Summer Semester 2020: COVID-19 and ERASMUS

This message goes to all the ERASMUS outgoing students of the summer semester 2020 who are currently studying abroad within the ERASMUS programme or who have recenctly returned to Germany/their home country.

Due to the Corona pandemic most European universities decided to suspend regular semester operations, so that courses or examinations are either held online or cancelled during this time. If this is the case, you have probably already been informed by your host university.

Please note that the NRW universities have postponed the start of the courses of the summer semester 2020 to 20 April 2020. You can find more information about this here on the website of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

The International Office very much regrets that international exchange is currently so hampered and hopes that the situation will improve soon. Please do not hesitate to contact the International Office if you have any questions! The International Office will be closed until further notice, but is available via e-mail as usual.

All the best from your Outgoing Services Team!

Returning to Germany/Home Country

Unfortunately, the International Office cannot make a general recommendation as to what would be the best course of action in your personal situation, as the situation in Europe is very different. Please consider very carefully whether you want to stay or come back. However, we would like to point out that in the current situation, health and safety are a top priority in the ERASMUS programme. The pandemic has now reached such proportions that everyone should ask herself/himself whether he/she should come back to Germany or his /her home country. Should you decide to return to Germany/to your home country, please inform your host university, your ERASMUS coordinator at Ruhr-Universität Bochum as well as the International Office of Ruhr-Universität Bochum about your decision.

If you already registered with the Elefand List of the German Federal Foreign Office before you returned to Germany, please sign out now that you are back in Germany.

Staying Abroad

For all those outgoings who are still abroad, the following procedure applies: Due to the current situation, we would like to ask you to register in the Elefand List for Germans abroad of the German Federal Foreign Office. Even though server overloads may occur from time to time, we strongly recommend this registration.

If you need further assistance, please contact us and/or the German Missions Abroad in your country of residence. On the website of the German Federal Foreign Office you can look up the German Missions Abroad.

The Crisis Pool of the German Federal Foreign Office can be reached by calling 0049 30 5000 3000. Unfortunately, due to the large number of inquiries, waiting times may be longer. This also applies to the missions abroad and their availability.

Option 1: Cancelling the Stay Abroad

If you decide to cancel your stay abroad, please remember to have the Confirmation of Stay issued by the host university (an electronic version is sufficient) and to forward a scan of it to us. If this is no longer possible, a solution will be found afterwards.

Please keep all original receipts for costs already incurred in connection with your stay abroad. Actual costs incurred in connection with the commenced or planned mobility can be invoiced. These are usually visa costs, travel costs, accommodation costs and season tickets for public transportation.

If you already studied at the host university for a period of time and still have running costs for e.g. accommodation on site, you can keep the ERASMUS grant which we transferred to your bank account before the start of your stay abroad. We can tranfer the second instalment of the grant if you fill out the form for reimbursement of costs (see right) and send it together with your receipts to
If you cancelled your study stay abroad shortly after it began and if you have no further running costs on site, but you have only had to pay cancellation/rebooking fees, you must also fill out the form for reimbursement of costs (see right) and send it together with your receipts to In this case we can only refund the costs incurred. You will have to pay back the rest of your grant.

Option 2: Continuing the Study Stay Abroad online

In order to best support students in achieving their agreed learning objectives, the European Commission has provided universities and students with further flexibility in the use of ERASMUS periods abroad:

If, due to the current situation, the ERASMUS studies at the host institution abroad cannot be continued through face-to-face courses, online courses will also be recognised for ERASMUS funding under the following conditions:

The online courses are offered by the host institution abroad. It is irrelevant whether students attend the online courses in the host country or in their home country.

The courses contribute to the achievement of the learning objectives as defined in the learning agreement.

Students who decide to continue their studies at the host university online can keep the ERASMUS grant that was transferred to their bank account before the start of the study stay abroad. We can transfer the second instalment of the grant, as soon as a scan of the Confirmation of Stay and the Transcript of Records has been forwarded to after the end of the semester. In addition, the second OLS language test must be taken and the EU-Survey has to be submitted.

Under the current circumstances, the regulation on minimum credit points will be suspended for the time being.

Status: 14 May 2020