Now that you have made the choice to study in Germany, you must also be familiar with the application processes and requirements that increase your chances of studying at a German university. Also, there is an uncanny relationship between international students and the ability to look out for scholarship and funding programmes to minimise their study and living costs.

Despite the fact that many German universities are tuition-free, international students have to take living costs and semester dues imposed by their respective universities into account. Even at that, these costs tend to be high, considering the German currency value. For this reason, international students are usually enthusiastic about funding opportunities that help make their effort to study in Germany an easier one.

Although the Erasmus+ programme is different from a regular scholarship opportunity that allows you to begin your studies from the start at an international university, it does offer such great opportunities for funding, cultural, and language inclusion for Nigerians and the many international students who seek to explore German culture through an exchange programme at the undergraduate or postgraduate levels of university education.

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Erasmus + Student
Once you qualify, Erasmus + can cover a wide range of costs from travelling to accommodation and even library fees. Photo Credit: Freepik - Cookie_captain
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What is the Erasmus+ Programme?

The Erasmus+ is a programme initiated under the aegis of the European Union and focuses on crucial aspects of society like education, training, youth, and sports. It ultimately allows students from partner countries or international students who have applied to universities in the programme countries to experience personal and professional development and a myriad of other opportunities.

For Nigerians studying abroad (Germany, in this case) through the programme, there is the prime opportunity to benefit from the intercultural opportunities and seamless transition into the labour market courtesy of what is learnt through the programme.

Erasmus is an acronym that stands for European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. Established as far back as 1987 by the European Community, it seeks to, as the name implies, increase the mobility of students and encourage them to explore the richness of disparate cultures other than the ones they have been used to.

The success of the Erasmus programme over the years has encouraged so many international students that, between 2012 and 2013, over 270,000 (international and European) students received grants from the programme to study or train abroad. It is further interesting that among the popular destinations that international students opt for, Germany, Spain, and France are at the top of the list.

 

The Structure of the Erasmus+ Scholarship

The uniqueness of the Erasmus+ programme is that it is a special programme that is divided into periods, the previous one having spanned from 2014-2020. The current one is slated to span from 2021-2027.

The programme is meticulously arranged into key actions, especially in view of the 2021-2027 period. Of these, the most striking and relevant for international students is the Mobility of Individuals which accounts for the following:

  • Mobility of students and staff members of participating organisations
  • Youth Participation Activities
  • DiscoverEU Activities: This promotes the experience of cultural diversity within the EU.
  • Language learning opportunities through the Erasmus+ Online Language Support (OLS)

The programme is available to two classes of organisations and countries:

  • Programme countries: of which Germany is a part.
  • Partner countries: of which Nigeria is a part.

The difference between the two is that while programme countries or organisations within them can participate in all actions of Erasmus+, Partner countries can only participate to a limited extent, and are subject to certain conditions.

However, the plus here is that if you as an international student are a citizen of a partner country, you can apply to a university that is within a programme country in order to enjoy all the benefits. So, in this case, if you apply from Nigeria to a German university that is a part of the Erasmus+ programme and get accepted, you can then apply for the Erasmus+ programme under the banner of your participating university.

Great news, yes?

To be eligible, your Nigerian university must be a member of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education. Photo Credit: Freepik - Prostooleh

Merits of the Erasmus+ Programme for International Students

As an international student who intends to move to Germany, has applied to a German university and hopes to benefit from the Erasmus+ programme, you would mostly be on the lookout for how the programme can benefit you.

Here are some of the merits and guiding principles of the programme as we feel they apply to you:

  • Protection, health and safety of participants
  • Multilingualism
  • International dimension of cultural diversity
  • Recognition and validation of skills and qualifications: You can engage in other skill-based activities asides from your academic programme.
  • Erasmus+ Open Access Requirement for educational materials
  • Erasmus+ Open Access for research and data
  • Opportunities to do internships in organisations within the programme countries.

