Corona: information for outgoing exchange students

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The International Exchange Services has created this page for outgoing exchange students on COVID-19 virus and its influence on student exchanges. Please follow the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland as well as your exchange destination's guidelines and act in accordance with the guidance. 

Instructions for applying / selected outgoing exchange students

Updated May 23rd 2022 / exchanges for the academic year 2022-2023

International Exchange Services cannot predict how the spreading of the coronavirus can affect the upcoming exchanges. Below you can find instructions on how you should prepare for your exchange during these exceptional circumstances.

When the University of Helsinki has selected you to go on exchange, you can apply to your exchange destination normally unless your exchange destination notifies otherwise. The University of Helsinki will nominate you as an exchange student to your host university.

How to prepare for exchange:

  • When the University of Helsinki has selected you to go on exchange, take part in pre-departure orientation.
  • In the uncertain situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic, we advise you to only make mandatory payments related to your exchange, for example, regarding insurance.
  • In addition to the decisions made by the University of Helsinki and your exchange destination, officials in Finland (including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and in the host country may make decisions which determine whether your exchange can take place.
  • Purchase a comprehensive travel insurance before buying the flight tickets and paying other expenses related to the exchange. When you get the travel insurance, check if it includes crisis support.
  • When you have received an acceptance e-mail from your exchange destination and you buy your flight tickets, get a cancellation/change cover.
  • When you are about to leave for exchange, file a travel notification.
  • Please note that cancellation of exchange means that the mobility grant from the International Exchange Services will not be paid. If your exchange is cancelled, you will be responsible for the costs which have occurred.
  • If your host university or host country requires a mandatory COVID-19 test in order for you to arrive in the country, visit a private health clinic to get tested. You have to cover the costs of the test yourself. It is also your own responsibility to pay for the housing costs of a possible quarantine. 
  • If your host university or host country requires a vaccination certificate in order to arrive in the country, your host university will guide you with immigration. Please note that the situation may change rapidly and instructions regarding immigration and vaccinations can change.
  • NB! Each host country has its own rules about which vaccination is used in the country and about whether it is possible to get a vaccination as an exchange student in the host country
  • If your host university or host country informs you about a mandatory quarantine upon arrival, relay the message you received right away to studentexchange@helsinki.fi so that we can update your exchange dates in Mobility Online. An earlier start to the exchange may affect the payment date of your scholarship. In Erasmus exchanges, a mandatory quarantine can be included in the duration of the exchange and thus the scholarship amount.
  • You can read about other students' exchange experiences during COVID-19 on instagram (in Finnish/English). 

Can I shorten, interrupt or cancel my exchange?

Can I postpone my exchange by my own decision or because the exchange destination requires me to do so?

  • University of Helsinki has decided that it is not possible to postpone exchange to the next academic year.
  • For students who were selected for the academic year, cancellation of exchange for autumn semester means that the exchange is shortened to spring semester or cancelled, if it is not possible to postpone exchange to spring.
  • University of Helsinki has decided that it is not possible to postpone your exchange by your own decision from autumn to spring semester if your exchange destination does not require you to do so.

Can I do my exchange from Finland online, if the exchange destination cancels the physical exchange and suggests an online alternative?

  • If the exchange destination cancels the physical exchange and suggests an online alternative, and you wish to use the opportunity, please contact UH International Exchange Services right away.
  • An online means completing courses from the exchange university while staying in Finland.
  • If the exchange is completely online, you will not get a scholarship for it.

If your exchange in 2022-2023 is cancelled:

  • If your exchange in 2022-2023 is cancelled, please note that, unfortunately, International Exchange Services cannot offer a compensatory exchange place.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Students should follow the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland instructions.