Erasmus and Nordplus destinations in Europe

By selecting a degree programme you are able to see the general content as well as the possible degree programme-specific content. You do not have to select a degree programme to see the Open University's instructions.

The most popular European student exchange program is Erasmus+. The Nordplus programme also offers opportunities in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Erasmus destinations in Europe

Erasmus+ is Europe’s most extensive exchange programme for university students.

Students can undertake an Erasmus exchange or traineeship lasting up to 12 months at each degree level (Bachelor’s, Master’s, doctoral). They can apply, for example, for a Master’s level exchange before they complete their Bachelor’s degree as long as the exchange takes place during their Master’s studies. In single-cycle degree programmes (e.g., in medicine), an Erasmus exchange period can last up to 24 months.

Here you can read more about Erasmus traineeships.

Target universities

The Erasmus exchange agreements concluded between the University of Helsinki and its partner universities are unit-specific. There are also a few University-wide Erasmus agreements. You can find more information on these below.

Some of the agreements are limited to students at a certain study level (e.g., only Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral students).

Find out more about current agreements and their conditions through the Mobility Online portal. Instructions to using the Mobility Online portal can be found here. To see if the agreement of a target university is valid for your study stage, click the Display details button of each destination. In the same place you can find the target universities' language criteria and other specifics. The list of the agreements is always updated before the beginning of the application period.

Erasmus agreements are generally signed for a specific study field. If you wish to study subjects other than your own programme, apply for exchange through that programme's agreements and notice that it is often required that you have prior studies in the field in question.

The exchange destinations are primarily meant for studies of the study field in the exchange agreement. Target universities have limitations on whether an applicant can study a discipline, which they have not previously studied. For example faculties of law and medicine do not accept students of other disciplines.

Brexit and Erasmus exchanges in the UK

Even though the UK has left the EU and decided not to continue in the Erasmus programme, we can continue with Erasmus mobilities to the UK at least during the academic year of 2022-23 (until 31 May, 2023) with previously granted funding. Students selected for exchange in the UK will receive an Erasmus grant. NB! UK requires a student visa from EU citizens for exchanges longer than 6 months and for all trainees/interns.

Applying for an Erasmus exchange

You can apply for Erasmus exchange opportunities twice a year.

  • The primary application process takes place in February when you can apply for an exchange either for the next academic year or one term.
  • An additional application process in the autumn allows you to apply for any remaining places in the spring of the same academic year.

For more information on application dates and instructions as well as calls for application, click here. Information on language requirements is available here.

Funding and costs

Erasmus exchange students receive a mobility grant. As an exchange student, you may have to pay, for example, registration fees and (special) course fees, but these have, in practice, been low or at least reasonable. The amount of the fees depends on the discipline and the destination. For example, the typical registration fee in Germany is approximately €200–300.

For more on the mobility grant available to Erasmus exchange students, click here.

Duration of exchange studies

An Erasmus student exchange period can last from three to twelve months or at least one term if the total official duration of a teaching term is less than three months (e.g., the autumn term in Britain). The maximum duration of the exchange is also limited by the number of months specified in each exchange agreement (e.g., if your unit has a six-month agreement with the target university, your Erasmus exchange cannot last an entire academic year). The entire exchange must also take place during a single academic year, which means that if your Erasmus exchange begins in the spring term, it cannot continue in the following autumn.

In Europe, an academic year usually lasts from nine to ten months. The duration of the exchange includes the orientation organised by the target university, course teaching and the first examinations that immediately follow the teaching. Retake examinations and essays are not included in the duration of the exchange. For example, a typical exchange period in Germany lasts from 1 October to 28 February (term), from 1 April to 31 July (term) or from 1 October to 31 July (academic year). Even though your right to study was to officially continue until the end of the academic year (until 30 September in Germany), August and September would not be included in the duration of your exchange without a separate certificate for the studies completed during that period because no regular teaching is offered in August and September. The duration of the exchange comprises only the time the student is registered for attendance at the target university. For example, the time spent on studies completed in Finland for the target university cannot be included in the duration of the exchange.

Compulsory OLS language testing before an Erasmus student exchange

The European Commission provides university students who participate in an Erasmus+ exchange with the opportunity to study most EU languages online. The Commission also tests the development of students’ language skills during their stay abroad. The test is compulsory. If your language of study during your exchange is one of those listed here, you will be invited to take the test by email.

