Returning home - instructions for returning exchange students

The instruction belongs to the following themes

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.

You should prepare for your return to Finland even before the end of your exchange studies. Once you have returned, you must submit your target university's documents to International Exchange Services and fill in an application for credit transfer.

Do not abandon your international outlook after the exchange studies! Use the support available for engaging in internationalisation at home and for describing the international competence acquired through your exchange studies.

Exchange documents to be submitted to international exchange services

Complete, sign the following exchange documents, and deliver them to International Exchange Services within two months of the end of your exchange.*

If you don't receive the transcript of records from your host university within 2 months due to the coronavirus situation, don't worry - but do let us know in that case.

Erasmus exchanges: Upload the documents as PDF versions directly to your Mobility Online account (After the mobility -> "Upload signed Learning Agreement/ Letter of Confirmation/ Transcript of Records from the host university").

Other exchanges: Upload the documents as PDF versions directly to your Mobility Online account (After the mobility -> "Upload Transcript of Records from the host university").

If you are not able to upload the document to Mobility Online, you can send copies of the forms via email to studentexchange@helsinki.fi.

*Last date of the exchange as indicated in the Letter of Confirmation.

1. Transcript of Records

Before returning to Finland, find out how and where to obtain an official transcript of records at your target university. You are responsible for obtaining the transcript before your return to Finland or for providing your target university with a current address in Finland if the transcript is mailed to you.

Did your target university tell you that your transcript of records will be sent directly to International Exchange Services? If you participated in an exchange outside the EU/EEA and If your target university has told you that your transcript will be sent directly to International Exchange Services, we will inform you when it has arrived.

If you worked on your thesis during your exchange studies (Erasmus/Nordplus), ask your supervisor at the University of Helsinki to provide a statement indicating the amount of such work in credits. Also, note that exchange students who receive a grant must complete 5 ECTS credits per exchange month. Check whether your progress complies with the requirements for student financial aid.

2.  Letter of Confirmation

NB! Erasmus, Nordplus, and Nordlys exchange students only

Print the letter of confirmation form from your Mobility Online account under Print Letter of Confirmation.

Before returning to Finland, obtain a signature and stamp from your target university on the letter of confirmation form. Please upload the version of the document that is filled, signed, and stamped on your Mobility Online account.

If you forgot to do this before your return, print and scan the form, send it as a file attachment to your target university and ask the staff there to complete the form and send it directly to International Exchange Services.

3. Learning Agreement

NB! Erasmus exchange students only

Before your departure, you drafted a learning agreement on a form that was printed from Mobility Online or provided by the target university. If your original learning agreement has changed, you must also print and complete the form Changes to the original Learning Agreement . If you have agreed on changes to your learning agreement via email with University of Helsinki, you can submit your learning agreement accompanied by your email correspondence with a contact person at the University of Helsinki.

Signatures: The target university's signature is only needed in one Learning Agreement form: either the original or the 'Changes to the Learning Agreement' form. Upon returning the form you don't need to get a signature from the University of Helsinki as we have already approved your learning agreement upon selection to exchange. Remember to sign the form yourself! After that, upload the Learning Agreement as one document on your Mobility Online account.

 

Credit transfer

Once you have returned to Finland, make sure that the credits you earned during the exchange are transferred to your degree at the University of Helsinki (through inclusion or substitution). 

Make sure the credits you have earned are transferred to your degree as soon as possible! In mid-September, Kela verifies whether your progress complies with the requirements for student financial aid. You must act in good time so that the credits completed during your exchange are recorded on your transcript at the University of Helsinki before October.

Instructions for applying for credit transfer can be found here.

 

Checklist for returning exchange students

Complete, sign, and submit the following documents to International Exchange Services:

  1. Copy of the target university’s transcript of records
  2. Letter of confirmation (Erasmus, Nordplus, and Nordplus exchange students only)
  3. Learning agreement (Erasmus exchange students only)

Provide feedback on your exchange.

  • Log in to Mobility Online with your University username and provide feedback under "Enter the Feedback Questionnaire."
  • If you are an Erasmus exchange student, you should give feedback through the EU Survey. After your exchange, you will be emailed the survey together with instructions. You need not submit feedback through Mobility Online.

Apply for credit transfer.

  • For the purposes of credit transfer, keep course descriptions or similar accounts of the courses you have completed.

Test how your language skills have improved with the OLS language test for returning students (Erasmus exchange students only). 
The invitation to take the test will be emailed to you after your exchange.

Also, remember the following:

  • Register at the University of Helsinki for the following academic year. For more information, see the Student Services site.
  • Make sure that the duration of your studies has not changed so that you must reimburse the excess of student financial aid paid to you. For more information, see Instructions for Students
  • Inform Kela that you have moved back to Finland so as to remain covered by the Finnish social security system.
  • Inform The Finnish Digital Agency that you have moved back to Finland.

Use of international competence after the exchange

Participate in the event "What I learned during my exchange"!

International Exchange Services usually organises the What I learned during my exchange event once every academic year together with Career Services. The purpose is to consider how to use international experience in the job market and to better highlight related skills in job applications or the CV so that the competence does not remain hidden. See the dates of future sessions.

Find out more about Hidden Competences on this webpage of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Maailmalle.net

The Maailmalle.net site offers tools to help you identify your international skills and describe them, for example, when applying for a job. The site also features the toolkit for international job seekers.

Internationalisation at home

Apply to become a peer tutor

Outgoing exchange students need your help! As a peer tutor for outgoing exchange students, you can provide valuable support and share your experiences and tips. The duties of peer tutors include writing about their exchange experiences or blogging about them, as well as participating in the orientation of outgoing students headed to your target university. All previous exchange students can apply to become peer tutors. Successful applicants receive a small fee.

International Exchange Services recruits peer tutors in April and September/October. 

Get to know incoming exchange students of the University of Helsinki

You can help international students by acting as a peer tutor. International tutors advise the exchange students and international degree students who arrive at their faculty at the beginning of the term. The tutors receive a small fee. For more information, contact International Exchange Services.

If you wish to meet students arriving at the University of Helsinki from your destination, you can reach them, for example, by posting a message to the Facebook group for the University of Helsinki’s new international students or requesting that International Exchange Services (studentexchange@helsinki.fi) send an email from you to the incoming students.

International Helsinki Summer School

Helsinki Summer School (HSS) is perfect for you who wish to earn 5-6 credits during August and attend an international intensive course. Helsinki Summer School attracts annually students from all over the world. Multidisciplinary courses are fully credited and taught in English. HSS also arranges a wide range of social events to help students get to know their colleagues and Finland better while having fun. Most events are free of charge for HSS students. Detailed information on the Helsinki Summer School website.

Maintain your language skills with a language buddy

The Language Centre’s ALICE courses (Academic Language and Intercultural Exchange) enable students to study a language in pairs under a teacher’s supervision, learn informally about the other student’s culture and customs and find out more about practical matters. Your language buddy can be an exchange student. ALICE courses are offered in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Finnish (as the second national language of Finland), Swedish and Russian.

ESN Uni Helsinki

You can also meet incoming exchange students through student organisations to further broaden your international outlook. ESN Uni Helsinki organises a wide range of activities for exchange students arriving in Helsinki, from cultural and sports events to formal academic dinners and trips to Lapland. The events are also open to all Finnish students. Join the fun and make new friends from around the world! If you wish to participate in organising events, contact board@esnunihelsinki.org and help provide exchange students with an unforgettable year! For more information, see Facebook and the ESN website.