International student exchange (and traineeships)

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). This information is meant for the students of the department interested in student exchange possibilities abroad.

Table of contents

  1. Current
  2. General principles
  3. Information about exchange programmes (links)
  4. Information meetings
  5. CS Department exchange contracts (the Erasmus programme)
  6. Studying in the Nordic countries (NORDPLUS, NORDLYS)
  7. Grant for student mobility (Freemover grant)
  8. Traineeships abroad
  9. Grants
  10. Statistics, experiences (exchange students, trainees)
  • International liaison at the Department of Computer Science: Reijo Sivén (you can send him questions and ideas about international exchange)
    (office B227; email: firstname.lastname(at)
  • This web page is one source of information spcefic to department of computer science.
  • Important sources of information are pages in Flamma.
We welcome feedback on the information on these pages. You can send email to Heikki.Lokki(at)cs.Helsinki.FI. We especially appreciate information on exchange opportunities suitable for computer science students that are not listed here.

1. Current
  •  Information about exchange 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 university manages most of them (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; see Flamma).
Various conditions and limitations apply to the exchange programmes. Example: you need to have studied for at least one year. You can get Erasmus+ stipends for 12 months for each of the degrees: 12 months during Bachelor studies, 12 months during Masters studies and 12 months during Doctoral studies.
You can find a great deal of general information about studying and training abroad, and about various exchange programmes, on the site of CIMO, the Centre for International Mobility.
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 Flamma!

Department events

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 30 European universities:

see Mobility OnLine.

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 are made with an electronic application system. No paper application is needed.
A link to the e-system.
Please remember to select the academic year in the search portal.
Attachments (to be attached to the e-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. More details: the Nordlys-exchange programme ( Nordplus).


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 (Flamma).
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


See Exchange programmes and destinations (Flamma).

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.


9. Grants


There is information about grants on the following pages:


10. Statistics, experiences

Exepriences gathered by the university (Flamma) – including some stories by computer science students


26.08.2016 - 16:57 Reijo Sivén
28.09.2010 - 11:47 Marina Kurtén