Academic Mobility Program: Semester Abroad with MAI

15 August 2019

Academic Mobility Program: Semester Abroad with MAI

One of the important indicators of the high level of a modern university is the presence of an academic mobility program in its curriculum. How is this program implemented at the Moscow Aviation Institute and what opportunities does it give to students?

Academic mobility is a transfer of a student for a certain period (usually from semester to year) to study at another educational institution (in homeland or abroad), after which the student returns to his home university. Academic mobility program differs from traditional internship abroad primarily in that, firstly, students go to study abroad, albeit for a limited but long term; secondly, they study full-time: they not only learn the language and individual disciplines, but also take a full subject semester course.

In Russia, prospective students and their parents, choosing a university, rarely pay attention to the opportunity of academic mobility program. Many do not even know about this program, while in the West people attach more importance to it. Academic mobility is an indicator of high-class university education, allows students to broaden their horizons, gain new experience, make interesting acquaintances.


Moscow Aviation Institute has a well-developed network of partner universities around the world. Any student of MAI can join the academic mobility program and study at more than 20 world-class universities. The student chooses a semester program at one of the partner universities abroad, taking into account subjects and the course, and then submits an application for participation in the program with the assistance of the MAI International Department. The student sends all the data about himself to partner university, among the most important of which are academic performance and knowledge of a foreign language. 

After approval of the application by a foreign university, the student goes to France, Italy, India, Germany, China, Mexico or any other country where MAI has partner university, and studies there chosen educational program and modules, which, upon his return, are counted in MAI (he does not miss anything). In addition, the student communicates with representatives of the world community, travels and receives an unforgettable experience for life. 

Participate in the academic mobility program could students starting from the 3rd year of study. When assessing your capabilities, it is important to understand that training and tests in a university abroad will be conducted in English or in the language of the country where the university is located. 


The cost of the academic mobility program depends on the educational policy of the host country. At the partner universities of MAI all programs are most often free of charge. The European Students' Union (39 European countries, 20 million students) strongly opposes any tuition. In most European countries, higher education is funded by the state, there is no tuition fees, but the student himself must pay the road, meals, medical insurance and, in some cases, accommodation. For the period of the academic mobility program, the student retains the scholarship granted to him and other social benefits.

In 2017, a student of the Institute No. 2 “Aviation, Rocket Engines and Power Installations” Egor Ageshin studied for a semester at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) in Germany. According to Egor, Ingolstadt is one of the most rapidly developing areas of Bavaria, which attracts students from all over the world.

“I collected all the necessary documents, letters of recommendation with the help of MAI International Department,” - recalled Egor. - “They gave me clear and understandable recommendations, agreed with my Institute, because I had to drop out of the educational process for a whole semester.” 

At the THI, the MAI student studied several additional subjects in his specialty, including aerodynamics, production systems, modeling in the Siemens NX program and others. Students at a technical school can choose subjects of interest from more than 40 modules of engineering and economics specialties.


“It was an invaluable experience, because I had to constantly practice the language, participate in group projects and at the same time do laboratory work for the Moscow Aviation Institute,” - said Egor.

Egor especially remembered a practical work on aerodynamics, where it was necessary to make a master model and calculate its characteristics in a wind tunnel, as well as a tour to the MAN factory in Munich. At the end of the semester, students had to pass exams, the results of which can be counted by the home university. Egor successfully passed the "German" session. 

“Of course, the program has provided new opportunities for me,” - said Yegor. - “Studying abroad and speaking foreign languages make a student more attractive candidate for an employer. In addition, it becomes possible to participate in scientific projects both in your alma mater and Russian companies.”


International students of Moscow Aviation Institute may also become participants of academic mobility program. In March 2019, Zoe Mbikayi, international student of the Faculty No. 1 “Aircraft Engineering” from the Kingdom of Congo, successfully completed his internship at the higher education and research in aerospace engineering ISAE-SUPAERO, located in the city of Toulouse (France). Zoe knew about the possibility of participating in the academic mobility program from the very beginning of his studies, and this was one of the factors why he chose MAI among many other universities in the world.

In addition to the selected subjects, Zoe did practice in one of the university’s laboratories, where he was engaged in aircraft mathematical modeling, traveled half of Europe and made new friends. 

“If someone wants to become a member of the academic mobility program and take an internship abroad, then you need to be really interested in this kind of experience. You need to be open to everything new, confident and sociable. If you like life challenges and adventure, then this program is for you. Here you will get an invaluable experience that will serve you all your life,” - said Zoe.

PR Department

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