Are you thinking of doing a research project or writing assignment abroad? We strongly advise you to start nine to eleven months in advance, since there are many things that have to be arranged before you leave. More information can be found below.
If you have any questions, please consult the international officers of Biomedical Sciences or Biosciences.
Think about what kind of research you would like to perform and in which field. Contact your programme coordinator about your plans. Search the internet, e.g. publications on PubMed, for labs/groups of your interest and check the Blackboard-page UMCU-UU GSLS Research Project Abroad for student reports about their experiences abroad. Ask a UU or UMCU group leader working in the field, if (s)he has any relevant contacts with labs/groups in other countries. Contact the institution of interest. Every institution has its own application procedure and deadline. Most likely you need to send your motivation letter, letter of recommendation, transcript of records (“cijferlijst”), and CV. Make a budget overview: besides the regular travelling costs (flight ticket, housing, visa etc.) you sometimes need to pay a fee at the institution.
More information about your research project can be found here.
For projects/internships abroad the general travel policy of Utrecht University is applicable. The UU follows the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry has four security risks on which the travel advice is based, namely:
- Green – no particular security risks
- Yellow – beware, safety risks
- Orange – only travel when necessary
- Red – no travel
Internships abroad are only allowed in countries with a positive travel advice. The actual travel advice of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is leading. The website is in Dutch only, but the explanation of areas is clear. Orange and red areas are considered to be unsafe and students do not get permission to do their research in these areas. The situation in an area may change and accordingly the advice/decisions of the International Office.
Always contact the International Office to assess whether or not a country is considered safe. If you go abroad without permission from the International Office and against the rules of the UU travel policy, credits will not be awarded according to the rules of the UU and as described in the EER art 3.8.
Do you still want to travel abroad despite the UU travel policy? You can submit a formal request for an exemption. To submit an exemption request, your internship abroad must first be approved by the Board of Examiners. Afterwards, you can take the following steps:
- Contact the International Office to receive the exemption form. Do this preferably 2 to 3 months before your departure.
- Submit the completed form by e-mail to the secretary of the GSLS, Shirrinka Goubitz, PhD (email@example.com).
- The faculty committee will discuss your submitted request and will come to an agreement. For both the faculty of Medicine and the faculty of Science, the committee consists of the vice-dean of education, the programme director and the internationalisation policy officer of the faculty. The Code Orange/Red committee of Utrecht University advises the faculty committee about the safety risks of the destination.
- The outcome as decided by the faculty committee will be shared with you by the secretary of GSLS by means of an official letter by e-mail. The aim is to share the decision within seven working days.
- Have you been given permission to travel? Make sure that the approval letter is included in OSIRIS with your internship abroad registration.
- Have you received no permission to travel and do you not agree with the outcome? Then you have the option to submit a request to the UU disputes committee via this website. Please note that it takes at least 5 weeks for a decision to be made by the UU disputes committee. You are not permitted to travel to the internship destination pending the decision of the faculty committee or the UU disputes committee.
Changing travel advice during the stay abroad
If the travel advice changes to a negative travel advice during your stay abroad, the International Office of the faculty will contact you. Together we will examine whether it is safe enough to stay. If the UU advises an urgent recall to leave the country of your internship, but you still want to stay, you can submit an exemption request according to steps 1 to 6 as described above.
Arranging an alternative
If your exemption request is not honoured, discuss the options for completing your study programme with your programme coordinator. Contact both the UU/UMCU examiner and your programme coordinator when you have to come back to the Netherlands during your stay abroad due to a changing travel advice. If you are in need of a conversation with a confidential advisor as a result of this process, please contact your study counsellor. For advice and help see also the page Advice and Counselling.
After the approval of the Board of Examiners, the International Office also has to approve your internship. Therefore, you need to register your project in OSIRIS ‘Stay Abroad’.
How to: in OSIRIS, you can find the ‘Stay abroad’ menu. In this menu you can go to 'New Request' and then make a selection for 'Internship/ (field) research/other stay abroad'. Upload a pdf of the approval e-mail of the Board of Examiners. This approval is sent by e-mail to you by your research project coordinator from the OSIRIS Case system – Universiteit Utrecht firstname.lastname@example.org (export it to PDF). The OSIRIS registration will normally be approved within five working days by the International Office.
It is required that you register your project in OSIRIS, because:
- Once your registration in OSIRIS has been approved, you are automatically insured for liability by Utrecht University.
- After approval from the International Office, you can request an Erasmus+ grant within Europe, if applicable.
- International Office checks applications for public transportation compensation (OV-vergoeding) by means of this application.
- In case of emergency, natural catastrophes or terroristic attacks, the UU can check your location and contact you if necessary. (The primary contact for calamities will remain the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant Embassy, but the UU is of the opinion that it also has a duty of care in these cases.)
- The Visa mobility regulations have changed since last year. The UU has to report Non-EU students to whom the outgoing mobility applies to IND (Immigration & Naturalisation Service) at least thirty days before their departure. IND has indicated that they will maintain this measure, which means that the UU is prone to substantial fines and could even lose its recognition as a referent if we don’t follow these protocols. The visa desk even uses this as a basis for selection, that is, if the data in OSIRIS are correct.
Once your OSIRIS registration has been approved, you can apply for ‘OV-vergoeding’ (for Dutch students only). Also, you can ask for a confirmation letter for your stay abroad, that can be used for several purposes (application for visa, grants, proof of registration for your host institution). Ask for this letter by e-mail via Study Information Point (STIP, for students at the faculty of Medicine) or at International Office (for students at the faculty of Science). The confirmation letter will be send to you by email.
Make a budget overview: besides the regular travelling costs (flight ticket, housing, visa etc.) you sometimes need to pay a fee at the institution.
To finance (part of) your study abroad some financial support is available. You are responsible for arranging your own grant(s). Make sure you apply for a grant at least six months in advance. To obtain a scholarship you often need to get permission from the student deans (also called student counsellor) after first obtaining approval from the Board of Examiners.
Utrecht University offers the Travel Green Grant (of max EUR 185 each) for students who choose to take the train or bus to their European internship destination. Take a look at the Travel Green Grant webpage to learn more about the rules and the application procedure.
If you are considering an Erasmus+ scholarship (for projects within Europe), your application request in OSIRIS Student should be completed at least six weeks before the start of you research project abroad. For more information on the Erasmus+ scholarship, please visit the Erasmus+ website or contact them via email@example.com.
More information on scholarships can be found at the general UU website. Deadlines for the different scholarships are also posted on the Facebook page of the International Office of the Medicine Faculty.
You also have to check your personal insurances. You are obliged to arrange your personal insurances (health care, medical repatriation, personal liability, and -if applicable- accidents in and outside the workplace). A document to get you started in arranging your insurances is available here.
Utrecht University has a liability insurance for its students, provided that the research project or internship is done under the auspices and with the knowledge of the University. The insurance statement can be found on this page under ‘contracts and insurance’
To complete your internship download the required assessment here.
Please note: Biomedical Sciences students only!
Just returned from abroad? Please share your experiences and advice on practical matters with other GSLS students via our Blackboard community 'UMCU-UU GSLS Research Project Abroad'. Answer the questions about your experiences on this form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.