General about the study plan
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. 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. You will find information on comparisons between the credit systems in different counties from section "How will the number of credits be converted?"
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. Select courses in a field covered by the exchange agreement.
- University bilateral agreements outside of Europe: 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.
Target universities may have restrictions on what courses exchange students are allowed to study. For example, the host university may require that you have completed your Bachelor’s degree before you can study Master’s level courses.
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.
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.
- 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, ensure the substitutability of the course already at the planning stage, for example by contacting the teacher in charge of that course.
Creating a study plan (learning agreement)
In the exchange application, the study plan of your exchange studies for your primary destination (i.e. learning agreement) is drafted in Sisu. Add optional exchange studies into your primary curriculum as study drafts. You can consult our Instructions for making a study plan. Add compulsory studies to be completed during a student exchange to the timeline in Sisu. You can consult our instructions for adding compulsory studies to Sisu. There is no need to make a separate attachment to your plan since a student exchange specialist will look at your plan in Sisu. Contact the International Exchange Services and Education Cooperation if have problems with doing your Sisu study plan.
The study plan in Sisu does not have to be fully completed in order to be suitable for an exchange application. However, it must include the following studies:
- All the exchange studies you plan.
- All compulsory courses of your degrees that you have completed and also the ones you have not completed yet.
- All of your credits that count towards your degree and have been registered by the date of making the exchange studies application (including any credits earned that you do not intend to use for your degree).
If you plan to study during your exchange for both your bachelor’s and your future master’s degree please make a plan in Sisu that shows you’ll be in an exchange during the completion of both degrees. In some cases, you may want to draft two alternative study plans, one of which you can have as a separate attachment. Do this, for example, if you plan to apply to a master's program or field of study other than your primary master's option.
If you are applying to more than one university, make the study plan for your first exchange destination in Sisu. Make the study plans for the other destinations, one per destination, separately, and attach these as PDF documents in your application in Mobility Online. The study plan must indicate how the plan differs from the study plan of the first application. Please indicate in your application if you’re planning on replacing the compulsory studies included in the degree with studies at an exchange university. For optional studies, each course name at the exchange university and the number of credits for each course has to be listed. See an example of a study plan.
Optional study module during exchange studies
In several degree programs, students can under certain conditions complete an optional study module to be included in the degree during their exchange. See the detailed criteria for the module, the name and the code of the module in your degree program in the instructions for recognition. Thereafter, draft an optional study module in Sisu's degree structure under "Optional study modules" accordingly.
Language studies during exchange studies
- The Language Centre is responsible for the recognition of the compulsory language studies included in the degree. Instructions of the Language Centre. Plan courses into Sisu's timeline.
- Language studies completed in other universities in Finland or abroad can be included in Language Centre modules upon agreement with the module coordinator. Plan study courses during the exchange into Sisu as study drafts.
- You can also include exchange studies in your degree as optional studies. Draw them up in Sisu as study drafts.
Making thesis work during exchange studies
If you plan to write or, otherwise, work on your thesis during the exchange attach the Agreement for Thesis work form (docx.) as attachment to the application instead of a study plan. You may do thesis work only in exchange destinations in Europe and in some unit level destinations outside of Europe. 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.