Is it difficult to get an exchange place?
At Åbo Akademi, everyone who wants to go on exchange to one of our partner universities will get a place. ÅA has so many exchange places compared to the number of students who apply for them. However, for some universities, the competition can be high, and therefore it helps to have a very good application and have an alternative choice to ensure that you go on exchange.
During which academic year it is most common to go on exchange?
It varies and depends on what you study. You can in principle go on exchange at any time during your studies, except during the first year of studies. The main thing is that your study abroad fits into your degree at ÅA.
I will soon graduate from ÅA and just decided that I want to go on exchange. Can I go?
You can also go on exchange in the final stages of your studies, but the criteria is that the studies abroad must be transferred back to ÅA and counted within your degree, for example, 30 ECTS / semester.
I will finish with my studies shortly after returning from exchange. Can I still graduate?
You will need to wait to obtain your degree certificate from ÅA until the international studies have been transferred to your degree at ÅA.
How many credits do you need to study during an exchange period?
During an exchange period, you should study full time, which corresponds to 30 ECTS / semester. If during an exchange semester, you study less than 20 ECTS at the host university, you will need to repay back your scholarship. If you become ill for an extended period of time and this affects your studies, you should obtain a medical certificate that needs to be sent to International Affairs – firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I go on several exchanges?
Yes you can! You just have to plan your studies well so that the exchanges will fit in with your studies well. Within the Erasmus+ program, students are allowed to go on exchange once at bachelor level and once at masters level and once at doctoral level. In addition to that, you can also do an Erasmus internship.
Can I go on exchange with my partner/boyfriend/girlfriend or with a friend?
This is common, especially within the Nordic countries or to our partner universities in South America. It is also possible within the Erasmus + program, as there are usually several study places at the same university.
What level should my language skills be in order to go on exchange?
It’s usually enough to have language skills that correspond to level three in the language that you will study in on your exchange. The language skills must be in the Peppi system or as a language certificate that is issued by the Centre for Languages and Communication. An increasing number of universities require at least level B2 in the study language (CEFR scale). Universities in the Netherlands now also require TOEFL test results for master’s studies.
Is the scholarship I receive enough to support myself with during exchange?
This has been proven possible. Of course, it depends a lot on your living habits. Cost of living is usually higher in capitals. You can also apply for other scholarships, e.g. from Studiefonden, Victoriastiftelsen and regional scholarships.
Erasmus + – Can I go on exchange to a partner university of a different subject?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to do this unless you plan on studying that particular subject during your exchange. The agreements are arranges between the subjects. However, there are so called, general agreements, see the Erasmus list. These collaborative universities receive students from all subjects or those mentioned in brackets. See also Coimbra Group Student Exchange Network, in which we have exchange spaces for all subjects.
How can I make a study plan when i can see which courses are offered during the next academic year?
You should base your study plan on the current academic year’s course offerings. When we have our application deadlines, it is common that the course information for the next academic year is not yet available. However, all students are in the same situation. Changes in the curriculum are likely to happen and will only be relevant when you arrive at the host university. You should let your academic coordinator know at ÅA via email which courses you will need to change so that they can approve your new study plan and discuss whether you can get the courses credited at Åbo Akademi. Sending the links with the course descriptions makes it easier for ÅA staff to decide on the new courses.