Stay abroad

Stay 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), and can last for a full academic year at the longest.

Will you go abroad to follow courses or for a research project or internship?

If you want to go abroad to follow courses we call this ‘stay’. 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 traineeship a bilateral agreement isn’t necessary. Please note that the application procedures for stay and traineeship are different.

Univers​ity 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 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.


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. Please pay attention to the grey 'i' icon behind each listing, it will tell you for which faculty, study field and whether for bachelor or master students the destination is intended. 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 studyplan approved by your academic counselor (bachelor) or program coördinator (master). Subsequently the Board of Examiners will determine whether a course can count towards your program, what the level and ECTS 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 ECTS, 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 ECTS. 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. 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 your destination is within Europe (EU/EER) you can request an Erasmus+ scholarship. General information about the Erasmus+ scholarship can be found here.

For destinations outside of Europe a number of other scholarships may apply and can be requested.  But please bear in mind that this will take extra time and energy beforehand.

Would you like to study abroad? Unfortunately, all information sessions for bachelor and master students of the Faculty of Science have already taken place. However, you can read all the information in the presentation Study abroad 2020-2021.

University meetings

Besides faculty meetings the university wide International Office also organizes meetings. Especially if you want to go to a university abroad that is not a Science partner but a UU wide partner or if you would like more information about a specific country or region it is advisable to go to one of these meetings.

A student shares his experience of studying abroad.

Any questions?

The International Exchange Officer at the Faculty of Science is Liesbeth Achterberg.

  • Open office hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 11:00-12:00
  • Location: Minnaert building, room 1.17, Leuvenlaan 4, 3584 CE Utrecht
  • For an individual appointment and/or questions send an email to:
  • In case of an urgent matter, phone: 030 - 253 73 15