- Exchange process in short
1. Applying for the exchange place at the University of Vaasa → selection
2. Nomination to the host universities
3. Applying to the host universities
4. Learning Agreement before exchange
5. Practicalities and formalities before leaving (residence permits!)
6. Starting your studies (a new Learning Agreement)
7. Returning to Vaasa after your exchange
- Application process
The international degree students can participate in an exchange at one of our partner universities. Bachelor students doing both a Bachelor and Master degree can participate in an exchange once during Bachelor and once during Master, exchanges need to fit into the normative five year graduation time. Master's degree students doing a 2-year programme need to apply during their first year, and exchange can be realized during the second year. Doctoral students have no such limitations, but approval from the supervising professor is required. In order to apply and participate in an exchange, the student needs to be attending the University of Vaasa in order to apply for an exchange and during the exchange.
Application periods are annually in November for the destinations outside of Europe, in January for European destinations and the remaining places in March. Exact dates will be announced below as the application periods start.
Ongoing application for exchange studies 2021-2022
Exchange destinations left over from previous application rounds are open in Ongoing application that is ongoing from 12 April to 31 October 2021.
All exchange destinations (Erasmus, Nordplus, Double Degree, bilateral destinations) left over from previous application rounds are included in Ongoing application.
Places are as a rule filled in the order of application if the applicant meets the selection criteria.
Please note that host universities have different application deadlines, which generally are in April-June for Autumn term exchanges and in September-November for Spring term exchanges.
Places available per exchange destination in ongoing application are found on our Exchange Destinations/ Vaihtokohteet website and marked with Ongoing application 21-22. Available places are kept up-to date on the website.
Link to the application form is found in Forms.
First discuss with the International Education Specialist of your programme on how the possible exchange would benefit your degree and how it will affect your graduation, what type of courses you wish to study and how you want the credits transferred into your Vaasa degree. (Master's degree students). Bachelor and Doctoal students need to talk with the head of their programme / Doctoral supervisor.
Examine the University of Vaasa exchange destinations and decide for which ones you wish to apply for (max 5 possibilities in one application). Decision can be made on the basis of the studies offered, interest towards language, culture, country, city, personal reasons, etc. One can also consult the International Exchange Coordinator to find the appropriate destination(s).
Fill in the electronic application form and follow the instructions on the form. You first need to register into the system. After registration you continue with the log-in. In the application you fill out your personal and study details, you will also list your chosen destinations in the order of preference.
Return to Mobility Services a cover letter that clearly states your name, student number and the destinations in the priority order by the given time. Applications arriving late or incomplete will not be processed.
Link to the electronic application form and Cover letter template can found on the Forms-website.
To the application you need the following attachments:
- Letter of Motivation that needs to be attached for each university you are applying for (template found on the Forms-website)
- Possible language certificate or proof of language skills (prior degrees and courses) if not visible from transcript of records. Mandatory if applying to places requiring knowledge of specific language (one can use the Europass-template found on the Forms-website and have a teacher sign it). Not for English, but if applying to France, Germany, Italy, Spain etc.
Specific regulations for International (Master's) Degree students:
- Normal progression of studies is 30 ECTS / attended semester. Transcipt of records will be reviewed on the following day after the application period ends.
- Started on the Master's Thesis before participating in an exchange, otherwise the exchange cannot be realised. (Master's)
- Exchange must occur during the second year, exchanges on the third year are not possible, as students are attending a 2-year Master programme and should graduate within that time. (Master's)
- Students cannot be sent to their home countries (exception students with dual nationalities in the double degree exchanges)
- Only one semester exchange are possible as more than 50% of studies and courses in the degree need to be done at University of Vaasa (exception: international double degrees) (Master's)
- Only one study exchange / study level.
Please note that different programmes have different opinions on whether the students should participate in an exchange. If you are applying for Doctoral studies, then a letter of recommendation from your Doctoral thesis supervisor is required for all Schools.
