Questions and Answers regarding Internship/ Semester abroad

Here you can find a compilation of frequently asked questions regarding the internship semester or the semester abroad.

 

Admission / Start / Time Period

Question: Which preconditions do I have to fulfill in order to be admitted to the internship semester/ semester abroad?

Answer :

  • Students who have earned at least 89 credit points before the start will be admitted to the internship semester/ semester abroad upon application
  • During the internship semester/semester abroad, you will be supervised by a professor of the faculty. You are responsible to ask the professor early in time whether he/she is willing to do the supervision.
  • In case of an internship semester, a suitable internship position must be arranged. The internship is chosen independently. You cannot claim to be allocated an internship position. The supervisor decides on the suitability of the placement.
  • In case of an semester abroad, admission is to be obtained from the foreign university. The courses to be taken must be agreed on with the supervisor.
     

Question: Can the internship already start in the lecture-free time or can it only start with the beginning of the semester?

Answer: The start date is not set. Thus, the internship semester / semester abroad can start already during the semester breaks or even in the middle of the semester. However, it is important that you carry out the 20-weeks internship/semester abroad as a whole in a uninterrupted period. Please consider possible overlappings with our examination periods. It is up to you, how you would like to deal with this.
 

Question: Do I have to do the internship semester/ semester abroad in the same semester as indicated in the degree programme pathways or can I do it also sooner or later?

Answer: In the degree programme pathways, it is suggested to do the internship semester/semester abroad in the sixth semester, but it can also be completed in another semester. The only precondition that must be fulfilled is that you earned the required 89 credit points in advance.

Supervisor

Question: What is the supervisor responsible for?

Answer: The supervisor should advise and support you in the event of uncertainties or problems during the internship semester or the semester abroad. Upon completion of the semester, he or she decides on the acknowledgment of your academic achievements (credit points, certificate, report).

Additional Internship

Question: Is it possible to do an additional internship/semester abroad?

Answer: Basically, it is possible to do a semester abroad in addition to the internship semester, embedded in the curriculum, or vice versa. If you complete an extracurricular internship, you will not get additional credit points. In case of an additional semester abroad, it is possible to receive credit for courses to be taken, if they correspond with the local ones to about 80%. For the recognition of extracurricular academic achievements abroad, please contact the chair of the examinations board for your study course. Please remember that in this case you may miss a full study semester here in Germany and have to catch up on the examinations you missed. This usually means that you have to extend your studies by one semester in order to make up for the missed study time. One way to avoid this, is to do several examinations in advance, so that you only have to take a few examinations at a later stage, which could be done without time loss – therefore, please plan ahead.

Another problem is that many companies request a written confirmation that the internship is a compulsory part of a study programme. Such a certificate cannot be issued if one internship semester/semester abroad has already been acknowledged.

Application in General

Question: When and how do I need to apply for an internship / a university? Are there any forms on the part of our university?

Answer: This depends on the country and the university / internship of your choice. Please read up on your possibilities. You can also consult our international advisor for an initial advice. As soon as you have decided on where you would like to spend your internship semester / semester abroad, please inquire about the relevant deadlines and prerequisites of the respective universities, so that you can plan timely.

On the part of the Hochschule Niederrhein, you must have applied for and been admitted to the internship semester by the examinations office before the start of it.

 

Registration and Approval

Question: What forms must be submitted, and where? What are the deadlines?

Answer: If all the prerequisites for admission have been fulfilled and you have found an internship placement / foreign university of your choice, you should deal with the registration of the internship semester at the faculty. The "Application from for Admission to the Internship" has to be signed by you and your supervisor and then forwarded to the examinations office. If you are doing an internship, please also forward the internship contract to your supervisor. The contract has to be submitted to the examinations office together with the “Application for Admission”. After submission of the documents to the examinations office, the latter will decide upon the admission to the internship semester. (If you are doing a semester abroad with Erasmus, the online application and the Learning Agreement have to be signed by the International Coordinator).

There are no specific deadlines for the submission of the application.

Duration Internship semester/ Semester abroad

Question: How long does the internship semester/ semester abroad have to be?

Answer :

For internships the following applies: The internship period must comprise a minimum of 20 uninterrupted weeks. It is not possible to divide the period into several parts (for example during the semester breaks) or to do it at different companies. If you are taking leave during the internship semester e.g. to take part in the examination period at the Hochschule Niederrhein, you are entitled to up to 2 weeks of holidays. In case you decide to take this holiday, the internship period is extended accordingly. In the event of serious difficulties during the course of the internship, e.g. insolvency of the company or unbearable working conditions, it is possible to continue the internship in another company. If this is the case, however, your supervisor should be informed as soon as possible and the chair of the examinations board should be contacted.

