Study Abroad as a Freemover

Freemover / Visiting Student - Organize your stay abroad outside an exchange program

Every student may apply to study at a university abroad, as a guest/visiting student for 1 or 2 semesters or as a degree seeking/international student wishing to graduate from that university. If you want to be independent from restrictions of programs, your home university does not have a cooperation with the host institution you would like to attend or your application for an exchange program was not successful, this may be the option for you. Start your research about universities abroad quite some time before your stay abroad so that you won't miss any important deadlines. 

Pros and cons


  • Freedom of choice of the host institution
  • High accessibility


Important steps on your way to becoming a freemover:

  • Find out about universities you would like to apply to.
  • Find out about application deadlines, necessary application documents and the tuition fees that you will have to pay. 
  • Check the host institution's website for: International/Global Office, Incoming/visiting student, freemover
  • Consider your financial resources and research scholarships and other options of funding.
  • Gather necessary documents (certificates, transcripts etc.) and/or certified translations (more details here).
  • Check if you need a language certificate and which one.
  • Find out early on about the courses on offer at potential host universities and discuss with your subject coordinator which courses or modules you should take and check with them and the Prüfungsamt (examination office) if/what credits can be transferred. These may be recorded in a Learning Agreement that, if signed by the person in charge at the Prüfungsamt, guarantees that the credits from your stay abroad will be transferred upon your return - for all things related to transfer of credits please talk to your faculty and/or examination office (Prüfungsamt).
  • Check whether you will need a visa.
  • You will have to stay enrolled at Goethe-Universität so you will have to pay your administrative fees (Semestergebühren).
  • Please register in the online mobility database of the Global Office (where you will also have the option to apply for a Letter of Permission that some host institutions ask for from the home institution).

Some useful websites: is a privately run website of a former freemover which provides a lot of advice and a list of many universities worldwide that are open to freemovers (in English).

StudyPortals offers data bases for Bachelor and Master programs all over the world as well as scholarships for studying, internships and research abroad (in English). 

The DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) offers a vast data base of information on all countries, their universities and admission regulations as well costs of living in their Länderinformation (in German only). A lot of information on study conditions in different countries as well as links to funding opportunities can be found on the websites of (in German only).

More advice and testimonials of former freemovers can be found on the website of the BMBF/DAAD-Initiative "studieren weltweit - ERLEBE ES!" (in German only).

There are several organizations that help students wishing to study abroad as a freemover in their endeavor to find the right host university all over the globe. All of the organizations below are free of charge for students. The language of instructions of most of the programs is English.

different countries globally

Australia / New Zealand:

Australia / New Zealand / Canada:

Australia / New Zealand / USA / South East Asia:

For all funding from German organizations: Check carefully whether you are eligible to apply. Some funding is only available to German citizens or other restrictions may apply. 

Freemovers may apply for the DAAD-PROMOS (for one semester) or DAAD-Jahresstipendium (for a whole academic year) and check for other ways of financing their stay abroad (Auslands-BAföG, Stiftungen etc.). Links see below.

Eligible students may apply for Auslands-BAföGImportant: If you receive Auslands-BAföG, €4.600 will be paid towards tuition fees (which will not have to be paid back).  

As soon as you know what university you are going to apply for:

We are asking all students going abroad as freemovers to register in our mobility software Mobility Online, so that we have the possibility to connect them to other students who are going to study in the same city, forward country specific information and contact them in case of a crisis. Registered students will have the opportunity to apply for a „Letter of Permission“ in their account, a document that is required by many universities for freemover applications. They will also receive more general information regarding studying abroad and an alumni certificate upon completing the semester abroad successfully. 

Please register here

In case of problems regarding the online registration, please send an email to Thank you!  

(We are not responsible for external links and may not be held accountable.)

Asia Exchange / Beyond Abroad Webinare für Freemover*innen 

Asia, Europe, South-America: Where can I study in 2024?
11. April 2024, 16:00 Uhr

Study in Malaysia and Thailand: Everything you need to know
18. April 2024, 16:00 Uhr

Study in South Korea: Why and How?
25. April 2024, 16:00 Uhr

Study in Bali: Why and how?
8. Mai 2024, 16:00 Uhr

Weitere Infos und Anmeldung zu den Webinaren

WORLD of STUDENTS Webinar-Serie im Februar und März!

World of Students veranstaltet im Februar und März eine Webinar-Serie, wo sich viele ihrer Partnerhochschulen  live vorstellen, u.a.:

James Cook University Singapore:
27. Februar 2024, 08:00 – 08:45 Uhr

Asia Pacific University, Kuala Lumpur:
27. Februar 2024, 08:45 – 09:30 Uhr

Woosong University & Solbridge International Business School, Südkorea:
27. Februar 2024, 18:00 – 18:45 Uhr 

International College of Management, Sydney:
28. Februar 2024, 17:00 – 17:45 Uhr

Hier gehts zu vielen weiteren Webinaren im März und April und zur Anmeldung!

IEC Info-Webinare für Freemover*innen 

Mittwoch, 21.02.2024 17:00h - 18:00h 
Wie finanziere ich mein Auslandsstudium?

Mittwoch, 28.02.2024 17:00h - 18:00h 
Studieren an der Yamanashi Gakuin University in Japan - Auslandssemester mit IEC feat. IEC Alumnus Maurice

Dienstag, 05.03.2024 16:00h - 17:00h 
Studieren in Sydney - Auslandssemester mit IEC feat. University of Technology Sydney
Mittwoch, 03.04.2024 16:00h - 17:00h 
Studieren in Australien - Auslandssemester mit IEC feat. Queensland University of Technology

Weitere Infos und Anmeldung




Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Global Office
Eschersheimer Landstraße 155
c/o House of Labor
3. Stock
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Student Mobility Team
Studium im Ausland

Olaf Purkert
Raum 330

Paula Faber
Jule Türke
Raum 328

Praktikum im Ausland / PROMOS
Luisa Döhner

Raum 331