The candidates for student exchange are chosen by a special committee comprising of members from Mobility Services and other services. Candidates will be reviewed in accordance with the order of preference. The criteria are:
- Suitability of the exchange in relation to the degree
- Estimated graduation time (3 years for a Bachelor and 2 years for a Master), number of semesters attended
- Motivation towards studying abroad and prior international experience
- Number of credits done at UVA and grade average
- Language proficiency and relevant studies
- Major and School (fields of studies in agreements, school and major specific places)
Students will be notified of the result by e-mail.
- Applying to host university
If chosen as an exchange student candidate, the students are first nominated to the host university by the University of Vaasa. After this the student needs to fill in the application forms of the host university and return them by the given date to the host university. The host university will then decide if they accept the student nominated by the University of Vaasa. Be active in finding information concerning accommodation, application procedure and course information from the host university’s web page as some universities do not contact the nominated students, but expect the students to find information on their own.
The selected students must participate in a special orientation designed for students participating in a student exchange. The orientation is also part of the international studies module and deals with the practicalities of the exchange. The orientation is held in April/May for fall term/whole academic year exchanges and in October/November for spring term exchanges. Students will be notified by e-mail of the orientation.
- Visas and residence permits
Countries outside of Europe usually require a residence permit from the exchange student if the duration is longer than 90 days. The same applies to students travelling to a Schengen area or an EU country. Some countries require a visa and a residence permit for even shorter durations. Each country has different regulations for different nationalities and the student is responsible for checking these regulations either from the embassy/consulate of the host country in Helsinki or at the student's home country. Residence permits take time and require an invitation letter from the host university in order to proceed in the matter.
Student must also check from the police station at Vaasa how acquiring a residence permit to a different country affects the Finnish residence permit in order to ensure that they can return to their studies at Vaasa directly after the exchange: Can one renew the residence permit to Finland after arrival in Vaasa or should one do it at the Finnish embassy/consulate at the host country or some other procedure
- Learning agreement and practicalities of the University of Vaasa
The students must discuss with the International Education Specialist (Anne Ahlqvist / Sami Ilomäki / Juuli Honko) at their School of the courses they will be completing at the host university before their exchange and draft a Learning Agreement. The first/preliminary Learning Agreement is signed and a copy is given to the International exchange coordinator.
A second Learning Agreement will be drafted at the beginning of the exchange according to the courses the student will be attending and sent by e-mail to the International Exchange Coordinator. No signatures are needed. A new Learning Agreement must be drafted always when courses change. Learning Agreement is crucial in knowing and ensuring that the courses done during the exchange will be recognized by the University of Vaasa. The international office must have copies of the first and second Learning Agreement.
The template to the Learning Agreement is found in the Forms-section.
The student must register as attending at the University of Vaasa throughout the exchange!
Inform immediately the International exchange coordinator if you cancel, quit or postpone your exchange.
- Returning back to Vaasa
Students need to return the following documents to the International Office at the University of Vaasa within 1 month after their exchange has ended either as hard paper copies or as e-mail attachments to outgoing.international(at)univaasa.fi:
- Copy of Learning Agreements (the one drafted before the exchange and from host university, Erasmus-students must ensure that one of the agreements has both the signatures/stamps of Vaasa and the host unviersity)
- Letter of Confirmation (stating the actual period of stay, filled in and signed by the exchange coordinator of the host university)
- Copy of their study transcript from the host university / copies of the course certificates
- A report of their study period (Erasmus-students will also receive a link to the Commission's own EU-survey)
- Erasmus-students must also do the second part of the OLS language test (first part done before exchange)
Templates for 1, 2 and 4 are found on the Forms-website.
The completed courses will be added and recognized into your degree if possible. This does not happen automatically, you need to discuss it with the Coodinator of International Education of your programme after the exchange. You must inform the coordinator on credit transfer by 1st of June for exchanges of the previous autumn or by 1st of October of the previous spring/academic year (German-speaking countries are excpetions, but as soon as possible).
The exchange process consists of several different processes - also before and after the exchange.