot be more than two years old. In the case of English, the Oxford Online Placement Test (OOPT) is also accepted, as long as the mobility programme in question does not require any other form of evidence. However, the OOPT is only accepted for the selection process at TU Graz.
Generally speaking, partner institutions in Scandinavia, the Benelux countries, Eastern Europe, Greece and Turkey only require English for the Erasmus+ programme. For stays in other European countries you need (basic) proficiency in the country's language (Spanish, Portuguese, French or Italian), even if you have chosen courses which are taught in English.
My tip for your internal application at TU Graz and application to the partner university would just be to carefully read the articles on the intranet as well as all the e-mails you get. And also to provide all the information required and submit it in time. (Jannik Hildebrandt, Software Development and Business Management degree programme, Erasmus+ programme participant 2016/17)