For semesters abroad the following applies: At least 20 credit points (according to ECTS) must be achieved during a semester abroad. An exchange semester does not have to cover 20 weeks. The condition for recognition is that you earn at least 20 ECTS credit points; this can also be done, for example, in a trimester. Please find out about the lecture / semester times of the foreign university and take into account the possibly different conversion rates of university-specific credit points into the ECTS system.

Completion and Recognition

Question: Which requirements do I have to fulfill at the end of the internship / semester abroad for the credit points to be recognized?

Answer :

You have to prepare a report (for further information see below) and hand it to your supervisor. There is no exactly defined deadline as to when to submit the report, but you should come to an agreement about it with your supervisor. Normally, the submission of the report should be shortly (2 to 3 weeks) after the end of the internship / semester abroad. In this context it is important to mention that, for example, you cannot register for your final thesis if the internship/semester abroad is not yet entered in your status sheet.

Furthermore, for the internship semester a reference and for the semester abroad a proof of the study performances has to be handed in.

Finally, the report together with the record sheet should be submitted to the supervisor for signature and transfer to the chair of the examinations board.

Report

Questions: How long should the report for the internship semester/semester abroad be? What are the requirements? When does it have to be submitted?

Answer :

A length of 20 pages is defined as a guideline for the scope of the report. If possible, the report should be handed to the supervisor shortly (2 to 3 weeks) after the end of the internship/semester abroad. Questions regarding form and content of the report are to be clarified with the supervisor, although, usually you can follow the formal requirements for final theses.

Grading

Question: Is the internship semester / semester abroad graded?

Answer: No, neither the internship semester nor the semester abroad as such are graded. You will be awarded 30 credit points if you have successfully completed the internship / semester abroad. Also, the grades achieved during the semester abroad are not of importance for this, essential is only that you have passed a sufficient number of examinations.

Discontinuation

Question: Unfortunately, I did not finish my internship semester / semester abroad - can I redo it? Or can I decide not to do it at all and graduate without an internship/ semester abroad?

Answer: Both the internship and the semester abroad can be repeated as a whole. In doing so, you also have the possibility to switch to a domestic internship, an internship abroad or a study semester abroad.

It is not possible to graduate without the internship semester or semester abroad. It is a compulsory part of the study course. In order to obtain a degree, it must be completed.

Attention: In contrast to subject examinations, you only have two attempts here. If you were to fail twice, an exmatriculation would be the consequence!

Further questions and answers ...

Financing

Question: What kind of financing options are available for an internship / semester abroad?

Answer :

  • BAföG for studies abroad
  • ERASMUS (within Europe)
  • Promos (outside Europe)

In addition to these, there are other financing options. Please inquire about the appropriate financing option for your plan with our international advisor. On the website of the International Office of our university, you will also find detailed information on financing and funding opportunities.

Leave of Absence

Question: Can I request a leave of absence during the internship / semester abroad to save the semester fee?

Answer: No, because it is a compulsory part of your studies. If an exemption from the study fees is possible, you should inquire specifically. You can, however, request a refund of the semester ticket if you can prove that you are staying abroad or in another state. In this case, please ask the Asta of the university for more detailed information. There you can also receive a form with which you can request the refund of the public transport fee.

Concurrent Exams

Question: Can I take examinations at our university in the semester, in which I am doing the internship / semester abroad, when I return early enough?

Answer: You can take part in the examinations of the Hochschule Niederrhein, if you get back in time. Please inform yourself early enough about examination dates and, in particular, about the registration periods for the exams. Please also note that you need valid TAN numbers for the registration.

Requirements

Question: What are the requirements for the internship placement / study abroad?

Answer :

The guidelines are kept quite general intentionally. Important: the period of the internship semester must consist of 20 uninterrupted weeks.

A rule that students from the field of study "Clothing Technology“ have to do their internship in a clothing company, does not exist. The same applies for students of „Textile Technology" or the study course „Design Engineering“. The examination regulations merely state "... in companies or other bodies of professional practice …“. Furthermore, it intentionally exists an ample scope also for the tasks to be performed during the internship. This means that you can carry out your internship in any field of work that has to do with individual subjects of your study course or with typical future work areas; coordinate this with your supervisor!

Before the start of the internship semester, a contract with the company must be set up and submitted to the supervisor resp. the examinations board. At the examinations office and on our website you can get blank forms for this, but these are not mandatory. If a company wants to use their own contract forms, which should contain the required content elements, this is allowed. In case of a semester abroad, the confirmation of the foreign university as well as a Learning Agreement should be presented.

Internship Placements

Question: Is there a list of companies where I could do my internship?

Answer :

No, such a list does not exist. You can ask the head of your core study area or browse the job board on the website of the faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology. Apart from this, there are numerous websites from the textile and clothing sector, which regularly announce internships on their job markets. In addition, you should find out about companies that cover your field of interest or core study area and contact them independently. The search for a suitable internship placement always comes with a lot of self-initiative.

Study Contents Semester Abroad

Question: Do I have to choose courses during my semester abroad, which correspond exactly with my study content?

