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Bilateral Exchange

Application and Enrolment Process

If you study at a foreign university, you may want to complete one or two exchange semesters at Schmalkalden University, for instance, based on a bilateral agreement between your home university and Schmalkalden University, but not as part of either the ERASMUS+ or MAGELLAN programme.

If you study at one of our partner university, you will first need to apply internally for a place at our institution through your domestic exchange coordinator. Your coordinator will then nominate you for an exchange place at our institutional exchange coordinator. Once we inform you about we will send you the required documents, which you need to complete and send back to k.rausch(at) Please make sure that you fill out the documents correctly and, in particular, point out participation in a double degree programme, if applicable.

If you do not study at one of our partner universities, you can still apply for an exchange semester with us. In this case, please submit the completed enrolment form as well as an enrolment certificate from your current university to k.rausch(at)

The completed documents need to be provided by May 31st for the following winter semester or by November 30th for the following summer semester, respectively. After the application deadline, we will send you additional useful information as well as the letter of acceptance which you might need in order to apply for a visa, etc.

Upon successful registration at our university you can start to actually prepare your stay in Schmalkalden. There are a couple of documents that you need to bring with you to Schmalkalden. These are:

• 2 passport photos
• 6 copies of passport (just photo page) or EU identity card
• Copy of university entrance qualification



Directly on the campus of Schmalkalden University, there is a train stop called "Schmalkalden-Fachhochschule". Via the ICE junctions Eisenach (coming from Frankfurt) or Erfurt (coming from Berlin/Leipzig/Munich), climate-friendly travel within Europe or Germany exclusively by train is thus perfectly possible. The journey can be planned via the online portal of Deutsche Bahn. There is also a well-developed long-distance bus network throughout Europe. We therefore encourage students to consider alternative travel means to air travel – which also often allow them to carry more generous luggage. If applicable, feel free to ask your scholarship provider whether you can be rewarded a bonus for climate-friendly travel.



During your study period, you will most likely wish to be living close to campus. The student dormitories are affordable, fully furnished, comfortable and on-campus, and they are especially interesting for exchange students, who are going to stay in Schmalkalden for only a few months. Please note that the dormitories are not administered by the university, but by an external organisation. The contact is person in case of questions is Ute Ludwig. Be sure to apply for a room at least three months prior to your arrival in Schmalkalden. Also, do not miss to respond to any confirmation e-mails sent by the dormitory management; otherwise, your application may cease to be valid. What is more, there are three dormitory tutors in charge of the student tenants. Be sure to tell them in advance when you are going to arrive in Schmalkalden. One of them will pick you up from the train station and take you to the dormitory.
For the activation of internet access in the dormitory, the information provided here should be followed.

However, the private housing market also offers affordable apartments for students near the campus. Please consult our Housing Info Sheet for more detailed information. In addition, our housing team will be happy to help you find accommodation; contact details can be found here.

If you are travelling with a child, we kindly ask you to contact Mrs. Saarmann regarding the general organisation, for example a place in a kindergarten. 



During the semester abroad at Schmalkalden University you can take selected and previously announced courses in English, so that English language skills at level B2 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages (EFRS) are sufficient. All common language certificates are accepted here. However, if you would like to attend courses in German or plan to take up a part-time job in Schmalkalden, German language skills are also recommended.


Health Insurance

Another important point you need to consider is a valid health insurance for Germany. If you are a citizen of an EU member state and are in possession of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you have nothing to worry about; your card will be accepted in Germany the same way as in your home country.

The same holds if you have insurance coverage due to bilateral agreements between your country of residence and Germany. In this case, you need to ask your health insurance agency for a letter confirming the agreement and bring it with you to Schmalkalden where you will be exempted.

If, however, you are not covered by EU health insurance, we strongly advise you to only take out short-time travel insurance prior to your arrival in Schmalkalden. During the orientation week, representatives of three German public health insurance companies will be on campus so you can easily obtain proper insurance coverage.

In order to study at a German university, it is obligatory to either take out public health assurance or to be exempted from it (on the basis of a valid foreign insurance). While you can, of course, choose any private insurance company you want, we would like to point out that they do not always meet the criteria for exemption. For detailed information, please see our Info Sheet on health insurance.



Please mind the latest regulations on arrivals to Germany and Schmalkalden during the pandemic. We are summarizing all relevant information in our Info Sheet which will be kept up to date.



The same holds for a German bank account. While it is not obligatory to have a German bank account, it might be useful to have one when it comes to withdrawing money and making bank transfers. There are currently three German banks that have branches in Schmalkalden: Sparkasse, Postbank and Raiffeisenbank. Again, you can easily open a free account (by the conditions that apply) at any of them. More detailed information can be found here in our Info Sheet.

During our Welcome Days in the first week of the semester, we inform you about all administrative and professional matters that you will need to take care of after your arrival in Schmalkalden. More detailed information can be found here in our Info Sheet.