Can I study abroad after completing the SSC?

Study psychology abroad

Would you like to combine your psychology studies with experience abroad at an early stage? Or maybe you want to deal with high NC scores and long waiting semesters with studying abroad? More and more prospective students are driven into the distance with their psychology studies. Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and also England are popular destinations. We provide you with an initial overview of everything you need to know about studying psychology abroad!

What can you do if the NC and the waiting semester are not enough for studying psychology? Waiting? But orientate yourself again differently and let the goal out of sight? The increasing number of German school leavers at foreign universities shows that there are other options than letting the dream of studying psychology slip by.

There is a special focus on the Netherlands, Austria, England and Belgium. Because: In other European countries it is quite possible to start studying psychology without any high-flyer NC or the madness of the waiting semester. Studying abroad therefore seems to be one of the many prospective students in this area attractive alternative to be. And indeed, in many ways, things are a lot easier there - but of course not everything, otherwise everyone would do it.

Incidentally, we have deliberately left Switzerland out here, although it is actually obvious with a German-language course. However, prospective German students are only admitted to the psychology course in Switzerland if they are also admitted to the course in Germany. Since this does not help many applicants, we will not provide detailed information, but will give you a brief overview later of the guidelines for studying psychology in Switzerland.

Our tip


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Find out where you can get the PTE Academic and whoever accepts it!

Advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad

You want to study psychology abroad - but what does that mean for you? Do you just want to bypass the NC and the long waiting time? Perhaps this is a little short-sighted, because studying psychology abroad has many interesting advantages to offer. Of course, such a step is a far-reaching decision for your future, because there are also downsides that you should be aware of in advance. What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages? We have put together an overview of all the facts for you here:

No Numerus Clausus

Studying psychology abroad is generally free of admission restrictions such as the Numerus Clausus (NC) that is often common in Germany. Some universities rely on lottery procedures or personal selection interviews as well as admission tests if the number of applicants is too high. Internal selection procedures are often based on individual grades of study-relevant subjects (e.g. in natural science subjects), but not on the overall grade average. Thus, in most cases, admission to studying psychology abroad is much easier and faster than in Germany. This is a decisive advantage for many prospective students.


By studying abroad, you inevitably deal with a foreign language and another culture. This not only leads to personal development, but is also a big plus on your resume. You will also make numerous international contacts that can be of enormous benefit to you both personally and for your professional career.

Better study conditions

In some countries, the study conditions at universities are better than in Germany. There are neither overcrowded lecture halls nor fully booked seminars. Lessons are often held in small study groups in well-equipped seminar rooms and lecture halls.

Foreign language skills

During a psychology degree abroad you learn or improve the national language almost on your own, as you use it during your studies and need it permanently for your everyday life. Your knowledge goes far beyond what you can learn in a language course.

Recognized degree

Thanks to the so-called Bologna Process, the academic degree you complete abroad is also officially recognized in Germany. Since the introduction of the Bachelor's and Master's degree, university and study conditions have been comparable across Europe and are therefore recognized. With your degree from abroad, you can apply for any job in Germany.

Study abroad = waiting semester

The study abroad is recognized in Germany as a waiting semester, so you can easily try out or complete a study program abroad and then add a German psychology degree. That would give you versatile and extensive qualifications and you would not waste the time up to admission in Germany by waiting.

High costs

Studying abroad is often a lot more expensive than studying psychology in Germany. The tuition fees, which are usually charged at foreign universities, play a large part in this. In addition, there are the costs for an apartment and your further living costs. The cost of living, in particular, is much higher in some foreign cities than in Germany.

Double burden

When studying psychology abroad, there is always a great double burden. In addition to actually studying and the associated learning stress, you also have to deal with a foreign culture, another language and new people. This requires a lot of patience and great resilience.

High planning effort

Apartment, study place and much more have to be organized. Therefore, you should plan enough time in advance of your studies!


Not to be underestimated is homesickness. Of course, you can also study far away from your parents and friends within Germany. As a rule, however, a few more kilometers are added when studying abroad.

Additional qualification

Despite the Bologna Process, you cannot always get started in Germany without any problems with every foreign degree. For example, medical professionals and lawyers require additional qualifications. So inquire early on whether this also applies to your professional goal, otherwise you will be very disappointed in the end.

