Please make sure your passport is still valid for at least six months after the completion of your semester abroad.
International students with a residence permit for the Netherlands should contact the UU Visa Office. Your residence permit might expire during the period you reside abroad – this can cause a lot of problems! You are allowed to spend a maximum of 9 months abroad during your UCU-program without jeopardizing your Dutch residence permit.
Depending on the country you are going to, you should report and/or register at the local Immigration Authorities within three to eight days upon arrival. This also applies to EU-residents who intend to study longer than three months in one of the other EU-countries. Do not forget this! Depending on your nationality you may need a visa for the country of your host institutions. If you are accepted for an exchange program, the visa procedure should go through your host university. EU/EEA citizens going on exchange within the EU/EEA do not need a visa. Especially for students going on exchange to the U.S., applying for a U.S. visa may be a lengthy and complicated procedure (see PowerPoint). Many visa procedures require you to prove you have a certain amount of money (living expenses) on your bank account, so keep this in mind if you don’t have quick access to your savings.
You should of course be properly insured while abroad. Please check with your (travel/health) insurance company whether you are covered while studying abroad. Differences between insurance companies are tremendous. Should you need special/extra insurance for your exchange, we recommend AON or Holland Zorg. Please note that some host universities (mostly American universities), require you to take their university insurance as well.
Housing arrangements vary, depending on the host. At some host institutions, room and board will be an integral part of the (on-campus) housing arrangements. Others may offer off-campus housing. Some host universities provide housing; others only assist in finding a room. If housing is not arranged you could book temporary accommodation for a few nights in a youth hostel or motel well in advance. This is especially important if you arrive on a weekend or public holiday. If you arrive before your study program starts, the host university is not required to provide housing for you. Then, finding a temporary room is your own responsibility.
As an exchange student, you don’t have to pay the tuition fee of the host university; you will pay the fees of UCU. You will have to pay for housing, however, also if on-campus housing is provided for. Depending on the university and country you go to, this might be either cheaper or more expensive than the housing costs at UCU. Other costs that you should take into account are your travel costs, like flights –especially when you go outside Europe, this will be a large expense -, the costs to obtain a visa (inside Europe not needed for EU-students), health insurance (extra mandatory health insurance, specifically in the U.S.) and of course your living costs. Again, these costs can vary a lot depending on your destination. Dutch students (and certain international students) who receive government student loans will keep receiving it during their exchange, as long as they remain full-time registered as a student at UCU and their exchange is recognized as part of their UCU program. This is the case when you study abroad through a UCU or UU exchange agreement. International students with a UCU scholarship will keep their grant, while studying abroad.
Dutch students can get a refund for their OV-student card, by requesting an “OV-vergoeding buitenland”. You can apply for the OV-refund through Mijn DUO. Make sure you apply for the OV-refund two months before you leave. Your application form has to be signed by UCU for approval, which can be done by the UCU International Office. You can leave the forms in the pigeonhole of The UCU International Office in College Hall or leave them at the Reception Desk (before July 1, 2019), and you can pick up the signed forms at Reception Desk when they are processed. You will receive EUR 91,62 (2018) extra per month because you do not use your OV student card whilst studying abroad. Please note: After you have been granted the OV-refund, you will still need to cancel the “student travel product” on your OV student card in order to receive the refund. This can be done at any OV pick up device before your departure.
If you are going to study abroad in Europe, you can choose to apply for an Erasmus grant. Make sure you hand the form in to Student Services (UU International Office) two months before you leave. For application deadlines and more information, check this website. Students going on exchange through UCU need a signature from the UCU International Office. Students going on exchange on a UU program need a signature from the coordinator at International Office UU (Student Services). Once you applied, Student Services will send you a confirmation and extra details. Please mind: use your postal address for the application. There are not many general scholarships available outside the ERASMUS program, but of course you can search yourself on the Nuffic-site, Fulbright-Center or at scholarshipportal.eu.