The language training and tests take place on the Online Linguistic Support website (OLS) Students can enhance their language skills regardless of time and place and thus further benefit from their exchange. Read more about the language test and course here.

Please note that the OLS language course substitutes for any course in the language of study organised at the destination prior to the exchange (e.g., a pre-semester language course). This means you cannot receive an Erasmus grant for such courses in the languages of study that precede the exchange because you can participate in the OLS language course.

 

Erasmus och Nordplus University-wide destinations

Erasmus University-wide

University of Helsinki has also university-wide Erasmus agreements, through which students of all Faculties can apply for exchange. So far these places are available only to the University of Edinburgh and to the University of Belgrade and to the Nordic universities of Nordlys-network. Application period, scholarships, duration of the exchange as well as OLS language testing are the same as for other Erasmus exchanges, so please read carefully the instructions for these above.

University of Edinburgh

University-wide agreement: All Faculties

Level of studies during the exchange Bachelor level students, not open to Master level students
Language requirement English
Courses available to exchange students
University of Helsinki minimum requirement for exchange studies 20 ECTS / semester (= 5 ECTS / month). The target is 30 ECTS / semester.
Terms Academic year: September - May
 

  • Autumn Semester: September - December
  • Spring Semester: January- May
Other important matters
  • GPA minimum ECTS C or 3,5/5 on the Finnish scale
  • Students of Law and Physics can apply to Edinburgh through existing Erasmus-agreements in their own study programmes and have therefore their own exchange quota.
Duration of exchange One semester or an academic year. Indicate the dates as follows: 13.9.-20.12. (autumn semester), or 8.1.-23.5. (spring semester) or 13.9.-23.5. (academic year).
Exchange opportunities available for the academic year 2021-2022 In February 2021 application round: 2 students for one semester or academic year.

 

University of Belgrade

www.bg.ac.rs/en/

University wide Erasmus+ bilateral agreement: all faculties

Stage of studies during the exchange Bachelor’s and Master’s students
Language requirement English
Courses available to exchange students For information on courses, click here.
University of Helsinki minimum requirement for exchange studies At least 5 ECTS credits per exchange month
Credit conversion scale recommended by UH's International Exchange Services 1 ECTS = 1 ECTS
Terms Academic year: beginning of October–June
 

  • Autumn term: beginning of October–mid-January
  • Spring term: mid-February–June
Duration of exchange Academic year or term
Exchange opportunities available for the academic year 2021-2022
  • Three places for one semester

 

University-wide agreements in the Nordic countries

The network of multidisciplinary universities (Nordlys) has made an joint Erasmus agreement for student exchanges. The destinations are open to Bachelor's and Master's degree students of all faculties and is not linked to a specific discipline.

You can find the exchange destinations of this agreement in the table below.  Students going for an exchange to any of the universities in this agreement are entitled to an Erasmus scholarship and the same rules as for the exchanges through bilateral Erasmus agreements apply. 

There are two destinations that are have not joined the agreement: University of Gothenburg and University of the Faroe Islands. Students going for an exchange to these universities are entitled to a Nordplus scholarship

You can apply for a student exchange via the Nordlys network if your study discipline is not a partner in a Nordplus network or does not have an Erasmus bilateral agreement with the university at which you wish to study. You can also apply through this network if you wish to study at a Nordic university that does not belong to your Nordplus network, or you wish to study a field of study other than the one offered by your degree program during your exchange. Please notice that law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine can often be studied only through discipline-specific Nordplus networks or Erasmus agreements and therefore not available through the university-wide agreement.

If you wish to complete studies for an optional study module during your exchange, you need to contact the staff of your degree program to verify that the studies can be recognized for your degree. Please also check the exchange university web pages for course descriptions of the courses you wish to take to check that you fulfill the prerequisites for the courses.

To summarise, the Nordlys network is intended for you if

  • your major subject has not a field-specific agreement your preferred target university but is involved in the Nordlys network
  • you wish to study an optional study module during your exchange

For more information, see the website of the Nordlys network or email studentexchange@helsinki.fi.