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Erasmus+ Requirements for Nigerians to Study in Germany

The Erasmus+ programme is presented in such a way that allows international students from partner countries to study abroad for a semester or two in a German university. This is, of course, subject to if you are already a student in a university in your home country.

Here are the requirements for Nigerians to study in Germany through the Erasmus+ programme:

  • You must be currently enrolled in a home (Nigerian) university which is a member of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.
  • Your intended degree at your Nigerian university should be recognised in Germany.
  • You must seek to study at a German university that is also a member of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education.
  • Must be willing to become an exchange student under a mutual agreement of both universities (home and German hosting university) for specific mobility action.

Discover the requirements needed to study in Germany

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The Language Requirements for Erasmus+

In as much as a major part of the Erasmus+ programme seeks to cater to the academic and, in some cases, professional goals of undergraduate and postgraduate candidates through its exchange policy, the programme does take communication, language, and inter-cultural skills quite seriously.

You should also take note that the language requirements are dependent on the respective language requirements as stipulated by the German host university you have applied to. Most of the German universities which are participating universities within the Erasmus+ programme would require you to show some proof of German proficiency, especially as most courses are taught in German and few in English.

As a rule of thumb, a German level of B1 is the general requirement of proficiency in the language. This is usually the requirement for students coming in at the undergraduate level, as more courses at the postgraduate level are taught in English. However, even at this level, it is still advisable to stick to this general language requirement.

german language proficiency
If you haven't started taking German language lessons, you should start now. It's an important requirement. Photo Credit: Freepik - Lookstudio

What To Know About Host Universities

Host universities are the German universities that are participants in the Erasmus+ programme, considering that Germany itself is a programme country. This means that any student, international or otherwise, who wishes to study at a German university as an exchange student needs to apply to these host universities in order to be accepted into the Erasmus+ programme.

There is quite a number of German hosting universities which you can apply to:

  • Technische Universität Berlin
  • Humboldt Universität Berlin
  • Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
  • Universität Bremen
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Fachhochschule Eberswalde
  • Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) - Faculty of Business Administration and Economics
  • Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
  • George-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Leibniz Universität Hannover
  • Universität Kassel
  • Christian Albrechts Universität zu Kiel
  • Technische Universität München
  • Universität Potsdam
  • University of Hohenheim
  • Universität Trier

What Costs does Erasmus+ cover?

  • Travelling
  • Living costs
  • Enrolment in German university
  • University Assessment fee
  • Library fees
  • Other study-related costs from the host university

You should also note that the amount of money that can be gotten from the programme is dependent on the country you plan to study in and the duration of your stay. Erasmus+ also considers the standard of living in the country of your choice and uses this to judge how much you would receive. Currently, the range is between 150EUR to 390EUR/month.

Some Nigerian Universities that Participate in Erasmus+

  • University of Lagos
  • University of Ibadan
  • Pan African University
  • Lagos State University
  • University of Calabar
  • University of Port Harcourt
  • University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • Crawford University

Application Requirements for Erasmus+

  • Note that before you can apply for the programme, you have to be sure that your home university has an inter-institutional agreement with the German university of your choice.

Usually, when accepted, you can study abroad for a minimum of 3 months (1 trimester) to a maximum of 12 months.

The process of application here is not as convoluted as a regular application to study afresh at a German university.

  • First, you would need to have a Learning Agreement signed by you, your home university, and the host university in Germany.

A good step would be to inquire from the student affairs division or senate-house of your home university if they are a participating university in the programme. If the response is in the affirmative, you are well on your way to completing your degree in Germany. Often, you would be able to tell by yourself if your home university has an Erasmus+ office.

  • Upon filling the Learning Agreement form, you would receive the Erasmus+ Student Charter, which explains your rights and obligations with regards to your study period abroad.

Studying in Germany through the Erasmus+ programme can be a rewarding experience for you as you traverse the cultural disparities that exist between your home country and the host country you have chosen.

Check out the guidelines for Germany

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Opeyemi

I love to write, design and make music. Sneak peak of my life : @celestearth