Go abroad for a while? An excellent idea!
It will bring you a lot in terms of new friends, expansion of your network, multi-lingualism and it looks good on your résumé. An exchange is usually for one semester (5 months), but can last for a full academic year at the longest.
Exchange or Traineeship
If you want to go abroad to follow courses then you will go on 'exchange'. A bilateral agreement is needed between the university of your choice and Utrecht University or the Science faculty. If you want to do a research project or internship it is called ‘traineeship'. For a traineeship a bilateral agreement is not necessary. Please note that the application procedures for stay and traineeship are different.
The Faculty of Science organizes an info session on Studying Abroad each year. During the faculty info session, you will receive specific information for you as a Science student. You can re-watch the information session here for exchange in academic year 2023-2024. Please note that you have to login with your UU account.
University wide and Science faculty partners
There are two types of bilateral agreements; university wide agreements and agreements specifically with the Faculty of Science. The difference between the two is that if you go to a faculty partner you will have to partly restrict yourself to the courses offered by the faculty or department the contract is with. If you go to a university-wide partner you are free to register for courses of other departments and faculties as well, as long as the courses are open to exchange students and you meet the entry requirements.
In order to participate in an exchange, you have to meet the following criteria:
- You must remain registered with Utrecht University as a full-time student, and pay tuition fee;
- You must be enrolled at the UU and have access to your Solis ID and Osiris at the moment you apply for your exchange; (if not, please contact the International Office);
- You must have completed at least 60 EC in your bachelor, the moment your exchange starts;
- The courses you will follow abroad must be brought into your study programme at Utrecht University;
- We expect you to follow at least 22,5 ECs abroad.
These are the destinations that Utrecht University wide and the Science Faculty have agreements with. In the menu on the left you can select or de-select the university wide or Science partners. Exchange destinations from other faculties are not possible. Please pay attention to this when choosing your destination.
If you know where you’d like to go you can start preparing your application. Please also read the information on deadlines and the practical matters you need to organize before your departure.
Approval of the board of examiners
As soon as you know which courses you want to follow at the university of your choice you are required to have your study plan approved by your academic counselor (bachelor) or program coordinator (master). Subsequently the Board of Examiners will determine whether a course can count towards your program, what the level and the amount of EC of the course are and in which category the course falls, for example; optional course profile or as replacement of a required course. Would you like to get more information about the conversion of credits to EC, please check the credit conversion table. This does not apply at the moment of submitting your study plan at the stay abroad application in Osiris, but at the moment of your acceptance by the foreign university. Make sure you do this before you leave, so you won’t be disappointed if the Board of Examiners rejects a course that you have already been following for a while. If something in your course selection changes during your stay abroad you will have to ask for approval from the Board of Examiners for the changes in your course(s) again.
How do I get approval?
First make an appointment with your academic counselor (bachelor) or your programme coordinator (master) to have your study plan approved. Later you can submit a request to the Board of Examiners to have your courses approved. If you go to the Student’s site and type in the name of your program it will bring you to a page with information specifically about your program. Under the header Practical Information > academic policies and procedures you will find the contact information of the Board of Examiners of your program. Include (a link to) course descriptions in your request to the Board of Examiners.
Registration of your results from abroad in OSIRIS
When you return you will have to show your transcript of grades of your exchange university to the Board of Examiners so they can officially determine the final level and amount of EC. The next step is to provide the Student Affairs Desk with the official approval letter and a copy of your transcript, so your courses and grades can be registered in Osiris and added to your program.
For an internship or research project abroad a bilateral agreement with the university or organization of your choice is not necessary. If you are interested in a particular university, research group, organization or institute where you’d like to do your project you can go ahead and contact them and apply for a place in their research or project.
It is advisable to inform the coordinator of your programme of your plans early in the process, as they can help you determine what issues you may encounter as well as inform you on internal guidelines with respect to research/thesis projects. As soon as you have been officially accepted you can start arranging your traineeship abroad.
Make sure you find a UU supervisor as well. Together with him or her you will draft a proposal for your project and fill out the research project application that the Board of Examiners has to approve and sign for.
Application in OSIRIS
As soon as you have received formal written confirmation of your internship or research project abroad (e.g. e-mail) and a completed and signed application form you can start a 'stay abroad request' in Osiris and upload these documents. You can find this option in Osiris Student under a separate tab called ‘Abroad’. Start your application at least three months before your departure.
As soon as your stay abroad request in Osiris has been approved you can continue organizing your stay abroad: you can apply for a scholarship, look for accommodation, request a re-imbursement for your student OV, check the coverage abroad of your health- and legal liability insurance and check the passport/visa requirements, if necessary.
You might find this checklist useful during the organisation of your traineeship abroad.
If you go abroad within the European Union, you are likely eligible for a grant within the Erasmus+ programme. There are some financial TopUps available for students from a less financially stable background, students with a (medical) condition and for travelling sustainably. Check the Erasmus+ page for all the information.
Are you willing to travel sustainable to your destination abroad? Apply for the Travel Green Grant! Utrecht University of offering a large amount of grants for students going to their destination abroad by train and/or bus.
Above grants are awarded in most times. Additionally there are other scholarships which may be requested through Utrecht University or via other organisations. Please see the page Funding & grants for more information.
Application for grants may take more time (beforehand) and energy so we strongly advise you to start on time.
The International Officer of the Faculty of Science is Noor Weelink.
Telephone: +31 6 41553879
Questions? Please make an (online) appointment below.