I'm writing about study abroad for a homework assignment. I have done some looking around, and it seems that there are several ways to talk about study abroad.

I read that Auslandssemester is for a semester or term abroad, but I'm talking about the study abroad experience in a more general term, including both short-term programs and degrees abroad. Auslandsschule also appeared in my research but is that for secondary school or college / university? I believe I may have heard Auslandsstudium used, but I could be wrong since it is not appearing in my dictionary but these others are.

One website seemes to suggest one can say "studieren ins Ausland."

So the question I came to is, how do I say "study abroad in Germany" on a CV, and how would I say this in a conversation about my CV?

EDIT: I am talking about study abroad in a university sense.

  • 1
    Are you talking about a school, meaning secondary education, or about studying at a university abroad?
    – Armin
    May 24, 2016 at 19:17
  • University abroad, just made the edit. Thanks.
    – luna_moth
    May 24, 2016 at 19:21
  • 1
    "Studieren ins Ausland" is wrong. It's either "Studieren im Ausland" or "zum Studieren ins Ausland gehen"
    – Iris
    May 24, 2016 at 20:59
  • 1
    "Auslandsaufenthalt" might be useful - it is more general, and technically does not exclusively refer to studies. However, if you use it in a university context, this is usually what it will be associated with...
    – Gerhard
    May 24, 2016 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


It depends on what you want to say.

Auslandssemester or Auslandsjahr mean that you were abroad for either a semester or a year to study.

Auslandsstudium means that you completed your studies abroad. For example, you started and finished your master’s degree in Germany.

I’ve never heard Auslandsschule before, but it sounds more like secondary education than studying at a university because secondary education is done in a Schule while higher education is done in a Universität or (Fach-)Hochschule.

If you did some internships abroad you can also say Auslandspraktikum if it was one, or Auslandspraktika if it were more than one.

These words not only include the studying part, but also all the experience you collected during these trips like getting used to the language, getting used to the system, finding new people, and so on.

Since you are asking about a CV, I’d write Auslandsjahr, Auslandssemester or Auslandsstudium depending on what I did. You can elaborate on what you like especially in later interviews or in your motivation if the context is fitting.


If you do not want to specify the type of studies you performed, it's going to be quite tricky, as Germans like to specify this very precisely - and that's apparently your challenge here.

If you want to talk about "studying abroad" in the general sense, I would go with the approach the website recommended. However, I do not agree with your citation "studieren ins Ausland.": "ins" is short for "in das" - and would mean that your studies themselves would go abroad, and not you as a person (for studying). I would prefer to use "studieren im Ausland" instead (which means more or less "studying while being abroad").

Although "studieren" here is being used as verb, it's trivial in German to make it a noun in this case. So, for instance, just by adding the corresponding article upfront you get to a sentence like:

Das Studieren im Ausland macht Spaß! (which would be Studying abroad is fun!)

I also would accept this term "Studieren im Ausland" as a headline in a CV, as long as there is some more "beef" to it later on explaining what was actually done there.

However, in general, if you are in a CV situation, I would recommend to be as precise as possible: Just being there in Germany, for instance, is not considered to be "studieren". If somebody "studiert", then (s)he is either actively participating in a curriculum-based activity or in fact doing research on some topic. Moreover, the person needs to have some sort of "higher education" to be capable of "studieren". If the latter is not the case, you more likely would use the more neutral word "lernen" (translated literately: to learn) instead. So, "studieren" is always understood as some thorough and deep-minded activity. However, unfortunately, "Lernen im Ausland" would be a laugh, as "lernen" would be too weak to justify going abroad...

On the other hand "Nach Deutschland reisen/fahren, um Deutsch zu lernen" is totally fine again (though you typically wouldn't write this in a CV either).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.