Planning for applying to become an exchange student
To ensure that the application for becoming an exchange student and the subsequent studies abroad run as smoothly as possible and that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome, the application process must be carefully considered and planned. Here are some recommendations.
- Think about your aim – do you wish to gain experience via studies/traineeship abroad or do you prefer to go on an adventure and discover the world on your own? If the first option applies, read more!
- Keep in mind that student exchange remains part of your studies here, i.e. part of the completion of your curriculum.
- Examine the opportunities for student exchange provided to UT students. You will find a brief overview in this information booklet.
- Take a closer look at the student exchange programme of interest under the items in the left menu of this webpage: Erasmus programme, partner universities and cooperation networks, ISEP, other programmes and scholarships, traineeship abroad.
- If you have any questions, address the programme coordinator at the UT International Student Service or in the corresponding organisation (if the competition is not organised in the UT).
- In the event of the UT competitions, check with the scholarship calendar of the forthcoming academic year when the competition of interest is held according to the plans or check with the calendar of last year when the competition has previously been held. Keep in mind that preparations for going abroad may take a year or one and a half years.
- Keep an eye on the offers on the Competitions Currently Open webpage and join the stipends mailing list.
- Familiarise yourself through the section for exchange students on the website of the foreign university of interest with what they teach and at which level and in which language they provide instruction, what the academic calendar looks like, what the possibilities are for accommodation, etc. If necessary, you can contact the foreign university. You can also see the recommendations and experience of students who have studied abroad.
- Keep in mind that when participating in the traineeship programme, you most probably have to find the traineeship place that is compatible with your specialisation on your own.
- Make clear the regulations for study abroad and if necessary, address a student adviser of the Office of Academic Affairs or the Academic Affairs Specialist of your specialisation.
- Discuss with your supervisor, programme director or supervisor of your traineeship course, whether they support your plan and which semester / academic year is the most appropriate for doing the traineeship.
- Think about the expenses and revenue related to living abroad – can you manage? Information or a competition notice concerning each programme / foreign university specifies whether any scholarship, free accommodation or other benefits are added to the free tuition when studying abroad. When looking for a traineeship place, make clear whether any remuneration is paid by the practise base. Examine the scholarships offered by the University of Tartu Foundation, too.
- Check the competition notice for the terms and conditions of application and for which documents must be submitted in which manner, to whom and when.
- Follow the general recommendations related to application documents.
- Make plans for proving your language skills – do you have an acceptable language certificate or do you have to register for a test? The competition notice specifies which certificates are acceptable (an international test, a test taken in the UT Language Centre, certificate proving the completion of a language course, assessment of a language instructor).
- Several competitions require a letter of recommendation from a teaching staff member of your specialisation. Think about it early who you should turn to and give the teaching staff member sufficient information and time.
- Submit your documents to the proper person on time and in the manner specified in the competition notice. All the documents must usually be original documents or certified copies and the letter of recommendation and letter of motivation must also be signed by the author.
- Keep in mind that the selection of UT is given notice of within two or three weeks, but the final decision is made by the foreign university and this may take several months, depending on the deadline of the university.
- The compliance with the requirements of the foreign university after being selected by the UT often presumes very fast and prompt actions.
We wish you a success in the application process!