This page is mainly intended for undergraduates. Some of the exchange programmes are suitable for postgraduates – ask about them! Some of the information can be useful if you are planning studies abroad on your own (outside the exchange programmes).
Table of contents
Information about exchange programmes (links)
CS Department exchange contracts (the Erasmus programme)
Studying in the Nordic countries (NORDPLUS, NORDLYS)
Grant for student mobility (Freemover grant)
Statistics, experiences (exchange students, trainees)
International liaison at the Department of Computer Science: Antti-Pekka Tuovinen (you can send her questions and ideas about international exchange)
(office C229; email: Antti-Pekka.Tuovinen(at)cs.helsinki.fi, phone 191 51318)
Bulletin board: 2nd-floor hallway, large bulletin board
This web page is the primary source of information; in addition current info will be posted on the bulletin board.
This page contains varying information about other places than the department's own exchange locations. Another source is the information in Alma for the whole university. Opiskelu ulkomailla (mainly in Finnish).
We welcome feedback on the information on these pages. You can send email to Antti-Pekka.Tuovinen(at)cs.Helsinki.FI
. We especially appreciate information on exchange opportunities suitable for computer science students that are not listed here.
No open application for Erasmus exchange. Information about other possibilities in Flamma.
2. General principles
The basic starting point for student exchange or traineeships is the initiative of the students themselves. There are many exchange programmes and funding sources; the department manages some of them, the university others (see e.g. under Information on exchange programmes). You can also arrange your own studies abroad. The application deadlines are usually final; you need to get the information on time in order to deliver the application documents before the deadline!
The periods of time offered for exchange vary from a few months to one academic year. The semesters vary according to country and sometimes even according to university; in Europe they are usually between September-October and December-February (winter term), and February-March and May-July (summer term). The applications periods vary accordingly for each university. Below, we will discuss exchange programmes in the framework of the academic year at the University of Helsinki (1 August-31 July), though the target country may have different periods. Please pay attention!
We try to fully incorporate credits earned abroad
into the degree at the University of Helsinki. You can ensure this beforehand with a detailed study plan. In practice, the credits will be approved and registered here after you return to Finland in accordance with the normal procedure for credit transferral
. It is best to make sure that you bring all the necessary documents from the target university so that we can process the credits appropriately here. If you only have the name and number of credits of a course, for example, that is not generally enough to ensure that it can replace one of our courses.
In some universities abroad, the exchange programme limits the number of courses you can take, and/or their standard. Find out before you go whether the university really has any courses that interest you and whether the exchange programme allows you to take those courses.
When studying abroad, the principle "use the native language" applies; there may be few or no courses taught in English at many universities.
The main exchange programmes are the Erasmus programme for EU countries and Nordplus/Nordlys to the Nordic countries.Some of the exchange programmes are contracted between departments and some for the whole university.
Exchange programmes often include a stipend or travel grant
, with amounts varying according to programme. The Erasmus grant varies between 1000-2400 Euros, depending on the duration (3-12 months; information on academic year (Alma, in Finnish)
Various conditions and limitations apply to the exchange programmes. Example: you need to have studied for at least one year, and you may not be able to get an Erasmus stipend more than once during your studies (exceptions described separately).
There are two stages in applying for the Erasmus programme: first you apply for a place from your own department, and when the department has approved you, you can apply to the target university.The latter application is formally just as important as the previous one, but the department tries to select the applicants so that the approved applications will also be approved at the target university. Selection criteria are successful studies (number of credits, level of performance), the stage of the degree, the study plan, and language skills. For the whole university's exchange programmes, the decision is made by the International students' services on the same criteria.
The official statement on the study plan is given by the international liaison at the department. When applying to the Erasmus programme, the study plan is an integral part of the application. For the statement, you should present a copy of the application you are sending to the target university as well as your study plan. At a minimum, your study plan should include a list of scheduled courses; in addition, you can include course descriptions (often available online), and a suggestion of which courses at UH they could replace.
3. Information about exchange programs
Other links (not guaranteed)
4. Information events
The UH international services organises info meetings on student exchange in general. Keep an eye on information in Alma!
At the department's own events, the main focus is on Erasmus contracts. They will be announced on this page and the department's bulletin board!
5. Exchange contracts at the Department of Computer Science
The Department of Computer Science has an Erasmus contract with the computer science departments of some 15 European universities:
The Erasmus programme is a part of the EU's ILLP (Integrated Lifelong Learning Programme) and contains student and teacher exchange contracts between certain universities. (Socrates/Erasmus is no longer part of the current terminology, since the Socrates programme has ended.)
Erasmus applications for academic year 2012-2013 are made with an electronic application system. In addition, the application must be signed and be sent/delivered by hand along with attachments on paper to the Erasmus liaison (Antti-Pekka Tuovinen, Department of Computer Science, PO Box 68, 00014 University of Helsinki).
Please remember to select the academic year in the search portal.
The application time for Erasmus exchange nominations for the academic year 2013-2014 starts on 1.2
and ends on 25.2.2013
. The instructions for applying are here
Attachments (to be attached both to the e-application and the paper application):
a transcript of credits (an unofficial one is enough at this stage),
a study plan for courses you are going to take abroad and how they can be included in your UH degree (a separate plan for every target university), and
A motivational letter in English (why do you want to go for exchange).
A language certificate if you have one
Selection criteria are study progress (credit amount and level), language skills, study plan; more about the criteria on the site of the international student services.
6. Studying in the Nordic countries
The department is not in the Nordplus network nor does it have other contracted exchanges to the Scandinavian countries.
On principle, you can apply to any Scandinavian university through the so-called Nordlys network; usually, the application deadline is in January – you may get a placement later only if there are any left. More details: the Nordlys-exchange programme
7. Grant for student mobility (Freemover grant)
The international services at UH can grant undergraduates who have found their own way to study abroad a travel stipend. Instruction on the page Free mover grants for studying abroad
(Alma, in Finnish).
For free movers in the Nordic countries who are not in the Nordplus programme, there is the so-called Nordlys grant system; see item 6.
8. Traineeships abroad
Programmes: IAESTE, AIESEC etc., please see Traineeships and working abroad (Alma).
(Traineeships are not arranged through university organisations, so the department does not receive information about trainees unless students give that information themselves. It would be nice if trainees let us know whether they are training somewhere in the first place (place, time, organisation), and also tell us about their experiences. You can send this information by email to liaison for international affairs.
There is information about grants on the following pages:
10. Statistics, experiences