Going abroad should be a key element in studying a foreign language. While students of English and American studies can gather experience about Britain, the US, Canada and other anglophone places through travel or short visits, these stays mostly do not provide the kinds of insights graduates will want to have. And they rarely allow for the personal growth that usually accompanies a longer stay in a foreign country. The information below therefore provides guidance for various options students at Erlangen have for going abroad. Neither our BA programmes nor our teaching degrees have a specific semester set aside for going abroad. Many students aim for their foreign placement following the fourth semester at Erlangen; but there are numerous reasons why a different point in time might be better suited for others. Speak to your advisers about your specific needs:
(a) Those students being able to pay full tuition fees can contact their prospective host universities directly and ask about the modalities for spending one or two terms in a degree program or as a non-degree-seeking student at the location of their choosing. At the very top-tier US universities, fees and living costs are likely to add up to around US $ 60,000 per year, but, of course, it is possible to study at an American university at lower costs.
(b) There is funding available for well qualified and highly motivated students through either the German-American Fulbright Program or the DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service); both programs annually open a round of application (application deadlines in June and July, respectively) for quite generous scholarships that cover most costs associated with studying abroad. In order to succeed, you should have top grades and have a clear plan of study in mind that matches a particular degree program or a specific field of studies at a given university. Other scholarships are granted by the local branch of the VDAC (Verein der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Clubs) for the USA and by PÉÉ (Programme d’Échanges Étudiants) for Canada (application deadline: usually in January). At present, there is only one English-speaking university available in the latter program: Bishop‘s University (Sherbrooke, Québec).
(c) The FAU runs a number of exchange programs with US universities on a mutual basis. Successful applicants usually get a tuition waiver at their respective host institution plus varying other benefits (e.g. teaching assistantships). At present you may apply for an academic year (only MSU offers a shorter stay) at the following US universities and colleges:
– University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
– Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA)
– University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS)
– Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, MI)
– Minnesota State University (Mankato, MN)
Further particulars are listed on the homepage of the International Office (Referat für Internationale Angelegenheiten). To apply for the exchange, students generally need to submit a letter of motivation, a current transcript of records, and two letters of recommendation by local teachers. The deadline is usually mid-November.
There is funding available for well qualified and highly motivated students through the DAAD (the German Academic Exchange Service), which annually opens a round of application for generous scholarships that cover most costs associated with studying abroad. Successful applicants usually have a clear academic goal in mind that requires them to attend a particular degree programme at a particular university.
A third option consists of exchange programmes that the English department runs with a number of European partners, supported by EU-funds under the Erasmus+ rubric. Successful applicants do not have to pay tuition fees at their host institutions and receive a stipend to defray costs associated with studying abroad. At present the Department of English at Erlangen has contracts with universities in Great Britain (Kent, Birmingham, Orkney, and Coleraine), Ireland (Limerick and Cork), Denmark (Roskilde), Norway (Oslo), Belgium (Louvain), and Poland (Wroclaw). Most partners expect students to stay for a full academic year. Further particulars are listed, by department, with our International Office. To apply for a placement with the English department, students need to submit a letter of motivation and a current transcript of records through our online application tool. The link is available here from 15 December to 15 January. Placement offers will be sent out via e-mail starting by the end of January: applicants are threfore urged to check for messages frequently since offers need to be accepted within about five days.
The English department also has a direct exchange programme with University College Dublin. While there is no stipend involved, students do not have to pay local tuition fees. To apply for a placement at UCD, please use the department’s Erasmus+ tool described in the previous paragraph.
In the past, students have also successfully arranged for international placements at universities in Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Since the department has no formalized partnerships with universities in these geographical regions, such plans ask for a good amount of initiative; but reports from returning students demonstrate that such plans are well worth the effort.
When studying abroad or taking up a longer internship, students should apply for a leave of absence (Beurlaubung) with the registrar. This procedure not only guarantees that, upon their return, students can continue in their original programme of studies; it also allows for a smooth transition of health insurance, student loans (BAföG), and related issues. After spending time abroad, students can apply for course work to be transferred into the degree programmes at their home institution. To start this process, please contact Dr. Harald Zapf (for courses in English and American studies), Dr. Ingrid Fandrych (for applied language courses), or Prof. Dr. Thorsten Piske (for courses in teaching pedagogy).
Current information about events, open places, and other material is posted on the notice boards of the American Studies programme (next to room C302) and, for the rest of the world, on the board next to room C3A2. Various academic agencies offer information targeted at students who want to go abroad, for instance the DAAD with material aimed at students in our teaching degree programmes.
At the beginning of each semester, the study abroad advisers run an info-night that introduces the main programmes. The next event will take place in April or May 2018.
More general information is available from the university’s international office.