The Department of English Studies encourages all of its students to spend at least three successive months in a country where English is the primary language spoken. Spending time abroad is part of the regular course of study and the graduation requirements take this into account. Aside from these formal requirements, there are numerous arguments in favor of spending a semester or even a year abroad. Living in an English-speaking country offers you the unique chance to immerse yourself the subject of your studies and engage with its many facets and nuances. It also confronts you with new topics of inquiry and approaches to scholarly questions that can expand your knowledge and open up new perspectives on your discipline. Speaking, reading, writing and hearing English on a daily basis can only improve your language proficiency, which usually translates into better quality academic work after your return to Germany. Finally, immersion in an Anglophone culture can give you insights and viewpoints that even the best cultural studies course cannot duplicate.
All three courses of study provide the opportunity for a lengthy stay abroad. Whether you opt for a student exchange within Europe with the ERASMUS program, study in the USA/Canada, or Australia/New Zealand, the Department of English Studies has generous transfer credit policies so coursework completed abroad can fulfill requirements here in Germany and facilitate the timely completion of your degree program. To obtain financial support for study or research abroad, students of English Studies (including doctoral candidates) are encouraged to apply for the Department's Sophie Bernthsen Fellowship. (See Anerkennung von Leistungsnachweisen).
In addition to these exchange programs, a wealth of other opportunities is available for students who want to experience life and gain practical experience in an English-speaking country, such as working as an assistant teacher in a British school or participating in an internship program at an American college. From choosing the right program, crafting a solid application, and dealing with visas and paperwork to organizing your return to the University of Heidelberg, the Department and the Study Abroad office (Akademische Auslandsamt) of the university work together to make the process as smooth as possible.