The academic year in the United States is made up of trimesters, namely Fall Term (ca. Mid-August until Mid-December), Spring Term (ca. Mid-January until the start of May) and Summer Term. As the complete range of lectures is only offered in Fall Term and Spring Term, the exchange program is only practicable for these two terms and not for the Summer Term.
Due to these date differences in contrast to Germany it is in most cases not possible to spend exactly one “German” semester (winter or summer semester) in the United States. This is why it is up to every candidate’s individual decision whether to join the on-going semester once back in Germany, catching up with the preceding lectures of the last weeks in self-study, or rather staying longer in the United States.
Planning for the participation in the exchange program needs to be started in due time, approximately 6 to 9 months before the aimed start of semester.