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Study abroad step by step

In this article you can find a general step by step overview of the nomination, application and studying abroad process. The description applies to the organised exchanges, i.e., trough exchange programs and bilateral agreements.

Step 1. Planning

Start planning your exchange well in advance. The earlier you check your possibilities the more prepared you will be for the selection process and can adopt your action to have higher chances of being nominated. The agreement database contain information about the partner universities at all levels.

Whenever you look at the possible destinations take into consideration all academic and practical aspects of the exchange. It is highly recommended (and in some cases preferential as well) to have the clear picture of what courses you want to study. Observe that finding the suitable course block may be a hard task. Assure that the courses you choose give you points that can be included in your final exam. Example of courses that cannot be included are 100 courses in US, which are not on the university level even though they are given at the universities.

You can have a look at the Student Reports webpage which give you possibility of reading the stories of students who had returned from their exchange and describe their experience. Further, International Office at Umea University organises region specific meetings where you can meet in person students that have spent some time there.

Step 2. Apply for nomination

To use any of the agreements you must be nominated by Umeå University. You cannot use the existing agreements without that. Each agreement owner has their own deadlines and selection criteria.

Central and Faculty Agreements (Handled by International Office)

All places announced in the Autumn (October, deadline often mid-November). The places are for the forthcoming academic year. Hence if you want to go spring term 2020/2021 you have to apply already during the autumn term 2019/2020.

Selection criteria:
- ECTS points when applying (max 3 points)
- Study pace (max 3 points)
- Choice of courses at host university (1 point)
- Buddy Program (max 2 points)
- Sending in complete application (1 point)

Further information about central places can be found here.

USBE Agreements

Some places trough USBE are also open for IE students and it might be worth trying. The deadline after the IO deadline and after the selection procedures are completed. Last year places announced February 1st, deadline March 1st.

Places for the forthcoming academic year. Therefore, to go autumn or spring of term 2020/2021 you have to apply during spring term 2019/2020.

Selection criteria:
- ECTS points when applying
- Study results
- Motivation (Motivation letter expected)
- Other merits
- Language skills (if applicable)

For further information about exchange program at USBE, take a look their webpage.

Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics Agreements

As a student at the Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics you can also use the Erasmus+ and bilateral agreements signed by our department. You can apply twice a year for the forthcoming term. If you want to go for autumn term of 2020/2021, you need to send your application the latest April 1st 2019. Alternatively, if you want to go for the spring term 2020/2021, you need to send your application the latest October 1st 2019. Observer that you need to apply for nomination only few months in advance, in opposite to the USBE and Central agreements.

Starting from applications for academic year 2017/2018, the department is adopting the central agreements selection criteria.

Other Departments Agreements

In some cases, it is possible to use agreements signed by other departments if they have free places and their partner institution is willing to accept the student. There is no common procedure and deadlines among the departments so you need to contact the department well in advance to verify the possibility and formalities around being nominated for exchange.

Step 3. Application

After the selection process if you have been nominated to take part in the exchange you will need to make a formal application for exchange studies at the host institution. This part vary a lot depending on the destination and the type of agreements. One of the common parts though is the need for preparing formal learning agreement that is the document describing the courses you plan on taking while abroad. This document needs to be approved by sending institution, host institution and the student.

Step 4. Stipend application

If you go for an exchange within specific exchange program you are most probably eligible to obtain a stipend that covers for some extra expenses abroad. Agreement owners should provide you with necessary information about application process.

Observe that even if you are not a part of exchange program you may apply for some external funding. For details, see the webpage.

Step 5. Preparing for Exchange

After being nominated and accepted by the host institution you have to take care of multiple practical arrangements. This may include, but it not limited to: travel, visa, CSN, accommodation and insurance. Depending on the specific agreement you may get more or less help from the receiving institution. Start preparation well in time not to risk staying on the airport without visa.

Step 6. Changes in Learning Agreement

In rare cases, students need to adjust their Learning Agreement after arrival to the host institution. This can be due to unforeseen schedule collisions, changes of courses or course cancellations. As soon as such situation arise a modification of the agreement needs to be done and signed by all three parties again. Making any unapproved changes in the studies abroad may result in not accepting the exchange term as part of the education at home university.

Step 7. Credit transfer

When your return to Umea, you need to bring your transcript of record (document from host institution stating which courses you read and what grades you obtained) which is the basis for your studies to be approved at Umea University. Most institutions provide students with such documents in paper form upon departure and some provide it electronically. More info about transfer of credit can be found here.