Funding for the student exchange

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This article concerns all degree students regardless of whether they are studying in the new degree programmes or according to the old degree structures. 

Students who participate in a student exchange can receive a mobility grant as well as student financial aid for their stay abroad. If you participate in an exchange through a University of Helsinki exchange programme, you usually need not pay the target university’s tuition fee, but will probably have to pay your living expenses and the costs associated with study material, as well as for a visa and language tests, if any.

Mobility grant for a student exchange

International Exchange Services pays you a mobility grant if you participate in an exchange based on a University of Helsinki exchange agreement. Exceptions include exchange opportunities in the Nordplus programme as well as Switzerland, in which case the network or the host organisation pays for the grant.

The mobility grant is a one-off payment primarily intended to cover travel costs. You can receive only one mobility grant for each exchange.

The grant amounts are decided annually. Grant amounts for the academic year beginning in the following autumn are always made prior to February.

As the mobility grant is tax exempt, Kela does not take it into account in monitoring the recipient’s income from the perspective of student financial aid.

Eramus mobility grant

Erasmus student exchange in Europe in the 2018–2019 academic year

The mobility grant awarded to students in the Erasmus+ programme is determined for each day depending on the duration of the exchange as well as the destination. The European Union has defined country groups based on the cost of living.

Grants are paid for the time period during which students must be present at the host university. The duration of the exchange includes the orientation organised by the target university, course teaching and the first examinations that immediately follow the teaching. Language courses organised at the host university before the semester starts is not usually considered a part of the exchange period in those languages in which an OLS language course is offered. More information on OLS language course can be found here.

NB! The minimum duration of an Erasmus exchange is three months.* If the actual duration of the exchange is less than the minimum duration, the exchange is considered to be cancelled, and the whole grant amount must be recovered.
*With the exception of target universities where the official duration of the term is less than three months

In 2019-20 the Erasmus grant sums will be set nationally. More information on the daily grants will be published once EDUFI has confirmed the national grant sums.

In 2018-19 the Erasmus grant is as follows:

Destination Grant per day
Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom €12
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,Turkey €10

In 2019-20 the Erasmus grant is as follows:

Destination Grant per day
Denmark, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom €14
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,Turkey €12

The actual duration of the exchange is confirmed from the Letter of Confirmation once the exchange has ended. If the duration is shorter than planned, any excess grant amount will be reclaimed after the exchange has ended.

The receipt of an Erasmus grant requires the completion of five credits per month (i.e., 30 days). Shorter months do not affect the required number of credits, i.e., if the duration of the exchange is, 130 days (4 months and 10 days), the receipt of the grant requires the completion of 20 credits at the target university.

Erasmus grant for students with children

Students who are guardians of underage children receive additional financial support in the amount of €200 per 30 days. The support is paid even should the child/children stay in Finland. This additional support is not paid for Erasmus traineeships.

Swiss Mobility Grant

Switzerland will not participate in the Erasmus programme in the 2018–2019 and 2019-2020 academic year. Consequently, the Swiss government pays a mobility grant. The amount of the grant in the 2018–2019 and  2019-2020 academic year is CHF 380 (Swiss Francs) per month for Finnish students, and it is paid via the target university. However, students departing for Switzerland must accept the terms of the grant in the University of Helsinki’s Mobility Online system and agree to the terms for outgoing exchange students.

Nordplus and Nordlys mobility grant

Nordplus networks apply for funding and make grant decisions independently. The grant consists of a scholarship and a travel allowance. The networks can decide on the amount of the grant. The amounts listed below are the maximum amounts.

The Nordplus network pays for the student’s grant. Instructions for applying for a grant can be obtained from International Exchange Services. However, all Nordplus students must accept the University of Helsinki’s terms of exchange in Mobility Online prior to their exchange.

The aim is that outgoing Nordlys exchange students receive the maximum grant amount according to the table below. International Exchange Services pays the Nordlys grant.

