Before going to study abroad, all students have to draw up a study plan and sign a learning agreement. It is important to keep in mind that if you go to study abroad, you must complete at least 15 ECTS of courses at the foreign university per semester and apply for credit transfer so that the courses are taken into account upon completing your curriculum. Please note that the minimum amount of necessary credit points to complete your studies can be higher, depending on the study exchange program. In addition, foreign universities have the right to set their own requirements on the amount of credits necessary to complete studies.There are a few steps you must do before and after you go to study abroad. Please read them through thoroughly and make sure you understand who is involved at each step of the process so that your study abroad experience goes as smoothly as possible.
Before going abroad for exchange or just as a visiting student, the subjects that you plan to study at your chosen foreign university must be assessed for their suitability for your study programme at the University of Tartu.
For this you must submit:
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Your study plan must also include descriptions of the subjects to be studied abroad. You can get information about the subjects taught at the foreign university from the host intstitution's website or its contact person (e.g. International Students Coordinator). The VÕTA (RPL - Recognition of Prior Learning) Committee of the respective academic unit at the University of Tartu will review the study plan and make a decision within 14 days after submission of the application, approving your application in full or in part or rejecting it. The VÕTA committe does not meet in July.
Please contact VÕTA advisors in Faculty for further information.
Before the start of study abroad period and based on the approved study plan, students need to prepare and trilaterally sign a learning agreement. Starting from 2021/22, students participating in the Erasmus+ mobility program for studies in European countries must prepare an online learning agreement by using OLA web platform.
NB! It is very important to know whose contact details to enter in OLA system as Responsible person at receiving institution, therefore please get in touch with the host university beforehand or review their information materials. In addition, please check if the host institution accepts online learning agreements or is it necessary to prepare a learning agreement on paper (then please see the link below on this website ‘Signing the learning agreement on paper’). The paper form of the learning agreement gives a good overview of the learning agreement as a whole, also to those who are using the online system.
The online learning agreement will not be printed on paper, it will stay in the system. After the online learning agreement (OLA) has been confirmed by the receiving university in the system, the respective UT academic unit will register the student for study abroad by the directive of the Vice Dean of the Academic Affairs.
You must sign a learning agreement on the basis of the confirmed study plan.
Learning agreement forms:
Formalisation of the learning agreement
If the student is using one of the learning agreement forms prepared by UT (see above), the learning agreement is signed as follows:
1. the student fills out all the information spaces in the learning agreement and signs it;
2. the student submits the agreement for signature.
2.1. If the student is taking up studies via cooperation agreements or programs between universities, the learning agreement is signed by contact persons in UT academic units;
2.2. If the studies abroad are not based on cooperation agreements, the learning agreement is signed by:
- Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences; Faculty of Science and Technology: Head of the Institute/College;
- Faculty of Medicine: Dean of the Faculty.
3. the student sends the bilaterally signed learning agreement to the foreign/host university for signature;
4. before the study abroad period starts, the student submits the learning agreement (which has been returned and signed by the foreign university) to the respective UT academic unit (please consult the UT signatory of the learning agreement beforehand where exactly to submit the agreement, i.e. whether to the Deans’ Office or Institute);
5. on the basis of the trilaterally signed learning agreement, the Academic Affairs Specialist/Coordinator of the respective academic unit registers the student for study abroad by the directive of the Vice Dean of the Academic Affairs;
6. the learning agreement is kept in the academic unit along with the study plan (see item 4 above).
The learning agreement submitted to the UT academic unit does not have to be a document on paper with original signatures, it can also be a print-out copy of a signed document scanned and sent by e-mail. The learning agreement cannot be digitally signed as it cannot be assumed that all three signatory parties to the agreement (incl. foreign university) would have the ability to use digital signatures. If the signed learning agreement is submitted to the UT academic unit after the start of the study abroad period, it is considered as an exception that has to be justified and also agreed beforehand with the program coordinator as well as the representative of the academic unit. Foreign universities often offer students their own learning agreement forms but generally these universities also accept UT learning agreement. It is not necessary to sign two different learning agreement forms for two universities.
In addition to study and traineeship plan, students need to prepare and trilaterally sign a learning agreement for traineeship purposes if they wish to have their traineeship abroad. More information Traineeship Abroad.
If necessary, you can make changes to the learning agreement at the beginning of your studies abroad when the subjects to be studied and the timetable have become clear. Make sure you are following the conditions and deadlines specific to the mobility program you are participating in.
If the student would like to study more subjects than planned in the initial learning agreement:
Learning agreement annex forms:
Formalisation of the changes in the learning agreement:
The changes to the original proposed learning agreement and the additional study plan are kept in the respective academic unit.
If the student wishes to cancel participation in a subject specified in the original learning agreement:
NB! The learning agreement along with annexes must match the transcript of records of the studies completed abroad, i.e. the planned and the actual list of subjects must match.
As of 1 January 2016, all grades received at the foreign university will be transferred to UT as non-differentiated (pass/fail).
Students participating in the Erasmus+ programme also have to submit the copy of Transcript of Records to UT Study Abroad Centre. More information: Erasmus student exchange.
It is important that a doctoral student who goes to study abroad for at least 12 days is registered as a student studying abroad. To that end, the doctoral student must draw up a study plan and the corresponding annex, specifying the courses to be taken abroad and their position in the UT curriculum. If the aim of the studies abroad is to do research, a research plan must be drawn up and annexed to the study plan. In that case no annex regarding courses is required. At the dean’s office, the doctoral student is registered as a student studying abroad on the basis of the dean’s directive.
Note: If the doctoral student goes to study at a foreign university within a scholarship programme that requires a learning agreement or if the foreign university asks for a learning agreement, the general rules regarding the study plan and learning agreement must be followed.