General Information on Student Exchange
Every student registered at the University of Lapland as a degree student has the possibility to apply for the student exchange programmes of the University of Lapland. The length of the student exchange is usually 3-12 months depending on the placement and the structure of the student's studies. Students going to study abroad should have completed the first year of their studies, though Erasmus+ Traineeships are available already for first year students.
When can I apply?
The University of Lapland has three application periods for exchange studies:
- The main application period is in December-January (applications for the upcoming academic year)
- The next application period is March-April (applications for the upcoming academic year)
- The last application period for studying abroad is August-September (applications for the upcoming spring semester)
- All exchange applications are submitted online in the SoleMOVE system.
The application process to study abroad has two steps:
1) First the student applies within the University of Lapland by filling in the online application on SoleMOVE.
2) Only after the nominations of the University of Lapland the student can apply to the host university that makes the final decision.
Language skills and exams
Before applying to exchange the student should take into consideration the necessary language skills: in general the language of instruction is the local language of the host country, even though some universities also offer courses in English. For example students applying for South America should have Spanish language skills or students applying to Japan should complete elementary courses before the exchange.
Some universities in Australia, United States and Canada require a language test like TOEFL or IELTS from the applicants. TOEFL and IELTS are test used to “measure” the proficiency in English in four areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing and it can be taken in Helsinki. The internet-based TOEFL test and the IELTS test both cost approximately EUR 200. The test should be booked in advance. For more information see www.ets.org/toefl, www.fulbright.fi, www.ielts.org or www.finnbrit.fi.
Students using exchange programmes such as Erasmus, Nordplus, Nordlys, FIRST and north2north do not have to pay for tuition fees. Also the bilateral exchanges do not usually involve tuition fees. However, the student should be prepared for other possible costs in the host university such as books, printing, copying, student union fees, libraries etc. Students going to Italy with the Erasmus programme should take into consideration that the universities tend to require fees for official certificates, such as the Transcript of Records.
Transferring credits to your degree
A fundamental part of the student exchange is getting recognitions of the completed courses and transferring the credits of your exchange studies to your degree at your home university. The studies completed abroad can be transferred to your degree by substituting compulsory courses of your major/minor or as optional courses. Therefore planning your studies is very important already in application stage.
The student has the possibility of discussing about his/her study plan with a teacher of his/her field of study or with the International Coordinator of the faculty. Your study plan or Learning Agreement might, however, still change at the host university.
Before returning home you should ask for a Transcript of Records from your host university. The transcript of Records includes the completed studies and the credits.
Study abroad as a free mover
A student may also apply to a university that is not a partner university with the University of Lapland independently as a so called free mover. The process of applying, paperwork and finding information are in this case the responsibility of the student. A free mover might have to pay tuition fee and other costs at the host university. In addition, the grant for study abroad by the University of Lapland is smaller for free movers than for other exchange students.