The application for student exchange

Your application for student exchange consists of the application form (incl. a motivation letter), a learning agreement, a transcript of records and a language certificate. In case you are applying for a traineeship as an Erasmus+ exchange student (SMS), you need also an invitation letter from your supervisor at the University of Helsinki. If you are applying as an Erasmsus+ trainee (SMP), please see the instructions for visiting students.  You will find detailed information concerning the application and the documents on this page. Exchange applicants can also apply for housing via Mobility Online. Detailed instructions concerning housing application can also be found on this page.

After submitting your application via Mobility Online, print and upload the Application Form to Mobility Online as a pdf.

Write a motivation letter (Statement of purpose) using the language you mainly plan to study with (English, Finnish or Swedish). The recommended length of the motivation letter is 200-500 words. You should state why you wish to study at UH and how your studies at UH will support your degree studies at home and your career objectives. Motivation letter should be uploaded as a separate pdf document. 

What is it?

  • Learning Agreement is an obligatory part of your application form in the Mobility Online application system. It is a list of courses that you wish to take at UH and it helps you to organize your studies during the exchange.
  • Please fill in also the details of the contact person at the receiving unit
  • The Learning Agreement is a preliminary plan. It does not guarantee a place on the course. 

Where to find courses? Are there any restrictions?

  • Information concerning courses in English can be found in the Instructions for students -  Course selection
  • The course information for the upcoming Academic Year is usually available by April. This means that you may have to plan your studies according to the previous year’s information, so changes are possible.
  • Most courses require previous studies in the subject/discipline in question or are restricted altogether. See more about course requirements and restrictions here.
  • When you plan your studies please note that you should mainly select courses in the field of study you have been nominated for or according to what is stated in the exchange agreement between your home institution and UH.
  • Usually exchange students have unrestricted access to lecture courses in English at their host faculty, but restrictions may apply for field courses, laboratory courses, methodology courses and seminars.
  • It might also be possible to take courses at the other departments/faculties to some extent. However, they may have different rules for registration, prerequisite studies and they will give preference to their own students. It cannot be guaranteed that courses organized by other faculties are available. Please check their webpage / weboodi for the appropriate department/faculty.
  • Restrictions on which courses you are allowed to take may apply – for instance courses in English Philology are only available for exchange students who are nominated based on exchange agreements of the discipline of English Philology at the Univ. of Helsinki and to university level exchange students who are majoring in English at their home university.
  • If you have more precise questions on the contents of a specific course, please contact the responsible person of the course. You can find his/her name in WebOodi under course description or in course search under course overview.

How many courses? How about lab or thesis work?

  • The average workload for one semester at the University of Helsinki is 30 ECTS credit points (60 ECTS for the whole academic year). In the end it depends on your home university how many ECTS credits you have to obtain per semester, since the sending institution is in charge of the approval of the courses. However, at the application stage your learning agreement should include at least 20 ECTS credit points (at least 40 ECTS for the whole academic year).
  • If you plan to write your thesis or do research during your exchange period, please include in the learning agreement the title of your thesis or research, and include an invitation letter from your supervisor at UH to your application. Check the Tuhat -research database for possible supervisors.

Step-by-step guide for the Learning Agreement process

Before the application deadline

  1. Fill in the learning agreement in the Mobility Online application system. You can optionally use the Learning agreement of your home institution, provided that it fullfills the criteria for an Erasmus Learning Agreement. If you use the Mobility Online Learning Agreement, see detailed instructions here.  Please note that the learning agreement is an obligatory step of the online application. You should add the course names and course codes in Mobility Online one by one and then print the form.   Exceptions:
    1. For visiting students the Learning Agreement is a separate document, which can be found here (the online version of the LA in Mobility Online is for exchange students only).
    2. Lab or thesis work does not require course codes
  2. Print out the learning agreement (download it to your computer). 
  3. Specific information for Learning agreements for students of the Erasmus exchange programme (namely students from EU countries or from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Turkey):  fill in the name and contact information of the responsible person of your home university and of the University of Helsinki. See the responsible persons at the University of Helsinki.  

4. Ask your home university coordinator to confirm and sign your learning agreement. If your home institution requires that you must use the Learning Agreement form of your own university, you may ask signatures from your home instituion to that form. After this, upload the learning agreement(s) on your Mobility Online account. 

Between the acceptance and the exchange period

5. Learning Agreement will be checked as a part of the acceptance process. If major changes are required to the courses you listed on the Learning Agreement, you will receive an e-mail from studentexchange@helsinki.fi with instructions and feedback regarding your Learning Agreement.

6. Please note that your learning agreement is a preliminary plan for your studies in Helsinki, but it is not a registration for any courses nor a guarantee that you are accepted to those courses. Changes to your Learning agreement can be made throughout the academic year, if your home institution approves of this.

7. The Learning Agreements are signed by the International Exchange Specialists responsible for your study field after your arrival.

  • If it is necessary for you to have the Learning Agreement signed before your arrival, please fill in this e-form. Please note that we can sign the learning agreement only after you have been officially accepted as an exchange student at the University of Helsinki. The approval is still preliminary at this stage as acceptance on individual courses can not be guaranteed. 

At the start of your exchange period in Helsinki

8. The actual registration for the courses takes place after your arrival in Helsinki during the orientation period. At this point, as far as we are concerned, it is still possible to change your course selection or add new courses into your study plan. 

  • If the registration period to the course in question ends before the orientation course, be in contact with the teacher of the course.

9. Registration to courses will be done through WebOodi (https://weboodi.helsinki.fi/hy). You will need University of Helsinki student number and your IT user account for that and you will get them during the Orientation Course. Please note that we do not send them by e-mail or by mail, but one has to collect them in person during the orientation. 

