Before Your Exchange

Here is a list of the most important things you should remember when leaving for an exchange or work placement period abroad. Read the checklist carefully.

In matters concerning your exchange studies, please contact the coordinator of your exchange programme. Questions regarding work placements should be directed to the work placement contact person of your faculty or degree programme. It is also a good idea to contact the Erasmus office (erasmus(at)uta.fi) in matters related to Erasmus exchange studies or work placements. If the coordinator is unavailable, you can also send e-mail to the office of the Centre for International Education at intoffice(at).uta.fi

Always notify the coordinator of your exchange programme or work placement about any change of plans!

 

Housing

If you are going abroad for exchange, the host university will inform you on whether they will provide student housing or help you with the arrangements. Usually, you are responsible for your housing arrangements. You can sublet your apartment in Tampere for the duration of the exchange period e.g. through the Opiskelijan Tampere service. The TOAS website provides instructions on subletting your apartment.

When going abroad for a work placement, contact the host organisation to enquire whether it is possible for the organisation to assist you with the housing arrangements. Usually, you are responsible for your housing arrangements.

It is a good idea to travel to the new city well before the beginning of work or studies and possible orientation course. Prepare yourself for the reality that, in some countries, handling formalities involves more bureaucracy than you may be used to, so try not to get too upset if your initial housing arrangements take time, for example. Handling things at the university or with authorities may also be more complicated than you expect. Remember the golden rule of every traveller: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”

Carefully consider what to take with you. You may initially need plenty of cash for the security deposit for your flat, for example. Passport photos are often needed for student cards and bus cards.

Find out the mains voltage and socket type in your country of destination. You can prepare in advance by purchasing adapters for a variety of electrical devices.

Find information on the country of destination and host university

Read about the experiences of others who have studied at the same university or completed a work placement in the country in the travel report database.

If the destination is in an area where the situation is dangerous or less safe than usual, discuss the matter with the coordinator arranging your travel. If you are a Finnish citizen, we recommend you to fill in a travel notification to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is also a good idea to visit the website of your host university or work placement location and study any other available information on the city and country in question. Please join the Facebook group for University of Tampere exchange students, for country-specific and general tips!

Enrolling at the University of Tampere

Remember to enrol at the University of Tampere as "present" or "absent". If you enrol as present, you must pay the Tamy membership fee. This entitles you to student benefits in Finland (e.g. VR discounts) and access to FSHS clinics. You can only earn credits at UTA if have enrolled as "present". The Erasmus grant will not be paid until you have enrolled at UTA.

If you have obtained your exchange or Erasmus work placement through the University of Tampere, the electronic application system automatically provides notification of your study or work placement period abroad. Your University of Tampere e-mail address will be active and accessible also during your stay abroad. You will be primarily notified of Erasmus matters through your university e-mail address. Remember to notify the Registrar’s Office of your current address.

Remember to notify the coordinator of your exchange programme or work placement about any changes in plans!

International student cards and Europass documents

In some countries you may receive a discount on train tickets and accommodation with international benefit cards. Before obtaining the card, remember to check whether the card entitles you to benefits in your country of destination.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) can be purchased from Kilroy Travels. By presenting the card, you can buy flight tickets at a student price and get other discounts abroad. For more information on the card, navigate to the Kilroy website.

The European Youth Card is also recognised in European countries. More information on the benefits is available on the EYC website.

The Europass provides students and workers with a tool for demonstrating their expertise throughout Europe. The Europass consists of five documents. The documents can be used in the same format in all EU/EEA countries. The applicant can fill in the CV and Language Passport, to which you can append other Europass documents. The Europass CV and Language Passport can be filled in online, or the files can be downloaded to your own computer. Before assessing your own language skills, it is advisable to view the applicable European self-assessment grid.

The Europass documents also include the Diploma Supplement, which is intended for international use. It contains information on the degree and educational institution in question as well as the education system of the country where the certificate was granted. Graduating students receive the Diploma Supplement automatically as an attachment to the degree certificate.

Europass website

Pre-departure orientation

The University of Tampere Centre for International Education organises an orientation afternoon for students about to go abroad for student exchange or work placement. The pre-departure orientation is held mainly in Finnish.

