NB: This article will be updated in the beginning of October!
Attach the following documents to your application in the portal:
1. Learning agreement = What you intend to study during the exchange
2. Letter of motivation = Why you should be selected
3. Application form = Basic information about you
4. Transcript of studies = What you have studied up until now
5. Language certificate (for some destinations only) = Your language proficiency
+ If you like, you can also add a free form Personal Study Plan including the exchange period in your degree/future degree.
+ If you are applying for exchange in order to work on your thesis, add also Agreement for Thesis work. More info on the form in the end of this section.
NB! If you are applying for the free mover programme, read the relevant instructions for information on other required attachments.
If you have not yet read about the teaching offered at your target university, do it now! This is often the most challenging part of the whole process, but do not get discouraged.
Select an appropriate number of courses that are suitable for your degree at the University of Helsinki. The degree you are including your studies to can also be the degree (masters) you are planning to attend after you bachelor’s degree. In some cases it may be good to do two Learning agreement plans. The second plan can be made in a free format as a word document. Read more on how to plan the studies for exchange from here.
You must complete at least 5 credits per month, i.e. 20-30 credits/semester during your exchange depending on the length of the semester at the exchange university. However, in your learning agreement you should plan for 30 credits/semester irrespective of the duration of the semester. Universities in the EU/EEA area usually use ECTS credits, which means that the target university’s credits are of the same scope as those at the University of Helsinki. However, in Britain one credit usually equals half a credit at the University of Helsinki (1 British credit = 0.5 ECTS credits). If you are applying for exchange studies outside the EU/EEA area where the scope of credits is different than within the EU/EEA, see the required number of credits and courses in the instructions concerning your target region.
Find out which courses you can complete at your destination, for example, as follows:
- Read the target university’s website and search for courses available to exchange Students.
- Faculty and unit bilateral agreements, Erasmus, Nordplus: Select courses in a field covered by the exchange agreement.
- University bilateral agreements, North2North, Erasmus University Wide, Erasmus Global, Nordlys: See the courses available at your target university in the section Exchange opportunities around the world.
If you cannot find information on courses by following the instructions above, you can contact the target university’s exchange coordinator.
Remember that a plan is always just a plan. Learning agreements must often be drawn up based on the courses the target university offered in the academic year prior to your exchange. The more compulsory courses you intend to substitute for exchange studies, the more detailed your learning agreement should be.
- Create your learning agreement with the Learning Agreement form in Mobility Online after you have registered. Save your learning agreement in the system one course at a time. NB. Applicants to Summer courses, the learning agreement is done on the registration form. Please see instructions here.
- For each course, indicate the following:
- The name of the course at the target University
- The scope (in the target university’s credits even if Mobility Online uses ECTS credits)
- The course code (if you can find it, not compulsory)
- The part of your University of Helsinki degree that the course or other studies at the target university would substitute as well as the scope of the course or the phrase “separate minor subject to be completed abroad” or “optional studies”
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München: Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics, 17139, 5 ECTS
University of Helsinki: Solid state physics, MATR303, 5 ECTS
Chinese University of Hong Kong: Chinese Business and Economy, CHES5115, 3 Chinese University of Hong Kong credits
University of Helsinki: Optional studies for the Bachelor’s degree, 6 ECTS
- NB! The course information of target universities is not available in Mobility Online. You should look for this information on your target university’s website.
- The learning agreement must be created by first downloading and saving the form file on your computer from your Mobility Online account. Attach the document to your application by uploading it to the folder for submissions in your Mobility Online account.
- The University of Helsinki does not require that learning agreements be signed by a University representative, even though a field has been reserved for this purpose on the form.
- In many study programmes it is possible complete the optional study module of their degree abroad. See more information under recognition and validation.
- If you intend to substitute a certain compulsory course in your degree with studies completed abroad, make the substitution arrangements already at the planning stage according to your faculty’s instructions for credit transfer. You can find the instructions in the section Returning home under the item concerning credit transfer.
The purpose of the motivation letter is to convince those who decide on applications to select you at this precise stage of your studies.
- The maximum length of the letter is one A4 page (max. 400 words).
- You can write the letter in Finnish, Swedish or English.
- If you are applying to more than one university in the same application round, write a single letter of motivation in the same file, but put emphasis on the first option in the letter.
Your letter should explain:
- Why you wish to study at the university of your choice
- How student exchange at the university in question would support your degree studies at the University of Helsinki
- What part your exchange studies would play in the degree pursued at the University of Helsinki
- Why you are applying for an exchange at this stage of your studies
- What plans you have for the future, and how your exchange studies would help you make them happen. Describe your plans from your own perspective. For example, the phrase “I am aiming for an international career” is not sufficient if you do not describe your plans in detail and reflect on them.
- What other matters may affect your selection. Mention any relevant work experience or similar assets that support your selection for exchange studies. In addition, if you have taken a long break from your studies or changed major subjects, mention this in the letter of motivation.
If you work on your thesis during the exchange, you should tell in your motivation letter why it is essential for your thesis to get to work on it at a partner university. Please also indicate, who would work as your co-supervisor at the host university or with whom you’ve agreed on this.
The application form includes the information about your application options that you submitted at the registration stage as well as the information automatically transferred from Mobility Online and WebOodi. You need not sign the application form.
UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI TRANSCRIPT OF STUDIES
Your transcript of studies (also known as a transcript of records) shows your previous studies, the grades you have received and whether you have completed the required 30 credits.
- The University of Helsinki accepts unofficial transcripts which can be obtained from WebOodi.
- If you have completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at a university other than the University of Helsinki, also attach a transcript for your previous degree.
- If you have been granted the right to complete JOO (Flexible Study Right Scheme) studies at another Finnish university, you can include the credits you have completed there in your total credit number. In that case, include a transcript concerning your JOO studies as an additional attachment to your application.
Check whether a language certificate is required of applicants for exchange studies. Many types of certificates are available, so follow the instructions given.
More information on language requirements and certificates is available here.
AGREEMENT FOR THESIS WORK
Erasmus+, Nordplus, Swiss-European Mobility Programmes and some Faculty and unit bilateral agreements (Faculty and unit level exchange agreements): This form as attachment to the application is only required from a student that writes or otherwise works on his/her thesis during the exchange. The form must eventually be signed by both your host and home university as well as both before and after the mobility. When applying for the exchange placement from the University of Helsinki, a preliminary approval from an exchange coordinator at the host university is sufficient, but an academic co-supervisor from the host university must be found before the beginning of the exchange period. After the mobility, the academic co-supervisor at the host university states how the counseling has been realized together with the amount of consultation hours with the students. The academic supervisor for the thesis at the University of Helsinki verifies the study credits that correspond to the progress of the thesis during the exchange.
University-wide exchange agreements to universities outside the EU/EEA area: student exchange agreements are intended for course participation.