When preparing for your period of study abroad, you need to take time to arrange certain things (next to your study plan, and approval of courses), such as: language preparations, and financial and practical matters. On this page you will find more information and useful links.
Please note: studying abroad is often more expensive than when you stay in the Netherlands.
Student travel card restitution
The cost of your student travel card (Studenten OV-chipkaart) can be reimbursed, because you will not be using the card while you are away. The travel cost reimbursement form (OV-vergoedingsformulier) can only be signed once you have been fully accepted by the host university. You can have it signed by your Exchange Coordinator or at the student desk of your faculty.
The OV-refund form and more information can be found on the website of 'DUO – Studiefinanciering buitenland'.
You can apply for this grant when you go on exchange to a partner university within the European Union, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, FYR of Macedonia, Norway, Turkey and the overseas territories of all these countries. However, eligibility of actual destinations depends on the agreements the university or the faculty has made with institutions and companies abroad.
More detailed information, including the conditions, can be found on the Erasmus Grant pages of Utrecht University. It is important you keep an eye on the application deadlines.
Other grant possibilities
Unfortunately there are not a lot of additional grant options for exchange. You can browse through a database of grants on www.grantfinder.nl. Note that, in order to be eligible, you should meet the requirements.
Many European universities offer language courses to prepare you for your study; more information regarding these can be found on the partner website.
Can I get credits for language courses?
If you are a Bachelor’s student, you can include these in your optional course profile. You can receive a maximum of 7,5 ECTS for language courses (level 1).
Please note: English Language courses are not allowed!
Babel Talen (located in the city centre) offers many language courses. Think about languages like Chinese, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish and last but not least Dutch.
Ensure that your passport is valid for your complete exchange period. Some countries require that your passport is valid for at least six months after your exchange period. Should you not have a passport, ensure that you arrange this well in advance. For some European destinations you can also use an Identity Card.
It’s often worth the trouble to look around on the internet for the cheapest provider. There are many good websites (e.g. Expedia and Cheaptickets), alternatively you can visit a travel agent. A highly recommended agent is Kilroy Travels. Often the sooner you book a flight, the cheaper it is. This is not always advisable, as for many destinations (mostly outside Europe) you are required to go through the visa process. For more distant destinations, it is always possible to purchase a ticket with flexible dates and a cancellation insurance.
International students are advised to check with their current insurance companies if the insurances will be valid for the stay abroad. Dutch students can find some more information on this website.
As a student you are obliged, and it is your own responsibility, to take out medical insurance, third-party insurance and travel insurance. Ask your insurance company whether your insurance policy is valid and sufficient for your study abroad period. Some partner universities (e.g. American and Australian Universities) require exchange students to take a separate insurance.
For vaccinations you can go to either the GG&GD or the HR at the UMC Utrecht (available for all UU students).
Visa / residence permit
For some countries it is clear that you will need a visa. Often visa processes begin after you have received the acceptance letter from the partner university. It is important to check the partner university website to get information on visa proceedings.
TOEFL / IELTS
A few partner universities require that a TOEFL or a IELTS test be completed by the student. However, most universities ask only for the Language Proficiency Form (included in the application form) to be completed and signed by the Exchange Officer (email@example.com). Should you be required to complete a TOEFL or IELTS test, the partner university will inform you of this.
ISIC is the International Student Identity Card, which is issued in more than 130 countries. This card offers over 40.000 different discounts, services and benefits both locally and across the globe. They are all handpicked to accommodate the everyday needs of students. On top of this you can also receive discount on flights.
Are you leaving Utrecht for a few months to study abroad or to do an internship? Why not place a rental ad offering your room as a temporary sublet!
You can advertise your room on, for example, the Housing Anywhere website. Through this student-to-student housing platform you can offer your room to international students who are looking for temporary accommodation in Utrecht.
Subletting your room this way does not only give you the benefit of saving up on rent expenses while you are studying abroad, it also helps an international student the opportunity to find temporary accommodation and experience the genuine Utrecht student life.