Programme for the pre-departure orientation 20 April 2017, 12:15–5:00 pm

Opening of the orientation day
Learning Another Culture, pdf
Presentation of the self-access centre
Health care nurse’s address, pdf (Finnish)
Safe international travels: common sense, open mind, pdf
Information on planning of studies and credit transfer
Discussion about exchange experiences in country-specific groups

Emigration notification and travel notification

Submit a change of address notification to the register office and Posti. You can submit the notification for example via the Posti online service. Upon your return, remember to submit a notification of your return.

If you are a Finnish citizen, we recommend you to fill in a travel notification to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

You should also issue an emigration notice even when you move abroad temporarily. You can submit a notification on the Kela website.

Residence permit and visa, passport, embassies in Finland

First ensure that your passport will be valid throughout the entire duration of your stay in the country of destination. When travelling to some countries, your passport must be valid for at least six months after leaving the country. For Russia, the passport must be valid for at least 18 months from the start date of the visa’s validity.

If your stay abroad will last longer than three months, you must obtain a residence permit for the country in question. The permit must be obtained from the embassy of the country before leaving Finland, with the exception of EU and EEA countries, for which the right of residence is not registered until arrival in the country of destination. If you are not a citizen of an EU or EEA country, the residence permit requirements must be checked on a case-by-case basis based on your citizenship and country of destination.

As a general rule, third-country nationals must always apply for a residence permit for their exchange period from the nearest consulate of the country of destination. Only third-country nationals going to another Schengen country for no longer than three months may reside in the country of destination with a residence permit granted for Finland.

It is recommended to check the valid requirements on the website of the embassy or consulate of the country in question before applying for your permit/visa. Obtaining a residence permit may take up to a couple of months, so remember to apply for one in good time!

Currently, the instructions for applying for a residence permit or visa can be found on the website of the relevant country’s embassy or consulate. If you cannot find the information online, please contact the embassy or consulate directly.

Diplomatic representation of foreign states in Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland)

Make copies of your passport and visa or residence permit and keep them separate from the original documents. If you lose your passport, for example, this precaution will facilitate resolving the matter with various authorities.

Students' financial aid and other financial matters

If you are entitled for the students' financial aid provided by Kela, you can apply for the study aid for your exchange period or work placement abroad as well.

Students' financial aid can be granted for studies abroad if they correspond with supported studies in Finland or are included in a degree being completed in Finland. In other words, outgoing exchange students must ensure that the foreign studies are eligible for credit transfer towards a degree at the University of Tampere. Student financial aid can also be provided for a work placement abroad if the student in question will receive credits for the work placement period. Please note that the Kela credit requirement applies also to work placements.

A certificate of the exchange period, pdf must be appended to the student financial aid application. Fill in the form electronically and append the signed certificate to the student financial aid application to Kela. The certificate is signed only for University of Tampere exchange or work placement programmes.

More information on students' financial aid abroad is available on the Kela website

Contact your bank to find out the most affordable and convenient way of handling financial matters in your country of destination. Possible options are Debit and Visa Electron cards, bank transfers or international credit cards, such as Visa or Mastercard. Contact your bank beforehand for any information you may need to transfer funds to a foreign bank account.

Before leaving abroad, write down all numbers of your credit and debit cards and keep them separate from your cards and money. For example, if you lose your wallet this will help resolving the matter with authorities.

Health and vaccinations

Finnish Student Health Services (FSHS) provides health-related travel advice through an electronic service. Read more on the FSHS website. Also read the website that includes a collection of country-specific information on health care services abroad.

Apply for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from Kela if you are going to a European country. The card is free of charge, and holders of the card are entitled to receive medically necessary health care during their stay in another EU or EEA country and Switzerland. More information is available on the Kela website (Kela card –> European Health Insurance Card).

If you take specific medication regularly, take a sufficient supply with you and find out how to get more when necessary. Also remember to take any prescriptions you may need with you. It is a good idea to prepare with a small emergency supply of basic medication.

