Semester abroad at FHWS

Six reasons for a semester abroad

A semester abroad shows potential employers that you are willing and able to get out of your comfort zone, try new things and broaden your horizon. It also demonstrates that you are flexible, open-minded and tolerant.

There are numerous advantages to a semester abroad—both personal and professional! You get to:

  1. Discover your area of expertise from a new perspective

  2. Improve your language skills

  3. Establish international contacts

  4. Bring value to your future employer

  5. Become more confident and independent

  6. Know everyday life in a different country


Every semester, FHWS receives exchange students from international partner universities. One of the partner universities is Sheffield Hallam University, which has a long-standing and close relationship with the Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems.

During the International Teaching Week, which takes place once a year, lecturers from SHU offer seminars at FHWS.

Why is FHWS the perfect university for a semester abroad?

  1. We offer excellent support for international students

  2. We welcome exchange students from over 70 countries

  3. All courses are very practice-oriented

  4. As an exchange student, you are guaranteed a room in a hall of residence (if you would like)

  5. Our teacher–student ratio is excellent

  6. We consistently achieve good results in university rankings

  7. We are becoming more and more international (e.g. through bilingual TWIN programmes)


If you want more information on what being an international student at FHWS is like, please visit the web pages of the International Office.

FHWS Your Day, Your Studies

Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems

Our Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems is highly renowned and would like to welcome you as an exchange student. Let us sum up what makes us the ideal university for your stay abroad:

  • Comprehensive academic teaching and research

  • Cooperation between professors and businesses in a variety of different fields

  • Interdisciplinary teams—just like in your later career

  • Excellent quality of teaching and state-of-the-art technology

  • Participation in the International Teaching Week

The Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems regularly offers courses in English that are targeted at both incoming and local students during the summer semester. That means: Extensive knowledge of German is not necessary for a successful semester abroad at FHWS.
The following list includes some of our courses taught in English:

  • Mobile Applications in Android
  • Clean Code
  • Requirements Engineering
  • Microservices
  • Introduction to Distributed Systems
  • Information Security Management
  • Software Industry; Education and Economy in India

International Teaching Week

During the International Teaching Week, which takes place every year in May, guest lecturers from partner universities give seminars and speeches in a varied programme. It may look like this:

Advanced Web Applications (guest lecturer from the UK)

Agile Project Management (guest lecturer from India)

Diversity Online Marketing (guest lecturer from Spain)

Evolutionary Algorithms for Business Applications (guest lecturer from India)

Introduction in Machine Learning (guest lecturer from Romania)

Introduction to Motion Tracking and Gesture Recognition (guest lecturer from Iceland)

Java EE and OpenGL (guest lecturer from China)

and many more.

Interactive Virtual Campus Tour

If you would like to get a better insight and overview of the faculty, take an interactive virtual campus tour via the displayed QR code. A smartphone and the app Actionbound (available free of charge for both iOS and Android devices) are required to use the tour. You will be redirected to another page. When using the app, the terms and conditions and data protection regulations of the provider Actionbound GmbH apply. No data is collected by the FHWS.

If you scan the QR code you will be rewarded to another website.

Let us adress some misconceptions

Eine Gruppe Studierender arbeitet zusammen an Laptops

„A semester abroad is too expensive!"

Maybe at first glance... On a closer look, living expenses and costs for leisure activities are not as high as they’re said to be:

  1. In Germany, halls of residence tend to be much cheaper than in the UK. If you don’t want to live in a hall of residence, you are of course welcome to look for a private flat. Finding a place to live may be difficult as there aren’t many rooms available. The prices, however, are similar to the ones in the UK. (Here you can find tips on finding a place in Würzburg)

  2. In Würzburg, every student receives a so-called semester ticket that is included in the semester fee. It allows you to use public transport such as the bus and the tram for free at any time, as often as you like. Other costs of living tend to be a little lower in Germany. Nevertheless, these are only estimates that can vary from person to person, especially considering other things you might want to do during your time abroad.

There are many possibilities for financial support during a stay abroad. You can find further information in our overview on financing or on the web pages of the International Office.

„I will lose too much time!"
For many, a semester abroad is off the table because they think their studies would be extended. However, thanks to careful planning and the Learning Agreement, which is drawn up and approved by the home institution before the beginning of the mobility, a study abroad can usually be almost completely credited to your studies at home. All the work you do abroad will directly benefit your studies. If you plan ahead, you can go abroad and still expect to finish your studies without exceeding the regular study period.

Also, most students gain immense personal, professional and linguistic benefits from a stay abroad. It’s up to you to decide what is important to you.

„This won’t benefit my studies!"
We’ve already explained why we believe a semester abroad is a good idea overall. We will now tell you how a semester abroad will benefit your studies specifically:

  1. You will experience your field of study from a new perspective: not only are there different professors and lecturers you can pick up new methods and approaches from, but also you will be able to take courses that may not be available at your home university. This way, you get the opportunity to achieve a different, deeper understanding of topics that aren’t covered in-depth at SHU. Or you may even discover new aspects to your chosen field you may have otherwise missed.

  2. You will learn to work in international teams: intercultural competence is one of the most important soft skills future employers are looking for in an employee. Through a semester abroad you will get the opportunity to strengthen these skills already during your studies, improving your education. It’s up to you!

  3. At FHWS, you can take courses in English. Knowledge of German is not required. It is however possible to participate in a beginners’ language course or to pick up at a higher level. The best way to learn a foreign language is to immerse yourself in an environment where it is spoken. A semester abroad in a country whose language you do not speak offers great learning potential in this regard.

„I won’t receive credits for the courses I take abroad!"

As we have already mentioned, the purpose of the Learning Agreement which is drawn up before the beginning of your stay is to ensure that the courses you choose at FHWS are either equivalent to courses at SHU or can be credited to your studies as elective or complementary subjects. The agreement ensures that you are able to receive as many credits as possible upon your return. Usually, home universities recognise all or most of the academic achievements their respective students accomplished abroad. Should this not be the case, you can already discuss this with your home university while preparing your Learning Agreement. The courses you wish to take may be included as extracurriculars in your Results Transcript.

„I don’t want to live so far away from friends and family!"

This is a very personal argument we cannot refute. We’d still like to remind you that thanks to Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp it has never been easier to stay in touch with loved ones. A little homesickness is certainly nothing unusual, especially at the beginning, but experience shows that this feeling fades away quickly thanks to new contacts and exciting events. The friendships you make during your semester abroad can remain long after your return and even last a lifetime. As difficult as parting from friends and family may be, it is only a temporary goodbye enabling you to make incomparable and unforgettable experiences.

„I don’t want to give up my flat/room in Sheffield!"
Of course it’s understandable that you do not wish to move out of your place for the duration of the stay, whether it be 6 or 12 months, and take all your belongings with you or leave them at your parents’. An easy solution could be to sublet your flat/room. You need a new place to stay for a short term, and so do others. There are plenty of exchange students coming to Sheffield who are looking for rooms to rent for a specific time only. You might just quickly find a new subtenant to move into your place, saving you the double rent and the trouble searching for a new place after your return.