Answer: No, you can also choose courses which correspond with your main focus only in the broadest sense. Moreover, also language courses, etc. can be acknowledged. Please discuss your course selection with the international coordinator / your supervisor at an early stage.

Exams during the Semester Abroad

Question: How many examinations have to be passed during a semester abroad?

Answer :

This question cannot be answered precisely. The examination regulations stipulate that a number of 20 ECTS points have to be acquired in the Bachelor's degree programme. In any case, language courses can be also included in this. In general, it is recommended to discuss the courses to be taken and the corresponding examinations with your supervisor beforehand. In some countries, the credit point system is not compatible with ECTS. In this case, you should inquire about the conversion factors, for example on the websites of the DAAD (e.g. 1 US-credit-point = 2 ECTS-points).

If you earn more than the required 20 credit points during the semester abroad, you may be able to have them recognized as a substitute for examinations in content-related subjects at the HN. However, please clarify this by all means with the respective lecturer and the chair of the examinations board in advance!

 

What happens if I don’t pass an exam?

For good measure, you should always plan for a little bit more than the necessary 20 credit points. In individual cases, when there are serious and plausible reasons, the semester may also be recognized, although only fewer credit points have been acquired; this can only be decided by your supervisor together with the chair of the examinations board. However, it should be clear that the semester abroad is not meant to be a "vacation abroad with an occasional visit to another university"! In case such difficulties should arise, you should immediately inform your supervisor and ask him or her to involve also the chair of the examinations board if necessary. If there are no plausible reasons at hand why less than 20 ECTS credit points have been acquired, the semester abroad cannot be recognized.

ERASMUS-Programme

Question: What are the requirements for an ERASMUS-application?

Answer :

  • Full-time student of the HS Niederrhein (no guest student)
  • Good academic performances
  • At least in the 3rd study semester
  • Good knowledge of the language of instruction
  • Study period of 3-12 months

Please take into account that you are not entitled to a place of study at one of our partner universities. The faculty of Textile and Clothing Technology chooses the participants according to different criteria (performance, number of study places, study duration so far, etc.) or declines the sponsorship.

 

What documents are required for the ERASMUS application?

Please additionally inquire at the respective guest university for the necessary prerequisites. If not stated otherwise by the foreign university, the following documents are required for the Erasmus application:

  • A motivation letter
  • Printed online application for the HS Niederrhein (ERASMUS application)
  • Printed application for the respective partner university
  • Language certificate (at least B2 of the respective language of instruction, please inquire at the particular guest university about the necessary prerequisites for this, too)
  • Transcript of Records
  • Learning agreement
     

When are the application deadlines for the ERASMUS program?

The deadlines for the Hochschule Niederrhein are as follows:

Winter semester: receipt no later than 1st May
Summer semester: receipt no later than 1st October

However, there are universities, which have earlier deadlines. For more information, please get in touch with our international advisor.

 

What are the 'Transcript of Records' and the 'Learning Agreement'?

Transcript of Records:

Is a list showing which courses were attended at the home university and which credit points were obtained before the semester abroad. Hence, the transcript of records shows you what previous knowledge you have. This can be either our status sheet (examinations office) or its translation. In addition, it is recommended to include an overview of the courses (including ECTS credit points), that are taken in the semester before the start of the semester abroad. Please contact the 'English Document Service' of the Student Services in Krefeld in time for a translation. You can also translate the Transcript of Records yourself, if needed in English and only provided in German by the examinations office. However, this must be signed by the International Coordinator.

Learning Agreement:

The Learning Agreement is a contract between the student, the home university and the guest university. It contains a list of the courses to be attended abroad. Often, the Learning Agreement has to be changed while at the foreign university because, for whatever reason, you decide for other courses than those agreed on. However, this should always be discussed with your supervisor as to avoid misunderstandings. Further changes are to be officially documented by the International Offices of the participating universities (form).

 

What to do if you can’t find the courses of the foreign university?

Please inquire at the guest university about the latest course programme. In case you cannot find any information on the website, please contact your Erasmus-contact-person at the guest university and ask for the course programme. If this is not successful either, please indicate that you need to earn at least 20 ECTS credit points and that the course selection will take place after your arrival at the foreign university - this should be an exception only!

Language during the Semester Abroad

Question: Can I study in English only in English-speaking countries?

Answer: Many universities, in countries where English is not the official language, offer courses in English, too. Please ask our international advisor or inquire at the respective university.

 

Non-partner Universities

Question: Can I also apply to universities that are not partner universities?

Answer: You can always, on your own initiative, apply to foreign universities with which no partnership exists. In this case, however, you should organize your stay there independently. Apart from this, there are various organizations that can help you plan and conduct your semester abroad. Nevertheless, you still have to coordinate your Learning Agreement with your supervisor. The international coordinator does not have to sign it. It is also necessary to register for the internship/semester abroad at the examinations office.