Ensure well in advance that your vaccinations are in order. It is also advisable to have your teeth checked before your time abroad. Remember to book your appointment in good time as the FSHS dental clinic has long waiting lists!

Work permits and employment matters (Erasmus work placements)

In general, EU/EEA citizens do not need a work permit for working in another EU/EEA country with the exception of Turkey. Read more about work permits.

Where to find information on work placements outside Europe?

The Eures service contains a wealth of information on employment. Make sure that you know the usual working hours, holidays, taxation and your rights as a trainee in your country of destination.

Documents related to exchange studies and work placements

When going abroad for Erasmus exchange, remember to fill in the Learning Agreement, doc and ask your faculty’s mobility coordinator to sign it. After the exchange, the Learning Agreement must include the same courses as the official transcript of records received from the host university. As a result, it may be necessary to make changes to the Learning Agreement (Learning Agreement part II, doc). Always submit the amendment form (part II) with the original document (part I).

When applying to non-Erasmus exchanges, you must prepare a preliminary study plan. Draw up the plan before your departure and discuss transfering credits of your exchange studies at UTA in advance with the responsible teachers or the mobility coordinator.

A key principle of all exchanges managed by the University of Tampere is that academic studies completed abroad are fully recognised in your UTA degree. More information on credit transfer for studies.

The University of Tampere can provide you with a transcript of records in English. An official copy can be requested from the University of Tampere Registrar’s Office. You can obtain a transcript of records (PDF) in English also through NettiOpsu by changing the language to English from the side menu bar.

In the context of Erasmus work placements, fill in the Training Agreement, doc, which is an agreement on your work placement with the organisation and your work placement coordinator at your home faculty.

Remember to fill in a grant agreement in NettiOpsu well before your exchange or work placement period (dates and other information concerning your stay abroad and your bank information).

Insurance

Check your current insurance coverage with your insurance company. It is recommended to take out appropriate insurance policies (including health insurance, luggage insurance, travel insurance and legal expenses insurance). The university does not insure outgoing exchange students.

The electronic grant agreement includes an appended University of Tampere liability form, the purpose of which is to clarify the personal obligations and responsibilities of students going abroad for exchange or a work placement through the UTA.

Erasmus student exchange

The Erasmus grant does not include insurance coverage. The Erasmus student exchange requires health insurance as a mandatory insurance policy (at least a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) granted by Kela, see Health and vaccinations). It is advisable to take out a personal travel insurance policy for the duration of the student exchange as the coverage of the EHIC is insufficient in some cases. A supplementary health insurance policy may thus be necessary.

Erasmus work placement

The Erasmus training agreement obliges the employer to insure the student for the duration of the work placement period. This refers to liability insurance, which covers all damage caused to third parties during working hours. If the employer does not take out liability insurance, please contact the Erasmus office. The liability insurance is not equivalent to travel insurance, which is recommended to be taken out in all cases. Find out whether your travel insurance covers your personal property also abroad.

The Erasmus student exchange scheme also requires health insurance as a mandatory insurance policy (at least a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) granted by Kela, see Health and vaccinations). It is advisable to take out a personal travel insurance policy for the duration of the work placement as the coverage of the EHIC is insufficient in some cases. A supplementary health insurance policy may thus be necessary.


The University of Tampere has an agreement with the If insurance company on accident insurance with regard to work placements included in students’ degrees. This insurance policy covers any injuries of a trainee during work or commute over the course of the work placement period. If you get in an accident during your Erasmus work placement, please contact the Erasmus coordinator immediately (erasmus(at)uta.fi).

Taxation (for trainees)

Study the Finnish Tax Administration’s instructions on taxation on the Tax Administration’s website.

As a general rule, the salary of a person in the service of a foreign employer is taxed in the country of employment. However, a tax declaration on the salary must also be provided to Finland. If the income is taxed in Finland, the double taxation is removed. If, on the other hand, you work abroad for a Finnish employer and your stay abroad lasts no more than six months, your pay will be taxed as normal in Finland and the country of employment has no taxation right. In the case of a local work placement, you must find out the taxation arrangements of your country of destination.

As regards Nordic countries, information is available through the service maintained by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Information on taxation in EU countries is provided on the Eures service.