What does modular degree program mean?
In a modular degree program, subjects consist of a number of compulsory and compulsory elective modules, which are complete in themselves. For each module completed, one grade and a defined number of credits are awarded. A subject is considered completed as soon as the number of required credits is accumulated. Besides the thesis, there is no other final assessment.
The content of the modules may be coordinated or independent from each other. Modules summarize various subjects, which are taught in traditional classes (lectures, seminars, exercises, tutorials). Such classes are usually integrated with one another and should hence be taken in a specific order. For example, it is not recommended to start language classes straightaway at level 3 (unless the required language proficiency has been proven in a respective test beforehand). However, there are exceptions to the rules, for which you may refer to the respective teacher.
What is the ECTS?
In order to facilitate the recognition of academic performance and of credits, the majority of European higher education institutions have introduced the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. The system is based on a shared scale for measuring the workload in credit points. The system defines the performance required from students to complete a course unit (e.g., a full academic year corresponds to 60 credits). As it is at the institutions’ discretion to decide how many credits are awarded for a certain subject, the number of credits for a subject may vary between home and host institution.
Will my studies abroad be recognized at my home institution and/or will I get the respective credits?
The transfer agreement between your home and host institution specifies the conditions for recognizing academic performance and credits. Your partial studies abroad are an integral part of your home institution’s degree program and will be fully recognized, as it is stipulated in the cooperation agreement between the home and host institution.
Your host university will provide you with the respective documents, e.g., documents with information on modules you have taken, credits accumulated and grades (Transcript of Records).
What is a Learning Agreement?
Before going abroad, an agreement including details on the modules the student is intending to take will be set up. This agreement plays a vital role in European exchange projects and arrangements. The so-called Leaning Agreement lists all subjects you are going to take. Students are expected to sign a Learning Agreement before arriving at the host institution. The agreement is to be signed by the relevant person at the home institution and by the relevant person at the host institution. Subsequent changes to the Learning Agreement are possible, provided that the parties involved agree upon them. At the end of the stay abroad, the host institution will issue the exchange student a document that lists the results of their coursework under the Learning Agreement to be presented to their home institution. The Learning Agreement is to include information on the subject (title, number of credits and mode of assessment) as well as general information about the student.
Do I have to choose the Double Degree Program or are there other study programs too?
You only have to make your decision about the Double Degree Program in your third semester. It is only at this point that you can apply for the program. The Double Degree Program is a special program by HAMK Wetterhoff and the Faculty of Applied Arts Schneeberg of the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences, Zwickau. You can also do a semester abroad in this case; however, you will only graduate with one degree.
Which language requirements do I have to meet?
You have to meet a basic standard as regards the host country's language. Courses and evaluations are given in English at HAMK and in German at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences. Language proficiency level B2 is required. You may choose different ways of obtaining a language certificate. For more information, please refer to the International Offices of the universities. Furthermore, the host institution offers a preparatory intensive-language course.
Will examinations be recognized at home?
For the time of the exchange, assignments and assessments are conducted on the basis of the valid degree program and examination regulations of the respective partner university. You do not have to take additional examinations at your home institution. Your studies abroad will be fully recognized. The curriculum of this Double Degree Program stipulates which modules you can choose and which examinations you have to take.
How often will I have to travel between Germany and Finland?
The first part of the Double Degree Program (first to fourth semester) will be entirely spent at your home university. The second part (fifth to sixth semester) will be spent at the partner university. After this, you can either return to your home country or stay for a work placement semester (seventh semester). The final project (eighth semester) can be carried out at home or at the partner institution. Usually, you will have to travel there and back only once.
Will I have to pay tuition fees abroad?
For participants of the Double Degree Program, no fees payable to the host institution fall due (e.g., for classes, enrollment, examinations, access to libraries, etc.). However, exchange students should bear in mind that they will still have to pay semester fees at home.
Will I receive financial aid for additional expenditures abroad?
A so-called Mobility Grant will be paid under the European Union’s Socrates/Erasmus program. The Erasmus grant is intended to help balance the cost differences between living at home and abroad. However, it is not a full scholarship. The amount to be granted depends on the respective country and is updated regularly. Grants are awarded by the Foreign Office of the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences. The Foreign Office also provides more detailed information on the amount of the grant, application deadlines and details of the application procedure.
Why and how should I apply for financial aid?
Even though you will not be charged tuition fees, your exchange stay will cost more than studying at home. You will have expenditures for travelling, accommodation, insurance, etc. Your International Offices and your Double Degree Program contact person can provide more information on possible funding.
Will I continue receiving state funding / scholarships during my studies abroad?
While enrolled with your home university, you can continue receiving state funding / scholarships during your stay under the ERASMUS program. Your International Office and your Double Degree Program contact person can provide more information.
Is it possible to receive funding for preparatory language classes?
Erasmus students intending to go to a country wherein the language of which is less widely used and less taught may, under certain conditions, receive additional funding for an Erasmus Intensive Language Preparation Course in the host country. This course will be taken before the start of the regular ERASMUS study period. Your International Office offers further information on additional funding for language courses outside the Erasmus program.
How will I find a room / an apartment?
Finding accommodation is one of the first steps of your studying abroad experience. A room or apartment on the university campus would be the most inexpensive and simplest option in most cases. Your International Office and your Double Degree Program contact person can provide more information.
Will I need a residence permit or a visa for my stay abroad?
No, you do not need a visa for studying in another EU country.
Will I need additional insurance for my stay abroad?
Before you leave, you must obtain appropriate health insurance, travel insurance and personal liability insurance. Your International Office will provide more information on these matters.
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