Loyola University Maryland

International Programs

Germany: Information for Parents

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Program Director

Renée Harris
Associate Director
Office of International Programs
Phone: 410-617-2920         
RHarris@loyola.edu

Thank you for your interest in our study abroad programs! The goal of this page is to help you better understand the Koblenz year and spring semester study abroad exchange and highlight distinguishing features and components that will interest you as a parent. More detailed and updated information are given to your son or daughter in information sessions, academic reviews, workshops, and pre-departure orientations. Once you read this information, we strongly encourage you to discuss this with your son/daughter first. Please know all information is given to the students, and we ask students to share all of this with you.

Sending students abroad is a partnership that includes students, parents, university personnel, and our overseas partners. We realize that you will have questions, and if our website or your son/daughter cannot answer those questions, we will be happy to discuss the study abroad process and program information with you. However, due to the FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) federal regulation, we will not be able to discuss specific information regarding your son/daughter; however, if your son/daughter is willing to sign a waiver form indicating the specific information to be shared with you, we will be more than happy to discuss specific matters regarding your son/daughter.

We hope you find this information helpful in assisting your son/daughter to accomplish his or her goal of learning, living, and serving abroad. We look forward to working with you and your son/daughter.

Background: University Koblenz-Landau Campus-Exchange Program

Exchange programs are different from Loyola programs in regards to benefits provided and items billed to the student. Students who study on an exchange are looking for a more independent type of experience abroad. Loyola students on an exchange program, like other international students, are looked after and supported by the international office at Koblenz. Students work with the department of English at Koblenz-Landau to register for courses. This is a Loyola exchange and it is strictly for students who are majoring in German or have a major in the humanities and a minor in German.

The university unites the Rhineland and the Palatinate regions: There is one campus in Koblenz, in the middle of the beautiful Rhine valley, and one campus in sunny Landau in the south of Rhineland-Palatinate. Altogether, there are about 13,000 students, 500 lecturers, and 400 staff members. Loyola has had an exchange relationship with University Koblenz-Landau since 1993. The university is a full research and teaching university. The university’s academic profile is distinguished by the education sciences, the humanities, cultural science, social sciences, natural sciences, computer science, and psychology.

Koblenz is situated on the banks of the Rhine and Moselle. It has a lot of cultural monuments and historic buildings. It is one of the youngest universities in Germany. Students can only study for the full year or for the spring semester only due to the academic calendar at Koblenz.

Application Requirements

Students must submit a completed, online application by December 4 (Wednesday after Thanksgiving break) of their sophomore year. Students will need their advisor’s electronic permission, and if applicable, their coach’s approval and signature to study abroad. All students must declare their major and any intended minors before they submit their study abroad application on-line. Students will be turned down for the Koblenz program if they have not declared a major. We strongly recommend that students submit any paperwork that involves declaring a major and/or minor, or any change of major or minor far in advance of the December 4 deadline, since the above forms have to go to several different departments before it is officially declared.

Criteria for Acceptance

Students must apply to be considered for admission. Typically, sophomores with a cumulative GPA of a 3.00 or higher can be considered for the Koblenz exchange. Students with a solid 2.800 can appeal to the University of Koblenz for an exception to their admission requirement. Students accepted into the Koblenz program must maintain a cumulative GPA of a 2.800 or higher during their last semester before going abroad. In addition, students must be able to find enough courses that will work in their declared degree program and not have a history of serious disciplinary problems or continued small incidents on campus before and after acceptance.

Academics

The majority of the courses are taught in German. Students should have completed at least their intermediate German 104 before studying at the university. However, it is recommended that students take GR201-German Composition and Conversation prior to going abroad.

Students will experience a European-style educational system, very different from Loyola. Students should register for a full-semester of credits for a total of 15 credits or five courses for the spring semester and 10 courses and 30 credits for the year. Students will register for courses once they arrive abroad. Course information for the specific term your son or daughter will be abroad will not be made available until after arrival, just prior to the opening of the university. Course information is subject to change. Therefore, we recommend that students have enough course options to alleviate any registration problems, like course cancellation, time conflict, or missing prerequisites.

During their stay in Koblenz, students will participate in the German Experience. The German Experience is a special option for students to enhance their German language skills while writing about your experiences initially in English but switching to written German. This will help students perfect their language skills and observe and document their cultural experiences in Germany. Students studying for the spring semester only can earn six credits for the German Experience and students studying for the year can earn nine credits. This course is considered a German language course. Students will complete the German Experience while in Germany, but students must submit all pertinent work to the German department once the student returns to Loyola and a final grade will be given by Loyola professors.

