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Preparing for your exchange and the exchange process

It is a good idea to start planning your student or trainee exchange well in advance. To help you plan, here are step-by-step guidelines to help you get started smoothly and easily. HAMK International’s international affairs planners can help and guide you when you want to go abroad to study or do a traineeship, or when you are wondering which options might be right for you.

  • studying at a partner university abroad
  • the recommended timing is when at least the first year of studies have been completed
  • duration of 2-12 months, but a semester or academic year is recommended
  • produce 5 credits/month, the studies are accepted as part of the HAMK degree

Who can study abroad?

All degree students who have completed at least the first year of their studies and who have made progress in their studies in accordance with their personal study plan can go abroad. The appropriate time to change varies from programme to programme.

Selection criteria

As a general rule, all students will be able to go to the exchange destination of their choice. If there are more applicants than places available, the selection will be based on the following selection criteria:

  • First-timer status: a student applying for an exchange for the first time has priority over a student who has already been on an exchange before.
  • Stage of studies: first priority is given to the student who has the last chance to go on an exchange period before graduation.
  • Study progress: the exchange student’s studies must have progressed in accordance with the study plan.

If there are more applicants than places, the first choice will be made according to the selection criteria mentioned above. If there are still more applicants than places, a lottery will be held to select the remaining applicants.

Note: You can only go on exchange to South Korea and the USA for one semester.

Where can I go?

You can study at more than 100 different partner universities abroad from HAMK. You can choose from both within and outside Europe. For more information, see the “before the exchange” section.

What can I study abroad and how will it affect my studies at HAMK?

You should check the courses offered by your host university well in advance with your international affairs planner. You can choose from a wide range of courses to suit your degree. Discuss the suitability of courses with your guidance counsellor. Before starting the exchange, a Learning Agreement is drawn up with your guidance counsellor, in which the student, the sending institution and the host institution agree on the content of the exchange period. Carefully planned studies abroad will not delay your studies at HAMK as they will be accepted as part of your HAMK degree.

How do I start preparing to study abroad?

It’s a good idea to start preparing for the exchange as early as possible. Please carefully read the “before the exchange” section and explore interesting options by visiting our partner universities, and also contact the HAMK International international affairs planner in good time.

Before the exchange

You can find the necessary forms and instructions for SoleMOVE and SoleGRANT in the “forms and instructions” section!

STEP 1 (HAMK’s search in the SoleMOVE system)

  1. Think about which country you would like to study in and assess your language skills. Check out our partner universities and feedback on SoleMOVE. Get in touch with your personal adviser about the timing and the exchange studies. See the “Forms and instructions” section for more detailed SoleMOVE instructions.
  2. Once you’ve decided which university you want to apply to and for how long, fill in your exchange application in SoleMOVE.
  3. Enter the provisional start and end dates of your studies in your SoleMOVE application. The official dates will be mentioned in the Acceptance Letter from the host institution.
  4. You will be informed of the acceptance or rejection of your application via SoleMOVE after the application deadline.
  5. Confirm your exchange in the system once you have received an approved decision.
  6. Once you know the courses offered by the university you want to study at, make a Learning Agreement for Studies electronically in SoleMOVE. Check with your study advisor that the courses are suitable and approved by HAMK. First sign the Learning Agreement yourself, then send the Learning Agreement to your advisor for approval. After approval by the supervisor, the Learning Agreement is automatically sent from SoleMOVE to the host institution for approval. There may be some discrepancies depending on the partner university.
  7. Remember to register as a present student for the semester at HAMK even if you are going on exchange!

