What do pharmacists do abroad

Working and studying abroad

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Working abroad as a pharmacist

From the semester abroad to the right job

How do I get a place at university?

There are various options for getting a place at a university abroad:

  • Contact the universities abroad yourself and coordinate your stay with your own course coordinator (presumably no well-established processes between your university and the one abroad, so you can expect significantly more bureaucracy)
  • through the European ERASMUS exchange program

Advantages of ERASMUS

  • financial support
  • less bureaucracy
  • more transparent credit and recognition system


  • Submit the corresponding form to the International Office of your own university
  • Select the ideal candidates from a list of partner universities abroad
  • Submission of a letter of motivation
  • Check re-registration at which university abroad you got a place

The support through ERASMUS amounts to a maximum of 24 months in the state examination. For a PhD there is an additional 12 months. requirement is the end of the first year of study (2 semesters). On site abroad, you have the opportunity to quickly make contact with other students through ERASMUS networks.

But if you have the dream of a special university, region, country, etc., you should still feel encouraged to tackle the semester abroad project “on your own”!

How do I finance my semester abroad?

When it comes to finances, ERASMUS offers a great advantage: Due to the contracts of the different partner universities, there are no tuition fees for studying abroad. This is important because the semester fees in other European countries are nowhere near as low as in Germany (e.g. England).

Further ERASMUS scholarship holders receive a monthly allowance of between 150 euros and 500 euros, which depends on the country of the stay abroad (the respective funding amount is determined by the home university). However, it is strongly recommended to check the country-specific statutes beforehand.

A good overview of the ERASMUS topic can be found here:

DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service)


Even if there is basically cooperation between the partner universities, which allows easier recognition of foreign courses, the field of pharmacy in particular is rather complex in this regard:

  • Studies abroad are not based on the German license to practice medicine (there is a risk that not all courses will be recognized)
  • Extension of the total study time should be taken into account
  • From a technical point of view, a semester abroad replaces a full semester in Germany in very few cases

As with any other stay abroad, the same applies to a semester abroad, as early as possible further requirements regarding visa, health insurance, vaccination, etc. in experiencetobring! The Federal Foreign Office will be happy to help.

In addition to semesters abroad, which usually last at least 3 months, there is the option of participating in ESPA summer / winter schools for shorter stays.

The EPSA (European Pharmaceutical Students Association) offers workshops and courses lasting one or more weeks in various countries and cities in Europe.

Detailed information is available at:


Does it even work?

As part of his training, the prospective pharmacist has to complete a mandatory internship, the clinical internship.

Internship duration: 8 weeks

Of which at least to be served in a public German pharmacy: 4 weeks (in one piece)

The remaining 4 weeks can be completed in whole or in part abroad.

The easiest way to get an internship abroad as a pharmacy student is to contact the faculty-internal organization. Often there are already exchange partnerships between German and foreign universities. Details on the prerequisites for participation can then be obtained from the study organization.

In contrast to a medical internship abroad, which in principle can be taken anywhere in the world, there are more specific requirements in the pharmaceutical sector. Not all countries are eligible. The EU countries as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland are possible countries for an internship abroad. Destinations like the USA or Canada are Not possible.

There is little clarity about how and whether an internship abroad is recognized as an internship. It is therefore advisable in any case to contact the LPA (State Examination Office) in good time and clarify the recognition.

The best thing to do is to coordinate with the LPA directly on site which documents have to be provided for recognition. So you can take care of procurement abroad.

Be sure to observe the application deadlines and the lead times that any documents to be applied for (e.g. passport, visa) may need. You should therefore start your planning in good time and also consider taking a language course.