Costs and funding for your studies

It should be clear in advance that studying psychology abroad also involves some costs. However, the costs are often lower than you might think at first. However, we cannot give you a lump sum here, as everyone has individual demands on apartment, university and life outside the university. The costs of studying abroad must therefore always be considered individually.

For this reason, we just want to give you an overview of all the costs that arise. You should definitely include the following points in your calculation:

  • tuition fee
  • Apartment / dorm / rent
  • food
  • dress
  • Phone, internet
  • Health insurance
  • Medical expenses, medication
  • Leisure time
  • Teaching materials
  • Return Flight

The next question that arises immediately is about how to finance your studies. Of course, your psychology studies abroad also have to be paid for somehow. For many students, parents and family are usually the first point of contact. In addition, there are of course other options for financing your studies or having them financed.

Foreign BAföG

A good option is certainly the Auslands-BAföG. For an apprenticeship within the EU, funding can be applied for for the entire duration of the study - i.e. until the foreign degree is obtained. You should apply for foreign BAföG in any case, even if you are not entitled to domestic BAföG. The basis for calculation is different here and so there may well be funding for your psychology study abroad.


Another option is a scholarship. In Germany there are various contact points for applying for a scholarship. The requirements can vary greatly from one grant provider to another. Confession or party affiliation is often the first hurdle that has to be overcome. You can find out all the important information about application requirements and selection criteria in order to get a scholarship from the various providers. Below you will find some contact points in Germany:

Scholarships for studying abroad are usually tied to a few guidelines. Proof of good performance in the psychology course is a basic requirement. The advantage, however, is that the scholarship does not have to be repaid.

Student loan

As a third alternative, a student loan can help finance your psychology studies abroad. However, caution is advised here: Always compare different providers with each other and only decide which one to choose after carefully checking all offers. If you only partially understand the terms of the contract, seek support. Student loans have to be repaid in full plus interest - usually one year after graduation.

Scholarships from abroad

Foreign funding agencies and scholarship providers can be the point of contact for German students abroad. In the EU there are definitely countries that make no distinction between residents and non-EU residents when it comes to granting loans. Here it is worth writing to the respective government directly to inquire about the options available.

The psychology studies in the country overview

Of course you can start your psychology studies all over the world, but since we cannot present you with every country with its universities in detail, we want to limit ourselves to the neighboring German countries and above all introduce the most popular nations for studying abroad.

They are particularly popular Countries and universities that offer psychology studies in German or English. One country that is very popular with many school leavers is Switzerland. Switzerland promises a high quality of life, German is one of the four official languages ​​and the universities are highly regarded.

Study of psychology in Switzerland

However, if you are interested in studying abroad because you want to avoid the Numerus Clausus and long waiting times for admission, Switzerland is no help. German prospective students are only admitted in Switzerland if they can prove that they would have been allocated a place at a German university in psychology.

Except for the University of Friborg

The situation is different at the University of Friborg. Here it is possible to study psychology with a bachelor's degree with an Abitur grade of at least 2.5 without having to show a place in Germany. The Bachelor's degree is offered entirely in German. Registration closes at the end of April.

Studying psychology in Switzerland is also subject to a numerus clausus. Admission for German applicants is therefore not easier, on the contrary, only possible if you are also admitted in Germany. The study places for foreign students are also limited to a certain number at each university.

If you want to go abroad with your psychology degree in order to gain new experience, make international contacts and improve your foreign language skills, Switzerland is absolutely suitable. However, if you want to simplify admission and don't want to wait so long for your psychology study place, Switzerland is not an option.

Conclusion: is it worth studying abroad?

Studying psychology abroad can be a good alternative to studying in Germany - but nobody can make the decision for you. There are many factors that should be considered and used for planning you should definitely give yourself enough time. Our recommendation is to start planning and looking for a suitable university in the last school year, i.e. before the Abitur exams - preferably even earlier.

As with choosing a course of study in Germany, it is important that you take a close look at the curricula, course descriptions and universities. The psychology course is partly structured differently at foreign universities. Pay close attention to all the information and check which occupation the course may prepare you for. At the University of Maastricht, for example, the psychology course is designed for later use in research and science. The use as a therapist is not the focus here.

Tuition fees can vary greatly between countries. In Great Britain, studying is particularly expensive. In addition, great importance is attached to the ranking of the universities. However, if you limit your research to costs and prestige, you may lose sight of other important aspects. Hence, it always makes sense yourself view the entire study package and only then to decide.