STEP 2 (Separate application to the target university)

  1. Make a separate application to the host university. Please check the application timetable and submit your application together with your international coordinator.
  2. The host institution will make the final decision on whether to accept you as an exchange student. Submit your scholarship application in SoleGRANT when you receive your acceptance letter from the host institution. For instructions on how to apply for a scholarship, see the “Forms and instructions” section. Please also remember to update the dates of your acceptance letter in SoleMOVE.
  3. If you are going to Europe through Erasmus+, you can take part in a voluntary online language assessment. For more information on language assessment, see the “Forms and instructions” section.
  4. Learn about the culture of the host country, including the start date of the semester, finding accommodation, the price level and other practical arrangements.
  5. Book your flights and find out if you need a visa or residence permit.
  6. Make sure you have enough insurance cover. Do not go on an exchange without your own travel insurance! For more information on insurance, see the “Preparing for your exchange” page.
  7. Submit a change of circumstances to Kela and report your temporary stay abroad. For more information, see the Kela website: https://www.kela.fi/financial-aid-for-students-report-changes and https://www.kela.fi/financial-aid-for-students-if-you-study-abroad.
  8. Check that your passport is valid and that you have the necessary vaccinations.
  9. Print out the Letter of Confirmation and take it with you to your exchange destination. This certificate is completed at the partner institution and returned after the exchange. It is your exchange certificate.
  10. Make a travel notification through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ online service.
  11. Remember to travel with an open mind – have a good study period abroad!

During the exchange

  1. If there are any changes to your original Learning Agreement, please inform your adviser without delay. Upload the updated learning plan to SoleMOVE. Check that it is signed by the target university, HAMK and yourself.
  2. Always contact your programme coordinator in case of any problems. Also, remember to notify us immediately if your mobility period is extended or shortened, as this may affect your grant.
  3. Ask for and check your Transcript of Records as your mobility period draws to a close. If you do not receive the Transcript of Records, ask when and where it will be sent.
  4. Ask to sign the Letter of Confirmation in the last week of your exchange. This will indicate the exact duration of the exchange period.

Keep in mind that during the exchange, studies must progress at the required pace (5 credits per month).

After the exchange

  1. Fill in the After Exchange tab of SoleMOVE. Within two months of the end of the exchange, upload the following documents to SoleMOVE: an updated and signed Learning Agreement, Letter of Confirmation and Transcript of Records (=certificate from the host institution). Please note that the exact dates of the exchange must be indicated in either the Letter of Confirmation or the Transcript of Records. The amount of the grant will be checked after the exchange on the basis of these dates.
  2. Fill in the SoleMOVE Feedback tab. Please answer the questions carefully, it will be especially useful for new exchangers!
  3. Make an application for accreditation of your studies in Pakki. It should be accompanied by a Letter of Confirmation (copy) and a Transcript of Records (copy). The application for admission to study is made together with your advisor.
  4. If you were on a mobility period through Erasmus+, answer the EU-survey exchange questionnaire sent by the Mobility Tool (a link will be sent to your email). The EU survey follow-up questionnaire will be sent to students whose admission process was pending when they answered the EU survey questionnaire. The EU survey follow-up questionnaire will be sent automatically one month after the end of the period abroad. Answering the EU survey follow-up questionnaire is not a condition for payment of the balance of the Erasmus+ grant.

NOTE: The student has 2 months after the end date of the exchange to put things in order, otherwise the balance will not be paid (possibility of recovery).

Interruption or shortening of the exchange

If you have to interrupt your exchange or your exchange time is shorter than originally planned, do the following:

  • report the interruption to your own training coordinator
  • be prepared to pay back any excess grant paid to you
  • also inform KELA of the matter
  • remember to take care of the post-exchange documentation in SoleMOVE

  • all or part of your work placement
  • full-time work placement
  • duration 2-12 months
  • a work placement abroad provides 6 credits/month and counts as part of the degree at HAMK
  • you can go during the first year
  • you can also start a work placement immediately after graduation if you start the application process during your studies
  • if the student applies for an internship grant from HAMK, he or she will not receive any other financial support from HAMK or the Finnish National Board of Education.
  • the student can be paid for the work placement and still be entitled to a traineeship grant
  • for nursing education, the work placements are generally organised through the university. In this case, the application timetable for student exchanges is followed.

Who can go on a Work placement abroad?

All degree students and recent graduates who have started the application process during their studies.

