Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Study Abroad



Why go abroad at all?

We recommend all students of the Bachelor of Regional Studies with a focus on Africa and the Master of African Studies to plan a study period abroad. This offers students the opportunity to get to know other scientific and knowledge systems than the German, to expand their professional knowledge, to gain foreign language practice and, last but not least, to gain their own experience of life in other cultural contexts. With far-sighted planning and good organization, a stay abroad does not necessarily lead to an extension of the study period. However, if it does, the invaluable experience gained will be well worth it. In the Bachelor's program, it is advisable to plan the second or third year of study or the third, fourth or fifth semester for studying abroad. In the Master's program, the third semester or second year is best. In the final semester, i.e. in the research phase for the bachelor's/master's thesis, a targeted research stay in an African country or in an archive/specific research institution abroad may be useful. Even if you have already completed your bachelor's degree and are still unsure whether (or which) master's you want to study in Germany, there are opportunities to squeeze in a year of study abroad, not to mention that you can, of course, apply to a variety of master's programs around the world with your bachelor's degree in regional studies.

With a major in African Studies, the obvious choice is to study on the African continent itself. This not only has the advantage of learning about African perspectives on Africa-related fields of knowledge, but also of immersing oneself in the everyday life of the country in question beyond touristy sojourns. Alternatively, studying at a European or American/Australian/Asian institution may be useful. The staff of the Seminar for African Studies will try to advise you as individually as possible. For specific countries you can contact the following staff members at the seminar: Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda: Dr. Lutz Diegner; Nigeria: Yusuf Baba Gar, Susanne Gehrmann; South Africa: Dr. Annekie Joubert, Dr. Christfried Naumann; Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo: Prof. Susanne Gehrmann; Cameroon: Dr. Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong. For all questions concerning the organization of a semester abroad, an internship, research or a language course abroad and especially for the application for study places and DAAD scholarships, the International Office[, Kontakt: ].

In principle, there are no restrictions on the choice of host country/university; however, the recognition of examination achievements for the BA Regional Studies/the MA African Studies must be discussed individually with the student advisors/subject representatives. Existing partnership programs of the Humboldt-Universität Berlin with African universities as well as the European Erasmus programs considerably ease the organizational effort of studying abroad. Therefore, we provide below some further information on those universities/institutions with which exchange relations already exist, as well as on scholarship opportunities.

The application deadlines for study places in East and West Africa via the HU partnership programs regularly end on 31 January each year, for South Africa on 15 June each year.
[ To the application portal:[, contact: ] will give advice.

In principle, there are no restrictions on the choice of host country/university; however, the recognition of examination achievements for the BA Regional Studies/the MA African Studies must be discussed individually with the student advisors/subject representatives. Existing partnership programs of the Humboldt-Universität Berlin with African universities as well as the European Erasmus programs considerably ease the organizational effort of studying abroad. Therefore, we provide below some further information on those universities/institutions with which exchange relations already exist, as well as on scholarship opportunities.

The application deadlines for study places in East and West Africa via the HU partnership programs regularly end on 31 January each year, for South Africa on 15 June each year.[ ]


Semester abroad at a partner university


University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), founded in 1970 (its predecessor was the University College, 1961-1970), has been known as a focal point of critical academic thinking in East Africa since the beginning of its existence. Since 1998, UDSM has been a partner university of HU, so that almost every year several Humboldt students could go to Dar es Salaam for a semester abroad.

Since 2011, Tanzanian students have been able to participate in the HU Summer School for the first time, and there is an exchange of academics in both directions. The College of Arts and Social Sciences is particularly attractive, as are the Departments of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, History and Literature. In addition, Sociology, the Department of Fine and Performing Arts and Development Studies enjoy a very good reputation.

A particular asset of this primarily Anglophone university for African Studies students is the Swahili teaching and research housed at Taasisi ya Taaluma za Kiswahili (TATAKI), the national and East Africa's leading Swahili research institute.

Even regardless of subject knowledge and interests, Swahili (pre-)knowledge is a great advantage for studying at UDSM. A semester abroad is recommended for the fourth or fifth semester; in the decision-making process, experience reports of fellow students who have already done so can be viewed.

