COVID-19 and ERASMUS in the summer term 2020

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.

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is spreading further in Europe, and more and more regions are being declared risk areas. You can find a current overview of risk areas on the website of the Robert Koch Institute. Whether or not they are located in a risk area, most European universities decided to suspend regular semester operations for a certain period of time, 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 at least 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 of course 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 Team!

Returning to Germany/Home Country

Unfortunately, the International Office cannot make a general recommendation at the moment 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 her/his stay abroad has to be terminated. 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 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.

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

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. Please note that you will only be reimbursed up to the amount originally agreed in the Grant Agreement.

Alternative 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.

In this context and under these overall special circumstances, the confirmation of stay abroad ("Confirmation of Stay") can be proceeded as follows: Please inform the host institution in the host country that the Confirmation of Stay should be issued for the entire study phase (attendance phase and e-learning phase) if the requirements mentioned above are met. If this is not possible under the given circumstances, please forward your correspondence with the partner university to the International Office of Ruhr-UniversitäT Bochum, either confirming the entire stay or confirming the additional e-learning phase in addition to an existing confirmation of stay for the attendance phase.

Please keep in mind that we can only accept Confirmation of Stays that were issued no earlier than five days before the end of your studies.

Status: 30 March 2020