Work placements for recent graduates

You can also start a work placement after your studies within 18 months of graduation. The application process must have started while you were still a student at HAMK. Unlike student exchanges, recent graduates’ placements can only take place in Europe and only in Erasmus+ destinations. The grant funding for recent graduates’ placements is the same as for Erasmus+ placements during their studies.

Where can I go?

Companies, universities and private and public organisations are all suitable for traineeships. There are plenty of options, as students usually choose their placements independently. There are options all over the world.

You can find placements available, for example, on these pages:

EDUFI traineeship for higher education students and recent graduates
Erasmus-intern
Work and Travel (in Finnish)

However, there are a number of organisations that are not eligible for Erasmus+ placements:

  • European Union organisations, listed here
  • Organisations managing EU programmes (e.g. National Agencies)

However, diplomatic missions abroad (embassies, consulates) in the student’s home or home country are allowed as Erasmus+ work placements. The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has announced that it is now accepting university trainees in embassies or consulates also through Erasmus+.

Other organisations abroad representing the student’s home or home country (e.g. cultural and scientific institutes, regional representations, schools, export centres) are acceptable placements. The student’s country of origin or provenance is the country of the sending higher education institution and/or the student’s country of origin/citizenship.

Digital skills for an Erasmus work placement

Erasmus+ aims to increase the number of traineeships that develop students’ digital skills. Digital skills could include any of the following: digital marketing (e.g. social social media management, web analytics); digital graphic, mechanical or architectural design; development of apps, software, scripts, or websites; installation, maintenance and management of IT systems and networks; cyber-security; data analytics, mining and visualisation; programming and training of robots and artificial intelligence applications. Note: Generic customer support, order fulfilment, data entry office tasks are not considered in this category.
There is a section in the Learning Agreement where the employer assesses whether the internship counts in this category. The European Commission only collects statistical data on this information.

How do I start preparing for my work placement?

It’s a good idea to start preparing well in advance. Look carefully at the “before the change” section and explore the different possibilities. You should also contact your programme’s placement coordinator and your work placement supervisor well in advance. Together, you’re sure to find the right placement for you!

Before the change

You can find the necessary forms and instructions for SoleMOVE and SoleGRANT under the “Forms and instructions” tab!

  1. Think about which country you would like to train in and assess your language skills. Contact the traineeship coordinator for your programme and also discuss the placement with the international affairs planner. Often students will find a suitable placement themselves.
  2. Find out more about the experiences of students who have been on traineeship exchanges in our travel reports. You can find travel reports on SoleMOVE.
  3. Once you have decided where you want to apply and for how long, sign a Learning Agreement for Traineeship. Get it signed by your supervisor and employer and sign the form yourself. The Learning Agreement for Traineeships must be completed and signed before the traineeship starts.
  4. Fill in the exchange application in SoleMOVE. Upload the Learning Agreement for Traineeship as an attachment to your application.
  5. You will be informed via SoleMOVE whether your application has been accepted or rejected.
  6. Confirm your exchange in the system once you have received an approved decision.
  7. Submit a grant application to SoleGRANT.
  8. Remember to register as a present student for the semester at HAMK even if you are going on exchange!
  9. If you are going to Europe through Erasmus+, you can take part in a voluntary online language assessment. For more information on language assessment, see the “Forms and instructions” section.
  10. Learn about the culture, price level, etc. of the destination country.
  11. Book your flights and find out if you need a visa or residence permit.
  12. Make sure you have enough insurance cover. Check with your employer whether you are covered by liability insurance and what it covers. Do not go on an exchange without liability insurance or without your own travel insurance! Find out more about insurance on the Preparing for your exchange page.
  13. Submit a change of circumstances to Kela and report your temporary stay abroad. For more information, see the Kela website: https://www.kela.fi/financial-aid-for-students-report-changes ja https://www.kela.fi/financial-aid-for-students-if-you-study-abroad.
  14. Check your passport is valid and that you have the necessary vaccinations.
  15. Print out the Traineeship Certificate and take it with you to your traineeship placement. This certificate is completed by the employer. It is a certificate for your traineeship, showing the start and end dates of your work.
  16. Make a travel notification through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ online service.
  17. Be sure to leave with an open mind – have a great work placement abroad!