Destination Scholarship (max.) Travel allowance (max.)
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Aland Islands €200 per month €330
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania €200 per month €330
Faroe Islands and Iceland €200 per month €660
Greenland €200 per month €1,300

Mobility grants for bilateral exchange opportunities (University and unit bilateral agreements) as well as ISEP exchange opportunities

Grant amounts in the 2017–2018 academic year

Bilateral exchange opportunities (University and unit bilateral agreements) to Russia, Ukraine and Serbia

Destination Grant amount: Term Grant amount: Academic year
Russia €1,000 €1,300
Ukraine €1,000 €1,300
Serbia €1,000 €1,300

Bilateral exchange opportunities (University and unit bilateral agreements) outside Europe

Destination Grant amount: Term Grant amount: Academic year
North and South America €2,000 €2,500
Oceania* €2,200 €2,700
Asia €2,000 €2,500
Africa €2,000 €2,500
Middle East* €2,000 €2,500

*If you are selected for an exchange to Israel, Jordan, Egypt or Palestine in the 2019–2020 academic year, your grant will be paid according to the Erasmus+ rules for global mobility. In that case, the grant totals €700 per exchange month + €530 of travel allowance

Destination Grant amount per month Travel allowance
Israel, Jordan, Egypt or Palestine €700 (academic year 18 - 19) €650 €530

ISEP student exchange

Destination Travel allowance
Asia, Australia and New Zealand €1,600
Africa, Middle East, and North and South America €1,400

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobility grant for Freemovers

The Freemover grant is intended for students who make their own exchange arrangements outside Finland.

Destination Grant amount
Europe and Russia €300
Other countries €900

Mobility grants for short courses

The receipt of a grant for a short course requires that the course is completed with a passing grade.

Course Grant amount  Number of grants to be awarded
Self-organized participation in a short course 500€  
Short course organized by a partner university 500€ Students need not pay the course fee – max. 6 students
Summer courses at Nordic Centre India (Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore) 900€  3 courses / 1-3 students
Summer courses at Nordic Centre China (Shanghai) 500€ 1 course / 1-3 students
Unica student conference 250€  

Application for and payment of mobility grants

You can apply for a mobility grant through Mobility Online after the University of Helsinki has selected you for an exchange.

NB! If you make independent exchange arrangements outside exchange programmes, you can apply for a free mover grant according to the relevant instructions.

Follow these instructions to receive a mobility grant from the University of Helsinki:

  • Log in to Mobility Online with your University username and complete your personal and banking information under Complete Personal Data.
  • Erasmus exchange: If necessary, edit the dates of your exchange (if they have been specified since you created your application) under Change stay from/stay until on your Mobility Online account.
  • Next, carefully read the terms of the grant (Read student exchange terms and conditions). You can either print out or save the terms on your computer.
  • Accept the grant terms electronically by clicking on Accept student exchange terms and conditions.

You must accept the terms in good time, preferably when accepting the place offered to you, so that the mobility grant can be paid to you in time. The date of payment for the mobility grant is the last banking day of the month preceding the exchange.

Technical questions about Mobility Online: kvl-admin@helsinki.fi or +358 2941 40134

Where can you see that the grant has been paid?

  • You can see the date of payment on your Mobility Online account at least two weeks before the payment of the grant if you accepted the terms of the grant and the exchange electronically in good time. 
  • If the text Payment Date is not displayed two weeks before the last day of the month preceding the exchange even though you have accepted the terms electronically in good time, contact International Exchange Services.
  • NB! During vacation periods (summer, December and the turn of the year), the processing of grants may take longer. Be sure to accept the terms in good time.

Terms of the mobility grant

Terms of the mobility grant:

By accepting the terms of student exchange in Mobility Online, you agree to follow the terms below.

