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Selecting Courses for Your Stay Abroad

What should I know?

Once you have successfully applied for a placement abroad, the host university will ask you to choose your courses. To ensure that you do not have to extend your studies due to your stay abroad and that all courses taken abroad are recognized in Mannheim, there are a few things to consider when selecting your courses.

Every semester, the School invites all outgoing students to an information session. Participation in this event is strongly recommended.

    Step 1: Selecting the right courses

  • How to proceed when selecting courses for your stay abroad

    As a rule, the host university will contact you via e-mail and send you information about the selection of courses following your successful application. In exceptional cases, however, you will be required to research the courses that can be taken yourself. In this case, please use a search engine using the appropriate keywords (e.g. “course catalog for exchange students university XYZ”) for your search.

    If the course catalog for the respective semester is not yet available, please refer to the courses of the previous year. Please pay attention to whether the courses that you would like to take are offered in the respective semester of your stay abroad. In this case, a provisional Learning Agreement will be drawn up that must be amended, if necessary, when the courses are finally selected.

    Many partner universities also provide the opportunity to take courses in other subjects than your major. This can be particularly useful if you have, for example, to take courses in a minor or in Methods and Statistics that are not offered by your department.

  • Course content

    The contents of courses taken abroad should ideally correspond to the corresponding courses or modules in Mannheim (see module catalog). Whether courses taken abroad can be recognized for courses in Mannheim depends on whether the course descriptions fit in with the module catalog of your subject. Therefore, please be sure to have a look at your respective module catalog before proposing courses for recognition. The recognition will be carried out in a competence-oriented manner.

    The reports provided by former outgoing students will help you find out which courses offered at your host university were recognized in the past. You will find the reports for the respective university in the database of partner universities.

  • Types of courses

    The type of course (lecture, seminar, exercise course) and the type of examination (written/oral examination, presentation, term paper) do not have to be the same as in Mannheim.

    In individual cases and only after prior examination by the exchange coordinators, it may be possible to have a course taken abroad recognized for two courses in Mannheim (e.g. for lecture and an exercise course).

  • ECTS credits

    As the recognition will be carried out in a competence-oriented manner, the number of courses taken and the number of credits obtained abroad (ECTS in Europe or converted credits from non-European countries) need not necessarily be the same as the ECTS per course in Mannheim. As a rule of thumb, however, you should roughly follow the ECTS credits awarded in Mannheim when determining the number of ECTS credits to obtain abroad.

  • Selecting courses for the minor

    If you have the opportunity to take courses in other subjects abroad, it is also possible to have courses recognized for your minor. The decision on the recognition of courses for the minor lies with the respective departmental exchange coordinator or with the teacher. Please inquire about the respective regulations at the school in question.

    Specific regulations for Sociology/Political Science:

    • ZfS courses: Courses on cultural studies and language courses may also be recognized. Language courses are recognized by the departmental exchange coordinators. Courses on cultural studies and other courses have to be approved by the Center for Development of Key Competencies (ZfS) .

    Psychology

    • Applied subjects may also be recognized, for example, if you attend courses in Business Administration, which can be recognized for Work and Organizational Psychology or Consumer Psychology.

    Step 2: Coordinating the selected courses with the exchange coordinators

  • How to proceed

    In order to inform your competent exchange coordinator of the courses that you would like to have recognized, please send an e-mail with the following information to the departmental exchange coordinator:

    • Name
    • Student ID number
    • Host university
    • Semester of your stay abroad

    The e-mail must also contain information on the contents of the courses that you are going to take abroad, ideally as a link to the respective website or as an attached PDF file. For each course that you would like to take abroad, please indicate which course in Mannheim you would like to replace.

    The exchange coordinator will then provide you with feedback on the recognitions you have requested and, if necessary, will make inquiries.
    Once the responsible exchange coordinator has given his or her consent, the Learning Agreement can be drawn up.

    Step 3: Preparing the Learning Agreement

  • Internal Learning Agreement (LA)

    As soon as the courses have been agreed, the so-called Learning Agreement (LA) will be prepared. The LA contains all the courses that you are going to take abroad and that you would like to have recognized as part of your studies in Mannheim. Please note that recognition only takes place after your return to Mannheim. As the Learning Agreement is necessary for internal recognition processes, it is abbreviated to “Internal Learning Agreement” or “Internal LA”. The Internal LA is created with the help of ARETUM, a specific tool used by the University of Mannheim for recognizing credits. The tool generates a code for each Learning Agreement, which you are requested to quote in your further correspondence with the exchange coordinators.

    Both the exchange coordinators and you have to sign the Internal LA. The Internal LA does not have to be forwarded to the International Office, as it is only required for the recognition of examinations taken abroad.

    If any changes have to be made to your Learning Agreement during your stay abroad, please inform your exchange coordinator via e-mail. In this case, please pick up an updated version of the Learning Agreement from your exchange coordinator once you have returned to Mannheim.

    If you do not wish to have a course recognized, you can simply delete it from the Learning Agreement without having to create a new LA.

  • Erasmus Learning Agreement (Erasmus LA)

    The Erasmus Learning Agreement only applies to European exchange programs and is only required if you are studying at a university in another European country as part of the Erasmus program. The conclusion of the Erasmus Learning Agreement is a prerequisite for receiving the Erasmus grant. The Learning Agreement must be signed by both the departmental exchange coordinator at the University of Mannheim and the responsible exchange coordinator at your host university.

    Please use our Online Learning Agreement (OLA). It simplifies the signature process for both the home and the partner university and is environmentally friendly. You can also fill in the Changes Agreement via OLA.

    How to OLA

    The current version of the Erasmus LA can be found on the Mobility-Online platform. In addition, you will find further instructions on the procedure.

Photo credit: Anna Logue
Internal Learning Agreement

In order to make the recognition process as clear as possible, we have developed the Learning Agreements Tool for you.

Photo credit: Anna Logue
Erasmus Learning Agreement

The Erasmus LA is for all those who are studying in Europe through Erasmus and benefit from the Erasmus+ scholarship.