A student studying for the semester, the German Experience is divided into two three-credit segments. A student studying for the year, the German Experience is divided into three three-credit segments. In both cases, students are expected to keep a journal recording of his/her experiences during their stay beginning with their arrival. A detailed letter from the German department will be given to the student outlining the specific requirements in order to receive credit for it.

In addition, students are expected to enroll in a pre-university course at the local Volkshochschule (high school) as soon as they can make the arrangements (preferably soon after arrival) and follow the course for at least a semester (or whatever the normal session is). Students must keep a notebook of their Volkshochschule experience and submit it to the German department for grading as part of the German Experience.

After the pre-term course at the local high school is completed, students who study for the year should register for the equivalent of seven courses/21 credits at the University of Koblenz-Landau to complete the equivalent of a full year’s worth of courses and credits taken at Loyola (10 courses and 30 credits). Students, who study for just one semester, should register for the equivalent of three courses/nine credits at the university to complete the equivalent of a full semester’s worth of courses and credits taken at Loyola (five courses and 15 credits).

To help students with the German taught courses at the University of Koblenz, the university provides German language instruction for students from abroad, and orientation days are offered at each campus before lectures start.

Length of Stay

The academic year is divided into two semesters: winter semester (October-March) and summer semester (April-September). Our students who want to study for the year depart in September and take classes from October–February, coming home briefly for the Christmas break. The second semester resumes in the middle of April and ends in July. However, the lecture period only runs from mid-October until mid-February and from mid-April until the end of July. The remaining time is intended for exams/internships/semester break.

Housing

Student residences are administered by independent organizations which are affiliated with but independent of the University. The International Office at Koblenz works with our students to reserve housing. Students usually will stay in a dorm or an apartment. However, if students notify the German department in advance, arrangements could be made to live with a German family. Most students can choose a dorm room or an apartment with shared kitchens, bathrooms and living space. Bedrooms could be single rooms. Housing may or may not be near the university. Therefore, public transportation may be a part of the experience. Students pay the housing charge of the host (Koblenz) institution; students do not pay the Loyola housing charge.

Studierendenwerk Landau

Meals

Meals are not included in the program. Students can cook their own meals in self-catering dorms/apartments or they can obtain meals (lunch and light dinner) in the student mensa or cafeteria. Continental breakfast is available at the student cafeteria. Eating out can get expensive. If students are eating out at restaurants, we advise students to check before ordering to see if they accept major credit cards. Some places only accept cash.

Cost and Benefits

Loyola does not provide an on-site director, activities, or cultural excursions. Students/parents pay to Loyola the following charges:

  • Loyola tuition;
  • Reduced comprehensive fee;
  • Program fee; and
  • Study abroad deposit to hold your place in the program.

Students/parents pay to the host institution or agents abroad:

  • Housing charge of the host university; and
  • Meals (select mensa cafeteria).

Charges students must budget for on this exchange:

  • Student visa;
  • Meals (self-catering);
  • Student Association Fee (paid to Koblenz);
  • Trips and cultural activities;
  • Round-trip airline ticket;
  • Transportation to and from study abroad site (train, bus);
  • Bedding;
  • Communication expenses;
  • Health insurance (if you do not have a health plan that is valid abroad); and
  • Personal travel (hostels, hotels, airline or rail tickets, food, etc.).

Students pay a Student Association fee upon arrival. The fee covers public transportation, reduced student meals at the cafeteria, special programs for exchange students, and the use of all university facilities.

Unexpected Items

These items do not normally occur but could happen depending on the student and unforeseen circumstances:

  • Airline ticket change (student wants to come home early);
  • A hotel stay abroad for an emergency (snow storm or flight cancelation);
  • Lost keys or room damage;
  • Illness (payment of services rendered expected at the time of service); and
  • Summer school (student is behind in their degree program or a course is not offered abroad).

Money Matters

This is a Loyola exchange. This means that Loyola financial aid (academic scholarships, grants and other controlled sources of aid, with the exception of College Work Study), may be used to help with educational expenses. Students on athletic scholarships should consult the athletic department to see if this aid can be used abroad. Parents should contact the financial aid office to discuss their financial aid package and how it works with study abroad. Conversations should be made with them before your son/daughter submits the study abroad deposit to Loyola.

Students can easily use both American credit cards (MasterCard and Visa mostly) and American ATM cards to pay for goods and services in Germany. This is especially useful for visits to the hospital and payments for air travel. Make sure your child contacts their bank and credit card companies prior to their departure in order to let them know he/she will be in Germany for a specific period of time. It is also good to let the banks know if your child traveling outside of Germany, too, so their card will not be deactivated.