  1. I will use the grant only for the travel, insurance, accommodation, living and studying expenses incurred as a result of the student exchange.
  2. I will study on a full-time basis during the exchange period and will aim to follow the learning agreement (study plan) I have drawn up in advance. I will complete at least five credits of academic studies per month at the target university. I will incorporate the studies completed during the exchange into my degree at the University of Helsinki. If my target university does not use ECTS credits, the equivalent required number has been specified in the target university’s credits on the Instructions for students site. I will incorporate the studies completed during the exchange into my degree at the University of Helsinki. A summer course scholarship requires that the course is completed with a passing grade even in the case of exchange periods of less than one month.
  3. I will immediately notify International Exchange Services about the extension, suspension, shortening or cancellation of my student exchange. I understand that the additional component of the grant is not awarded if I apply for it after my original exchange period.
  4. I agree to return the grant in full or part if my exchange period is shortened so that it affects the grant amount. I understand that I may also have to return my grant if I fail to complete sufficient studies during my exchange.
  5. I will purchase the necessary insurance (sickness and travel insurance) because the University of Helsinki does not provide insurance coverage for outgoing students.
  6. I will submit the exchange documents (letter of confirmation* and transcript of studies) and complete the exchange feedback form for International Exchange Services on my Mobility Online account within two months of my return. If I participate in an Erasmus exchange, I will also submit a signed copy of my learning agreement to International Exchange Services and complete the EU Survey within two months of my return.
    *NB! As of the 2016–2017 academic year, only Erasmus, Nordplus and Nordlys exchange students must submit the letter of confirmation.

The number of credits required for destinations outside the Erasmus area (cf. 5 credits per month) are specified for each target university on the Instructions for students site in the university’s credits/courses.

If you participate in a Nordplus exchange for a period shorter than a term, you must complete five credits per month, as required by Kela. The recovery of funds paid is always done on a case-by-case basis.

If a student employed by the University of Helsinki receives a grant, the grant is paid on the first possible payment date after the employment has ended.

  • University of Helsinki employees cannot simultaneously receive both a salary and a grant for tax-related reasons. In such cases, the tax authorities may interpret the grant as a salary, on which tax may be levied retrospectively. As a rule, grants are tax exempt.
  • To receive a grant, you must apply for a leave of absence from your unit or provide proof that your employment ends by the date of payment. To apply for a leave of absence, follow the instructions on Flamma. In addition, you must inform the exchange coordinator about your last day of employment (e.g., a work certificate) so that he or she can forward this information to the service centre.

Effect of the duration of an exchange on the mobility grant

Changes to the duration of your exchange affect your grant amount and must always be reported to International Exchange Services. Immediately inform International Exchange Services about the cancellation, suspension, shortening or extension of your exchange and follow the instructions available here.

Depending on the situation, we will either provide you with an additional grant and an extension to your exchange or send you instructions for repaying your grant (or a part of it). If your exchange period is shortened or suspended, you must usually repay at least part of the grant paid to you. If your exchange is suspended for particularly compelling reasons, you must provide a written explanation.

Note that the minimum duration of an Erasmus exchange is three months.* If the actual duration of the exchange is less than the minimum duration, the exchange is considered to be cancelled, and the whole grant amount must be recovered.
*With the exception of target universities where the official duration of the term is less than three months

In the case of students whose exchange period is extended, the condition for receiving an additional grant is that the exchange agreement includes months of exchange that have not yet been used. The receipt of the additional grant requires that the student delivers to International Exchange Services a certificate from the target university’s coordinator concerning the extension of the exchange and drafts a learning agreement for the extended period. The required documents must be delivered at least one month before the end of the original exchange period. Should the documents not be submitted in time, the additional grant cannot be paid. If information about an extended exchange is provided after the exchange, the grant amount is not affected.

Payment of student financial aid and a housing supplement during your stay abroad

Students usually fund their studies abroad with student financial aid, a housing supplement and a student loan. Read more about student financial aid for studies outside Finland on the Kela site.

Also see the Finnish-language information in the Kysy Kelasta service.

Accessibility grant

Accessibility grants are intended for exchange students who have special needs and require additional support for their exchange. The financial support is available for participants in the Erasmus+ and Nordplus programmes. The application process for grants is continuous, and a separate application form is available. Applications are handled individually. Read more (in Finnish) on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Other grants and scholarships

Applying for grants and scholarships from outside the University requires your own initiative. Other grants do not affect the receipt of a mobility grant.

For tips on other providers of grants, click here.