Equal Opportunities: Everyone Can Study Abroad

  Students in lecture hall Copyright: © Mario Irrmischer



Magdalena Marsiglia

Pflegeberatung, Studieren mit Kind


+49 241 80 93551





Jasmin Haverkamp



+49 241 80 90698



A stay abroad during your studies is an enriching experience both personally and professionally. Our goal is to enable as many students as possible to spend a period of their studies in another country. This page is aimed at students in special life situations and helps them plan a stay abroad.

The focus here is on students with one or more children, students with disabilities or chronic illnesses, students who come from a non-academic background, and working students.


Study Abroad: Students with One or More Children

The Family Service and the International Office of RWTH Aachen University support students with one or more children who want to study abroad and offer an advice and information service on the topic of studying abroad with children.

There you will receive information about advice centers and contact persons outside and inside the University. Furthermore, you will be supported in researching childcare options during your stay abroad.

If you are interested, will be happy to assist you in a personal consultation. For more information, please also see the FAQ at the bottom of the page, the DAAD information page and the Family at University info website.


Study Abroad: Students with Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses

Since 1999, the DAAD has been promoting the mobility of students with disabilities. RWTH advises students with disabilities and chronic illness as part of the VORSCHUB initiative. For more information (especially in the context of the Erasmus program) and field reports, please visit the DAAD's page on international mobility of people with disabilities. For funding for students with disabilities within the Erasmus program, please read the section "Erasmus+ Special Funding".

In addition, the Berlin-based association Sozialhelden e.V. has launched the website wheelmap.org. The site makes it easier for people who rely on a wheelchair or walking aid to find their way around a city that they do not know. Using an online map, users can rate wheelchair-accessible restaurants, cafés and bus stops worldwide according to their accessibility using a traffic light system.

The Erasmus Student Network, or ESN for short, also provides a rating platform for assessing accessible locations on its website mapped.eu, focusing on the accessibility of European universities. When they are planning to go somewhere, disabled students can find out in advance whether a university building is equipped with a ramp or a lift, for example.


Erasmus+ Special Funding: Financial Subsidies for Special Needs

Within the framework of the Erasmus program, you can complete Erasmus internships and/or Erasmus study periods abroad in Europe. Equal opportunities is a key concern in the Erasmus program. Therefore, certain student groups can apply for special needs grants (in addition to regular Erasmus+ funding); these are referred to as special funding. The special funding is 250 euros per regular funding month and is available for both Erasmus internships and Erasmus study visits. The grant can only be applied once at a time and cannot be combined.

The following student groups are eligible for special funding:

  • Students with disabilities (degree of disability must be 20 or more)
  • Students with chronic medical conditions that will demonstrably result in additional costs while abroad
  • Students who carry out their stay abroad with one or more children
  • From winter semester 2022/23: first-time academics (students from a non-academic background)
    Prerequisites (as of March 2022): Neither parent nor caregiver has a degree from a university or university of applied sciences. This also includes courses of study completed by a parent abroad that are not recognized as such in Germany (for example, physiotherapy). Please refer to the FAQ to find out what evidence must be provided.
    Please note: These are preliminary information. The final requirements will be determined by the DAAD in the course of the summer semester 2022 and communicated by email.
  • From winter semester 2022/23: working students
    Prerequisites (as of March 2022): Their income must be between 450 euros and 850 euros close to the start of their time abroad and must have been so for six consecutive months. They must prove that this 6-month period of employment started at the earliest six months before they submit their application, ending at the latest before they travel abroad. They must be working under a contract that makes their employment subject to social security contributions (at least pension insurance obligation). They cannot be self-employed or do freelance work. Work-study programs with a fixed salary (for example dual study programs) are also excluded. Furthermore, the job in Germany shall not be continued during the stay abroad. Please refer to the FAQ for information on what evidence must be provided.
    Please note: These are preliminary information. The final requirements will be determined by the DAAD in the course of the summer semester 2022 and communicated by email.

Further funding options

  • Starting in the 2022/23 academic year, participants with an assessed degree of disability of 20 or more, students with a chronic illness, or students with one or more children can submit long applications for their actual costs to be reimbursed for additional costs incurred abroad of up to 15,000 euros per semester.
  • Long applications for preparatory trips can also be made.

For more information, please see the FAQ at the bottom of the page and the DAAD website on special funding. If you have any further questions about Erasmus+ special funding, please contact Amelie Meiners.


General FAQ

Who can advise me on equipment or accessibility at the host university, for example?

Please contact the Incomings office at the partner institution if you have any questions regarding what they offer.

We will be happy to assist you in making contact if necessary: Please contact the Erasmus University Coordinator Amelie Meiners (for Erasmus stays) or Benjamin Pietsch (for non-European stays).

