How does the admission procedure work?

After students have been nominated for a partner university, the foreign university will contact the applicants. As stated in the IS:link counseling information, it is at the discretion of the respective partner university whether the students are accepted or not. IS:link has no influence on this decision.

If the nomination is successful, the partner university will seek direct contact with the students to inform them about the application process. The timing of the sending of this notification varies depending on the university, but experience shows that students receive notification in the approximate period of four to six months before the semester starts.

If the students receive a notification from the exchange university that they have been nominated, this means that they may officially apply to the partner university. The application period as well as the required documents can be found in the letter from the foreign university, as well as the individual procedural steps of the application. Since the application modalities of the individual cooperating universities differ greatly, IS:link unfortunately cannot provide detailed information on the respective application procedures.

This results in the following obligations:

  • The course selection
  • The Learning Agreement

Differences between IS:link and Erasmus

Students going abroad for a semester via Erasmus can obtain the Erasmus Learning Agreement through the International Office. As of July 2020: The Erasmus LA can be downloaded from the International Office page.


When searching for a suitable exchange university, it is recommended to deal with the course offerings of the partner universities as well as the conditions of course selection at an early stage. Thus, the following contents of this page are aimed on the one hand at students who are still in the decision-making process regarding their exchange university and on the other hand at students who have already been awarded a place at a partner university.

For students who have already received a study place, it is necessary to determine the course selection for the semester abroad at the right time and to have it checked. Students will find out the respective timing of the course selection during the IS:link advising.

Each partner university has subject specializations, which are reflected accordingly in the selection of courses offered. Courses that students have not yet taken in their Bachelor's or Master's program can be taken abroad. However, personal (subject) interest as well as further study planning should also be taken into account when choosing courses.

When choosing courses, it should be noted that only courses that are exclusively approved for Master's students are to be taken by students. This is of central importance for credit. Courses that are also open to bachelor's students cannot be considered for credit for master's students. Also excluded from credit are foreign courses that have already been taken with similar content as part of the bachelor's or master's program.

As a result, when selecting courses, students must ensure that they choose courses whose subject content they have not yet completed as part of their studies. As can already be seen from the legal anchoring of the study abroad program, up to a maximum of five foreign modules of 6 ECTS each can be completed as part of the compulsory elective module.

It is also possible, after individual examination, to substitute German courses with foreign ones if these are not to be credited for the compulsory elective module. If certain conditions are met, it is possible to receive 1:1 credit. For this purpose, interested students should contact IS:link with the course descriptions and syllabi.

There are universities that require students to make a course selection in advance at the time of application. This course selection is required as a so-called Learning Agreement (LA) by the students for the semester abroad. Such a Learning Agreement is also required when studying abroad via Erasmus (Erasmus Learning Agreement).

Basically, the Learning Agreement is a document that contains the selected, planned courses of the study abroad, which the student enters there. This document is checked in advance by IS:link and then by the examination board and must be applied for by the student. It should be noted that the application for a learning agreement should be submitted early, but no later than 2 months before the required date.

To ensure that the courses taken by students abroad are credited at the University of Duisburg-Essen, there is the Learning Agreement (LA). This contains, among other things, the courses selected by the students, which are checked in two steps before the stay abroad: The first check is done by IS:link and the second by the examination board. The Learning Agreement must be applied for by the student early, with the timing of the application depending on when the LA is required. The information by which time the LA must be available can be found either in the advising sessions by IS:link or in the information provided by the exchange university.

In case of changes in the course selection (i.e. modifications of the Learning Agreement) the IS:link team has to be contacted immediately!

The Application for the Learning Agreement

In order to apply for a Learning Agreement, the completed Learning Agreement Application, the respective course descriptions (syllabi) of the partner university and a current transcript of records of the student are required.

Documents required:

  • The Learning Agreement
  • The current performance record
  • Module descriptions/Syllabi

Accordingly, the first thing to do when applying for the LA is to organize the Learning Agreement document:

For students going abroad via IS:link, the Learning Agreement has to be downloaded and edited independently by the students in the IS:link portal (Clustdoc) beforehand.

The courses can be selected according to the instructions (a). In addition to the course list, a current transcript of records of the student as well as the course descriptions (syllabi) with the respective links of the partner universities are required for the application of the Learning Agreement.


In preparation for the application interview with IS:link, students should bring the course list with the respective syllabi digitally to the interview. During the consultation, students benefit from many years of experience of the IS:link team, which can match the student's courses via a reference list. In addition, in-depth course selection questions can be clarified and discrepancies in the course selection can be pointed out even before it is reviewed by the Examination Office.

After the counseling interview the Learning Agreement can now be filled out by the students and forwarded to IS:link with the required documents.

For this purpose, the students send their completed LA including the current transcript of records and the syllabi of the respective courses via Clustdoc to IS:link.

First-Time User? Check Out Our Learning Agreement Guides

If you're filling out your Learning Agreement for the first time and feeling a bit overwhelmed, don't worry, we've got your back. Check out our guides which will take you through the process step-by-step and provide some useful tips to make things a breeze.

Learning Agreement Video Tutorial

Learning Agreement PDF Guide

To download it, simply click on the provided link.

Thereupon, a preliminary review by IS:link takes place. In the course of this, there may be minor changes to the courses in case of discrepancies. The Learning Agreement then has to be modified by the student and sent to IS:link again.

If the Learning Agreement passes this preliminary check, it will be forwarded to the Examination Office for a second check.

As soon as the document has been reviewed by the examination board, IS:link contacts the student. The approved LA will be sent by IS:link to the student by mail.


If you take new courses/subjects during your semester abroad, you can submit a request to change the learning agreement. This will be activated in the portal when you activate a request for a change of the learning agreement in the portal.

The process here is similar to the first attempt: Again the module descriptions of the new subjects must be attached.

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