During the exchange

  1. If there are any changes to your original training plans, please inform your placement planner without delay.
  2. Always contact your own training coordinator in case of any problems. Also, remember to notify us immediately if your traineeship is extended or shortened, as this may affect your grant.
  3. Remember to ask your employer to complete the Traineeship Certificate when your traineeship period is coming to an end.

After the exchange

  1. Fill in the After Exchange tab of SoleMOVE. Within two months of the end of your traineeship, upload your Traineeship Certificate to SoleMOVE. Please note that the exact dates of the exchange must be specified in the Traineeship Certificate document. The amount of the grant will be revised after the exchange on the basis of these dates.
  2. Fill in the SoleMOVE Feedback tab. Please answer the questions carefully, it will be especially useful for new exchangers!
  3. Check with your work placement supervisor to see if you need to submit a separate work placement report to get credit for your work placement. Please also submit a copy of your Traineeship Certificate to your traineeship coordinator!
  4. For recognition of work placement abroad, please apply for credit transfer at Pakki. You can find application instructions here. As attachment is Traineeship Certificate / Transcript of Work. The recognition of studies is done together with the guidance counsellor or work placement supervisor of your degree programme.
  5. If you were on an Erasmus+ exchange, answer the EU Survey that will be sent to through the Mobility Tool+ system. This has done be completed in addition to your feedback in SoleMOVE. A complementary EU survey will be sent to students whose recognition process was not completed at the time of the original EU survey. This second survey is voluntary and does not have an effect on the final instalment of your grant.

NB: Students have 2 months’ time to take care of all the after exchange items, otherwise you will not receive the final instalment of the grant (or may have to repay the grant in full).

Interruption or shortening of training

If you have to interrupt your training or your training time is shorter than originally planned, do the following:

  • report the interruption to your own training coordinator
  • be prepared to pay back any excess grant paid to you
  • also notify KELA
  • remember to take care of the post-exchange documentation in SoleMOVE

Do you want to expand your knowledge in your field and develop your international skills at the same time? There are good opportunities to do so by completing a double degree.

A double degree is a form of cooperation between HAMK and a foreign partner university, in which the student completes a predetermined part of his/her studies at both universities and receives a degree certificate from both universities. It is similar to a study exchange, but the courses to be taken are more specific than for exchange studies and the exchange period is always at least one year. One year is 60 credits and the course must be accepted by both schools.

The basic prerequisite for starting a double degree at HAMK is that the student has completed two years of studies, has successfully completed the studies and has sufficient oral and written language skills. For more information, please contact the international affairs planner of your school.

Double degree partners

Partner​Country​HAMK Degree Programme
FHV – Vorarlberg University of Applied SciencesAustriaInternational Business, Management in Sustainable Business
Thomas More Kempen University of Applied SciencesBelgiumBusiness Information Technology
University of West BohemiaCzech RepublicBusiness Administration
Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Ludwigshafen (HWG)GermanyInternational Business
Technische Hochschule Deggendorf​Germany​International Business
Hochscule WormsGermanyInternational Business
Hochschule Niederrhein, Niederrhein University of Applied SciencesGermanyInternational Business
Hochschule OffenburgGermanyBusiness Information Technology
​​Bern University of Applied Sciences​Switzerland​Business Administration;
Business Information Technology;
International Business

There are three types of short-term exchanges:

  1. SAP studies offered by RUN European University
  2. Erasmus+ short-term blended mobility
  3. Master’s or teacher education exchange studies

SAP studies offered by RUN European University

  • SAP= Short Advanced Programmes always include a short exchange period and on-line teaching.
  • Students apply for SAP studies via the courses offered by RUN European University (https://run-eu.eu/).
  • After you have received the acceptance information from the host institution, send an email to international@hamk.fi and inform us which SAP you have been accepted to. After that, you will receive instructions on how to complete the SoleMOVE application and how to apply for a grant via SoleGRANT. Remember to inform your guidance counsellor, they you are participating in a SAP.

