Student Mobility under Erasmus+: Studies vs. Traineeships

In the framework of the Erasmus+ program, there are two different grant and mobility schemes for students: for traineeships and for studies. Even though traineeships can also be carried out at universites, we need to apply different procedures to students on the one hand and trainees on the other. In order to avoid misunderstandings and wrong expections, compare the general provisions made by Erasmus+ and our practice:

Student Mobility for Studies (SMS)

Student Mobility for Traineeships (SMT)

Purpose: To provide students with an international academic experience with respect to different teaching and study methods.

Purpose: To provide students with an international work experience in a professional environment in order to facilitate entry into the labor market.

Can only be carried out at higher education institutions (usually universities)

  • which have been awarded an ERASMUS Charter for Higher Education (ECHE);
  • which hold a valid inter-institutional agreement with the student’s home institution.

Can be carried out in various types of enterprises and (research) institutions:

  • the host institution does not need to have an ERASMUS Charter for Higher Education (ECHE);
  • an inter-institutional agreement with the student’s home institution is not required.
On principle, Ulm University does not sign inter-institutional agreements for SMT.

Participants have to make out a “learning agreement for studies”:

  • learning agreements for incoming students are signed by the departmental coordinators.
After completion of their studies, students receive a "transcript of records", issued by the International Office.

Participants have to make out a “learning agreement for traineeship”:

  • learning agreements for incoming trainees are signed by the traineeship supervisor / director of institute.
After completion of the traineeship, trainees receive a traineeship certificate, issued by the traineeship supervisor.

Participants have student status at the host institution, i.e. they are registered (immatriculated), but do not have to pay tuition fees.

Participants have trainee status at the host institution.
Placements must be "full-time". The hosting institution must arrange for a "placement contract" with the human resource department.

Grants are lower, because students benefit from the host institutions services and infra-structure (i.e. student residences, student restaurants, bus passes, etc.)

Grants are higher, because trainees in enterprises have to find their own housing and pay regular prices for food and transportation.

Erasmus+ Traineeships (SMT) at Ulm University

Students wishing to do a traineeship at an institute/department of Ulm University should be aware that they do not receive the same support and services as Erasmus+ SMS students:

  • Erasmus+ trainees are not registered (immatriculated)
  • Erasmus+ trainees are not eligible to participate in the orientation program or language courses
  • Erasmus+ trainees are not eligible to stay in a student residence nor can the International Office assist in finding private housing (Finding Private Housing)
  • Erasmus+ trainees are not assigned a S.T.E.P.S. tutor. They have to complete administrative procedures (Authorities and Insurances) themselves

All support has to be given by the hosting institute/department.

Students wishing to carry out a traineeship at Ulm University have to contact the institutes/departments where they would like to work individually and apply for a "Praktikum". There is no formal application procedure.

If the student is accepted, the hosting institute/department must arrange for an internship contract ("Praktikumsvertrag") with the human resource department. Please note:

  • Voluntary traineeships (> 3 months) are not supported
  • Traineeships for preparing a Master thesis are considered voluntary traineeships
  • Traineeships for doctoral students are considered voluntary traineeships

Information on insurance for incoming trainees at Ulm University (to be entered in the learning agreement):

  • Accident insurance: is provided if an internship contract is made; benefits are given only if there is no accident insurance coverage in the home country. Accidents on the way to/from work or while travelling on work purposes are not covered.
  • Liability insurance: not provided by Ulm University. Trainees must make their own arrangements.
  • Health insurance: must be bought by the trainees.

After completion of the traineeship, the hosting institute has to issue a traineeship certificate ("Qualifiziertes Praktikumszeugnis").

Medical Faculty

The Medical Faculty does not accept individual applicants for traineeships in one of the university hospitals for clinical electives or hospital rotations.

A good alternative for foreign medical students wishing to do clinical training in Germany is to apply to the Professional Exchange Program of the IFMSA (International Federation of Medical Students Associations). Besides the organisation of your practical training by the German partner organization BVMD, you will get free-of-charge accommodation and sometimes even pocket-money. The local BVMD group of medical students arranges leisure activities for foreign incomings and takes care of them during their stay.

Students from Partner Universities

We accept students from partner universities, even if they do not follow classes (lectures, seminars etc.) but only want to do

  • final thesis projects
  • research internships / labs
  • clinical rotations

on the basis of Erasmus+ SMS agreements (provided the students come with an SMS grant). If the mobility periods do not coincide with our semester rhythm, it is extremely difficult to arrange for housing. It is therefore of great importance that we receive the application documents at least full three calendar months prior to the beginning of the planned mobility.

Placements in Germany: Support and Assistance

(Central office for coordination of ERASMUS placements in Baden-Württemberg at Hochschule Karlsruhe)