Free Summer Universities abroad

Get an international and intercultural experience

+Free Summer University destinations for AU students

+Need to get ahead or to catch-up on ECTS credits?

+Application deadline March 15th

2021 destinations - application deadline 15/3

Below you can see the list of universities you can apply for in 2021. 

In the table you can see, the level, how many ects credits and if the university is planning on Online or On-site courses or a combinations. 

Some of the universities will not make a final decision on the delivery mode of their courses before later in the spring, you can keep yourself posted on each university website. 

We do not expect to add any universities to the list, this is the final list for 2021. 


University of TampereFinlandTampere2-54BA/MAOn-SiteYes*
University of JyväskyläFinlandJyväskylä55BA/MAOn-SiteYes*
Utrecht UniversityHollandUtrecht1-132BA/MAOnline & On-SiteNo
Humboldt Summer UniGermanyBerlin5-83BA/MATo be confirmedNo

*If you get a space at this university you are also automatically considered for the Nordlys scholarship, which is 70 EUR a week + 330 EUR to cover travel expenses. The scholarship will only be awarded if the courses take place onsite in Finland and not if switched to online. 


Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore53BA/MAOn-SiteNo
SMUSingaporeSingapore6-7.54BAOnline & On-SiteNo
Chinese University of Hong KongChinaHong Kong610BAOnlineNo

How to apply

Step 1: Where to?

Start by finding your dream destination from the list of possible places. Depending on what you study, you may have to compromise your geographic preferences, since not all our partner universities offer courses for all AU students. However, between all the destinations we are pretty sure that there will be courses that are relevant for you, regardless of your AU study programme.

Spend some time researching the courses offered at the different universities and find a few that looks interesting academically and/or geographically. You can prioritize as many universities as you wish, but please consider that there should be a match between your academic and geopgraphic interests before you apply for a university. You can find the list of universities above.

Step 2: Apply for the pre-approval

When you have found out where you want to go and which courses you wish to take there. It’s time to apply for a pre-approval. A pre-approval is when your board of studies decides that you may take a specific course at another institution and have it replaced with a course that you would have otherwise taken at AU (usually it’s elective courses but it may also be mandatory specific courses in your study programme).

We need this in order to make sure that you can get a credit transfer after you have passed the exam at the host university.

You must apply for the pre-approval at self-service. You can find the application form under applications in the lower right corner and again under application for study councils you must click “preliminary approval for courses outside AU”.

In the In which degree programme do you wish to enroll in a course? You can write summer school.

Usually the study council will need an elaborate course description for the course(s) you wish to have approved in the Upload and attach documentation field and you should be able to find these on the website of the host university at this point.

There can be a processing time for up to a few weeks depending on your study council and it can be frustrating to wait for it, especially when we get close to the 15th of March, 

You can however apply for the seat if you don’t get the pre-approval before March 15th and then send it in later on.

We will allocate the seats based on GPA and an assessment of the likelihood that you can get credits at the respective university with your AU background.

So, before March 15th you can upload either one of these three documents

a)       A pre-approval

b)       A receipt that you have applied for a pre-approval

All applicants with either one of these documents in their application will be considered equally and allocated based on GPA and the expected likelihood of you getting a pre-approval (if you don’t have one by March 15th).

Step 3: Apply to AU before March 15th

Once you have found out where you want to go, it’s time to apply for the seat. But remember, it’s not first come-first served, so use the time you need to find some interesting places and courses, apply for the pre-approval and then apply for the seat before March 15th, regardless if you have pre-approval or not.

Once you know what university/ies you wish to apply to you can apply online in our application system.

Create a user and then select Aarhus University student as your student type, and choose the universities you want to apply for. All the universities will start with “summerschool abroad:” followed by the university name, so if you write summerschool abroad in the search field they will all come up.

In this section you can only add two universities to your application, but in step 6/7 in the other information text field you can manually write more priorities if you have more than two.

All the universities are created as BA level and 5 ects credits and random dates. This does not mean that you cannot take 10 ects or MA level nor are the dates necessarily accurate for that university.

It is however due to a technicality in the application system, so please ignore this and rely on the information on the host university’s homepage.

If you don’t get the pre-approval before March 15th, you can still apply and then send in the approval later. In this case you need to upload a screenshot of your application for pre-approval or the e-mail receipt if you have it.  

Step 4. Apply to host university

After March 15th you will get an answer to your application. After that we will nominate you to the host university and they will in most cases contact you also. It will then be your own responsibility to apply directly to the host university and follow their deadlines. But we will make sure to inform you about any deadlines. 

Step 5. Get ready!

You should wait with booking your flights and pay for accommodation until you have a confirmation from the host university and a formal acceptance letter/notification. Even though we nominate you it’s not a guarantee that you can get into a specific course, they may overbook or get cancelled and in such case it would be a pity to have flights and accommodation sorted out.

But, once you have been accepted to the host university it’s time to get ready! Follow the instruction from the host university and prepare for an amazing and intense summer full of learning and new experiences!  


How do I apply?

You have to apply online before March 15. Find more information on this page where there is also a link to the application system. (Link til hvordan søger jeg-kasse)

What happens if I don’t get the preapproval before March 15?

In that case you can still apply and you can still get a seat. You will then have to forward us the preapproval when you get it. 

If you are unable to get the preapproval before the application deadline, you should upload the receipt you got when you applied for the preapproval (e.g. a screen shot of the email you received when you applied or a screen shot of your application for a preapproval) instead of the preapproval in the application system. 

What prerequisites should I fulfil to apply?