Erasmus+ short-term blended mobilities

Include a short-term exchange period and also a compulsory virtual component.

  • Open to all students.
  • The short exchange period is between 5 and 30 days.
  • The duration of the virtual session is not explicitly defined.
  • The minimum duration of the whole course is 3 credits (= short exchange + virtual course).
  • Studies/internships abroad are applicable to the degree and the period abroad is fully recognised as part of the degree.
  • Short exchanges can take the form of summer schools or intensive courses at universities abroad, for example, with a virtual component.

Master’s or teacher education exchange studies

  • The duration is 1 month or less, which requires presence on site.
  • The minimum duration is 2 credits.
  • The credits earned during the exchange will be included in your degree or teacher training.

If you want to go on a short exchange, contact the international affairs planner in your programme.

Student exchange timetables

Spring timetable

  • Application closes 15.3.2024
  • Applications will be processed by SoleMove by 30.3.2024

Autumn timetable

  • Application closes 15.9.2024
  • Applications will be processed by SoleMove by 30.9.2024

Remember to also check your exchange destination’s own application timetable.

Application deadlines for work placement exchanges

There is a continuous application process for work placement exchanges, but it is important to note the following deadlines:

  • The deadline for processing applications is two weeks and the grant will not be paid retroactively.
    See here for detailed eligibility criteria.
  • Contact the international affairs planner at your programme as soon as you get your work placement, but at least one month before the start of your placement.
  • The placement must always be approved in advance by the degree programme and this requires you to complete an application in SoleMOVE and add all the necessary documents.
  • Submit the SoleMOVE application as early as possible, but at latest two weeks before the beginning of the placement.
  • If you are planning work placement abroad during summer please contact your International Officer by the end of May.
  • For nursing education, the placements are generally organised through the university. In this case, the application timetable for student exchanges is followed.

Documents and instructions

Before the exchange

Learning agreement for studies abroad (opintosuunnitelma)
Erasmus+ Student Charter – Erasmus+-opiskelijan peruskirja
Additional support for student with children

During the exchange

Documents (if necessary)
Changes to Learning agreement (page 3 of above Learning Agreement)

After the exchange

Letter of Confirmation

SoleMOVE – when you return
Credit transfer application

SoleMOVE

Logging in and filling in application
Filling in a digital learning agreement on SoleMOVE
Replying to an additional information request
When you return

Short-term (less than 2 months) studies and work placement

SoleMOVE instructions

SoleGRANT instructions
Applying for a grant

Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support OLS language training online

The purpose of the OLS language training is to assess the need for language training and to measure the development of language skills during the period abroad. Participation is voluntary. If you would like to participate, please contact international@hamk.fi.

Practicalities before you go

Once the exchange location is confirmed, you can then make the practical arrangements, such as booking airline tickets, obtaining a visa/residency permit, finding accommodation, etc.

It is also worth finding out whether the host university or organisation can help you with finding accommodation and other practical matters.

About HAMK’s accident insurance

HAMK’s accident insurance is valid for student exchanges and unpaid internships and only covers the daily internship/study period and the journey between the internship/school and the local residence. The HAMK accident insurance does not cover accidents during free time, travel sickness, luggage or damage to persons or property caused to others. It is therefore the responsibility of each exchange student to ensure that he/she has adequate insurance cover, in accordance with the following guidelines. You must not go on an exchange without adequate insurance cover.