Check with your local bank to see if they have any type of affiliation with a major bank in Germany. This may cut down on ATM/Debit card user fees. Past students recommend that students take out enough cash to last a few weeks. This cuts down on withdrawing monies every week and thus incurring bank fees.

Students reported spending anywhere from $2,800-$7,000 during a semester. These funds are primarily used for travel, meals, and entertainment. The exchange rate and other factors can affect spending amounts.

Documents for Abroad

Currently, the following documents are required to travel and study in Germany:

  • Valid, signed passport (with 6 months left after the program end date);
  • Student visa;
  • Letter from health insurance company verifying health coverage that is valid abroad;
  • Official letter of acceptance from the University of Koblenz; and
  • Letter of support from Loyola University Maryland.

Health Insurance and Health Care

We recommend that you contact your health insurance company in advance to check on overseas coverage. Loyola University Maryland will need a letter from your health insurance company verifying your child has valid health care coverage for abroad, and that it includes hospitalization and accident coverage. Your student should take the original letter from the insurance company to Germany to local authorities and a copy must be submitted to the Office of International Programs.

Students who are not covered under a valid, US health plan or cannot show proof of a valid, US health plan will have to purchase a German medical plan upon arrival. The German health plan is only valid in the country of Germany. Therefore, we require Loyola students to have a valid, comprehensive, U.S. health plan to cover any medical emergency outside of Germany.

Before going abroad, students should make sure their immunizations are up to date before departing overseas. You can consult the Centers for Disease Control website or your physician to determine what immunizations are required to study in Europe. In some cases, health care providers abroad may make recommendations to students to obtain additional shots after arriving in Germany. In cases like this, it is usually left up to the student and his/her parents/guardian as to whether or not you want your child to receive any additional immunizations abroad.

Shipping medications is not recommended. We suggested that you obtain from your doctor and pharmacist enough medication(s) to last for the duration of the program. In addition, we also recommend bringing the name, dosage, and the breakdown of the medication just in case the student needs to purchase a particular medication(s) while abroad. This information should be noted on a doctor’s stationery or prescription pad.

Keep in mind certain medications considered legal in the United States may be deems illegal abroad. This should be discussed way in advance of departure so that other arrangements can be discussed in the event your son/daughter will not be able to take or obtain a certain medication(s) abroad. In addition, allergy shots and flu shots are not automatically provided to our students.

On the matter, flu shots may only administered to those people deemed most at risk for health problems, like the elderly or small children, in Ireland. As a result, flu shots are not readily available to all citizens of Germany for the routine purpose of prevention. Therefore, American students who need to obtain flu shots abroad may need a letter from their doctor explaining why it is medically necessary for the students to receive the shot abroad.

Travel to and from Germany

Students are responsible for arranging their own flight to and from Germany and for paying for their airfare. We encourage students to review the airline carrier’s website information on a monthly basis due to the many changes airlines make. In addition, students will have to inform the Loyola and the University of Koblenz’s Office of International Programs of their departure and return dates. Students will have to arrive in time in order to arrange for their pre-term course at the local high school. Students should not make any ticket change on their return flight until they know the last day of their finals. Finals are scheduled in advanced at many European universities, and in many cases students cannot ask to have their finals moved to different dates.

A student assistant from the University of Koblenz will be assigned to a Loyola student prior to arrival. The student assistant will meet incoming exchange students at the airport or at the train station to take them to their apartment or dorm.

Loyola recommends to students to purchase their airline ticket through a reputable travel agent or agency. We do know that on-line sites do offer less expensive tickets, but in the event there is a crisis that affects air travel, like snow storms, online sites may not be able to address your questions in a timely fashion, or it could shut down completely due to high volume requests. Travel agents may have inside information to help you make ticket changes quicker and can provide you with the most up to date airline and travel information.

On-Site Support

Koblenz is a comprehensive university. Like a comprehensive university, there are services they provide similar to Loyola, but most will find these services are primarily offered in the native language. Students are encouraged to work with the international office at Koblenz and with our main contact, Dr. Jody Skinner, in the department of English (jody@uni-koblenz.de).

Arrival Contact

On-site support in Koblenz:

Jody Skinner
Exchange – University of Koblenz- Landau
Department of English
Universitaetsstr 1
D-56070 Koblenz
GERMANYjody@uni-koblenz.de

Phone:
011-49-261-287-2020
011-49-221-570-6767

Bettina Holstein-Alter
Universität Koblenz-Landau
-Campus Koblenz-
Universitätsstr. 1
56070 Koblenz

Office: Emil-Schüller-Straße 12, room 032
Office hours: Tuesday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday. 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Phone: +49-(0)261-2871764
holstein@uni-koblenz-landau.de