What is the minimum number of ECTS required for the study visit?

Erasmus students of RWTH are obliged to obtain at least 15 ECTS per funded semester at the partner university and they must use the Transcript of Records to prove this to the partner university after the end of their stay.

In justified exceptional cases (for example, in the case of a disability or chronic illness), however, special permission for a lower ECTS sum can be agreed in writing in advance with the faculty's or department's international coordination.


Erasmus+ Special Funding FAQ

How much is the Erasmus+ special funding?

The grant is 250 euros per scholarship month and is paid in addition to the regular Erasmus funding.

The grant for participants with special needs is applicable only once at a time for grantees, even if several of the criteria for receiving the grant are met.

How can I apply for Erasmus+ special funding?

During the application process for a stay in the academic year 2022/23, the need for a subsidy in case of disability and/or chronic illness or for participants with one or more children has already been ascertained.

The need for further grants within the framework of the special funding will be ascertained at a later date. Further information will be sent by mail after the selection of all Erasmus outgoings and at the latest when the scholarship contract is sent out.

What evidence is required for the Erasmus+ special funding? (As of: April 2022)

  • Students with disabilities: Proof of a degree of disability of 20 or more in the form of a severely disabled pass or medical certificate.
  • Students with a chronic illness: certificate from a general practitioner. The certificate must confirm that a chronic illness is present and that additional costs abroad are to be expected as a result.
  • Students who are studying abroad with one or more children: Birth certificate(s) and travel documents of the child(ren).
  • First-time academics (students from a non-academic background): A self-declaration in which the student certifies they fulfill the admission requirements and have supporting documentation (a template for this statement can be found with the scholarship contract). The evidence will be checked on a random basis. Copies of statements by the parents and/or parents’ education records may be requested during this review.
  • Employed students: A self-declaration in which students certify that they meet the admission requirements (a template for this statement is provided with the scholarship contract). The evidence will be checked on a random basis. As a part of this spot check, proof of salary and the employment contract may be requested.

What is a long application for actual costs?

Starting in the 2022/23 academic year, participants with an assessed degree of disability of 20 or more, students with a chronic illness, or students with one or more children can submit long applications for their actual costs to be reimbursed for additional costs incurred abroad of up to 15,000 euros per semester.

The long application replaces the regular grant of 250 euros per month which is granted via special funding. The application should therefore only be submitted if the additional costs exceed the regular grant. The complete application must be submitted at least two months before the start of the period abroad.

The Erasmus University Coordinator will be happy to advise you on the application process. The application form from 2021/22 in the download area at the end of the page will give you a first impression of the application process.

Long applications for preparatory trips can also be made in consultation with the Erasmus+ University Coordinator.

How certain is it that I will receive the special funding?

If you apply for the funding on time and meet the requirements, you are entitled to receive it.

So far, the information on the prerequisites first-time academics (students from a non-academic background) or working students must fulfill is still subject to change, so adjustments to the definitions may still be made (as of April 2022).


FAQ Students With Children

Who do I contact when I have questions about childcare, housing, or school admission?

Students with children are advised to contact the International Office or the Family Services Center of the international host university at an early stage. They can provide information about childcare and housing options for students with children.

Daycare and schooling: What do I need to consider ?

Find out in advance about childcare options for student parents at the host university and any other services that may be available.

It is also advisable to find out about school vacations in the host country in order to organize childcare.

If you already have childcare arrangements in place here in Germany, you should ask your daycare provider whether these can be resumed after your study abroad period.

Compulsory Schooling in Your Host Country

In some countries, school attendance is compulsory before the child's sixth birthday. You should therefore find out at an early stage from what age school attendance is compulsory in your host country.

Can I continue to receive child and parently benefits while studying abroad?

If your stay abroad is only temporary and for educational purposes and you continue to have a registered address in Germany, you continue to be entitled to child benefits parental benefits. Please make sure to you contact the family Benefits Office (Familienkasse) or Parental Allowance Office (Elterngeldstelle) in good time.

Am I eligible to receive BAföG while studying abroad?

If you are receiving BAföG financial support here in Germany, you should be eligible to receive BAföG while studying abroad. Further information is available on the BAföG im Ausland web page

Does my current health insurance cover study abroad?

We advise you to contact your health insurance provider to find out to what extent your current health insurance coverage is valid in the host country and, if applicable, whether accompanying family members are covered as well.

What documents do I need to take with me?

Student parents studying abroad are advised to bring the following documents:

  • Birth certificate
  • Custody certificate (if applicable)
  • Power of attorney from the other parent if you are traveling alone with your child(ren)
  • Health insurance cards of all family members
  • Medical documentation (for example, medical records booklets, vaccination cards, etc.)


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