ALL THOSE GOING ON A STUDENT OR TRAINEE EXCHANGE MUST PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES:

  1. Travel insurance
    You must have your own travel insurance for the duration of your exchange, check with your insurance company. Travel insurance does not usually cover normal medical expenses, so you will need separate sickness and accident insurance or a European Health Insurance Card.
  1. a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are going to an EU/EEA country or Switzerland.
    For more information, see European Health Insurance Card
    Each country provides care according to its own system. You will have to pay the same patient fees and co-payments as permanent residents. If you go to a hospital or doctor who is not covered by the scheme in that country, you will have to pay the costs yourself.
    OR
    health insurance/sickness and accident insurance if you go outside the EU/EEA countries.
    Sometimes the host country or institution will recommend a particular type of insurance, but usually it is sufficient to have a comprehensive policy.
    A few non-EEA countries have signed a social security agreement with Finland, for more information, please visit the Kela website: Social security agreements
    If the host institution or employer asks for a HAMK certificate of insurance (an English-language explanation of what the HAMK’s insurance covers for its students), you can get it from the HAMK office ( international@hamk.fi )

IN ADDITION, ALL THOSE GOING ON A PLACEMENT WITH A PAID WORK PLACEMENT MUST FIND OUT:

  1. Does the employer’s insurance include liability insurance?
    If your employer does not include you in their liability insurance, the work placement will most likely not be possible, as it is almost impossible for an individual to obtain liability insurance for the duration of their work.
  2. Insurance during working hours
    In paid work placements, you are usually insured by your employer for the time you work, but different countries have different practices, so check this carefully. Note! HAMK’s accident insurance is not valid for paid work placements. Therefore, if your employer does not insure you during your working hours, you will have to take out accident and sickness insurance yourself, both during working hours and during your free time.

NOTE: Internships for recent graduates
HAMK’s insurance does not cover the internship period of recent graduates.

Insurance abroad – who is responsible?

Exchange and double degree (3-12 months)Work placement (unpaid)Work placement (paid)
Accident insurance (covers study/training time and travel between school/work and home)HAMKHAMKEMPLOYER
Liability insuranceHAMK (not USA and Canada)HAMK (not USA and Canada)EMPLOYER
Travel insurance, free timeSTUDENTSTUDENTSTUDENT
Health insurance (European Health Insurance Card or non-EU health insurance/sickness and accident insurance)STUDENTSTUDENTSTUDENT

Insurance glossary

Travel insurance = Travel insurance protects and compensates you if something happens during your trip. Check the conditions with your insurance company.

Liability insurance = Liability insurance is insurance that covers damage you cause to third parties for which you are legally responsible.

Before you go abroad, it’s good to remember:

  1. Check the vaccinations required by the destination country and get them well in advance. In some countries, vaccinations are compulsory for visas, but it is always a good idea to get the recommended vaccinations.
  2. Check out the EU health care website EUtervey.fi for information on getting sick when travelling abroad.
  3. Visit your doctor, especially if you take regular medication.

Also check out:
1. Health guide for travellers (only in Finnish)

To Europe

If you are an EU national going to another EU country:
You do not need to obtain a residence permit or visa in advance from Finland when you go on an exchange. If your stay abroad lasts longer than 3 months, in some countries you will need to register your residence permit. This is usually done with the local police or other authority.
Check with your host university or traineeship centre to see which documents are required in your host country. You will usually need a valid passport, proof of place of study, a guarantee of sufficient funds (e.g. study grant decision, scholarship decision), proof of health insurance (Kela E-form) and passport photos.

If you are a non-EU or EEA national going to an EU country:
If you are not an EU or EEA national, check the residence permit requirements. As a general rule, third-country nationals should always apply for a separate residence permit for the exchange period at the nearest consulate of the country of destination.

Outside Europe

If you are travelling outside the EU:
Check visa regulations. For more information on visas and residence permits, contact the Finnish embassy in the country of destination.
Visa and/or residence permit can be obtained from the Finnish embassy in the country of destination before your departure and can take from a few weeks to a few months.

https://um.fi/missions

If you are going to a high-risk area, you should make a travel notification at www.matkustusilmoitus.fi .

By making a declaration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can contact you if necessary, for example in the event of a crisis situation.

Information for planning your studies