You are here: Home Freiburg Students Studying Abroad University of Freiburg Global …

University of Freiburg Global Exchange Programs

The International Office coordinates the university-wide exchange programs with the University of Freiburg's overseas partner universities. Full-time, degree-seeking students can apply for these programs.


What is the University of Freiburg Global Exchange?

The University of Freiburg Global Exchange programs are based on student exchange agreements between the University of Freiburg and our overseas (non-European) partner universities. Exchange means that Freiburg students can study at the partner universities abroad for one or two semesters, and students from our partner universities can do the same in Freiburg.

These programs are university-wide, which means that the International Office - a central administrative office - coordinates this exchange and that all full-time, degree-seeking students at the University of Freiburg can apply at the International Office. Faculties and/or academic departments at the university may have their own student exchange agreements, which they coordinate themselves. Ask your academic advisor for more information.

What are the advantages of an exchange program?

If you wish to study abroad for one or two semesters, you can always apply directly at universities across the world. The advantage to applying as a so-called "free mover" or "visiting student" is that you can choose the universities freely, as long as they offer short-term, non-degree seeking study opportunities. When you apply for an exchange, you can only be placed at one of our available partner universities, and you may not necessarily be placed at any of your top choice institutions. However, the exchange has advantages over studying abroad as a free mover:

  • You do not pay tuition. In many countries, international students pay considerably more tuition than local students. Through the exchange agreements, tuition is waived.
  • You apply at your own university. While that means you first have to convince the University of Freiburg that you are a suitable candidate for the exchange, the process is guided by us. If you apply as a free mover, you are on your own.
  • You actively contribute to your home university's internationalization and its international relationships.


What Are The Application Timelines?


Northern Hemisphere (USA, Canada, Asia):

  • March/April: new calls for application are published
  • Summer Semester: information sessions take place, participation is obligatory for some programs; note that there will be no sessions offered close to the deadline so you must make sure to register early
  • Application Deadline: September/October for USA, Canada, Asia; November for the UMass Graduate Program, USA


Note: This is always the year before the stay abroad, so for example: the deadline in Sept/Oct 2019 is for the academic year 2020-21, with the exchange beginning in Aug/Sept 2020 at the earliest.


Southern Hemisphere (South Africa, Oceania):

  • September: new calls for application are published
  • Winter Semester: information sessions take place, participation is obligatory for some programs; note that there will be no sessions offered close to the deadline so you must make sure to register early
  • Deadline: May


Note: This is always the year before the stay abroad, so for example: the deadline in May 2019 is for the academic year 2020, with the exchange beginning in Jan/Feb 2020 at the earliest.

Who Can Apply?

Students wishing to participate in the Freiburg Global Exchange programs must be enrolled in a degree-seeking study program (Bachelor, Master, Staatsexamen) at the University of Freiburg at the time of the application and for the entirety of the stay abroad. Generally, students from all disciplines can apply. However, some restrictions on the study subjects available to exchange students at our partner universities mean students of some disciplines cannot apply to study within their own field.

Students of these following disciplines are only able to apply for disciplines outside of, but related to their own area of study (for example, a medical student may apply to take biology classes or a law student may apply to study politics).


USA and Canada

  • medicine
  • dentistry
  • nursing
  • pharmacy                          
  • clinical psychology
  • law
  • business (heavy restrictions overall; business students cannot apply for the Graduate Program Massachusetts, USA)


  • medicine (medical students can apply for a study or research stay in Nagoya only)
  • law (heavy restrictions)

South Africa

  • medicine
  • dentistry   
  • nursing
  • pharmacy
  • clinical psychology


  • medicine
  • dentistry   


What Are The Requirements For An Application?

There are a few important overall requirements:

  • You must be a full-time, degree-seeking student at the University of Freiburg and remain enrolled as such for the entirety of the stay abroad.
  • You must be flexible. This is very important. You must be especially flexible in terms of course selection. There is no guarantee that exchange students can enroll in all the courses they wish to take. Some programs may be entirely closed to exchange students. You must also be flexible in terms of university choice. It may not be possible to place you at one of your preferred universities.
  • You must have sufficient language proficiency depending on the countries you apply for.
    • USA and Canada: good English language proficiency (TOEFL required)
    • Oceania, South Africa and Asia*: good English language proficiency (test results required)
  • You must be able to finance the stay abroad. While you do not have to pay tuition, a stay abroad is still costly. Living expenses including accommodation, travel expenses, health insurance and other insurances, etc. have to be covered. There are several  ways to finance the semester/s abroad, but make sure you get informed early!


*Different language proficiency requirements exist in the Asia program depending on the country or countries of choice. Details will be provided in the information sessions.

How To Prepare

Research the exchange programs as early as possible to avoid any troubles in meeting the deadlines. Note that some documents, such as TOEFL/IELTS scores and letters of recommendation, take at least a few weeks to acquire.

  • Regularly check for the current calls for application.
  • Attend an information session for the program you are interested in. Note that attendance is obligatory for some programs, otherwise you cannot apply. Register as early as possible because there will be no sessions close to the deadline.
  • Research every partner university listed in the call for applications for the program you are interested in. It is your responsibility to find out if your own academic field or a field similar to your own is offered. Mind the relevant information you have received in the info sessions.
  • Read exchange reports from former outgoing exchange students.


How To Apply

Follow the instructions provided in the information sessions and in the call for applications. Be aware of the two types of documents which, if required for the application, need at least a few weeks to be completed:

  • Recommendation letters: be sure to request them at a time when your professors are available, and remember that they need enough time to complete the documents before the application deadline.
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores: Schedule appointments as soon as possible after you've decided to apply. There may be a long waiting list, and after you have taken the test it may take a few weeks for official score reports to be sent out.


Application Documents Download


While exchange programs typically exempt you from paying tuition at the partner university (meaning you do not have to pay tuition), living expenses and other university fees must be covered by the student. There are a number of available funding opportunities including Auslandsbafög, DAAD scholarships and a wide range of other stipends. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with funding as early as possible, and make sure to know the application deadlines for each scholarship (they are often earlier than the exchange application deadlines).

Learn more about the various funding opportunities.



For any more questions, contact the responsible staff at the International Office:

Oceania, Asia

Dr. Jens Langer                 


office hours at appointment via e-mail only 

USA, Canada, South Africa, Oxford Research Stay

Mareen Kästner


office hours at appointment via e-mail only


Other Exchange Programs

  • Faculty and departmental exchange programs (Fakultäts- und Institutsaustauschprogramme) are coordinated by each faculty or academic department, not the International Office, since these programs are not university-wide. Contact your own faculty or department for information.
  • ERASMUS programs are coordinated by the EU office.