The direct exchange program between CSE and Saarland began in 2010. CSE can send one or two students per year to Saarland.

Preparing for an exchange to Saarland

CSE majors interested in studying at Saarland should read through our general info on CSE exchanges, speak with a CSE advisor, and attend our annual info session on CSE exchanges. The application for CSE exchanges takes place in January and February, and students confirm their intent to go abroad before the end of February.

Academic preparation: Ideally, students will finish some of the requried 300-level CSE courses, visit Saarland during their junior or senior year, and return to UW for at least one quarter. However, exact timing of an exchange varies.

Saarland's academic calendar: Saarland offers Winter semester (October-February, with exams through March) and Summer semester (April-July, with exams through September). Students who go abroad for a full year should not have major issues with this different academic calendar. Students who go abroad for only one semester will likely need to miss two full quarters at UW. For example, students who go to Saarland for Winter semester will likely miss UW's Winter quarter. View Saarland's full academic calendar here


Info for selected students: Confirming your exchange

Living and studing abroad requires a lot of small preparatory tasks. Allow time for all of these, and keep deadlines in mind. It's your responsibility to complete all the necessary steps for both Saarland and UW.

After you are selected for an exchange, you must email Raven to confirm your exchange by February 25. If you are unable to go, please let us know as soon as you have made your decision. We will want to offer your spot to another student, and give that person enough time to consider their decision.

CSE will send your exchange info to UW International Programs & Exchanges, and IPE will send you instructions on their exchange requirements.

CSE will also nominate you to Saarland, and introduce you via email to our coordinators at Saarland. You must then apply formally to Saarland.

The Saarland application:

This application is mostly a formality, but will take time to complete. The deadline to submit the Saarland application is July 15, but CSE majors should complete the Sarland application in spring quarter

Along with the Saarland application, you must submit a housing application and a German language course application before July 15. All are linked on this page.

Saarland provides lots of helpful information for visiting exchange students here. Housing is guarenteed for visiting students. Students are responsible for all travel costs and living expenses while in Saarbruecken.

Scholarships: Along with other scholarships for study abroad, students going to Saarland should apply for the DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship. This award is available for Undergraduates going to German universities for study, research, and/or internships! All CSE majors visiting Saarland should be eligible to apply. The deadline is January 15, 2015 (postmark date). For additional information, visit:

Passport & Visa

If you do not currently have a passport, you should apply for one as early as possible. The processing time can take up to 10-12 weeks.

You will need to get a visa after you arrive in Germany. The Saarland staff will help with this. However, you should bring at least four passport-sized photos with you to Germany.  


Saarland University Department of Computer Science
CSE student Feedback on Saarland Academics

UW's course equivalency catalog for all exchanges

Credit Conversion

Studets receive .75 UW credits for each 1 ECTS credit taken abroad. See the conversion chart below. It is important to consider your full-time student status and your graduation requirements when planning your number of credits. Courses are frequently offered as 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 30 ECTS credits. A normal full-time load is 24-30 ECTS per semester, or at least 48 ECTS for an academic year.

Students who need to be full-time (for example, for financial aid or international student status at UW) must earn at total of 36 UW credits for the year. If you go abroad for one year, this means 48+ ECTS credits abroad. If you go abroad for 1 semester, you will need to add up your UW credits for your time here, plus your ECTS credits from abroad (remember to convert them x.75 to get the UW credit amount), and ensure that the total is at least 36 credits. If you have any concerns about a course or your expected grade while at Saarland, please talk with a CSE advisor about that before making any decisions about dropping the class.

Exchange credits and equivalents are determined by IP&E and CSE after you return to Seattle. You will need to have a Saarland transcript sent to the IP&E office once your exchange is complete and your final grades are reported. Please see the IP&E Credits for Exchanges for an overview of the credit conversion process.

1 ECTS credit = approximately 0.75 quarter credits:

  • 16 ECTS credits = 12 quarter credits
  • 20 ECTS credits = 15 quarter credits
  • 24 ECTS credits = 18 quarter credits
  • 32 ECTS credits = 24 quarter credits

Living in Saarbrucken

Find lots of tips and info from a recent exchange participant here!

Also remember that Saarland provides helpful info for visiting exchange students. Housing is guarenteed. Students are responsible for travel costs and living expenses.