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FAQ Covid-19 for Outgoing Students 2020/21

The situation confronts us all with new challenges and measures change quickly. Here you will find a FAQ we have compiled for you on important questions concerning your mobility in the academic year 2020/21. We are updating the answers as soon as changes occur.

In addition, we are happy to assist you by telephone and e-mail should you need further advise.

The partner university or we will inform you individually by e-mail as soon as there are updates. Within Europe, usually semesters abroad are still planned to be offered during winter semester 2020/21. Courses are planned to be held face-to-face, online or in hybrid form. Outside Europe, the winter term 2020/21 is often restricted or cancelled. For the most part, it is not yet possible to make any statements regarding the spring semester 2021. Only a few partner universities have already announced what the semester will look like. In general, we continue to expect a hybrid form of presence and online and a switch to a pure online format if the situation becomes more critical.

More and more universities are registering on the following website their plans for the winter semester 2020/21 and we hope it will be updated also for spring term 2021 soon:

(As of: 28.10.2020)

In most cases, postponements are possible in the same academic year, i.e. from winter semester 2020/21 to summer semester 2021. The earlier you let us know, the better for planning. Under the current circumstances, however, decisions taken rather late will be taken into account. Most universities understand the need for late changes in the timing of your study abroad, but some have limited their acceptance of spontaneous decisions.

Postponements to the next academic year, i.e. to winter semester 2021/22 or summer semester 2022, are not possible (unless we have explicitly offered it to you due to exceptional circumstances, such as with some double degrees).

(As of: 28.10.2020)

A virtual stay abroad, meaning an exchange in which you take purely online courses at the partner university, can also be financially supported with Erasmus+ grants, but only if you are in the host country (the country of the partner university). This also applies for possible quarantine periods on arrival into the host country. If you, however, stay in your home country (in Germany or elsewhere), no grant will be awarded, as there will be no additional costs caused by your study abroad. Quarantine periods in your home country after your return cannot be funded as part of the mobility period. Exchanges with face-to-face or courses in hybrid form (online and presence) are also eligible for Erasmus+ grants as long as you are in the host country. If you first attend online courses from your home country and later leave for the host country, as soon as face-to-face or hybrid courses are available, you will receive Erasmus+ grant only for the time you are in the host country.

If you start studying abroad in presence/hybrid courses and leave the host country early due to the pandemic, you will still be eligible for Erasmus+ funding after returning to your home country. Prerequisite for this is that you  have expenses directly and exclusively related to your Erasmus+ stay in that country (e.g. rent, electricity, public transport season tickets) and/or take part in pure online courses at the partner university.

In summary:

  1. You stay in your home country and take part in online courses only = No Erasmus+ grant.
  2. You are in the host country and take part in online or face-to-face courses = Full Erasmus+ grant (including possible quarantine time upon arrival at the beginning of your study abroad).
  3. You start online in your home country and go to the host country as soon as it is possible to take part in face-to-face or hybrid courses = Erasmus+ grant from the moment you are in the host country.
  4. You start in the host country in presence/hybrid/online form and you come back to your home country due to the pandemic, but you still have to pay costs abroad and/or participate in pure online courses of the partner university = full support (including the possible quarantine period at the beginning of the stay abroad).

As always, Erasmus+ mobility grants are only paid for the periods confirmed in the Letter of Confirmation by the partner university. Please make sure that your period of quarantine is also confirmed on your Letter of Confirmation. The amount of the Erasmus+ mobility grant can be found on our funding website under the heading ERASMUS+ mobility grant.

You can also receive additional Erasmus+ funding for the period you have had to spend abroad due to the pandemic, which goes beyond the original planning. This is the case if you plan to resume your mobility as soon as the partner university is "running normally" again and in the meantime you use the online offer of the partner university and/or you are forced to stay abroad due to travel restrictions imposed by national authorities.

If you have additional high travel costs because you had to physically stop your mobility due to the pandemic, please contact us. We will then examine the possibility of settling the costs incurred in each individual case. To do so, you would have to provide proof or a formal declaration that a reimbursement or a change in the flight schedule has been individually requested from the transport company (airline, travel agency, etc.) or an insurance company but rejected. We also require proof of any additional travel expenses claimed.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

Yes, regardless of whether you are in your home or host country to participate in the online program. However, please make sure that you discuss all courses with the responsible coordinator in advance.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

If you decide to book a flight or other travel tickets, we recommend that you choose reimbursable tickets and/or travel insurance, which will apply in case of cancellation or no-show.

Before you sign a rental agreement or similar for your accommodation, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the cancellation conditions. Please also consider any financial obligations you may have for your study abroad that you may not be able to cancel.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

In general, entry for study purposes is usually possible. However, please note and follow closely the measures and recommendations of the local authorities and the national entry regulations. Please check the travel and security instructions of the German Federal Foreign Office. Especially students who need a visa should apply for it as early as possible, as the processing time can take considerably longer under the current circumstances. Before leaving for your study abroad, we strongly recommend that you also register on the Elefand list (only available in German), if you hold German citizenship.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

That depends on the regulations in the host country. Occasionally, partner universities ask for voluntary self-quarantine. You will also receive information about this directly from your colleagues there. However, we also ask you to do your own research before you leave and to plan enough time for possible quarantine periods before you start your studies abroad.

Quarantine periods upon arrival in the host country can be funded by Erasmus+ , whereas quarantine after your return to your home country cannot be funded (see question 3). 

(As of: 28.10.2020)

Yes, but only if you don't take a leave of absence.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

In general, we accept all Erasmus+ documents except the Grant Agreement by e-mail. Please send us the Grant by post or bring it by our office as long as this is possible. Please wait to send the Grant Agreement by post until we have confirmed by e-mail that it has been filled in correctly. Furthermore, the date of signature on the Grant Agreement must be done after the last date of signature on the Learning Agreement. Therefore, a Learning Agreement signed by all three parties (you, us, the partner university) has to reach us before you can submit the Grant Agreement.

Please note that the Learning and Grant Agreement should reach us until December 15th, 2020 for mobility’s in summer term. Both documents must reach us before you start your studies abroad.

E-Mail addresses to send the documents:

Cultural and Social Sciences / Law students:
Business and Economics students:

Our postal address for the Grant Agreement:

Europa-Universität Viadrina
Viadrina International Affairs
c/o name of your coordinator
Große Scharrnstraße 59
15230 Frankfurt (Oder)

A list of the documents or things to be done before, during and after your study abroad with all deadlines can be found in the checklist.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

It is possible in well justified exceptional cases. For this purpose, a request must be submitted to the responsible examination board, which is making the decission about exemptions. If you are thinking about filing for an exemption, please consult us beforehand, so that you can make a decision with the knowledge of all possible alternatives.

(As of: 28.10.2020)

No, if you study exclusively online from your home country and do not go abroad at any time, the months do not count towards your quota that you can spend abroad with Erasmus+.

Please note that this does not apply to interruptions of physical mobilities in the host country and its continuation in the home country, nor to periods of online study from the host country.

(As of: 11.12.2020)

If you physically start your Erasmus mobility, we would like to ask you to clarify with your health insurance whether you also have sufficient insurance coverage for a stay in areas with a travel warning and in pandemic cases. This is especially important because not all overseas health insurances cover this.

(As of: 20.01.2021)