Information about the stay abroad/ 3rd semester
The following options are available, depending on the study regulations (SPO):
- Project Module (10 LP) and Module Academic Practice I with Internship (20 LP) [Video].
- Project Module (10 LP) and Module Academic Practice I with Field Project (20 LP) [Video].
- Project Module (10 LP) and Module Academic Practice II with four courses (20 LP) [Video].
- Semester abroad (recognition of 30 LP acquired abroad for Project Module and Academic Practice) [Video].
- Semester abroad (recognition of the 30 LP acquired abroad for Project Module, Academic Practice and Field Project)
It is recommended to start thinking about your 3rd semester options early on. A semester abroad, an internship or a field project usually require sufficient preparation time. It should also be considered that the application deadlines are often at least six months before the start of the project. If, for example, you would like to study abroad in the winter semester (3rd semester) (from around August in Latin America), you apply around January beforehand.
A first information event always takes place in December (1st semester), another one follows towards the end of the 2nd semester in June/ July.
We strongly recommend planning the stay abroad with regard to the Master's thesis and coordinating it in detail with the Master's Coordination in terms of formal aspects and with the thesis supervisor in terms of content in advance, so that the requirements of the study and examination regulations are taken into account. An advising protocol should be submitted for the 3rd semester (SPO 2013 / SPO 2023). It is recommended to specifically consider where you can advance and/or deepen your interests with regard to the master’s degree, e.g. through courses, a project or contacts to suitable experts.
Initially, consultation and, if necessary, applications are possible both for an Erasmus semester abroad and for a direct exchange semester abroad or via a Convenio. However, in case of admission to different programs, it must be decided immediately which program will be chosen and where the semester abroad will take place. In this case, only one place can be accepted.
Before starting your semester abroad, check out the courses offered and discuss your preferences in terms of form and content with the program coordination and your supervisor at the LAI. During the semester abroad, you will acquire (equivalent to) 30 credits, which will be recognized for your 3rd semester modules at the LAI. Recognition of achievements must be agreed upon prior to the semester abroad.
Yes, whether for a semester abroad, field research or an internship abroad, you can apply for a leave of absence (Urlaubssemester) through the student administration if appropriate. In this case, achievements at the host university would also be recognized (by prior arrangement).
Internships can often be found through contacts or events you have attended and general (online) research, advertisements and announcements. The internship exchange or the non-binding listing of potential internship institutions on the program’s homepage also offer many different and up-to-date suggestions.
It is essential that interested students independently search for internship opportunities and proactively apply. Internships are not organized by the program coordination of the Institute for Latin American Studies.
If you decide to do an internship in the 3rd semester, the research focus/ relation to the thesis and studies must be stated (consultation/ evaluation by the supervisor; consultation by the program coordination). A consultation protocol is then completed and signed (all students submit the consultation protocol regardless of their choice). Only after prior submission of the consultation protocol can the internship be subsequently recognized.
The program coordinator can confirm that the internship is being completed within the framework of the degree program by means of a letter, which is sometimes required for an application. However, it cannot be certified that the internship is mandatory, as it is only one option in the 3rd semester.
A semester-long leave of absence may be applied for. This is particularly useful in the case of an internship abroad, taking into account the conditions.
Additional internships or internship hours beyond the required hours are voluntary. In these cases, consultation with the supervisor is recommended.
Part-time internships or internships divided into two internship positions, or two internship parts are usually possible by prior arrangement. Students who opt for the internship option in the 3rd semester must complete and provide evidence of a total of at least 360 hours (SPO 2013) or 280 hours (SPO 2023) in the internship.
The process is usually as follows: Determine the field of interest and ideally already discuss it with your supervisor, research internship opportunities, write applications, receive feedback, conduct interview if required, receive acceptance, now at the latest talk to your supervisor at LAI, fill out and submit the consultation protocol for the 3rd semester, start and complete the internship, submit the internship duration certificate to LAI, write the report, fulfill the general requirements for the completion of the module.
Yes, some departments/ third-party funded projects occasionally offer research internships. Information about these opportunities will be provided at given times at the information event or by the heads of the research projects themselves. Students can also proactively inquire about research internship opportunities. Information on current research projects at LAI can be found here.
Internships can only be recognized after prior consultation (with reference to the master’s degree) and only in the area of research practice in the 3rd semester (in the SPO 2013 specifically in the context of the module Academic Practice I). Previous internships cannot be recognized retroactively.
Study-related activities/ regular paid employment, e.g., as a student assistant, do not replace an internship in the 3rd semester.
SPO 2013: As part of the Academic Practice I module, the field research comprises between 360 and 400 hours.
The content of the field research/ field project is closely coordinated with the supervisor (see additional field research form to be submitted). The hours can be completed in a compact form, e.g., in a few weeks, or spread over about half a year. After completing the field research, a report is submitted. Subsequently, further work on the master's thesis, evaluation of the collected data and, usually, discussion of the project, e.g., at a colloquium, take place in close coordination with the supervisor. Literature research is not considered field research.
Field projects/ field research can take place in Germany, abroad or virtually. The content of the project and its implementation should always be closely coordinated with the supervisor at LAI (cf. consultation protocol SPO 2013/ SPO 2023 and field research form SPO 2013/ SPO 2023, which should always be submitted).