You should inform yourself in detail about the written application formalities for the exchange place of the partner university as well as the scholarship programs of the DAAD on the web pages of the International Department and then  seek personal advice there from Ms. Brodien. Afterwards or parallel to this, you will receive advice on the content of your studies as well as assistance in networking with other students from Dr. Lutz Diegner.


Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal

The university in Senegal's capital Dakar is named after the Senegalese Egyptologist Cheikh Anta Diop (1923-1986), a researcher who has helped shape the profile of what is probably the most renowned francophone university in West Africa to this day. UCAD was founded in 1957 and is still Senegal's largest university with a current student population of approximately 80,000. The language of instruction is exclusively French; a very good knowledge of French is therefore essential even before beginning studies in Dakar. However, it is also possible to attend in-depth French courses at the INSTITUT DE FRANÇAIS POUR LES ETUDIANTS ETRANGERS (IFE).

There is no "African Studies" subject at UCAD; rather, all of the humanities represented offer Africa-related teaching, often with a focus on francophone West Africa. The history, literature, and linguistics disciplines you are familiar with from Berlin are concentrated at the FACULTE DES LETTRES ET SCIENCES HUMAINES (FLSH). In addition to the corresponding courses at the Département d'histoire (History Department), the Département de Lettres modernes (Modern Literatures; by which is meant here primarily French-language literatures), the Département d'anglais (Anglophone Literatures), and the Département de linguistique (Linguistics Department), you can also take philosophy, sociology, geography, Arabic, or intercultural German studies at FLSH. At the Faculty of Education, FASTEF, which is in charge of teacher training, literary studies, history, geography and philosophy are also taught. It may be useful to choose something suitable from the courses offered here as well.

Foreign students are generally free to choose which seminars they would like to participate in; however, it should be discussed individually with the lecturers whether participation is possible and which examination options exist. The CENTRE DE LINGUISTIQUE APPLIQUÉE DE DAKAR (CLAD)/Language Center, which is affiliated with FLSH, offers courses in the national languages Wolof, Peul (Fulfulde), Serer and Joola for a fee. Also affiliated with UCAD is the renowned humanities research center IFAN (Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire), which offers its own research library in addition to the central university library and the smaller libraries of the individual subjects.

With a population of more than one million - including the surrounding sprawling suburbs such as Pikine and Guediawaye - and an infrastructure that has been modernized in the inner city in recent years, Dakar is a lively metropolis with a wide range of cultural activities and the presence of numerous local and international organizations where internships can also be completed. The cost of living is relatively high, but places in the overcrowded student dormitories are rare. The academic year begins in October, but often a few weeks later due to student or faculty strikes.


Internet presence of the university:

Contact person: Prof. Dr. Susanne Gehrmann
Fig.: Anne Schelhorn

Faculté des lettres © Anne M. Carovani
Fig.: Anne Schelhorn

Institut Fondamental de l'Afrique
Noire (IFAN) © Anne M. Carovani


University of Stellenbosch, Südafrika

Stellenbosch University has a long tradition in the Cape region and its beginnings date back to the late 17th century. Even today, one can find traces of its historical heritage, which persists among numerous modern facilities. Stellenbosch is a well-organized university town with just over 30,000 students (with about 3,000 international students). It is located in the middle of the Boland wine-growing region, and the town is surrounded by a picturesque mountain backdrop that invites hiking and exploring. Cape Town is just under an hour away by car (50km; it takes a bit longer by train), so it's easy to visit the Cape metropolis from Stellenbosch. Students dominate the cityscape in Stellenbosch and populate the numerous bars and cafes.

The university has an excellent reputation, both in South Africa and beyond. The arts and social sciences form one of the ten faculties. Here, students of the Department of African Studies will find good connections in one of the numerous institutes:

Art Studies: Theater, Music, Visual Arts, Visual Studies

Literary Studies: Afrikaans, English, French

Linguistics: Dutch, General Linguistics and Modern Foreign Languages

Social Sciences: Geography and Environmental Studies, History, Information Sciences, Journalism, Philosophy, Political Sciences, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology and Social Anthropology

In addition, there are various research centers dedicated to specific subject areas. An insight into current cultural activities and debates at the Institute of English Studies can be found in the online magazine SLiP(Literary Project Stellenbosch).

Since the successful student protests of 'Open Stellenbosch' in 2015, English has replaced Afrikaans as the language of instruction. The International Office of Stellenbosch University offers all-round support, from arrival and departure and accommodation to study arrangements and other details.