As a rule students are selected for an academic semester at each university, two students for the autumn term and two for the spring term. You can find the universities you can apply to and the quotas in the Mobility Online portal.

However, you should note the following restrictions:

 

Denmark
  Restrictions set by the partner
 
Aalborg University
  • Restricted areas of study: Psychology
University of Copenhagen
  • Restricted areas of study: Dentistry, Medicine, Law, Cognition & Communication, Communication and IT, Global Development, Security Risk Management, Advanced Migration Studies, Applied Cultural Analysis
  • English language certificate required for the Copenhagen application for these subjects (check requirement before applying to these):English/American Language and Culture, Film & Media Studies and Philosophy, Library and Information Science, Political Science
  • See more restrictions here: https://studies.ku.dk/visiting/nordic-exchange/course-information/restrictions-and-acdemic-reqirements/
Roskilde University
  • Restricted areas of study:Journalism
University of Southern Denmark
  • Restricted areas of study:Medicine
Aarhus University

 

Faroe Islands
  Restrictions set by the partner
Fróðskaparsetur Føroya - University of the Faroe Islands
  • Students going for an exchange to this destination receive a Nordplus scholarship
  • You can mainly study in Danish
Greenland
  Restrictions set by the partner
Ilisimatusarfik - Greenland University
  • You can mainly study in Danish. You must have completed at least two full years at an accredited institution

 

Iceland
  Restrictions set by the partner
University of Iceland
  • The faculties of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Sciences are restricted to prior agreements between the exchanging faculties.
  • The faculties of Law and Economics do not accept undergraduate students. MBA is closed.
  • Courses in the English Language Programme are only available to exchange students majoring in English at their home university or students who are very proficient in English (except the course “English for Practical Purposes”).
  • Courses taught in Icelandic are generally not open to exchange students, (except Nordic students and students who are fluent in Icelandic and can speak, write and understand Icelandic)
University of Akureyri
  • Restricted areas of study: Nursing and occupational therapy
  • Courses taught in Icelandic are generally not open to exchange students, (except Nordic students and students who are fluent in Icelandic and can speak, write and understand Icelandic)
Reykjavik University
  • Restricted areas of study: MBA, Iceland School of Energy, MSc in Clinical Psychology, MPM
  • Students can select courses from all departments, but must meet prerequisites for courses.
  • Bachelor's level courses students must have finished the equivalent of at least 60 ECTS. 
  • BSc students cannot take MSc level courses in the School of Business unless they have completed 180 ECTS. There is some flexibility in other departments.
  • We do not accept students for thesis work, except where the student has pre-arranged with a Professor.
  • Minimi GPA requirements on a scale 1-10: School of Business 7.0, School of Law 6.5, School of Science and Engineering 7.0, School of Computer Science 7.0

 

Norway
  Restrictions set by the partner
NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Restricted areas of study: Medicine, Architecture
  • Campuses on three locations: Trondheim, Gjøvik and Ålesund. Please make sure to take courses from only one campus!
  • Second degree level courses are usually only available to master’s level students
  • NTNU cannot supervise Bachelor thesis work. Nordic students will not be considered for student housing in the autumn semester. Normally, all students are allocated student housing in the spring semester.
University of Bergen
  • Restricted areas of study: Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Art, Music and Design. Subject areas where there are other existing Nordplus networks.
  • If other suitable Nordplus networks exists, students are requested to use these networks.
University of Oslo
  • Medicine, Health Sciences, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Geo Sciences might have restrictions.
  • Psychology and Biosciences courses are also in high demand.
  • See the overview of courses offered to international students here: https://www.uio.no/english/studies/courses/. The link provides an overview of course content, learning outcomes, prerequisites etc.
University of Stavanger
  • Bachelor's students cannot take Master's courses
UiT Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø)
  • Campuses on several locations, you can select courses in one city. Bachelor's students cannot take Master's courses.
  • Medicine is restricted
  • some restrictions for Music and Art, please contact UiT if you are uncertain.
  • See the course catalogue for more specifics as well: https://en.uit.no/education/admissions/art?p_document_id=601694
University of Agder
  • Two campuses: Kristiansand and Grimstad. You may not choose courses across campuses.
  • No restrictions for programmes. Some programmes, like Outdoor Education, may be have limited places available. 
UNIS - The University Centre in Svalbard, Spetsbergen
  • If you are chosen for exchange to UNIS you will be nominated to one of the Norwegian mainland universities and you will have to apply both to the Norwegian university you will be nominated to and also directly to UNIS.
University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Restricted areas of study: No, only If any programs have pre-requirements (mostly engineering and it programs).
  • If more than 4-5 student apply for the same program they might be split on different relevant programs.
  • Students must choose courses from one campus. 
  • Scandinavian speaking students are welcome to attend courses taught in Norwegian: https://www.usn.no/studier/finn-studier/.
  • Currently (Jan 2020), due to lack of practice placements for nursing and radiography students, we are not able to accept students for practice placements.

 

Sweden

Notice that in Sweden you usually study one or two courses at a time, they are usually 7,5 or 15 cr courses and the duration is either five weeks or ten weeks. It is important to plan your courses so that they don't overlap and the course load is 100% during the whole semester (cannot be exceeded either). Usually the course description contains the information if the course load is 50 % or 100%.

Examples of a suitable study plan:

  •     four 7,5 cr 100 % study load five weeks courses after each other in a semester.
  •     two 15 cr  100 % study load ten weeks courses after each other in a semester
  •     two 7,5 cr 100 % study load five weeks courses after each other + two 7,5 cr 50 % study load ten weeks courses parallel in a semester

This is the usual study method in Swedish universities, but please check the web pages of each university if the university you aim to apply to has this system. At some universities in Sweden you are not allowed to change courses during the exchange.

  Restrictions set by the partner
Linköping University
  • only courses at Faculty of Arts and Sciences available
Uppsala University
  • Restricted areas of study:
  • Business Studies courses – entry requirements vary considerably.
    Please note the early application deadline!
  • Economics – no courses available from the Department of Economics.
  • Law courses – at least two years of prior full time Law studies are
    required.
  • Psychology courses – only a few courses taught in English with limited
    places
  • Sociology courses – no courses at Bachelor level are taught in English
  • Medicine courses – no entry-level courses are taught in English.
    Students must have a strong academic background within Medicine
    and meet the entry requirements described in the course description.
  • Natural Sciences courses including Physics, Chemistry, Biology and
    Engineering have few to no entry-level courses taught in English.
    Students must have a strong academic background within these
    subjects and meet the entry requirements described in the course
    description.
  • Students can apply for courses in Swedish, but might need to proof their Swedish language level.
  • Places on courses taught in Swedish for those with enough Swedish
    language skills can be offered if there are vacancies. Students will be
    notified of the decision only after the national (Swedish) admission
    process has been completed.
Umeå University
  • The number of credits exchange students can be admitted to is restricted to 30 ECTS per term (with the exemption of Swedish for international students beginners’ course I or Swedish for international students, beginners’ course II, that can be added to 30 ECTS in other subjects)
  • Exchange students can only apply for courses on this web page: www.umu.se/en/education/exchange-students/search-courses/
  • To be accepted, it is necessary to fulfill the requirements of the course and there has to be available places. The requirements are stated under the course descriptions. You will find the course descriptions in the online course catalogue.
Lund University  

  • Prerequisites for each course can be found on the website of the relevant department. Many courses require at least one year of full-time studies within the subject area.
  • Due to high demand at the School of Economics and Management admittance to a full-time course load cannot be guaranteed. This includes courses in Economics,Management and Business. Student who take courses at the School of Economics often take 15 ECTS at that faculty and 15 ECTS at other faculties.
  • Courses in Journalism are not available
  • The Department of Industrial Design and the School of Architecture require three years of prior studies in the subject.
  • Faculty of Performing Arts, the Malmö Art Academy and the Faculty of Medicine mainly admit students within specific faculty/department agreements.
  • Students with a background in Scandinavian studies or who have studied in a Nordic school system may be able to apply for courses with Swedish as the language of instruction. Please note! If you find a course on a webpage stating ”Kan bara sökas inom utbildningsprogram” – the course is not available.
  • Danish and Norwegian speaking students cannot take Swedish Language Courses for exchange students (SVE).
Örebro university
  • Cannot arrange any internships, except for teacher education students in the spring semester for a 5-week internship.
  • Medicine and Culinary Arts are restricted areas.
Luleå University of Technology
  • Restricted areas of study: Health science; Performing art (theater, dance); education
  • Most courses are held at Luleå campus, but there are also courses taught in English at Kiruna space campus and Piteå campus.
  • The courses  available in English are mainly senior undergraduate courses.
  • Two years of studies are required for all exchange students before attending LTU
Karlstad university
  • Nordlys students are welcome to apply to all courses taught in English for exchange students but are welcome to contact the International Office about the possibilities to study courses taught in Swedish
  • Students applying to Karlstad University need to possess English skills equivalent to TOEFL test result, minimum score 213 (CBT), 575 (PBT) or 90 (IBT) or an IELTS test result with an overall band score of minimum 6.5 and no band score below 5.5, or B2 in the Common European Framework Reference (CEFR).
Mid Sweden University
  • Restricted areas of study: Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Nursing and Psychology
  • Students can apply for courses in Swedish, but may need to prove their Swedish language level
Linnaeus University -
University of Gothenburg
  • Students going for an exchange to this destination receive a Nordplus scholarship
  • Restricted subject areas for exchange students in faculty of business and law that has their own Nordplus agreements
Stockholm University
  • Law students need to have studied at least 120 credits of law or related areas in order to take law courses. 120 credits is equivalent to two years of full time studies. Courses offered by the Stockholm Business School and the Department of Law are very popular. Students should be flexible in their course selection.
     
  • *NOTE: The Stockholm Business School will not accept any incoming exchange students for the autumn semester 2021 (Aug 2021 - Jan 2022). As of January 2021, there is no decision for the spring semester 2022.
     
  • Nordlys students can choose from all the courses in the exchange catalogue if they fulfill the prerequisites. They can also take classes in Swedish, but the individual department might require a language certificate.

Student exchange in Switzerland

Switzerland does not take part in in the Erasmus student exchange programme. Consequently, a student exchange in Switzerland is not included in the personal quota for months in the Erasmus programme. You can find the exchange agreements of the units under the program Swiss-European Mobility Program in Mobility Online.

For more on the Swiss-European Mobility grant, see here (under Erasmus mobility grants).

Heyning-Roelli Foundation offers additional scholarships for students with limited resources. These grants do not affect the regular exchange grant. NOTE: The University of Helsinki is not linked with the Foundation and is not responsible for information regarding the foundation. All questions regarding the foundation should be directed to the Heyning-Roelli Foundation. 

Nordplus destinations in the Nordic and Baltic countries

Discipline-specific destinations in Nordic and Baltic countries of the Nordplus networks

International opportunities on your doorstep! If you are interested in completing an exchange in the Nordic or Baltic countries, read more about the Nordplus program. Nordplus is the mobility program of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Bachelor's and Master's students. This means that Nordplus opportunities are not available to postgraduate students.

The Nordplus program includes universities and other institutions of higher education in Sweden, Norway (including Svalbard), Iceland, Denmark (including the Faroe Islands and Greenland), the Åland Islands, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The duration of a Nordplus exchange is from three to twelve months. If there is a good reason, a student can participate in an exchange that does not last a full term e.g. to complete an individual course of a shorter duration. In that case the application is submitted in Mobility Online under the program "Free mover short courses". More information about short courses can be found in Instructions for Students.

You can also apply for a student exchange in the Nordic countries through the faculty specific bilateral Erasmus agreements, see Erasmus destinations in Europe, and through the university-wide agreements, see university-wide destinations (destinations of the Nordlys network).

Nordic institutions of higher education use the same system of credits (ECTS) as the University of Helsinki.

For more on the Nordplus mobility grant, see here.

Nordplus program

The Nordplus program consists of independent networks established by universities and other institutions of higher education. These networks are built around a specific discipline. One of the institutions involved in each network serves as the coordinator and is responsible, for example, for the payment of student grants.

Only students who are studying the discipline of the network can apply for the Nordplus exchange places of these networks. This means that you cannot study subjects other than your study discipline during a discipline-specific Nordplus exchange. Whether or not you can apply for a Nordplus exchange depends on whether your department or faculty belongs to a Nordplus network. If your faculty is involved in Nordplus networks, you can see them below. You can also browse Nordplus exchange opportunities in Mobility Online.