10. The final Learning Agreement is signed by the International Exchange Specialists.

11. In case you need to change your learning agreement after you have started your studies at UH and your home university has not provided you with a form for changes, you will find the form here in instructions for students.

  • Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Specialist Sari Mikkola
  • Faculty of Arts, Specialists Sasa Tkalcan, Heidi Säävuori and Raisa Asikainen
  • Faculty of Educational Sciences (formerly the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences), Specialists Mikko Moilanen and Tuula Hellstedt
  • Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Specialist Outi Orenius
  • Faculty of Law, Specialist Anne-Sophie Hokkanen
  • Faculty of Medicine, Specialist Arja Mielonen-Walker
  • Faculty of Science (Physical Sciences, Geography and Geology), Specialist Janna Koivisto
  • Faculty of Science (Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science), Specialist Nina Nilsson
  • Faculty of Social Sciences, Specialists Mari Lauri and Niina Haapasilta
  • Faculty of Theology, Specialists Heidi Säävuori, Specialist Sasa Tkalcan and Raisa Asikainen
  • Faculty of Pharmacy, Specialist Outi Orenius
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Specialist Sari Mikkola
  • The Swedish School of Social Science, Specialist Kaisa Pesola

Email address and phone number to all learning agreements: studentexchange@helsinki.fi, +358 2941 22401, Erasmus code: SF HELSINK01

For specific exchange programmes (ISEP and university bilateral agreements), there can be exceptions to the contact person, e.g. a university-wide contact person’s signature may be needed. Please check the instructions for your own exchange programme if you are coming from outside EU. 

An official transcript of records (same as transcript of credits) (in English, Finnish or Swedish), i.e. a certified list of all the courses and exams you have completed at your home university, must be attached to your application.

Please note that you should include a complete transcript for both current and past degrees, i.e. if you are applying as a Master's Degree student, you should also include a complete transcript for your Bachelor's Degree. If you are applying as a PhD student, please also provide transcripts of your Bachelor's and Master's degrees. It is important that the courses are listed in English, Finnish, or Swedish. In case your home university does not provide transcripts in any of the aforementioned languages, you are responsible for translating the document yourself. Such a document needs to be either a certified translation of the original document or the sending institution needs to verify the translation with a stamp and a signature.

The University of Helsinki requires language skills in English, Finnish or Swedish (the language you mainly plan to study with) that correspond to Level B2 on the CEFR scale. Please note that the test needs to measure all four communicative skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking). This can be certified by for example one of the documents listed below:

  • a language certificate signed by a teacher of the English language at your home university: uh_language_certificate.pdf
  • TOEFL score of 79 (IBT) 
  • TOEFL PBT: score of 550
  • an academic IELTS score of 6
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): Pass levels A, B or C
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): Pass levels A, B or C
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic: 58, a minimum score of 51 in each communicative skills section (listening, reading, speaking and writing)
  • TOEIC test (Inlcuding listening 400, reading 385, speaking 160 and writing 150)
  • Language tests that measure all four communicative skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking) and have an official conversion table to TOEFL, IELTS or CEFR scale. NOTE: Applicant is responsible for attaching a copy of the official conversion scale or a link to an official conversion page to their application
  • An International Baccalaureate in English If the examination has been completed in a language other than English: English as the A1 language with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 2) OR English as the A2 language with a minimum grade of 5 OR English as the A language (literature/language and literature/language and performance) with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 2)
  • A European Baccalaureate with English as the LI language with an approved grade (a minimum grade of 4) OR English as the LII language with a minimum grade of 7
  • German Abitur certificate that indicates minimum CEFR B2 level in English language
  • Upper secondary school completed in a Nordic country (Denmark, Finland,  Iceland, Norway or Sweden), and studied English as a foreign language
  • Upper-secondary education completed in English in the Nordic Countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand or the USA

PLEASE NOTE:

  • The language certificate must be written in English, Finnish or Swedish. 
  • Online Linguistic Support (OLS) based language certificates are not accepted.

Language certificate is not required, if     

  • your native language is English, Finnish, or Swedish
  • your transcript of credits clearly indicates a CEFR B2 level of knowledge in English, Finnish, or Swedish
  • your study programme at your home university is taught completely in English, Swedish, or Finnish (this must be clearly stated on the official website of your home university, indicating that all courses at your home university are taught in English or certified in the application enclosures by the coordinator of your home university)

Please note that the faculties or departments have a right to request for further clarification on the language skills, if they consider that the language skills in English stated on the application form and on the language certificate are insufficient for studies at the faculty or the department. Faculties also have right to reject application if language skills of the applicant are insufficient for studies at the faculty or department.

If you plan to conduct practical training/research/thesis work during your exchange period, your application must include an invitation letter in English, Finnish or Swedish (including dates for the visiting period and the estimated amount of credits received at the UH) from the academic contact person who has agreed to supervise your work at the UH.

Upload your application complete with all the application enclosures in the Mobility Online application system by the deadline, April 15 / May 15 (in the spring) OR September 30 / October 15 (in the autumn). Upload the application documents preferably as pdf files and name the files clearly, e.g. Language_Certificate.pdf, Learning_Agreement.pdf,  Application_form.pdf.

    Completing your application: After you have uploaded your signed application form with the required application enclosures to your Mobility Online account you will still need to confirm that you have uploaded all of the required documents. Click on the link "Confirm that you have uploaded all required documents" in the application work-flow and tick the box. Save your confirmation with the “Create” button. This completes your application (there is no separate submit/send button).

    If you have uploaded your documents we’ve received them even though they’ve not yet been marked as received in Mobility Online.