Internet presence of the university:

Contact person: Dr. Christfried Naumann

Campus Stellenbosch Co Isabel Schröder.jpg

Campus Stellenbosch © Susanne & Sadiki Gehrmann


Université de Lomé, Togo

The cooperation agreement with the Université de Lomé was signed in 2013. A stay at this francophone university in the lively capital of Togo is particularly interesting due to the German-Togolese colonial past, which plays a major role in research and teaching, especially in the subjects of history and intercultural German studies. Lomé is an important commercial metropolis in West Africa.

The university was initially founded in 1970 under the name Université du Bénin (after the Gulf of Benin, on which the city of Lomé is located) and is the largest university in the country with more than 40,000 students. Students of African Studies can choose from the subjects at the Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines (in addition to the classical subjects of linguistics, history, literature (lettres modernes = French-language literatures, English studies, German studies) also communication and media studies, sociology and anthropology) to put together an individual and interesting program. Advanced students have the opportunity to conduct research in the archives of the city's German colonial era.

The program can also be combined with an internship at the Goethe-Institut, the only German cultural institution in Africa to date that is run exclusively by local staff and provides an important forum for theater, literature and art in Togo. Instead of a full course of study, it is also possible to take French courses for foreigners at the Village du Bénin, which is affiliated with the university, during the semester break.

Internet presence of the university:

Further information through Prof. Dr. Susanne Gehrmann


University of Nairobi, Kenia

The University of Nairobi, abbreviated UoN, is the largest university in Kenya. Its roots date back to 1956; like the University of Dar es Salaam, it was part of the University of East Africa together with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, before 1970, and has since been an independent flagship of teaching and research in the entire East Africa region. Famous personalities who have worked at UoN include the continent-wide known philosopher Henry Odera Oruka (1944-1995) and the environmental activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai (1940-2011).

Former loose partnership relations of HU with the University of Nairobi have been intensified since 2013 at the instigation of the Seminar for African Studies. Within the framework of student and scholar exchanges, UoN colleagues and students have been regular guests at our seminar since 2015; a joint research project on 'Labour and Leisure in Artistic Production and Performance' is currently being developed by UoN and HU colleagues.

The partnership activities of the Seminar for African Studies focus on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the UoN, in particular the Department of History, the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, the Kiswahili Department and the very broad Department of Literature. Thanks to the exceptionally good cooperation with Prof. Peter Wasamba (Department of African Oral Literatures), annual cooperation symposia and workshops have been organized since 2016.

All subjects are taught in English at the UoN; students with an East African focus will benefit most from a semester abroad at the UoN. As with our other African partner universities, we generally recommend the fourth (Master's) or fifth semester (Bachelor's) as the ideal time for such an endeavor.

You should inform yourself in detail about the written application formalities for the exchange place of the partner university as well as the scholarship programs of the DAAD on the web pages of the International Department and then first seek personal advice from Ms. Brodien. For your decision-making process, you can consult the experience reports of fellow students. Afterwards, or parallel to this, you can seek advice from Dr. Lutz Diegner on the content of your studies and on networking with other students.

Internet presence of the university: //

Contact person: Dr. Lutz Diegner

IMG_20150901_141825.jpg IMG_20151008_165343.jpg IMG_20151008_165347.jpg

Eindrücke vom Campus der Universität Nairobi © Isabel Schröder


University of Pretoria, Südafrika

The University of Pretoria prides itself in offering international students a safe and stimulating environment in which to learn, and also to experience the vibrant culture of South Africa’s capital city. Situated in Gauteng Province, the University offers easy access to no less than five neighbouring universities, the National Library, national, institutional and private archives, museums, galleries and other arts and culture precincts.

International students can choose from a vast offering of undergraduate and postgraduate modules (both lecture and seminar-styled) in the Faculty of Humanities. The Department of Historical and Heritage Studies offers students modules in Global history, South African History and Heritage and Cultural Tourism. At postgraduate level, Prof Alois Mlambo’s seminar on modern African history has enjoyed great popularity from students from South Africa, Africa and further abroad. Dr Thula Simpson offers courses related to his research on the history of the African National Congress and Dr Nisa Paleker offers opportunities in African Film History. The Department of Anthropology and Archaeology has experienced impressive growth over the past few years thanks to the initiatives and input of Prof John Sharp with the Human Economy Programme. Archaeologists like Prof Innocent Pikirayi , Dr Alexander Antonites and Dr Ceri Ashley expose students to practical work on sites ranging from late Iron Age World Heritage Sites like Mapungubwe to failed mission stations in Botswana. The Sociology Department offers courses popular with exchange students, especially the Industrial Sociology programme with its focus on the platinum mining complexes around Rustenburg, led by Prof Andries Bezuidenhout. The Division for Visual Culture Studies presents undergraduate courses on visual colonialisms, visual and textual literacies, gender and feminism in postcolonial spaces. At postgraduate level they teach visual research methodologies and also focus on the politics of space. The co-ordinator of this division is Prof Amanda du Preez.

Representatives from all three clusters in the humanities recently also joined forces to launch a taught Master’s programme in African-European Cultural Relations. The courses in cultural theory, cultural history and philosophy offered in this programme already proved highly relevant to exchange students, because of the aim of de-centering the European Gaze in these courses. Besides the formal courses, this MA programme also includes a Legotla component, which offers students a highly interactive discussion forum

The School for Languages in the UP Humanities Faculty enable undergraduate students to study Afrikaans, English, Northern Sotho (SePedi), isiZulu, isiNdebele, Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. French specialist Annemarie de Beer coordinates research on genocide narratives in Francophone Africa, and offers an honours course on biography writing, Germanist Stephan Muehr's research on genocide literature in Namibia also resonates in his postgraduate teaching. Marcelline Massoua teaches courses in translation. As from 2014, this Department also offers courses in Portuguese, increasing the Department's embeddedness in the Southern African region and its commitment to facilitating research in and on Africa.

For further information, students are welcome to write directly to Prof Lize Kriel, Visual Culture Studies, Department of Visual Arts:

Please also visit the website of the University of Pretoria: Faculty of Humanities and Department of Visual Arts.

Contact person: Dr. Christfried Naumann

University of Pretoria Co Laura Mareski.jpg University of Pretoria Co. Laura Mareski.jpg

Eindrücke vom Campus der Universität Pretoria © Laura Mareski


University of Ibadan, Nigeria

The cooperation agreement with the University of Ibadan exists since 2016; several delegation visits, workshops and research stays as exchange between HU African Studies and colleagues from Ibadan have already taken place.

The University of Ibadan was founded in 1948 and is the oldest university in Nigeria, which is reflected in its motto 'The oldest is the best'. Well-known alumni of the university include Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka. During the British colonial period, the institution was still part of the University of London before it was granted the status of an independent state university in 1962. In the same year, the Institute of African Studies (IAS) was opened as an interdisciplinary research institute. Also affiliated with the university is the Yoruba Language Centre, where (paid) Yoruba language courses can be taken (

The University of Ibadan is considered one of the best universities in Nigeria, and enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide, especially in the humanities. With approximately 35,000 students, it is also one of the largest universities in the country.

Bachelor's and master's students can study at the Faculty of Arts ( in one of the many departments: Arabic and Islamic Studies, English, European Studies (German, Russian, French> Francophone African literature is also taught here), History, Linguistics and African Languages, and Theatre Art. Master students can additionally choose from the courses offered by the Institute of African Studies (

There, students have the opportunity to earn master's degrees in African studies with the following concentrations: Anthropology, African History, African Visual Arts, African Music, African Law, Traditional African Medicine, Cultural and Media Studies, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Gender Studies, and Transformation Studies in Africa.

As a typical campus university with good infrastructure (on-campus housing and shopping), the University of Ibadan is located 8 km from the city center. With over 3 million inhabitants, Ibadan is one of the largest cities in Nigeria, but life is somewhat quieter than in the 20 million metropolis of Lagos, which can be reached by car in two or three hours.

Consultation: Prof. Dr. Susanne Gehrmann

University of Ibadan Co Isabel Schröder.JPG

Universität Ibadan © Susanne Gehrmann


The ERASMUS program offers the possibility for study stays at partner universities in other European countries. After completion of the first year of study, a study stay of between three and twelve months at a foreign partner university can be funded up to and including the doctorate.

All important information about stays at European universities and the ERASMUS program can be found on the International Office page. Seite des International Office




Short infop

Language requirements



Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO), Paris

Institute for languages and cultures in Africa, among others, as well as geography, history, politics and economics.




Leiden University

B.A. on African Languages and Cultures, M.A. African Studies

Official language of the B.A. Dutch, of the M.A. English


University Vienna

Department of African Studies: history, language, and literature; language offerings: Hausa, Bambara, Swahili



Dalarna University, Falun

There is the Dalarna University Centre for African Studies (Master's program only; languages: Amharic, Swahili)

(Swedish), English

The ERASMUS representative at the Institute for Asian and African Studies and the Seminar for African Studies is Dr. Chanfi Ahmed.

Financial aid abroad (BAföG)

The Federal Training Assistance Act/Financial Aid (Bafög) supports students during semesters abroad. This means that studying abroad is not only supported within the EU, but also worldwide.  Semesters abroad are supported for a maximum of one year. In justified individual cases, funding can also cover a period of two and a half years.

The prerequisite for the financial aid abroad  (Auslandsbafög) is a) that you study with a cooperation partner of the HU or b) that the study abroad is completed as part of the education in Germany.  The financial aid abroad "Auslandsbafög" will cover living expenses, tuition fees (up to 4600 € p.a.), travel expenses (outward and return journey of max. 500€ each) and additional costs for health insurance. Advice on financial aid abroad (Auslandsbafög) is provided by the international offices (Auslandsämter). There are 17 of these in Germany. Each office is responsible for other countries.

Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Seite des Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung.

Internship abroad

If you would much rather gain practical experience through an internship abroad instead of a semester abroad, the brochure from the DAAD, IJAB, InWent, eurodesk and the German Federal Employment Agency ("Wege ins Auslandspraktikum") is a good guide. The brochure lists step by step which ToDo's should be done to organize an internship abroad.

It offers information ranging from clarifying the desired format (internship, work-placement, stage, ...) to important aspects of an application. Furthermore, the brochure contains various contact points for obtaining financial support for the internship abroad. In addition to EU funding (Leonardo Da-Vinci) and academic funding (DAAD), private organizations are also mentioned that support students in their plans for an internship abroad.

One contact point for funding internships at HU Berlin is the International Office, which supports students in their internship abroad through the Promos program.  Humboldt-Universität awards monthly partial scholarship installments and/or one-time travel allowances.

Thesis abroad

Many students want to collect data and material for their thesis on site. The Promos program provides support for this. They can apply for monthly partial scholarship installments (300 €) as well as travel allowances. The amount varies according to the destination country. Information on the Promos - program at Humboldt-Universiity is available from the International Office.

Language course abroad

Students planning to take a language course can also apply to the International Office at Humboldt-Universität for funding under the Promos program. The monthly partial scholarship rates are a uniform 500 EUR. The amount of the travel allowance depends on the destination country.


If you want to study Bambara directly in Mali, you have the possibility to attend courses at the University of Bamako or courses given by employees of the former DNAFLA (Institution for Literacy and Applied Linguistics of the National Languages of Mali), who work as experienced Bambara teachers and give courses. Anke Nehring also arranges contacts with families in Mali who take in language students and integrate them into their families.

Unfortunately, the language course in Bamako has to be suspended at the moment due to the political situation.

Contact person: Anke Nehring


For advanced courses in Hausa the following universities in Nigeria are available: College of Education Azare Bauchi State Nigeria (there are two-month intensive courses), Bayero University Kano Kano State Nigeria or University of Maiduguri Borno State Nigeria.

Contact person: Yusuf Baba Gar


Contact person: Dr. Annekie Joubert


For more than twenty years, students of African Studies from all over Germany have been learning Swahili with the support of the DAAD at the most appropriate place in the world: the Taasisi ya Kiswahili na Lugha za Kigeni (TAKILUKI; Swahili Institute) of the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA). After the discontinuation of a centrally and nationally organized course and the requirement of the DAAD Promos program, HU was able to successfully continue this tradition and organize an intensive Swahili course with family accommodation for a smaller number of Swahili students each year. The course takes place every year in August and lasts 4 weeks; the PROMOS scholarship (-> application formalities on the web pages of the International Affairs Department) covers about two thirds of the expected costs. It is strongly recommended to take the course only after the fourth semester of Swahili.

The registration for the course is done by Dr. Lutz Diegner