You need a preapproval for the course and space in your study program for the courses (because these courses you take at summer university will replace courses you would otherwise take at AU). So, you will need to make an application to the study board in order to allow you to have the summer course replace for instance an elective course, an IV elective or a third type of course depending on the academic regulations covering your degree programme.

What are the chances of getting a seat?

2020 was the first time we launched a coordinated initiative with the ambition that more AU students would go abroad for a summer school through the agreements we have. It is therefore quite difficult for us to predict how big the interest will be and for that reason, we are unable to say anything for sure about the chances of getting a seat.

But, if you are open to the possibility and if your study board is not too strict about which courses you are able to take, we estimate that the chances of getting a seat are pretty good as we have quite a few seats available. If you do not get a seat the first time around, we will do what we can to help you secure a spot at a different university if you are interested in that and you can get a preapproval.  

Can I apply together with a friend of mine?

Yes, you can. You and your friend just need to be sure to have the same priorities and you will need to write the name of the person you are applying with in step 6/7 in the “Other information” box. If there are more applicants than spots for the university/universities, you are applying for and we will have to allocate seats according to grade point average, it will be the grade average of the one with the lowest grade average that counts.

This means that by applying together with another student, you agree to the fact that we, on paper, juxtapose your grade average with your co-applicants grade average.

How are the seats allocated?

It is not first come, first served so allow yourself to spend some time finding a couple of interesting summer schools and apply for the preapproval(s) )and remember to apply before March 15 regardless of whether you have received the preapproval).

We will allocate the seats based on GPA and an assessment of the likelihood that you can get credits at the respective university with your AU background.

So, before March 15th you can upload either one of these three documents

a)       A pre-approval

b)       A receipt that you have applied for a pre-approval

All applicants with either one of these documents in their application will be considered equally and allocated based on GPA and the expected likelihood of you getting a pre-approval (if you don’t have one by March 15th).

When will I hear the outcome of my application?

You will receive an answer to your application before April 8. This way, if you do not get a seat, you will be able to apply for a summer course at AU before April 8 or regular semester courses between May 1-May 5.

What if I do not get a spot?

If you do not get a spot, you will be able to apply for a seat at one of the universities you did not apply for, provided there are seats available. The possible rejection letter will include information on how to do this. 

If I go on summer school exchange, will I then also be able to go on semester exchange?

Yes. But be aware that depending on what you study, there can be a requirement that you have at least 20, 25 er often even 30 ECTS left in your study programme in order to be able to get a semester exchange seat.

So if you are thinking about going abroad for a semester, then carefully consider how many ECTS you should obtain from a summer school abroad. If you for instance get 15 ECTS credits during a summer school exchange, you might not be able to go on semester exchange. So please check the guidelines for semester exchange concerning your specific study programme. 

What if I get a spot, but I subsequently do not get a seat the course I have a preapproval for?

That we “give you a spot” at a university is unfortunately no guarantee that you can get a seat in a specific course at the host university. Some courses can be cancelled or become fully booked. This unfortunately means that you will have to apply for a new preapproval with the study board for the course you are accepted to by host university. Some courses may also be cancelled at the host university, in which case you may have to switch courses. 

Who can I contact for counselling and other questions?

You are always welcome to send us an e-mail at or call 87150000.

However, if your questions are of a more academic character, such as “can I get this course pre-approved for my studies at AU?” or “what kind of courses at AU could this course replace..”, we may not be able to answer since we do not have in-depth knowledge of all study programmes. We therefore suggest that you go to your course specific student counsellor with such questions. 

I need a 10 ects credit course in order to replace a course at AU, however, the university i'm interested in only offer courses lower than 10 ECTS?

We know that some universities, e.g Kings College only offers 7,5 ECTS credit courses and if you need a 10 ects credit course in order to have it transferred to AU this can be challenging.

At some universities it may also be necessary to combine more courses in order to get the required amount of ects credits (at Hokkaido for example, where most of the courses are less than 5 ects credits.) in such case the study council may decide that a given combination of courses at said university will be transferred as one block of 5 or 10 ects credits. 

Summerschool on your own

Did you not find any interesting places or courses from our list of free summerschool destinations? Then there’s plenty of options to go to a summer school abroad on your own. Almost any major or medium sized university will have an English taught summer school in one way or another.
The easiest ways to find them is to either just google summer schools in Europe or which part of the world you are interested in, or to go directly to one of the many online portals for summer schools, such as this one:

Going on your own means that you are arraning everything yourself, including paying the tuition fee the summer school might charge for their courses.

If you get a pre-approval for a self-arranged summer school you may be eligible for the Danish state scholarship for study abroad

Usually our semester partner universities also offer a discount for AU students, if we receive information about such discounts for certain destinations, we will post them in the table below. 


CountryCityUniversityECTS availableTuition fee €Discount for AU studentsDeadline
IrelandGalwayNational University of Galway62150No31.04.2021
GermanyFrankfurtFrankfurt School of Finance and Management51.950-3.50025%01.05.2021
GermanyOldenburgUniversity of Oldenburg60100%01.03.2021
SpainMadridUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid61.29912,50%31.05.2021
FranceParis, Marseille, BordeauxKedge Business School5500-1000No first come, first served
SwitzerlandZurichUniversity of Zurich61.390Yes25.04.2021
FranceToulouseToulouse Business School12-241600100 €23.04.2021
MaltaGozoOFF THE BEATEN TRACK93450Nofirst come, first served
GermanyFrankfurtThe European University Viadrina121990400 €15.03.2021
ScotlandGlasglowUniversity of Glasgow7,5980-587510%20.04.2021
ItalyPisaUniversity of Pisa3-10250-1000NoDepends