We have exchange agreements with some of the most prestigious universities in Germany and Austria, and every year we send a large number of our students to study at one of these universities during their third year abroad.
In return, German and Austrian Students from these institutions spend time in Edinburgh, contributing to our School's international flair.
Students who prefer not to attend university during their year abroad often decide to find a work placement instead. This allows them to gain some experience in a field which may well become their future career whilst making contact with and gaining some experience of the job market in Germany or Austria. In the past, our students have secured some truly remarkable work placements with, for example, art galleries, law firms, political think tanks and even the UN.
These are the universities we currently have ERASMUS exchange agreements with:
Founded in 1970, Augsburg university is relatively young and, with approximately 15,000 students, also quite manageable in size. The university attracts a large number of international students and takes pride in its interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching as well as its practice-oriented degree programmes. The city of Augsburg itself is one of the oldest in Germany: it was founded in 15 BC. The wealth it accumulated throughout the centuries, and particularly during the Renaissance, is still visible today in Augsburg’s cityscape which boasts many fine examples of late medieval and Renaissance architecture. Birthplace of Bertolt Brecht, Augsburg is just a short train ride away from Munich.
"Living in Bavaria allowed me to have the chance to encounter the rich Bavarian culture, which I enjoyed to a great extent. I even came back with my own Dirnd’l! … I found it refreshing to see how both German and Politics were taught in another country. … Since the university was relatively small it meant that faces quickly became familiar and you forgot you were actually an exchange student. … I have already made it back to Augsburg and cannot wait to do so again."
Freie Universität Berlin
Widely recognized as one of Germany’s top universities, Freie Universität (FU) Berlin is an International Network University and part of the German Excellence Initiative of universities sponsored by the German federal government for their excellence in research. Founded in 1948, during the Cold War (the name reflects that it was seen as part of the free world of the West), it is the largest of the four universities in Berlin today. Berlin, of course, is Germany’s capital city and renowned around the world for its historic buildings, fine museums, large parks and lively art and music scene; the city is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations.
Technische Universität Berlin
The TU Berlin sees itself in the tradition of its predecessor, the Königlich Technische Hochschule zu Berlin, one of a group of higher education institutions established in Germany to bolster the importance of engineering in the wake of 19th century industrialisation. Teaching of and research into various aspects of science and engineering are still of central importance for the university today, but this is now complemented by a thriving humanities faculty; gaining insight into the interaction between society and technology is one of the aims of the TU. The university is located right at the centre of Berlin, with the main campus spanning the area between the celebrated Kurfürstendamm boulevard and the central train station, Berlin’s most striking new landmark.
"As a city, Berlin is amazing precisely because it is not just a student city. It is however, the ideal city to be a student in: there are all kinds of people to meet, opportunities to take advantage of and things to do. The Technische Universität allows you to study right in the city centre, meet a huge international population and take courses at other Berlin universities at the same time. The only negative to my year abroad in Berlin was that it only lasted a year!"
Founded in 1457, Freiburg University is one of the oldest in Germany and has a long-standing tradition of excellence in teaching the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. It was the first German university to accept a female student and was home to eminent figures such as Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger and Max Weber. It is housed in buildings that are scattered all around the historic city of Freiburg which is located in close vicinity to the Black Forest region of Germany as well as to the French and Swiss borders, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities for leisure and outdoor activities.
"I had a great time in Freiburg. The university has a wide range of courses and is particularly strong on German literature and linguistics. Freiburg is a lovely city, small enough not to be daunting for a newcomer but, due to its large student population, it has enough going on so as not to be boring. The Black Forest, France and Switzerland are a short trip away, ideal for students wanting to travel and see as much as possible."
The Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg is the oldest university in Germany. Some 55 Nobel laureates are associated with the university which is consistently ranked amongst Europe’s top overall institutions; it is part of the German Excellence Initiative of universities sponsored by the German federal government for their excellence in research. The picturesque city of Heidelberg, complete with Gothic style castle and Baroque style Old Town and closely associated with the Romantic Movement, is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations.
"My time in Heidelberg was wonderful! Apart from the fact that the city is beautiful and one of the warmest in Germany, the University has a good reputation and good teaching standards. I found my bearing and felt at home very quickly. Heidelberg is also pretty well connected to the rest of Germany as Mannheim is a pretty major transport hub only 15 minutes away by train."
Looking back over a 600-year history, Leipzig University can count figures as diverse as Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Richard Wagner and Angela Merkel amongst its alumni. It is home to numerous museums, the second oldest botanical garden in Europe and an extensive university library with internationally renowned historical and special collections. The city of Leipzig is known all around the world as centre of music and the arts: Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, to name but a few, all worked here, and Leipzig is home to the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra, one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world.
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz was founded only a few years after the death of its namesake, the inventor of book print Johannes Gutenberg. It is amongst the ten largest universities in Germany and the largest campus university in the whole country: more than 36,000 students from about 130 nations are enrolled here. The city is located in the internationally well-connected Rhine-Main region, not far away from Frankfurt. Mainz Carnival, which is rooted in the criticism of social and political injustices under the shelter of cap and bells, has more than 500,000 people celebrating in the streets of the city every year just before Lent.
The Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen is one of Germany’s oldest universities and has a long history in innovative thought, not least in theology (Philipp Melanchthon, a chief figure in the Protestant Movement, worked here). It was the first German university to establish a faculty of natural sciences. The astronomer Johannes Kepler, the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Joseph Ratzinger, better known as Pope Benedict XVI, have been amongst Tübingen’s students and professors. The university still uses some of the buildings of the old town, some of which date back to the foundation of the university in the 15th century. Mixing tradition with academic flair and liberal and green politics, Tübingen is amongst the cities with the highest quality of life in Germany.
"Being an international student, surrounded not only by your chosen language and culture, but also by those of so many other students from the broadest range of countries imaginable, forces you to be open-minded and presents you with opportunities that you simply would not encounter otherwise. The university excels in catering for international students. The town itself is beautiful; full of old beamed houses, twisting narrow lanes, and wide green open spaces and the region surrounding Tübingen is just as beautiful and definitely worth exploring."
Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna is the oldest in the German-speaking world and one of the largest in Central Europe. Students from approximately 130 countries attend more than 10,000 lectures at the university every year, and some of the better known students and scholars associated with Vienna University include Theodor W. Adorno, Siegmund Freud, Theodor Herzl and Gregor Mendel. The academic facilities occupy more than sixty locations throughout the city of Vienna, capital of Austria. With an historic centre rich in the finest architecture - UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 - the city attracts about five million tourists every year. Vienna is host to a number of international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC.
"The University was a pretty straightforward matter - Edinburgh Global was very helpful with providing information. In regard to the city itself, I really could not have chosen better. Vienna is endlessly beautiful, culturally stimulating, compromising between the old and the new. It's also a perfect base to travel around central Europe - Bratislava, Munich, Prague are just a few hours away."
Erasmus activities are carried out with the support of the European Commission within the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme