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.
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.