Studying abroad can provide you with an excellent opportunity to develop academically and personally. The period and the purpose for your stay at a foreign university can vary. You can:

  • do an exchange programme at a partner university abroad.
    - Utrecht University has exchange agreements with partner universities.
    - The Faculty of Geosciences has exchange agreements with partner universities.
  • do a thesis / internship abroad.
  • do a summer school via Utrecht Summer School or a university abroad.
  • study abroad after graduation.

More information on studying abroad can be found on the general student website.

Exchange programme

Start by researching your options for studying abroad. Decide whether you want to go for one semester or a full year. Bear in mind that partner universities may have other semester dates or even use a trimester system. Geosciences partners offer courses in your area of study and the universitywide partners offer a variety of courses from several disciplines to choose from.


Finding information, especially on courses can be quite a challenge. Browse the websites of the universities and feel free to contact the partner university directly if you have questions.


The International Office Geosciences supports you if you are going to a Geosciences partner university. You can ask your questions at the University International Office, if you choose a universitywide partner.

The Study Abroad weeks will take place from 4 to 15 October 2021. More information can be found here.

The faculty Study Abroad information meeting will take place online on 12 October from 14.00-16.00 (Microsoft Teams link). The programme will be announced later.

General study abroad presentations

The University International Office also organises study abroad presentations.

You can submit your application to study abroad at a partner university for the 2020-2021 academic year from mid-October 2019. This should be done via OSIRIS using the ‘Study Abroad’ button and applies to first, second semester or full year. You will have to choose three partner universities, as your first choice cannot always be guaranteed.


The conditions you have to meet if you want to apply are the following:

  • You are enrolled as a full time student at Utrecht University.
  • You need the permission of the coordinator of your programme.


With your application, you must enclose the following documents:

  • Study Plan (signed by your Master’s coordinator)
  • Motivation letter

Deadline: 1 December

The application deadline is 1 December 2019 at 12:00 CET. If you miss the deadline, it may still be possible to arrange an exchange, but the most popular destinations will be full. More information on the secondary options (restplaatsen) will be posted here around February. Information on the universitywide partners can be found on the ‘Study abroad’ pages on the general student website. 


Before you apply you will need to make an estimation of the expenses. Consider the costs for housing, insurance, travel expenses, and the cost of living in the country. Keep in mind that even within a country, the costs can vary between different destinations.

Language proficiency

Please be aware of the language of instruction at the University of your choice. In some European countries the language of instruction is in Spanish, Italian or German and you need to have B2 level of that specific language. Make a plan how to obtain this level if you do not yet have this proficiency.


The International Office Geosciences and your Study Advisor will evaluate your application (The University International Office will do this for universitywide destinations). In case the number of applications exceeds the number of places, they will make a selection based on motivation, grades and CV. The International Office will contact you around the middle of February latest about the decision, and if accepted which university you will go to.


The International Office will then nominate you to the partner university, who will inform you about their application procedure. It is important to check the application procedure and deadlines of your host university and get into contact with the university if you do not receive a message.

The Board of Examiners has to give its formal approval to your study-abroad course selection. This approval is to ensure that there is no overlap with courses in your programme. You must request the board’s approval by email ( after you are selected to study abroad. Your request must include a filled in Course Approval Form and supporting documentation.


If you will be studying abroad for the first semester or for the whole year, you must submit the approval request before 1 June. If you plan on doing your second semester abroad, you must submit the approval request before 1 December.

Change of choice

As indicated before, choosing courses can be quite a challenge. In the past students had more than a few times to change their preliminary course selection along the way due to several reasons. For that reason the Board of Examiners will give definitive approval, including credit and grade conversion, after your return to Utrecht.

If you have been selected for an exchange programme with a Geosciences partner university you will receive an invitation to a pre-departure meeting in spring. The Geosciences International Office will provide you in the meeting with information about what you have to arrange before you will leave. If you are going to a universitywide destination, the University International Office will provide you with the information you need.

If you do take part in an exchange programme, you will continue to be enrolled at Utrecht University. You will not be required to pay tuition fees to the partner university while abroad.

  • You can apply for an Erasmus Grant if you are going to a university within the European Union.
  • Other grants may be available to cover extra costs.
  • As you won’t be using your ‘OV-kaart’ while away, you will receive compensation of about € 90,- per month. Download the already half filled out OV statement, fill out your details and have it completed and signed by Student Affairs Geosciences.
  • Take a look at Before Departure, including subletting your room, important documentation, emergency contacts and insurances. It would be wise if you would check with your current insurance company if your insurances will be valid for the stay abroad.

After your return, you must hand in the transcript of records (your list of marks) in hard copy to the International Office Geosciences, and attach the course descriptions and any explanations. The International Office will only accept digital copies if your host university itself sends it to the office ( If you return from a university wide partner your host university will probably send the document to the University International Office. The office will send you a message when it is arrived, so that you can pick it up there and bring it to the International Office Geosciences. After handing in the transcript of records the Board of Examiners will convert the marks and definitively determine the courses’ workload credits.


If you need the transcript in time because of your graduation deadline you should contact your host university about this. Procedures may take some time at some universities abroad, so you could better be proactive.


Make sure that you fulfil any (Erasmus) grant requirements after your exchange.

Grades you obtain abroad are converted to Pass or Fail. These results do not count towards your grade average. In addition, the original courses and grades are recorded in OSIRIS and printed on the International Diploma Supplement. You can find more information about this in the Education and Examination Regulations.

Courses at another university must be approved by the Board of Examiners beforehand. For approved courses, credits will awarded according to the number of EC obtained, based on the conversion in the conversion table. However, the Board of Examiners requires proof for determining the level of the courses.

Thesis or internship abroad

If you would like to do your thesis research or an internship abroad your choice is not limited to any Utrecht University list. Utrecht University does not have partner contracts for a thesis or an internship, which means you have to contact a university, company or institution yourself.

  • Use your network: ask your teachers, study association or fellow students for contacts.
  • For your thesis you need a supervisor of your programme (and preferably one abroad) as the final assessment of your thesis is in Utrecht.
  • For an internship you need a supervisor of your programme and one at the host institution.

More information on doing research or an internship abroad can be found on the ‘Study abroad’ pages on the general student website. 

Please note that grants may apply!

Questions about going abroad?

(include your name, programme and student number)
Telephone +31 30 253 9559
Or make an appointment by sending an email to

Address room 1.20, Koningsbergergebouw

For questions not answered on this site about exchange programmes, you can seek assistance from the International Office Geosciences.

Opening hours

The International Office Geosciences can be reached by telephone on Thursday from 10:00 - 12:000, at the desk on Tuesday from 10:00 - 12:00 or via Teams by appointment (

For questions about universitywide programmes you can get in contact with the University International Office.

+ 31 30 253 7000 (Monday-Friday, 10 – 12 am and 1 – 3 pm)
Fax: + 31 30 253 2627

Visitor's address
UU for U, Student Services
Heidelberglaan 6, 3584 CS Utrecht
Monday - Friday, 10 am - 4 pm

Postal address
Universiteit Utrecht
Studentenservice / International Office
Postbus 80125
3508 TC Utrecht